Ummm, yea, so Oceanside and Wildflower race reports didn't happen to make it onto my blog. I have been going from place to place and trying to keep my priorities in line along the way. Family, Training, Athletes. Twitter responding and blog posts, and clean underwear have all fallen sadly to the bottom of the pile over the last few months. BUT, I know that I love to look back on these race reports and it is important to me that I eventually get my thoughts down. Luckily I had written my thoughts on my computer and they have just been sitting there. So, throwback all the way to March of this year.
I traveled to Oceanside directly from spending time in Australia with Angela helping out as her race sherpa for IM Melbourne. The flight over to the land of kangaroos was great, but the flight back was a bit hard on me. I landed in LAX jetlagged, loopy, smelly, and really tired. I went straight to Whole Foods for a liter of juiced vegetables and literally sat in the car and had a little cry on the phone to my mom. Finally, a liter of juice later my brain woke up enough to drive down to San Diego. I checked into my sweet little airbnb studio, went for a walk on the beach, and called Muddy to update him on my total wrecked nature. He advised some Nyquil and about 18 hours of sleep. I agreed.
19 hours later I woke up with really swollen legs, but got out for 60 miles on the bike and that helped. I scheduled 90 minutes of massage with Luis De La Vega at the suggestion of Christine and Mario. Thank goodness, he was amazing and really helped me out. I was sore the next day from it, but he knew exactly what I needed. At that point there wasn't much I could do but rest as much as possible and prey to the triathlon gods that my legs and body would come around.
My athletes started rolling into town and I tried to spend as much time with them, as well as Alison who is coached by Muddy. My parents flew in, Troy and Annie flew in, and Muddy as well. It was a party and I was having so much fun with everyone, but in the back of my mind was wondering how on earth I would be ready to race with a body that was so heavy and swollen. The Quintana Roo team was also unveiling their new bike, the PR6 and Ron and I went to the launch party for the bike a few nights before the race.
It was really awesome to have Ron, and Mikki and Mo at this race. They were all three in great places in their own training and sharing this event with them was really awesome.
As usually happens, you worry about all these things before the race, but for me, when I wake up that morning, I know that there are no more excuses and it’s time to give my best effort, whatever that might be. And the truth is, I’m pretty sure that I am actually made of nails, and barbed wire, and other tough stuff.
Mikki, Mo, Ali and coach met at my place in the morning and we rode down to the race together. That was a lot of fun and felt festive. Pre race is always a nervous time, but I must say, I'm getting so much better at managing this time period. It's a waiting game, so the important key is to just pass the time as comfortably as possible. Mikki and Mo helped too.
I got to work right away in the swim. I know that my times in the pool aren’t where they were a year ago, but I felt strong and steady and was happy with my effort. I was really happy with my new wetsuit (HUUB….LOVE). I can kick in it, and I really like the fit and ease of movement in it. If you are looking into a new suit, check out the HUUB line! It’s well worth it!
Out of the swim and onto the bike I immediately noticed that somehow in the time period between leaving my bike to go swim and getting on it 45 minutes later, my Xlabs Torpedo mount on the aerobars (I love how spellcheck always turns aerobars into aerobats) had mysteriously broken in half. Yes the carbon plate was now two pieces. My bottle was flopping all over the place. How a piece of metal can break in half while my bike is sitting on the racks for 45 minutes I don’t know…
I spent the start of the bike holding the bottle down, trying to drink it’s contents, and trying to keep the other parts of the mount from falling off. Once at an aid statin I ripped all of it off and just tossed it in the trash section. Oy, things were off to a rocky start, but the nice thing about that was I didn't really have the brains to comprehend how my legs were feeling. After tossing the broken stuff I started getting into my grove and was trying to feel for my normal consistency/tempo/mojo in my body. It was a little dicey. I was riding hard, passing lots of people, and felt like my legs were doing their thing but it was anything but fluid.
The course has rough road and I hit a deep pothole and my aero elbow pad kerplunked down to the base bar. Oy Vey! I tried to ride that way for a little while. Then I sat up and tried to decide what to do about it, then I finally just pulled over on the side of the road and yanked the bad boy back up. After that I made sure to be more cognizant of pot holes and to come out of aero for rough road.
I was back and forthing with my friend Mimi quite a bit on this ride and she told me I was second. Then I told her I aged up, then she told me I was first. It was funny at the time. I assumed she was first, but didn’t have any official beta for her as I was coming from behind.
I made my way through the hills, obeyed the speed limits on the descent, and tried to nail the ride home. The conditions, for me, were a lot harder than last year. I felt the hills more up, and the wind felt more windy. Last year I just felt on fire, but this year I had to work for what I got out there. I’m always happy to have different race experiences so as to gauge what work needs to be done, and where I am doing well.
The last 5 miles I felt something on the back of my leg. I felt back there and my under-the-seat bag had fallen off one side of the saddle mount. Seriously Sonja, it’s like you are a rookie here! I knew it was still attached on the other side so I left it, but of course when I picked up my bike after the race it was gone. 3 mechanical issues….Sonja Sonja Sonja. So goes the first race of the year! So I lost a $50+ Xlab torpedo mount, a spare tube, Co2 and nozzle, and my favorite tire levers. Pricy ride for me!
Off the bike and I made sure to take my time to get out running. Last year I went out way too fast and I bonked pretty hard. This year I just wanted to be steady, and did not want to go under 7 min/mile so as to keep things in check. I did just that. My splits were coming in so steady and smooth. I felt relaxed and the new run form Muddy and I have been working on has really started to ingrain over longer distances. I feel so much more relaxed with this new body position, I’m excited to see where it can take me over 26.2 miles!
The run at Oceanside is so fun with all the out and backs and little hills and loop-de-doops. I was really enjoying how segmented it was this year and just taking each piece one at a time. I got big thumbs up from coach and I had a feeling I was in the lead for my age group. On the second loop I found this AWESOME GUY who was running the pace I really wanted to run. I latched onto the back of him and just shut off my brain. I love it when a race angel presents itself and he was definitely my race angel!
I continued to keep everything as steady and strong as possible. As much as the bike felt like a crazy disaster the run felt the opposite, totally in control and feeling strong and focused. I was elated to find the finish line in much better spirits this year.
One of the things I love about Coach Muddy is he always finds a way to give me a big hug at the finish line when I race well. It's always a quick one before he gets back out there for his other athletes. Just that pat on the back and job well done goes such a long with with me. Thanks coach!
I felt like I had some unfinished business with this course after last year. Bonking and straggling home while getting run down is never fun and I felt really great about having a solid March performance this year. Last year I was training for Brasil so I wanted to be very strong by now, but this year the big race is in October, so I’m more content to try some fun stuff (like the Australia trip) early in the season, so that when the time comes to focus on Hawaii, I am raring to go!
4:50:27, 32:21swim, 2:40:01bike, 1:34:18run. 1st Female 35-39, and 3rd amateur (Congrats to Sarah and Janine).
Thank you so much to my sponsors (Quintana Roo, TriBella, Osmo, HUUB, PunkRock Racing) and to my coach Muddy. Also a huge thanks to Troy and Annie and my parents who still make the sacrifices race in and race out to be out there on the course for me. Contgratulations to my athletes for their great performances, and also to the ladies I shared the podium with: Sherianne, Nikki, Cortney and Karleen, really great racing by everyone!