San Diego Classic Triathlon – Olympic Distance – September 8, 2012
I read over Joby’s pre-race email about sixteen times and went through the race in my head over and over leading up to Saturday morning. I wasn’t feeling nearly as nervous as I did before the OC Tri. I took a look at the results from the race last year and my results from Mission Viejo. I set three levels of goals for myself:
- Goal 1 (03:14) – This was my “if all goes well and I manage a decent push in all three disciplines” goal.
- Goal 2 (03:09) – If the bike happened to go really well, I could make it in under 3 hours and 10 minutes.
- Goal 3 (03:06) – If the bike went well and the run was great, I would make it in 3 hours and 6 minutes, which should easily get me a spot in the top half compared to last year’s field. I really wanted to be in the top half of my age group this race.
Morning of the race was great because the transition area was basically the backyard of our hotel. We didn’t even need to get into the car in the morning, and I had the security of knowing I could run back to my room if I forgot anything. I didn’t – but it was nice knowing I had the option.
The swim started in the water rather than a beach start. This was my first of the kind, and it was great. By the time we got started, I had already acclimated to the water. I got a nice spot toward the front right edge. There were people alongside the whole way, but everyone spaced out pretty nicely – well except for that one girl who kept zigzagging across who also happened to kick her legs like crazy. Took me about 100 yards to ditch her, but otherwise, it was pretty smooth sailing. My new goggles were awesome – sighting was so much easier this race with a clear view. Last race I felt like I was looking up every other stroke whereas this time I was able to settle into a pretty good rhythm for a bit before needing to check the buoys again. Granted, my Garmin path is far from a straight line, so this seems like a good thing to work on for the future.
Felt strong coming out of the swim and there were still a lot of bikes on the racks for my wave. Looked down at my watch and was at 32:41 – a minute ahead of goal #1’s schedule, so I was feeling good.
The bike course had a few precarious spots. There were a number of sharp turns, some speed bumps and the lanes were not super wide with a number of folks hanging around in the middle. But other than that, it was a great ride. The hills were minor in comparison to my August training rides. I managed to pass a number of people heading up the hills and pushed on the downhill to pass a few more. I felt strong and finished the bike portion about 3 minutes faster than my “if the bike goes super well” goal, so I was getting really excited.
I was ready for my legs to feel heavy starting out on the run, but I was so excited about the bike portion that I zoomed out onto the run feeling great. That lasted a great two miles or so when I gradually started to realize that I was getting tired and hot. I kept pushing along. At mile 4 I started telling myself to pick up the pace for the last two miles, but as my head said – push harder – my legs kept going slower. From about mile 4.5 to 5.5, things weren’t looking so great, and I kept watching the average pace on my watch heading in the wrong direction. Finally at about mile 5.5, I picked it back up for the last little bit. In the end, the run took me about four minutes longer than I had hoped, but according to my Garmin, the run course was 6.47 miles, so I credit a few of those minutes to a bit of extra mileage.
In addition to not quite hitting the mark on the run, I also lost more time than I’d planned on the transitions. I felt like they went smoothly, but I spent about 90 seconds more on each than I had planned. This will also be a good area for me to work on.
Despite the run and transitions not going quite as well as I’d hoped, I was excited about the race overall. It was a ton of fun, and I was feeling great about my swim and bike portions. After gathering up my gear and hanging around for a bit, I checked out the results and was so excited to be 16th in my class. Not only did I manage to be in the top half but I was in the top third out of 60 women in my age group. Plus, this race was about 18 minutes faster than my overall at the OC Tri in May, and I was so much more confident throughout. I’ll dial back the intensity a bit, but I feel good about finishing Orangeman in two weeks!