Last weekend I did Oceanside 70.3 in California. This was my second go at this race (2008) so I had a good idea of what I was in for. It’s an honest course with an unbelievably stacked race field. Outside of IM Hawaii, I bet this race was one of the top 2 in terms of competition this year.
The week leading into the race went well. I traveled out to Oceanside with Coach Pat, which was great and gave us a good opportunity to talk shop for 8+ hours in each direction (lucky him). It was great to get out there with 14 other QT2 athletes, and get away from the New England weather. We had a big house one block from the beach.
Race morning snuck up as usual and after speaking with the athletes we had racing and another that morning who was racing in Australia at an ITU race (Ethan Brown), suddenly I was at the starting line just barley realizing I actually had to race too! My wave was second to last (wave 19) and over an hour back from the male pros! This meant there would be a lot of passing to do over the whole day, and no room to lose concentration. The water wasn’t too bad this year in terms of temperature, so I didn’t get the claw I described two years ago HERE. The swim went very well for me going 28:xx, about a minute faster than 2 years ago, and 16th in my AG of 247.
Based on my performance metrics, and body weight, I had a sub 2:30 ride predicted. I’m now riding a new Specialized s-works transition from Fast:Splits Multisport, which is absolutely awesome. I like this bike a lot. The ride went great, even through some pretty darn nasty wind sections, and the hills. Its a great bike course. I came off the bike in 2:29:xx and still in 16th in my AG (6 min faster than 2 years ago). For me, that’s striking distance in half and full IM, since most folks have not prepared themselves to run off of the bike. Here’s the garmin file for the ride (note the HR avg for the 1st and 2nd half): HERE
My run has been solid in training, so I had hoped to match my run from a couple of years ago when I had ridden a bit more conservatively. The plan was to head out at 5:55 pace and hold on as long as possible. I did just that, and slid back to 6:25 pace for my slowest miles. For half IM, this is exactly how we like to execute them……with a 30 second slide from the first to last mile. Given the cardiac drift in an event like this, it’s typical to find that although the pace slides throughout, the HR stays pretty steady. This left me with a 6:13 avg pace on my garmin, and a 1:21:xx run which was about 20 seconds slower than a couple of years ago. It also pushed me to 4th in my AG, and a podium finish (they go 5 deep here). Here’s the garmin file (note the mile splits and HR): HERE
The total time was 4:25 which was almost 7 minutes faster than 2 years ago. This finish puts me in a great spot going into this season. QT2 athletes again executed the day with some serious discipline! We produced 6 sub 5:00 finish times, which is no easy task 0n that course.
My outcome related goal for this season is now to get a bowl in Hawaii (top ten AG finish). I think I’ll need a sub 9:30 there to do it (I went 9:43 in 2008), but based on where my fitness is, this should be doable if I continue my current path of training, restoration, and execution. Looking forward to it!!