Ironman 70.3 Oceanside 03/24/15

Andrea's recap: 

You know the feeling.... It's a race you've done and you can't wait to have another go at it because your training has been solid and your feeling stronger than ever. The familiarity is comforting and frightening all at the same time. I had no foresight of finishing my race in the medical tent yesterday. Given the worse of 2 evils, I'd pick medical over DNF every time. I'm going to... race with my whole heart every time.

Swim was not cold. As I walked down the boat ramp, I thought of my awesome swim training partners who have helped me build a solid swim. Had it in my mind I was going to do this swim for Dion.....you'll always be a fish to me! We swim in a channel-like harbor out toward to great Pacific and back. Has a few bends going both ways. I felt comfortable, buoyant and was gliding well. I wanted so much to feel like last week in the pool when a sub 35min swim felt easy, but sighting, a little current and dodging traffic all play a roll. My mile was 28:and change and similar to last year, the last few hundred yards catching up to previous waves and congestion slowed me down-Damnit! Slower than last year high 37 min! Extra credit 1.3mi swim done-I was not pleased.....

The trot to transition is long, which was good to cool my head. Moved thru quickly - sunscreen, helmet, gloves...giddy up. Last year I'd only seen the bike course on the computrainer and knew it was tough. I rode parts of the first 28 afraid-not wanting to use too much leg before the 3 climbs. This year, there's no surprises.....I took it out hard and had a goal to be 3hrs for the 56miles-9min faster than 2014. Riding in Camp Pendleton is such a privilege!!! Armed military men and women standing at the corners holding traffic-cars, trucks, tanks-and they cheer and clap for us. Isn't that some f*ed irony? As I approach the first beastly hill (10.5-11%grade for just under a mile) I was thinking about how awesome it would be to have my IMWI support crew with me on this hill. Chris ((Katie) and Beth you were right there running up w/ me. I pushed hard, passing many on the way. Took the whole hill in the saddle. Got to the top, just over the crest, clicked a few gears as I began my descent and took a deep breath. Norman Standler Kona-style I wretched 2 mouthfuls of orange Gatorade, surge gel and pretzels as I rolled along......WTF??

How much confidence can you have for the remaining 26mi ride when your tank is now empty? My gut was hollow and my brain was in such a bad place. I wanted to stop....I wanted to cry. As I cruised down the backside of the hill, I mentally tried to prepare for the next 4 miles of gradual, steady uphill to the top of hill #2. Trying to put calories, hydration and salt stick back in-frantic of how dehydrated I'd gotten.....sun felt hot and there was no breeze. Now all who have ridden in the pain cave w/ us for a long Oceanside practice were in my head. You, my friends, were my solitude and my rock. Tiny cheers and words of encouragement in my head. I felt like I was pedaling in mud and I was so far in my own head I didn't care that I was now going slow cuz I truly feared what loomed ahead. I had visions of having to get off and walk up the top part, I had thoughts of how good it would feel to just quit. I had a pretty good excuse after all ..... Who vomits on the bike and keeps going? Made it to the top out of sheer will and speed limit enforcement w/timing mats for the downhill this year were a total buzz kill!!! I get it, but pulling my brake to keep my speed 25mph or less totally sucked!! 3rd hill-another straight up 3/4 of a mile 8% fun! Proud to say I took all 3 of the big climbs in the saddle.....push&pull, breathe in/out.....yes! Done w/ the hills!!! Time for some sweet slight negative grade and speed for 12 mi back to transition!!! 20+ mph avg here I come!! Ummmmm....there wasn't supposed to be any wind today??? Really? Damnit! I know....let's play the game "How many times can you get your ass handed to you on one bike course???" So deflated....no chance of a bike PR this year either.....shit, will I even finish in 6 hrs?

Felt so good to get off my bike....until I actually got off my bike and running thru transition felt really hard. Bike racked, shoes on, pockets stuffed, visor....here goes nothing. 13.1 to go. Tons of fans and support. Beautiful views of the ocean. From the git-go I knew I was going to have to put as much fluid in as possible to be able to finish. Hard to envision a whole 13 miles in damage control, so I was cautiously optimistic. Out of T2 my w...atch said 4:02....I can run a half marathon in 1:58???? Right??? The kind lady passing out freeze pops in the first mile of the run was a sweet bonus!! Blue raspberry-mmmmmm. Little bit of sugar water and I felt revived. The miles passed really slowly and my pace was north of 9 min/miles and it's funny how delusional one can feel....did I really think a negative split on the back half was in the cards...guess that happy ending will be in another race report. After throwing up in my mouth and spitting it out at mile 4&10 of the run, I'm not sure how I even continued. Calves started cramping, tunnel vision started and I went from feeling like I was cooking in the sun to having goosebumps.

Hmmmmmm....this can't be good. So the shining moment in all of this.....no plantar fascia pain whatsoever!!! Saw Scott as I approached the finish line and had enough sense to tell him he could come find me in medical. I collapsed in a heap on the volunteer passing out water behind the finish line. A big, strong gentleman took me from there and I began to cry because I was crushed by my finish time and disappointed to be in medical. Totally frustrated because other than it being warmer than usual, I haven't a clue what caused the vomiting. BP was 135/98, elevated temp at 99, shivering uncontrollably and felt sick and dizzy. Finally able to take in fluids and within 30min I was up and turned over to Scott.

Funny how when you're in your right mind you know you were in trouble and had it been a training day you would have cashed in your chips and called it a day. Race day? Oh hell no! You can be sure of one thing fans, the only way I'm posting a DNF is if I have to be carried off the course. I truly find the 56mi bike in Oceanside to be more challenging than 112 in Madison. There were several moments yesterday that I swore I wouldn't do this race again! I'm not good enough......well, there's clarity now.....364 days to go!



Scott's recap: 

We started our Tri season at IM 70.3 Oceanside today. Conditions perfect. 67 degree water temp for a swim in a protected harbor, so didn't have to deal w the high surf warnings that have been out for a few days. 41 mins for the 1.2mi. The 56mi bike is the hardest course of any Tri I've done. Many rollers for the 1st 28mi, then the fun starts w 3 large hills over the next 14mi. 6-7mph not uncommon on some of the 11% grade climbs. As much as I've ridden this course on the Compu... Trainer this winter, it's still very, very tough and really wears u down for the balance of the race. I had planned to hit 3hrs, and finished 3:04. It didn't take 1/3 of a mile on the half marathon for the hamstring cramps to start again. However I was determined not to turn the 13.1mi into a run/walks a be out there for2:30. So I did what Alexis would do....dig my knuckles in as hard as I could and work the cramps out. It took til ~2mi, but I only walked the aid stations the rest of the way to finish run in 2:04. 6:01 overall. +4 mins v last yr. someday I'll find a cure for hamstring cramps at this distance when running off the bike, but remains unsolved at this point. Prob didn't help dropping all my Salt Stick capsules at 4mi on bike, but I knew sodium content of drinks/gels and really thought I was taking in enuf to make up for that goof up. Congrats to Andrea for sticking it out on a really tough day when many would have said f-it...I'm done. . Next up St Anthony's Olympic in a month in St Pete.