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Race Recap – Oceanside 70.3 (and something else!)

by Christa on April 29, 2013

in Baby Gins,Race Recaps,TNT

DANGER – long post ahead.

Pre-race:
Shea and I woke up around 4am to start gearing up for the long day ahead of us. We got all of our gear together. Oceanside is an official Ironman branded race. What this means is that it’s a WTC-owned, M-dot certified, corporate affair. Iron and half iron distances exist outside of the brand (see my favorite half iron – OILMAN 2011 and 2012 – not branded) but are generally smaller and more locally organized.

This impacts how we get our gear ready. For a branded race, you have to use their official gear bags. No other bags are allowed in transition, whereas at any race outside of IM brand, you can take your own transition bag. So we had our red run bags to put in T2 and blue bike bags for T1. I had never done a race with separate transition areas before, and the whole affair was a little confusing. We also had our green morning gear bags – so warmup outfit, fuel, water bottles, anything we were taking for the morning could be checked and picked up after the race (at IMTX I lost my morning gear bag because when my family picked up my stuff I forgot to tell them to get this one!).

Drove our trusty rental car down to the pier and went to get our bikes from Tri Bike Transport set up in T2. Dropped our run gear bags and rode our bikes 1.5 miles to T1/start area. Our age group was the 16th wave so we had a bit of time to check our morning gear, slide our wetsuits on, and use the bathroom. However, we still had to be out of transition before the race started, so there was a lot of standing around. They announced that the water was 62 degrees, a full 5 degrees warmer than we had been anticipating – YAY! We opted not to wear our neoprene caps and went with the regular cap only.

The ladies about to SWIM!

Swim – 42:55

We swam in the marina and the water was surprisingly calm – a LOT calmer than at our practice swim in the ocean! It got a little choppy as we neared the mouth close to the turnaround, but nothing too awful. We had about 5 feet of visibility, and I’m pretty sure I spotted a sea lion or two. It was something dark and big! I am very happy to say that this is a PR for my 70.3 swim time! I am usually lollygagging in the water, which I still did a little this time, but I was still cold so my main motivation was to get OUT. I am so good at spotting Jordann in the water because we swim at about the same pace. We swam IMTX together practically the whole time, and that happened again at Oceanside!! Out of the water, and then our coaches were cheering us on into T1.

Exiting the water, clearly panicked.

T1 – 7:27

Yes, I know. This is a HORRIBLE transition time. Usually I rank really high in transition and I attribute that to my better times at some races. Listen, I’ll be honest. I went into this race with a poor mindset knowing that it was going to be a tough one and that I would focus more on finishing than on time. It was a long run to my bike rack and I had trouble getting my arm warmers on since my arms were all wet. Then I realized I still had to pee, despite going a few times in the water (everybody does it, it’s not gross). I asked a volunteer to hold my bike while I used a port-o-let. I didn’t really want to stop on the bike as I have never stopped during a half iron ride.

Bike – 4:30:26

The bike is by far my weakest (gotta work on that), but this was my worst bike time by far, even worse than my first 70.3. Well my entire time ended up being worse than my first 70.3, but ok here’s how it went down. The first 20, 25 miles or so weren’t so bad except for some crappy roads “THIS PLACE IS A DUMP!” and moderate grades. Then…oh THEN we hit mile 30. I looked at the first hill and said out loud, “You’ve gotta be fucking joking.” This was a MOUNTAIN. There was no ride within 200 miles of Houston that I could have done to prepare for this. It was worse than coming out of Hoover Dam on the Vegas century ride. I threw it into the lowest gear possible and started spinning up. Then I heard something funny and couldn’t spin any more. EFFFFF, I dropped my chain. I quickly unclipped and pulled over to take a look. I said (again, out loud), “Do I know how to fix this? Yes, I’m pretty sure I do.” I did! The thing was, once you’re off the bike on a mountain like this, you’re pretty much committed to walking up the rest of the way. There’s no way to get started again. So I walked up the rest of the hardest hill. The next set of climbs was about 5 miles long. Kept it going slowly but surely. I knew I was getting close because I had studied the elevation and mileage so hard. Then I heard a loud POP. I yelped and unclipped before I could topple over. Are you kidding me? My chain broke. At this point I was pretty much resigned to pulling out of the race. I had to walk approx. a quarter of a mile and hit an aid station. There just so happened to be a mechanic (who had been called to fix a flat) who said he could fix my chain. I had mixed feelings about this. If I hadn’t been there with Team in Training, I definitely would have backed out of the race. BUT this wasn’t about me or my PRs or MY race, this was about the cause, and I was going to finish if I could. I went to the bathroom and got some snacks while he fixed my chain. Thanks dude! Ok, fine. Almost done with the bike, one big hill to go. I was exhausted and hot and ready to be done. When I only had 5 miles left, I thought I was going to cry happy tears. I made my way back into town and into T2.

