Ironman 70.3 Oceanside was a special race for me, not only is it a local race but it was my first race as a Team Phenomanal Hope Ambassador. My sister who was diagnosed in 2008 with PH, she is my motivation and inspiration to help spread PH awareness. It difficult to be faced with something that is so much out of your control and even worse to see it happen to a loved one. What better way to give back but to race to one day find a cure. I beileve my sister was placed here on earth to be a testament of what real strength is, What it means to fight everyday to live a blessed life and be happy every morning.
So at Oceanside every inch of those 70.3 miles was dedicated to not only my sister but those strong individuals fighting everyday living with PH. As I ran up hills I remembered of the struggle my sister faces walking up steps. As I pushed to the finish line breathing heavy I thought of those who have shortness of breath just walking to their car.
The swim was as expected a bit crazy right when the gun went off. The first couple hundred meters were full of slaps to the head and kicks to the face. I dodged a few but got caught by more than I’d like. Once I cleared the madness I checked my watch to see my pace and found it was missing. Looks like it’s at the bottom of Oceanside harbor now. Screaming to myself as I swam I had to get comfortable with the idea that this entire race was going to be done on feel alone. No data to help me monitor my times and numbers. The swim isn’t my strength anyway so I pushed to finish what seemed like a long 1.2 miles and get to my bike. Finished the swim in 42:05 (2:10/100m pace) a slow swim but I had no idea.
The bike really tested my focus. Without my watch I was a bit lost in the beginning. It was an unknown course and I was really trying to save energy for the climbs in the back-end of the ride. I focused on listening to my body and legs to find the pace I had worked towards in my training for a good bike split. I usually base my nutrition on the running clock on my watch but this time without the clock I ate when I felt my body needed it and it worked out perfectly. There were times when I felt that I was being to safe with my pace and I would make adjustments. After all the climbing was done I really tried to hammer back to the harbor so I could come close to my goal of at least twenty mph average. My bike split was 2:51:35 (19.60 mph avg). Not my fastest bike slip in a 70.3 but aggressive enough to still have legs to get a good run with.
And then there was the run. This two loop run course was packed with so much energy from racers and spectators, it was perfect. I stormed out of transition excited to get out there and get this race done. Truth is I’ve been due for a good run split in a 70.3. I’ve worked really hard on maintaining some good speed off the bike and I’m happy to say it all came together in Oceanside. I think that this is where not having a watch helped me a lot. I found a fast pace I felt my body can maintain and I pushed it, digging deep throughout all the 13.1 miles of the course. I loved the two loops because I got to see so many friends out there and cheer people on. Nutrition was spot on, drank when needed and plenty of base salt to keep me pushing. It wasn’t until mile 11 when I started fighting a bit of a cramp but was able to make adjustments to my stride that did not slow me down to much. I ended with my fastest run split ever with a 1:42:30 (7:49 avg pace) and because of this run I was able to inch out a 4 minute PR.It certainly wasn’t from the swim, hilly bike course or slow transitions.
Plenty of things to take away from this race and certainly more improvements to make but now I have a new time to beat. Let the work begin, Vineman 140.6 your next on my kill list and I’m coming for you.