I am sitting down to write this race report and I realize that it has been 8 months since the last time I raced. Breaking my collar bone in October essentially sidelined me for a solid 3 months. If you had asked my in January what my goal was for this race I would have told you just to have a solid race- no goals for time. Luckily once I got back to a regular training schedule with my coach Jen, things starting coming back to me. The run and the bike were feeling pretty good. Even thought I wasn’t swimming as fast as I had previously, my endurance in the water was coming back as well. So before the race I set myself some times goals.
- Swim 35-37 min
- Bike 3:00-3:15
- Run 1:50-1:55
For those of you that just want the numbers for how the day went, here you go (click here for the Garmin Data):
Pretty darn close!
The swim went pretty well. The first half of the swim is fairly protected so beside watching out for other swimmers it is pretty easy. The sun is at your back and the water is pretty flat. Once you get closer to the open ocean it gets pretty wavy. You make two left shoulder turns and then you are swimming back to the boat launch. Straight into the sun. I was wearing the Roka F1 goggles and they did great but nothing really helps when you are staring at the sun. I just did my best to follow the other swimmers. At this point there were many waves of swimmers mixed up. I was running into lots of other swimmers and you can see what that did to may pace below. Overall it was a very uneventful swim and I was happy with how it all went!
It transition I managed a new smooth move, I tripped getting out of my wetsuit and landed on my elbow. Luckily I could tell I was going down so I braced myself well and just ended up with a knot on my elbow. It got kind of uncomfortable as the ride went on when I was aero and that whole side of my body hurt the next day but adrenaline was doing it’s job and I felt little pain at the time.
The bike is always my biggest challenge. I just ride too conservatively especially when riding with others. I hate to burn too many matches to pass people so I end up sitting behind slower riders too long. The ride is kind of lumpy until you get onto Camp Pendelton. Then you get a couple of decent hills, nothing too terribly long but one that is really steep. I did fine with the hills but I knew 2 hours into the ride I was going to be lucky if I could beat my previous time of 3:20 on the course. The last 10miles are particularly grueling because you are essentially riding into a headwind back to the coast. To my surprise I must have passed 20 people on that section. My new bike was awesome as were my new wheels. I did pretty good with my nutrition and I stopped once at an aid station to fill up my bottle. I am still a chicken to do that while riding.
The one nice thing about not killing yourself on the bike is you are setup to have a strong run. I think this is my biggest strength in triathlon. I got on the run and just ran to feel while observing my pace. I really wanted to run an 8:30 pace for the whole run. The run is a 2 loop out and back course. Great for spectators and cheering! I was very lucky to have a lot of great friend out there cheering. It makes so much difference know that people are cheering for you! The first loop was hard from mile 3-5 because you kind of disappear into some residential streets. I was actually racing against my coach this time and she had beat me off the bike. I could see her when the course would turn back so I was doing everything I could to catch her! After I finished the first loop I was determined to keep running strong until the end. I finally caught Jen around mile 10 and I didn’t let up until I finished. You can see my by HR data that I just kept pushing and pushing.
I tried to run pretty evenly paced and I am please with my splits!
Overall I am happy with the race. I gave it a solid effort and I never quit. I didn’t execute the bike I wanted and that has me a bit discouraged. I need to figure out how to ride faster or I will never get to Kona. It really is that simple. This race also made me realize that I am better suited for the full distance Ironman races.
I couldn’t have done this with out the love, support, and cheers from Stuart. I love it when he chases me around all day and I love it even more when I can make him proud with a solid race.
Next up, Mountains to Beach marathon in late May. My first stand alone marathon since 2011!