It was a beautiful day today in Oceanside: sunny, warm, water about 59 in the harbor, and a bit windy. I arrived at transition about 5:20. I'd rather be able to get a comfortable bike spot and be able to set up without hurrying. And if something goes wrong there's usually still time to "fix it" or make adjustments. Plus, there's only about a 4 min wait for the bathrooms at 5:40. At 6:10 the lines were obscene! The bathroom thing is an issue for me since I have no large intestine (surgically removed 25 years ago - ulcerative colitus). I won't get any more graphic than to say that my system is shorter than everyone's except maybe a baby's. Enough said!
I was all set up and putting on my wetsuit to get warm when they start announcing over the loud speaker that one of the pros lost his wetsuit on the ride in and is in need of a men's size s/m! Amazingly he got one but yes, things can go wrong! 2nd case in point for early arrival: before Ironman Arizona I forgot my bike nutrition and had just enough time to return and get it.
Time to line up for the swim. The more bodies that got into line the warmer it got. I was proudly wearing my old pair of black dress socks as we all stood waiting for the wave to start. The men 18-24 and men 50-54, my wave, eventually got to the boat ramp at 7:09 where we waited for our turn to swim our 75 yd "warm-up" to the starting line. I, along with many of my wavemates, peed in our wetsuits as we waited, adding a little shot of "warming power". It once again surprised me how tolerable the water was as we waded in. I hate cold water (the temperature definition of what is cold rises as I get older). Whether it's the adrenaline or the wetsuit or the silicone cap, it's just was not that bad at 60 or 61.
There was the usual jostling of bodies at the start. I normally start on the outside and aim straight for the buoy but didn't this time. I got off to a slower than normal start. The buoys were easy to see and keep on my left. I don't think I picked a good line to swim this year, something I pride myself in doing. I felt like I swam off course a fair amount. There was really no chop, even out at the furthest point near the breakwater. I never did find someone to draft off of like I was able to do last year.
My swim split was 29:51, a full minute slower than in 2009, but I'm happy with it since training have been less than ideal. Of the past 3 weeks I'd only begun to swim a week ago, due to shoulder issues. I exited the water in 9th place for my age group, determined to improve my T1 time over last year's 8 and 1/2 minutes. That shute is a long haul around transition! Though I improved by a minute and a half, it still took me 6:56 to get the wetsuit off and the bike stuff on (including tube sock arm warmers that worked great!) before running out to the mount line. Next time no full-fingered gloves - too hard to yank on!
The ride was a good, challenging one. The well-marked bumps in the first few miles left quite a few bottles, inner tubes, CO2 cartridges, and such on the ground from other riders. I didn't notice much of the scenery but I know it was very nice. Unlike usual, the wind was coming primarily out of the east, which made it a headwind for the hill climbs and other sections on the backside of the course. I almost got blown over by a wind gust; a little scarey. I had forgotten how challenging the 1st climb was and it was tougher thanks to the wind. At least it meant that the last 10 or 12 flat miles did NOT have a headwind.
I used those disposable little hand heaters, the ones you can put in your gloves when you're skiing or whatever, placing them under the toe covers before I left for the swim. They helped warm my feet quickly. Nutrition was fine. I used a saltstick capsule every 1/2 hour, consumed Hammer Perpetuem at a rate of about 220 cal/hr, and drank water as I felt thirsty. My 2:50:10 time, 39th in my age group, with a 19.75 mph average was the same as last year. I count it as an improvement considering the conditions.
I ran down the carpeted center aisle of transition, racked the bike, removed helmet and gloves, and yanked on my running shoes. T2 was slightly faster than last year with a 2:09.
Once I crossed the timing mat coming out of transmission, I slowed to a walk, knowing my day was done. I bent down and removed my timing chip and walked back to the finish line to turn it in, not collect my medal or finisher's cap, and get my stuff to go home.
Ending with a DNF, my first ever, has been part of my plan for at least 2 months. Even so, it was tough to follow through with it. I really felt like I was up for the run. Not finishing is not part of my mindset. If it hadn't been firmly planned, I might have done the wrong thing and continued. I've had plantar fasciitis for 15 months now. I've done all the conventional treatments along with some that were unconventional. 5 weeks ago I decided to try shockwave treatment, a type of noninvasive surgery, to restart the healing process. I'd only been given the ok to go on walks 10 days ago, so even though I've kept up with deep water run training as a running replacement, doing the actual run would have been stupid. So I accepted my limitation, knowing that my key race of the year, Ironman Arizona, is still many months off. Considering where I'm at with training and injuries I can't complain about this year's California 70.3 results.
Bike Heart Rate 151 max, 135 ave
Zone5- 2.5 minutes, z4- 1:52, z3- 55, z2- .5