This is a fake smile, mofos.

T2 – 4:12

Not as bad as I thought, considering I stopped for a chat. My coaches were waiting worriedly. They told me Jess had been by on the run already and asked if I was back, since she knew I would have a tough time out there. I told them about my mechanical issues and was like well at least I know how to run! I also dropped some other brand new information (mentioned later in this post) and we all laughed and hugged.

Run – 2:52:33

Again, worst time for a 70.3 for me yet. Oh well! I was in good spirits, talking to other competitors, high-fiving and hugging my teammates on the looped course, stopping for sunscreen, Perform (IM version of Gatorade), salt (mistake – I OD’d!), coke, etc.

Looks like I am hardcore – gunning the downhill.

When we got back to the hotel I looked up the results and gasped so loudly that Shea asked what was wrong. “I did a 2:52 half marathon, THAT’s what’s wrong.” Yeah, only about an HOUR slower than a normal half marathon. Jesus. I was just wanting this to be over, but I couldn’t seem to get my heart rate down and I felt too hot, so I would walk. FINALLY I was close to the finish. I ran down the finisher chute and most of my teammates had already finished so they were there cheering me on. I really was almost crying at this point – here I am with a cry/grimace/ smile on my face.

Well that’s just attractive.

Final time – 8:17:33


My worst 70.3 time (out of 4) ever.

Let me give a shoutout to my girl Shea and say that she CRUSHED it with a time of 6:28. Are you kidding me?! Um, murdered it. We are already making plans to do a FULL Ironman together next year. Bring. It.

Some fantastic TEAM members

Rulebreakers – love these gals.

Let me tell you.  It was really hard to let my competitive instincts go and resign myself to a mediocre race.  It was really hard to watch people pass me, one by one, on the bike and run.  So why was I ok with this? I had a decent swim, but the bike was a doozy, and I slogged through the run with a super embarrassing time, but I’m ok. Fine, even. Never better.

Well, I had a little secret – I wasn’t crossing the finish line alone.

Our little half Ironman is due November 2013.

{ 4 trackbacks }

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dad April 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm

INGENIOUS!

Reply

Christa April 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

thanks Dad!

Reply

Kelly L April 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

Eeeeeeeeeee!

First: I could never do this, and once again, I continue to be amazed at how awesome you are.

Second: OMG CONGRATS! Squee!

Reply

Christa April 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

You could totally do it! I never thought I could either. Anything is possible. See also: you flatter me.

And THANK YOU!!! We are so excited. Lots of squees over here, fo sho.

Reply

Leah April 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I knew it!! As soon as I read the title I said, I’ll bet she’s pregnant! Huge congratulations to you :-D

Reply

Christa April 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

hahah you were very right!! thank you! :)

Reply

terra May 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

1. I can’t ride a bike or swim so, to me, YOU’RE A DAMN ROCK STAR.
2. ALL THE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I AM SO, SO, SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!

Reply

Christa May 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

you’re the best – thanks so much! we are damn excited. :)

Reply

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