Jumped up to Olympic distance a little earlier than I though I would this year, a mere 2 weeks after my first Sprint distance of the year. Coach Zack Bertges hosted a 70.3 for his stable of clients training for the Ironman and his roommate said he’d do the Oly distance with me, so joining them was an easy decision. I did a 40 mile ride the previous Saturday which boosted my confidence as well.
I had a strength workout with Zack the day before – I think his term was “neuro-muscular activation before the race”. Mine was more like “Ab/shoulders beatdown” but it I only really felt it in my lat’s during the run on raceday: other than that no ill effects.
Slept poorly on Friday night: not nervous, but still had butterflies and thinking about the race. Awoke before my 5am alarm. Coffee, apple, bagel with peanut butter.
Got to our meeting spot at 7:30, not really much to set up. A little mist and fog and in the 60′s. Apparently that rates as “bad” weather for Santa Barbarian’s. For me it’s perfect. The water was still quite cold at around 55DegF but I’d been in for an open water swim earlier in the week and was ready for it.
We had 2 kayaks supporting us which was great both for sighting and a little extra security. Aldous and I relied on his Garmin to get the distance right, swimming 750m down the beach towards the pier and then back. There was no wind so the water surface was calm but the waves were actually higher than they looked. I realized belatedly that it would have been easy to get beat up at the swim start or finish by not diving under the break. As with my last race it was simply a matter of continuing to focus on form, trying to put all the pieces together at once.
Had a casual T1 trying to clean the sand out of my toes. Riding out was a bit chilly. A second towel would have helped dry off more before getting on the bike.
Aldous was off like a shot and a much faster cyclist, so we kind of yoyo’ed with me catching up while he waited for me at intersections. It seemed to take me 5-10 miles to get my cycling legs. Had GU #1 after about half an hour into the ride, 2nd one with about half an hour left in the ride. I alternated between water and electrolyte drink, totaled about a tall bottle and a half on a cool overcast day.
There was only one hill of any significance – Gubernador – which felt like about 1/3 or my local training hill – Farrin. Having gone up something more significant recently helped a lot. The downhill side of it was fast and smooth and I probably went a little faster than I should but no issues. Kind of started dragging after about 1.5 hours somewhere between Carpinteria and Summerland, picked up again after the second GU. Feet were cold, wet, and asleep the whole ride. It sure helped to have Aldous push me and also wait for me!
Fairly quick T2, feet still asleep and cold. Did not carry water knowing that there would be water fountains along the way. Kept the final GU for halfway through the 10K to some finishing energy.
No real wobbliness in legs at the run start, but Aldous was off like a shot again, at higher pace than I could keep. He was fine with my strategy of intermittent walking breaks and I did the run parts faster than normal. Worked hard on using the glutes going up from Ledbetter to Shoreline. It was nice to have someone to chat with, and I think Aldous knows everyone in the Santa Barbara athlete community because he got a shout out from someone every mile. I could not get the song “Stacy’s Mom has got it going on” out of my head. No quad issues, but glutes and lower legs just really sore by the end. Tried to gut out the last 800m at a higher pace.
At the finish I actually felt better than sprint tri 2 weeks earlier, but I was much sorer later in the day.
Finish: 4 hours even.
Info from Aldous’ Garmin. Run extrapolates out to ~70 minutes for the 10.4km we ran, and he finished a minute or two ahead of me.
Leg H.MM.SS km Avg Pace
Swim 32.45 1.47
T1 7.34 0.15
Bike 1.57.39 46.59 14.8mph
T2 5.43 0.06
Run* 54.57 8.19 10:47/mile
Total* 3.38.38 56.46
* Time missing due to forgetfulness
Overall encouraging. I really didn’t tax myself aerobically on bike or run, and I am still mostly held back by how much my legs can push my weight and how sore my legs get. Race weight was ~210 pounds.
Had a sunburn due to forgetting to apply the sunscreen I brought. I know better. Had bad chafing due to lack of bodyglide and vaseline. I know better.
Enjoyed a couple of pints at Hollister’s and a couple of Ibuprofen at home.