2018 Oceanside 70.3

2018 Oceanside 70.3

I decided to add an early season 70.3 this year and wanted to go someone that the whole family could enjoy as part of spring break… Oceanside 70.3 lined up well and I had this on my list of races I wanted to do.  Lots of indoor training as the weather in Seattle hasn’t allowed for much riding or even running outside this spring but training in the garage works well with the family.  We headed down to the sunshine and beach to kick off the race season.

Friday (Day before race)

Ran 4 miles on the Strand and checked out the climb up to the pier (STEEP but short) and then jumped in the ocean for 25 mins to wake the arms up. We were informed the beach start for the race was cancelled due to high surf and we were back to the marina swim course from previous years but I still had to do my pre-day swim from the beach. Swimming out through the surf was very challenging (wasn’t making much progress before each wave hit) but it was good practice for the next time I do a race that does end up with an ocean beach start.  Then I jumped on the bike for a final spin and to make sure the bike was ready to go before dropping it off in transition. One of the highlights of the trip was having both kids run in the Ironkids race Friday afternoon.  Proud daddy!  Going into race week my body was a bit of a mess.. overall just extremely tight legs and while I was making some progress I had some serious concerns on how things would go on race morning.  My IT band was tight and painful and my quads had some significant soreness. So going to bed the night before the race I was prepared for the race going sideways if my body decided it just wasn’t going to play ball but I did my best to clear my mind and not let the negative thoughts take hold.  Nutrition notes: pasta for lunch along with pasta for dinner and of course a brownie😊.

Saturday (Race day)

Wake up at 3:45a, Breakfast = steel cut oats, English muffin w/ Almond butter, egg whites, Tonic water, coffee.  Head out the door by 4:30 for my ~1mile walk to transition.  Set everything up but since I was just checking a dry clothes bag I had to keep my race shoes on my feet till I was ready for my swim warm up.  This sort of got me out of my typical routine which came into play later in the race.  Did a quick run warm up, then put on my wetsuit set tossed my morning clothes in my bag to check them (didn’t realize it at the time but I grabbed my run visor from my transition mat and put it in my morning clothes bag 😲.)  I also decided I wanted to stay warm and this race was known for having a cold bike coming out of the water so I had my Aero jacket ready to go on my bike and I also had some arm coolers ready for the run.  Both would eat up some transition time but overall I felt it was worth it to have my best bike/run performances.

Swim: 33:47

Went with the 30-35min group into the swim start area which allowed you to do a swim warm up and take as long as you wanted… swam a good 15mins and got the arms going.  Water was 62 degrees but really was the perfect temp for a race.  This was also my first race in salt water but no issues with that. I came out of the water after my warm up and then headed into the start gates (5 people every 5 seconds went into the water.)  I didn’t get a chance to see the full swim course so I was swimming a bit blind but the course was a skewed rectangle in the marina and I just figured I’d follow the crowed.  Jumped in and started my swim at a very controlled but brisk pace for the first few minutes.  Dropped behind a guy and drafted him for the first leg of the swim and found my arms felt great and all things were clicking to plan.  Stayed with a big group and never really turned up the pace on my swim, controlled breathing and never really pushed things which in hindsight I should have picked the pace up a bit more. Again, overall I went into the race on the conservative side since it was an early season race and I was still figuring out how my body was going to perform at a long day at race pace.  Swim was over fast and I saw that I came out in 33:xx which was on target but I knew I could have taken quite a few seconds off if I had pushed the pace a little more.

T1: 6:04!!! 😲 a VERY long run from swim out down to the entrance of transition and then back through transition to my bike. Certainly the longest distance swim exit I have done but it did help get the legs going.  Finally arrived at my bike, tossed on my aero jacket, helmet, shoes and headed out. 

