2016 Oceanside Race Report
Oceanside 70.3 in the Books! Although this is one of my local races (I live in San Diego) I have never raced this course before, I gotta say that I love this race so much! and I’m looking forward to come back and make this my first race of the season next year. After settle a couple of days after I have found piece of mind that I truly give it all I have, I writing this as I lay down on my Normatec Boots sipping a cup of coffee, so here it is how it was.
Pre-Race Issues (such stressful moments)
I was lucky enough to get a limited parking spot ticket and took a shuttle to transition area around 5:40 AM, It was dark and a little bit cold, so walking was actually not a bad idea, I made it to transition area around 6:10 AM so I didn’t have much time to set up my things because transition area suppose to close at 6:30 AM but in reality they never did. I set up my transition stuff and got my bike ready and attempted to do a Power Meter Calibration which it failed to calibrate several times, I started to panic thinking that my power will not show on my Garmin but I was able to confirm it was showing, what I didn’t know that It was not able to calibrate properly because the bike was racked and it was not on a horizontal angle, I wasted some energy with these stressful moments of panic and at some point decided to let that feel go and concentrate back in the race. My Starting was second to last so I had plenty of time (more than 1 hour) to settle down and get my head back into the game.
I would say I had what I would call not a bad swim, for sure not my best swim but not bad for being a choppy waters swim. I started myself on a easy gradual pace for the first 5 mins because I find my self able to settle in a good sustainable pace when I do that. As I turn into the first buoy the waters are still calm but when you get closer to a 1/3 of the swim it starts to get choppy and what I call a “Hilly Swim”. I glance at my watch and checked my pace and I was doing 1:35 pace, but I know that it would be tough to sustain that pace on such a choppy waters. When you made the second turn and you swim towards the turn around buoy this is when the things get Adventurous, the buoy starts hide below the “hills” of water with a beautiful back scene of Crashing waves in the near distance and birds flying on top of you like witnesses of the big race happening down in the harbor. When you reach the turn around buoy you start swimming against the sun and sighting becomes an issue if you don’t find a spot in the horizon to swim towards, at that point I was sighting at the tall hotel building which is exactly on the right path to swim back, as I swam away from the currents you come back to calm waters and see the docks by your right hand, then you know you are home and it was my time to accelerate my rhythm. I pull as hard as I can and come up from the water feeling strong, I did a time of 39 minutes which is close to my distance PR but that PR was a calm lake back in Lake Stevens 70.3 in 2015.
The swim is on the Oceanside harbor, AMAZING swim! choppy currents at the half point with waves crushing at rocks near turn buoy, I gotta admit I’m addicted to the feeling going ocean swimming while watching a sunrise and birds flying on top. It makes me feel so alive.
The Bike, Oh Lordy!
I partially knew what to expect from the bike course, but honestly it was harder than I thought it would be. I forgot to take my pre-race potassium supplementation before the race, and I would say I payed for it. The first 5 miles of the bike are really hard to get into a descent pace because of the many turn around on the marine base and the roads are bad, very bumpy everywhere. By race rules (and because you are riding in a military restricted area) participants have to carry a race belt with the race number, In which I had my gels on, and because of the bumps I lost 3 gels I was carrying, Although I still had nutrition on my bottles, definitely those gels were missed at the last portions of the bike. The first 25 miles are “flat” with small rolling hills; I was feeling my legs a bit unusual heavy for being in the first miles and I blame the lack of potassium from the supplementation I forgot to take but I manage to stay on my goal watts and save my legs for the punishment of the second half of the bike course. As you get towards mile 28th, there is short (less than a mile) steep hill waiting, some call this hill the Mother F****r, some call it the Stinger, it is short but very steep (15% er) hill that it sure make yourself curse a bit. I managed to grind that tough one and as soon as I finished it, there is a gradual hill with many rolling hills all the way up to mile 37th, after that second hill around mile 45th is all downhill from there BUT with a big headwind to battle, I tucked myself into aero position and ground all the headwind making sure I was pushing my target watts for the rest of the Bike course. My target watts for the a 70.3 bike split are 185w-200w, and I find myself able to sustain in the upper side of that range on flat courses, but on rolling hills with so much variation of the terrain it always messes up my numbers.
Here is some numbers for the data lovers:
As you can tell the effort was a typical High Tempo Effort but I still see a lot of Z2 time which is all the time recovering from attacking the rolling hills. I finished my bike with a time of 2:54:05 which honestly was a 6 minutes off my target time, I finish strong but I knew that it was going to be a battle to try to fight for a descent run.
The Run, Far from being an easy one
I jumped off T2 feeling ready to overcome my deficit from the bike but I knew I had to take things easy and don’t overkill my self on the first 2 miles, I decided to hold my horses and to start ramping after finishing mile two, I controlled my breathing and I was easily running in the low 8 min/mile for the first 2 miles, from mile 3rd to 7th I was able to sustain a tempo effort of 7:40-50 min/mile which was my original target pace to hit. The Run is far from being a flat run, there are many tiny small hills that always take a toll on your legs specially on the second lap of the run (the run is two laps). As I approach mile 8th I faced all my demons, race fatigue started to kick in, my target pace was becoming harder and harder each mile to sustain and it became a painful physical and mental war to fight. I begun to approach the run one mile at a time trying to not let the pace drop too much, aid stations became a must reload of water and electrolytes to survive the painful last minutes, in the far distance I saw the finish line so beautiful waiting for me to celebrate a great race day with my friends.
For the data number hungry here are my run stats:
The finish line
I crossed the finish line with a sense of “I gave it all”, I held nothing on the course on Saturday, and although I missed my distance PR by :30 seconds, I feel accomplished that my previous PR was on a flat course back in SuperFrog 70.3 last year and Oceanside is far from being an easy course to do. My time was 5:31 and Honestly I was feeling at the beginning a little bit of bittersweet but after settle a couple of days after I can feel proud that I really gave it all.
I have thank Rudy Project for an AMAZING support on race week, thank you so much! You TOTALLY ROCK!!!, CycleOps ALWAYS supporting me on my training you really make me feel like a family member!, My Team Zoot! It was amazing to get to know more Zooters across the country at the gathering on Friday morning, you guys make us feel so appreciated! CEP Compression what an amazing support I couldn’t ask for more!, TriTats Seriously!!! what a team! We are such a crazy gang of brothers! Velocity Sportswear the tri Mafia was present in Oceanside!!!, Coolest people to be with! Coach Steve You are THE MAN!!! Lucky to have you on my side! And of course my friends and family who always support me on my crazy tri-life, you know who you are!