Can I just say, I LOVE RACING. It invigorates my soul and it’s the best feeling in the world. The Seal Sprint was SUCH a fun way to start off my 2018 season!
So flying in and getting my bike to San Diego (from Oregon) was nothing short of a nightmare but that’s a story for another time. I decided to go check out my course the night before the race. I really wanted to know where I was swimming and since the race was the biggest I have raced so far I wanted to know my drive route and give myself some familiarity for the morning of.
When I arrived there were Ironman semi-trucks setting up our transition and the swim course was already to go. This was my first Iron man sanctioned event and it was a big WOW for me. Very very cool to see all the work that goes into setting up an event of this magnitude!
I am grateful I chose to go check-in and run the course the night before. There was some jigging and jagging to get from the swim in the bay off of the Navy Base on Coronado, under the highway, to transition. Knowing this beforehand was the biggest favor I could have done myself.
Race morning was BE-eautiful! Blue skies, ACDC playing on the course and lots of parking! I biked up to the transition zone and there were some very nice volunteers there to verify all of our equipment set up so no one missed anything due to their pre-race jitters.
Luckily I do not get super nervous till I get to start lines but I need to be completely alone during my pre-race routine. Even Mum is not invited to this part of preparation (thanks for understanding Mum!). I got all set up and made some friends at the start line while we waited for buoy adjusting. The Olympic races went off before us so they shortened up our swim course for us speedy sprinters. The lifeguards paddled out on their surfboards, the gun shot and we were off!
Thankfully I had already stuck my tongue in the salty water so it wasn’t a shock when I gulped up a wave. The swim was good. It was weird to be back in a full wetsuit but the water temperature was just cold enough to need it. The swim is my best leg so I always remind myself to use this to my advantage. I start with people in the water and by the time I have gained my confidence (open water scares me big time) I have usually built up enough speed for a break away.
This time I ran out of the water right behind a legend in the triathlon world- a man named Uncle Bob who happens to be a triathlon and Ironman hall of famer. So I did exactly as Bob did on transition. Our cold feet flopping as we ran, stripping our wetsuits down over to transition. Under the highway, left, through the feet washing kiddie pools, and beeline for the bikes. Transition was smooth; change from feet to head and off I was with my bike.
The bike loop on the highway started into a headwind. It took me about ten minutes to be mentally aware of what I was doing, besides pedaling. The police had closed down the entire highway so we had plenty of room which was great as there were a lot of groups of people riding relatively close together. The bike leg is my absolute favorite and since it’s a sprint and my natural ability is in sprinting I pedal as hard and fast as I can the entire time. Monitoring speed drops is important for me because in the past I have taken on more torque rather than rpm…fatiguing my legs a tad too much.
Coming back around into transition I don’t think I have ever biked so fast in my life. With the recent changes my coach and I have made to my bike fit and all of the winter training I felt like I was flying. There was one other girl and I playing the passing game, racing eachother head to head
on the bike which kept it very interesting.
Back through transition I went spinning out at a lighter torque to prepare for the upcoming run. Now, the run is my weakest leg I will be honest. If I can grab a lead during the other two legs, the run feels like I am actually running for my life because I know there are faster runners coming for me the whole time. It’s motivating to get to the finish line first. This winter I worked endlessly on my run technique so this was my first crack at racing full speed with that technique. It took some getting used to running with my post-bike lead legs but I got going.
Overall it was a fantastically fun race and has hyped me up for the season! The event was so well set up and I had the opportunity to meet some very cool athletes while I was there. I was also able to come away with my list of new strengths and areas to work on in my training which is perfectly motivating before my next race. I pulled up to the finish line with a 2nd place in my age group, which I was not expecting with such a large group of racers but I was definitely pleased with!
Now it’s time to dive into another big block of training before April racing.
A big thanks to my sponsors for their support this racing season and during my everyday training!