Shucks. It feels just like yesterday when I was training and racing full time being back in the triathlon scene. This event is absolutely first class in every way. All aid stations, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers, perfectly marked course that was well policed, fabulous event.
My goal was to run my own race with as few errors as possible. With everything working as planned I should have finished top ten but it came out as 20th place out of 154 in my age group, 5:12, with tenth place 9 minute up. The winner came in 20 minutes in front of me. Probably not his first triathlon race in 17 years, huh?
Blood sugar was 110 when I got up in the morning so I knew things had to be going my way. Suzanne and the children and their two cousins were at the race for the start in that cold 54 degree water in Oceanside Harbor. Folks thought I was a little different eating my Dennies Grand Slam breakfast 50 minutes before the race but I needed to do this to get the bloodsugar rise and timing correct.
When the gun went off for my age group I sprinted out with the lead guys so that I would not get swum over and that seems to work well. 31 minutes was a slow swim time but considering the badly bruised/fractured L rib #5, I felt okay with the performance.
I had a good run up to the transition spot but then came error #1; no triathlon type of cycling shoes. I stopped to get the socks on to protect the feet and struggled to get the jersey on; 4:00 transition--tooooo slow.
The bike course was awesome! A big section of the course I had ridden hundreds of times when I lived in North County San Diego so I knew it well. The back was feeling well for the first 10 miles, riding a consistant, relaxed, relatively fast pace. Only a few crazies went by on the bike but that was fine, I would probably see them later on the run.
Error #2; The bars are still too low and the spine started talking to me. I had to sit up numerous times to stretch out that sore back and this cost me some time. More work to do to get the Cannondale Slice set up correctly. Incycle in San Dimas has been a terrific shop to do business with and they will assist in getting the bike set up.
Error #3; Gatorade given to me on the course sure tasted great but the concentration clogged the gut and I could not pass the juice for at least 50 minutes. Dehydration on the way, oooppsie. I had a plan and broke the plan when I reached out for the Gatorade. My fault.
The back hills in Camp Pendleton were steeper than I had thought and could have used a 27 to spin the hills versus using the 23. I keep thinking I am 28 years old versus the elderly gent I have become. New cog set to be used on these hilly courses in coming races. With the back and food problem I was probably down 12 minutes.
Once I got back on the water and foods I had planned for the race I started feeling better although I knew I was behind schedule on the hydration. Run next.
Transition was fast, under 2 minutes, and the outfit worked great. Incycle sponsored me with cycling shorts and jersey that felt just fine to run in although this race was the first time I had run in that garb. Don't do this for the first time like I did. I just got lucky and it all worked.
My SPI belt was handily left on my dresser at home, bummer! I had to do some funky things with those jersey numbers so they would not get torn but it worked. Running at 6:40 pace for the first mile was probably a little much but the legs felt great. Transition practice is the right thing to do. I passed 6 or 7 guys in my age group during the run, a plan well worked. But in the last 2 miles I started dragging, a few stars and tunneling is no fun but still running what I felt was a good pace. The it happened. Another 45-49 age grouper came by me. I nearly fell over, HA! Where did that guy come from?
I passed one more dude in the last mile and finished strong. I love racing these triathlons!
1. Slip ties for the running shoe laces.
2. Fix the bike position
3. Check the bike course profile, get a 12-27 cog set if needed for the hills.
4. Triathlon bike shoes that are seemless on the inside- no socks inside.
5. Aero helmet?
6. Bring the SPI belt for the number attachment
Love that racing and the blood sugar at the end of the race was 94 mg/dl, Bulls-Eye. I took 4 units of regular Novolin, diabetes was not a factor in this event.
Cheers to Anne Findley of the Team Triabetes for her successful finish. And those kids with Suzanne, I could not have been blessed more. I love those guys.
The next entry will be about my 120 mile training ride I did today. Ever hear about dirt naps?
A enduring life. Ain't it great?