Don't you just love the suspense of the "carry-over" blog. I know so many of you were hanging on to the edge of your seats waiting for this post...race day...here we go.
So after what seemed to be an eternity of waiting, it was finally my wave's start (second to last). Upon take-off I sucked in a huge mouthful of salt water, which quickly reminded me that I was in the ocean (only my second tri in the ocean). I got into a pretty good groove with minimal fighting and just cranked it.
The swim goes out through the marina past the break for a small portion of real ocean swim (unprotected by the break) and then back in. Only two things of significance happened on the swim: 1. I got elbowed so hard in the eye I thought it would be black, and 2. I couldn't see past the break to the finish so I couldn't really judge my output based on seeing the distance left. All-in-all though, good swim.
Out of the swim I had a pretty solid four minute and change transition and took off on the bike. The bike course was very cool as it wound through Camp Pendelton military base. It was fun to see troops marching, all the barracks and sign's that read: Tank Crossing. The bike was mostly flat for the first thirty or so miles, but it was really windy and I thought it hid a lot of false flats.
The last twenty or so miles proved to be more challenging. There were two massive hills followed by a handful of those rollers that you wished didn't have to be at the end of the bike course. I would say this course was very bizarre for a couple reasons. First, there were a ton of cyclists out there that seemed to have never been on a tri course before. People were weaving all over the road and riding to the left the whole way. Second, this was the first 70.3 I have ever done where I saw a number of people off their bikes walking them up the hill.
I screamed in off the bike feeling like I had a great ride, but knowing that I didn't have much for the run. I probably doomed myself thinking ahead of the race that I would die early in the run due to only training for five weeks...but what are ya gonna do? This was my toughest 70.3 run in five races. I just could never kick it into gear, flush out the legs and get into a groove.
With that said, I just kinda grinded along chugging water and Gatorade and eventually moving into the coke. It was sunny and about 75 degrees but felt like 85 on the pavement, and my big body doesn't like racing/training in the heat.
I finally saw my Dad (whose wave started thirty minutes in front of mine) around mile three or so. After a wave and a holler I picked up the pace in hopes to catch him...but I was sucking already and he looked pretty solid. I kept grinding and saw him again around mile seven thinking there was no way, because I was pretty much spent; the lack of training now very apparent as I was closing in on the finish.
But then...I spotted him on the turnaround and he was only about a half-mile up so I grinded and grinded until mile 10 when I finally caught the old man! He was hurting a little too dealing with some knee issues. I thought about saying hi and continuing on, but when will I ever get the chance to coincidentally catch up to my old man on a racecourse and finish with him? So I slowed down (from my already slow pace) and we jogged out the last three miles of the race together and had the opportunity in all our glory to cross that finish line arm in arm and arms in the air! It was a truly euphoric finish and one I will never forget (especially because I can't let the old man slow me down again:)).
It was a great race, a very cool course with great support from all the Marines and great support from a full crowd. I would definitely go back to race this one again, especially because it's early in the season so it keeps you busy in the winter, and who can argue with a 70.3 in southern California?
So out of five 70.3's this was my third fastest. I had my second fastest swim, my fastest overall bike, my slowest run and my most fun finish.
Next up is the Pacific Crest Marathon in June (Sunriver, OR) and then the Lake Stevens 70.3 in August (Lake Stevens, WA). I would like to get in one more 70.3 this fall but don't have one on the books yet.
5 years ago