Bike: AP180w, NP194w  2:39:43

Due to the course being almost entirely on Camp Pendleton I hadn’t had any preview of the course.  This was entirely new for me as I usually prepare for my races and I know the course before I head out.  I knew the course was bumpy and I secured my rear water bottle with a few rubber bands but when I hit the first big bump (even had a BUMP sign by it) my water bottle ejected and rolled off to the side of the road. Oh well… I race with the same stuff that is on the course so I knew I could just grab a bottle later.  I went conservative on the power for the first 10-15 mins to see how the legs and hips were going to react to racing and as I brought the power up to my initial target of 190w I was super happy to find that I felt absolutely fantastic.  Legs, hips and back were happy as can be and I was comfy in aero and just cruising along.  It felt great to be racing!  Eventually I hit the first big hill and it was steep but with an 11-30 on my disc it really wasn’t too bad, worked my way up the 2nd hill and the decent has a 25mph speed zone. It was a little confusing on where it started as there was a “no passing” zone that started earlier and out of caution I slowed to 25MPH way too early and lost quite a bit of time.. eventually hit the short 25mph zone (which cost you a DQ if your average speed in that zone is over 25MPH (they time you with timing mats.)  I never really struggled on the bike.. legs felt great and I hit the last 10 miles of flat headwind riding where I kept the power around 200w and passed a lot of people who were really starting to struggle.  Eventually came back into T2 and managed to just sneak under a 2:40 bike.  Overall I felt great about how the ride went, good solid ride without overcooking my legs. Nutrition notes: 3 gels on the bike with 1 full bottle of Gatorade Endurance and ~ 1/3 bottle of another bottle plus a little water.


T2: 4:10 Another long transition entrance which added to more time on the clock.  Tossed on my shoes and then couldn’t find my running visor.. I was so confused and basically just stood there looking for it, looked everywhere, moved my wetsuit, etc. and couldn’t find it.  I really should have just started running the second I couldn’t find it but just kept wasting time looking for a hat that wasn’t there.  I was convinced someone must have grab it by accident so I finally headed out on the run (no one took it.. I had packed it in my morning clothes bag.. opps.)  Not a huge issue… I saw my family within the first mile of the run cheering me on and the place we were staying was right on the run course, so I had my wife grab a spare visor from the house and so she could hand it off to me next time I came by on the run. Technically not allowed but I figured a little “outside help” to prevent a sunburn wasn’t too big of an issue.

Run: 1:45:21

Came out of T2 with my legs feeling good… again, no issues and the best I had felt in weeks.  Target was to run 8:15s for the first few miles and I came close to nailing that. Seeing my family cheering me on the course was absolutely wonderful and the Oceanside run is epically beautiful next to the beach.  The run up the ramp to the pier was super steep but so short it wasn’t an issue… the other hills from beach level to town level were actually more challenging.. not as steep but they were longer.  I clicked off the miles and stuck to my nutrition plan.  Stomach was happy with the plan, legs felt great and I settled in to an 8:00 pace.  I eventually pick up the pace to 7:30 but when I ran up one of the steep hills on the back half of the course I started to get a little tunnel vision and light headed when I got to the top.. seems I had pushed just a tad too hard and I slowed down a bit till I recovered.  Didn’t take long and I felt fine again but it was a good indicator to not push things over the limit on the last 4-5 miles of the run.  Run was steady and my pace was on target… nothing too interesting to say, things went to plan and eventually I found the magical finish line at mile 70.3.  Crossed a few ticks over 5:09 which was a little slower than my target of 5:03-5:06 but my swim, bike and run were on target.. my transitions were where I lost some time and I certainly could have been faster. Not to worry as I know I can turn in some quick transition times on a typical day. Nutrition notes: 3 gels (mile 3, 7, 10) with a few sips of Gatorade along the way.

Overall 5:09:05 - a great start to the season with an added bonus of spending spring break with the family on the California beach.  I could have been faster (meaning my training would have allowed me to shave off some time) but mission accomplished this early in the season.  Really can’t ask for much more than that as I prep for CdA70.3 in June.


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