Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oceanside 70.3 Part II

Here's part one in case you missed it.

The Bike:

After getting out of the water I had to run down the length of the transition area which was about 100+ yards long.  Since I didn't know how cold it really was, I erred on the side of warm and put on my SS bike jersey and arm warmers - I saw Potts leave with a vest on, so I figured a jersey would be ok.

The goal for the bike was to stay settled and ride in my Z3 for the duration - saving it for the final 10 miles and then the run.  So much for a plan.... With about 2,000 people on course and after my not-so-impressive-swim, there were a lot of folks I needed to pass before getting up with the guys who are racing the event.  Before the race I was warned about a few hills.  Since few people seemed to have data on the grade of the hill, I had to guess and bring a 27 which was pretty extreme.  The bike course was rolling - but the first hour or so is relatively flat and the roads were wide open.  I quickly settled into my ride and grabbed some food. 

Noticing that my HR was about 8-10 over what my coach has provided me as an optimum effort - I tried to relax and get into a steady tempo but kept coming back into the higher HR range.  It was also tough to not want to pass as many people as possible -which is what I ended up doing.  Since I came out of the water with about the 1,300th best swim and concluded the ride with about the 250th best bike split - I spent the entire ride in the left lane, passing about 1,000 people (really 1,028) and only saw 3 guys pass me.  In the first hour I was averaging about 23mph- not bad, but decent and it was on pace with where I wanted to be. 

The rest of the course would prove to be much more challenging.  It was littered with rolling hills but more annoying was the constant headwind.  I amused myself by making a few friends out there and cheering for people (which was a good way to keep myself 100% positive for the duration of the effort - it works and I never once had a single 'bad patch' that I had to work through).

The hill which was mythical was indeed a good one.  People who brought a 39x23 suffered badly.  The climb was covered in carnage and suffering - I suspect it was 14% or so but no more than a 1/2 mile.  I relaxed and spun up the hill (there were actually 2 decent climbs but one was indeed mythical for a triathlon) which took less than 3-4 mins at most but easily 2x more for folks who were over-geared.  For once I felt great climbing - I think I probably even smiled. 

Many others also seemed to fall off pace around the 40 mile mark - a few guys who shared the pace making with me also disappeared.  I kept my head down and pushed on knowing I had burned a lot of matches on the bike and didn't save much for the run.  I ate everything I brought (1/2 Clif bar, 5 gels, 2 bottles of juice and 4 electrolyte pills, and one water).  In the last 1/2 mile I relaxed, shifted down and got ready for the run. 

The Run:

I love the bike portion of the race because I generally do well in it - though I do love the run because there is no hiding, no disc wheels, etc... running is the same for everyone and you can only run well with genetics and hard work.  Unfortunately, I had blisters that I hadn't anticipated on returning so quickly.  The transition from bike to run was a blur and I felt great- setting out likely around a 7min pace so I could ease into something faster if I felt ok.   About mile 3 my feet were hot and asleep as I had snugged my Zoots up too much.  Since I knew there were going to be blisters, having my feet asleep wasn't so bad but by mile 6 or 7 I stopped and loosened them a tick.  I took in water and over 13 miles my 3 gels and 3 electrolyte pills + water (a few sips) at every water station.  I actually felt better on the 2nd lap and tried to pick it up but my feet were on fire.  I ran with a few people sharing a few brief comments about the race and as I got close to mile 10 I pushed it a bit just wanting to get my shoes off quicker. 

Part III coming soon - I've got to sleep 7 hours before I swim at 5am. 


Greg Remaly said...

I've been reading every word so far of your three(?) part race report. I expect reciprocity when I begin posting my 10-part Wildflower report.

Sarah said...

Way to keep us all hanging. I kept checking back for updates and FINALLY...

...and yet...you still leave us hanging for more.

I suppose that's one way to keep readers coming back. The cute kid pics help, too.

Nice work on Saturday. I had to suffer too-tight laces on the Donner Lake Tri a couple years ago. I don't know how you dealt with numbness...it freaked me out too much and I had to keep stopping to loosen the laces (they were the elastic kind...NO MORE! NEVER AGAIN!).