Wednesday, April 2, 2014

California 70.3 Race Report

It has been a few years since I raced the California World champs. I chose to kick off my season with Oceanside 70.3 for two reasons.
  1. It's in my backyard and therefore it's fun (lots of friends, easy, no travel, etc.) 
  2. It draws an incredibly deep field and is always a good test of fitness. Going into the race my only goal was a top 10 finish.

I swam in the Zoot Z-Force 3.0 wetsuit, which is my new favorite wetsuit. It's comfortable and doesn't restrict my swim stroke.

The pro women's field was fairly large which led me to believe I would have company on the swim. I did - until the 2nd buoy - and then I swam a very lonely solo loop of the harbor. I came out in 30:00. I would have been much happier with 1 second faster - doesn't 29:59 just sound better?!? But onto the bike...

On the bike and my legs felt strong. I spent the majority of the bike alone, but after four full years of racing pro under my belt I think I may have actually learned how to push myself when I'm alone. I solo time trialed for 2:37 enjoying the hills and reminding myself that I might actually be putting time into girls in front of me, even though I couldn't see them. (Trust me - this is way more effective then telling myself I suck and am going backwards - which I have done many times in the past). But most of all - I had fun. I love riding my bike, I love riding fast, and it was a beautiful day to race.

The run at Oceanside is two mostly-flat loops with some short steep pitched hills thrown in. I like the out-back sections because it's easy to tell if I am gaining time on girls ahead of me. For me it's a huge run of friends yelling my name and being shocked at how many cheer for me and actually pronounce my name properly. I ran a 1:27 to finish 10th in 4:37.

My favorite part of the day was how much fun I had. Last year in my quest for chasing points by the end of the season I was worn down and a bit defeated. I lost some sponsors and I questioned my abilities. I decided to return to my love of racing this season - which meant only racing those races I am excited about. No point chasing, no jumping through hoops and no racing courses in locations I don't care to race. Oceanside reminded me that I absolutely love racing. On a day when I made no money and raced purely for a love of sport, I was reminded why I work so hard at both training and racing. I love the chase, I love pushing myself harder than I thought possible, and I love the scenarios that only racing can create.

My favorite shot of the day. My Dad was the 2nd place female bike escort. He waved at me each time he went by with HJ in tow. My mom ran around the course as well. It was special that they were both at the finish along with my friends.

Next up is Wildflower.

THANK YOU to my sponsors, most of whom have stuck with me for years.
Zoot - fast shoes, flexible wetsuits, awesome training and racing apparel.
Microscope World - my other great job (microscopes make great gifts!!)
Profile Design - fast wheels, aero bars and hydration. I love the Aero HC system.
Powerbar - gels, hydration and recovery for ultimate performance.
Nytro - my local (but they sell all over the world!) bike shop with all things racing/training.
Extreme Endurance - helping me recover faster and race harder.
Rudy Project - great helmets and sunglasses, awesome colors!
Bont - best cycling shoes around.
Kenda Tires - great tires for fast racing and less punctures.