Weather forecasted cloudy day with a high of 66, winds on Camp Pendleton and water temperature 60 degrees.
Pre Race: Got to the race with Jillian and set up our transition areas, both of us got end caps, we were there before they opened at 4:30 am. Jillian was in the middle of the transition area and I was way at the back. Ran into FC Teammates and others we met at the Desert Triathlon in March. Bill gave us so more details on the hills on the back of Pendleton and wind forecasts.
Goal: Finish under 7 hours.
Swim: Water start, YEAH!! Love water starts however, you only have 2 ½ minutes to swim to the start (I was tired when I got to the start). Ok, goal 50/51 minutes for swim. Feet and arms every where, didn’t get kicked in the head, but got pushed under and kept getting my feet grabbed (thank goodness for booties). Water didn’t feel that cold with neoprene cap and race cape, full wetsuit and booties – actually quite warm. My groups swim caps were yellow, so a bit hard to site when all the buoys are yellow. I had to keep looking up to see if I was heading in the right direction. Turn around, where was it, couldn’t see or find it until I remembered Jillian saying we would get some waves by the retaining wall, where the turn around would be. Finally, saw red and green buoys. I got a bit freaked out when I saw a few of these. I thought I was swimming in circles. I figured I was ok when I could feel the waves change. Just kept pulling and remembering to rotate my hips to get back in the groove. The end, where is the end? All I saw were swim caps and swimmers swimming over me. Saw the end, but got stuck between a girl on my left and the guys barreling on my right. Swam up the ramp and a volunteer pulled me out (thank goodness) and as I got up the ramp someone pulled down my zipper, liking this. Running into transition area saw and heard Adrienne and Jeff and Lesley cheering (Thanks guys).
T1: Took awhile to get off booties and wetsuit, sat down and took it off. Wanted to make sure my feet were dry before putting on shoes. Long transition to get out of bike area, as I was at the back of transition.
Bike: Overcast, yeah!! Goal: under 4 hours. Had to follow plan, so I wouldn’t lose energy on the hills on the back side of Pendleton. Tried not to push on the flat portion, but kept high cadence and didn’t want to burn legs to early. Figured Jillian, Bill, Michelle, Jody, Brian and the rest probably passed me up on the swim or made it out of transition well before I did, until I heard Jillian at mile 12. YEAH!!! I made it this far, before she passed me. The miles flew by and before I knew it I was at mile 20 and noticed my Garmin wasn’t showing as many miles. Not sure what happened, so just watched for the periodic mile signs and took my nutrition as needed. Timed nutrition and water bottles just perfectly before hitting the hills. Ok, I knew there would be hills, but wow. I just kept remembering what Bill said, don’t look at it, just ride. Great advice, looked at it once and didn’t look again till I was on top. The 1st one was long, the 2nd hill I saw guys walking their bikes up (no girls ) and the wind at the top was pushing you down (cartoon bike ride up a hill), the 3rd one, I wasn’t sure if it was the last one or not, but I chicked some guys going up (best feeling in the world). Then there came the downhills, love, love downhills. Looked down at my watch and it read 4 hours, I freaked out. How could I already be at 4 hours and I am not close to being done. Decided I would keep pushing and try to be under 8 hours instead of 7. I was a little deflated, but remembered Coach Joby said I could push it at mile 47 to the end, so that’s what I did. This guy named Tony wouldn’t speed up nor move closer to the right, so I finally chicked him and I think that upset him. He tried to pass me on the right (idiot, that wasn’t going to happen). I was already riding to the right of the white bike lane. When I slowed down for a crowd of bikers in front of me I saw him pass them on the right. Caught up with him a few miles down the road and passed him again. Played leap frog with a girl named Melodie and we both chicked guys all the way back. Took the last mile to spin out legs and try to stretch. Saw Robin, Vicki, and a few others coming into bike transition and cheering (THANK YOU)
T2: Of course, everyone on my rack was back and all of their wetsuits were piled up at the end of the rack on top of mine, no biggie, at least they left room on the rack for me. Changed gears and started to run out of transition (long run again, at the back). Changed Garmin setting to run and noticed I had completed the bike under 4 hours and not over.Yeah!!
Run: Goal time 2:15 for run. Started out strong and felt great, a little fast. Saw Adrienne
and Jeff when I rounded the corner to the beach (THANKS FOR BEING THERE). Around mile 3 calves started to ache, darn, started out to fast. By the time I saw Joby and Mia, I was trying to slow my pace down and yelled to him as much. Around mile 5-6 calves started to ease up. Saw Michelle Foo pass me, then head for the bathroom and before you I knew it, she said hello again and passed me up. Hit mile 7 and walked the water station and took some gu. Getting tired, didn’t want to play anymore, saw Adrienne and the rest of our cheering section (Robin, Vicki, Lisa Quigley) and gave a face. They saw it, because they just yelled out words of encouragement. (I really just wanted to give my bib to Adrienne and let her run the last 6 for me). Snuck by Joby and Mia, didn’t want them to see I was dragging. Walked up the next hill and saw how my time was dwindling away. Told myself, I can walk through the next water station and that’s all. Walked the next water station and told myself no more walking. Anyone can run 3 lousy miles, even if it’s slower. Played the numbers game to calculate how slow can I go and finish under 7 hours. Then I took an iced cold sponge and remembered Joby said to start passing people after 9, better late than ever. Does passing walkers count? . Started to pick it up and knew I would beat 7 hours, but could I beat my Vineman time, didn’t put to much thought into it. Just put my head down and breathed. Didn’t look at my watch until it dinged at the mile marks. Saw the cheering section and heard Robin ask how much further and I just held my finger for 1 more mile. Slight uphill and down hill then the last few hundred yards. Seemed like a long way and thought I would sprint, but not too soon. Oh, well sprinted and pasted a couple of people on the way. YEAH!!!
Post: I must have looked pretty bad crossing the finish line, because quite a few volunteers asked if I was ok and if I needed to go to the medical tent. I just wanted something cold to drink and food. When I looked at my finished time I was pleasantly surprised to see that I beat 7 hours, PR’d and even beat my Vineman time on this tougher course. I liked this course and would definitely do it again. My biggest surprise of the day was that I did awesome on the bike course. Out of 173 in my age group I ranked 80th. Yeah in the top half!!
Gratitude and Acknowledgements:
THANK YOU Joby and Mia. I definitely couldn’t have done this without
your training and support. Joby having us do those lovely hill repeats the day after riding
the Solvang Century and riding the last few weekends in the crazy rain and wind storms
(this helped tremendously on the backside of Camp Pendleton when the winds pickedup).
Thank You to my fellow FC Team members and riding partners: Jeff and Brian.
Thank You to my TriLaVie friends that put up with all my complaining and breakfast
cancellations and continuous support.
Thank You to my IMCA partners: Jillian and Adrienne for never leaving me behind, your
encouragement and support has been critical in training and even more when we do races.
Thank You to my boyfriend Scott for putting up my crazy training schedules and falling
asleep on the couch during Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune (before 8pm).
Thank You to Jim Manton our bike fitter and friend. Your final tweaks to my bike and
clips this week, made a huge difference, more than you’ll ever know.