It's no surprise that my race report was rather long (D refused to read it apparently lol), but being that is was my first major race back, I think I'm allowed to go over word count ;) There are still a few things I don't want to leave unmentioned... so here goes:
1. Gear. Bummed I didn't get to wear my Charlie Sheen-inspired Tiger Blood "arm warmers" I bought at Target (aka long socks with cutoff toes). But, in other news, my new Rudy helmet worked awesomely, Zoot makes the most comfortable racing attire ever--I even wore something old because I have no kit yet, and it was like butta--and, lastly, I love my GU. Couldn't race without those amazing little gels!
2. Athlete in da house. My dog Sydney loved our house guest, Bryan. They got in a lot of play time (evidenced below haha). In fact, Bryan was extremely polite and an ideal house guest, thanks for being so cool bud! His only must-have request? Chocolate milk. Nice :)
3. My athletes. I had two of my athletes out there doing their first half-Ironmans. Both did a GREAT job, and I'm super super proud of them. Now that they've gotten over the "first half-Ironman hump" they know what it's all about and are excited to do more 70.3s, of course with faster goal times in mind :) Fun times for the coach! I had another athlete who didn't race but he came out to watch and I put him to work with the SCAPE... vital!
4. Race emotions and effort. I know I said this race was awesome, and it was, but I'd be lying if I said I was always perfectly happy, calm and content before/during. Of course I had pre-race jitters, and during the race I had some rough patches and crappy feelings/thoughts. But I managed that $%*@ better than I have in the past. Never once did I let a negative thought or feeling take over, and never once was giving less effort or quitting an option. I felt mentally strong and I genuinely enjoyed the race from start to finish, even the tough parts. However, I didn't cross the finish line puking like Beth and I wasn't forced into the med tent or laying there "dead," which makes me wonder if I could have pushed it harder, and if so, how much harder? Hmmm...
5. New things that worked out OK. 1) New swim goggles. I couldn't even see out of my Aquaspheres anymore. Bought some at the race expo Friday, didn't try them until Saturday. Talk about trust. 2) Used a Speedfil. Long story short, I had no hydration system on my bike. Thoughts on the product: I felt like at times it was hard to suck my drink out when I was already working really hard (I'd get extra winded), but it's not that bad. It does the job and it's easy to refill with bottles handed out at the aid stations, which I did. I think I'll keep it on.
6. I love the tri community, etc. I'm incredibly thankful for all the friends and support I have in this sport, it makes triathlon 10 million times more fun when you know you're not alone. Thanks to everyone who sent a message, called, checked my updates online or gave me a shoutout at the race! Also, I'm extremely honored by the nice comments some fellow racers said about me on their blogs, including Beth, Whitney and Michelle Bozarth (who won my AG and is a total sweet heart!), you know I think you girls are top notch ;)
7. More on my swim. Honestly, I'm not as upset about my O'side time as I am nervous about future races, like the 2.4-mile swim I got in August... I need to have my shit figured out by then. By shit I mean the cramping issue!!! Of course I want/need to go faster, but priority numero uno is ending the cramping on long swims. I have a few ideas, and I will be breaking this down in an upcoming post.
8. I love post-race recovery specials. I had a trip to SLO planned the day after O'side to visit my sister who goes to Cal Poly and to see a concert with her, Crosby & Nash (of CSNY fame) on Monday. Yup, we love our old dudes from the '60s and '70s. SLO was perfect for R&R with good food, drinks, strolling around town, a little shopping--crazy I know--and of course a refreshing workout in the form of a hike/jog up and around Bishop's Peak, which is about an 1100 ft elevation gain in less than 2 miles.... just took it easy and enjoyed :) Sunset after a pitcher of beer and Mexi with the sis
9. I'm itching to race again. Can't wait until my next 70.3, but in the short-term outlook, next weekend I might do a Cycling TT on Saturday and a sprint tri on Sunday... we'll see!
10. I'll be back. Last but not least, I will be doing Oceanside 70.3 again in 2012, how could I not?! The goal: sub 5 hours. Yup, going for it! You heard it here first ;)