About a year ago, I was fascinated by triathletes and joined PTC and saw the race reports for Oceanside, and clearly remember Rob Egan asking people to show up for a preswim and seeing only Peter Day show up without a wetsuit, which sounded like something I would do. Seeing how they swam in the ocean for such distances inspired me to go to the local pool, only to find out I couldn’t swim the length of a 25yrd pool…
So here we are one year later and my race report…
I was initially spooked by our beloved Lynda who said she saw icebergs in the Alaskan waters of the Oceanside Marina, with a massive California Cold Front of Epic Proportions coming in with bone chilling air that would give anyone instant frost bite once on the bike. Yes, I drank Lynda’s Kool-Aid because come on, this being my first half-ironman and all and of course felt woefully ill-prepared.
Sure enough, it was really cold race day morning and found myself freezing when putting on my wetsuit, had to psych myself up that I would push through any frostbitten, gangrenous fingers I may get on the race.
It however started warming up really fast after 7am and was relieved with how the water temperature felt, really warm 🙂 Started the race, and not sure how I felt about going off with seeded course, as I found myself kicking, being kicked, pushed under all the way through by the same people instead of different people. I really enjoyed the swim and somehow found a really good groove, some difficulty sighting on the way back due to the sun glare, and when I came out of the water, looked at the clock felt strong and couldn’t believe my eyes: 43 minutes (heck, it took me 55 minutes to get out of Bonelli last fall and feeling beat up)
Got on my bike, felt warm and took it easy at the beginning per coach Scott then saw my rocket water bottle jump off my bike on mile 10! Quick decision, do I turn back to pick up amidst a never ending swarm of cyclist or take my chances with limited water? I know I dehydrate very easily and consume a lot of water, so decided to go back for it and thank god I did… I drank more fluids than I even expected. Realized may not have made it if I left my water bottle behind and cycled with my only remaining water bottle.
I learned a new trick on my bike in Oside and did it twice…. yes, hold on… I peed in my bottoms , twice!. Had some trouble with the steep uphills with my disc wheel and front derailler not responding appropriately, but pushed it hard after the speed limit zone as I started to think… well maybe, just maybe I can get sub 6 (wishful delirious thinking!) BTW, I had really good high on the bike no synthetic drug could ever replicate
Got to T2 at 4:00:22 feeling really good and with my high continuing, started off with the run a little faster than I should have to make the sub6 time. Forgot the cooling towel I had in T2 and maybe this was the difference. I noted that my HR started to get into the high 160s – 170s, and was like noooo, don’t do this as it would likely catch up to me, but my high was telling me I could do it. And sure enough, started to overheat and couldn’t splash or drink enough water. Felt inspired when I saw GT not too far ahead of me at the first turn and said to myself, Wow, I’m that close to GT?!! But sure enough, everything started taking a turn for the worst around mile 9, then at mile 10 big had to walk up a hill… Only to have GT shrug his shoulders with bewilderment and telling me, come on, waz up dude? Yep, the GT inspiration had turned into motivation due to sheer mockery Had to get back running if you want to call it that and had given up on my sub 6 goal, and man how I missed that cooling towel.
Gave Alvin a last bit of kudos before heading towards the finish line, saw my parents there cheering and yes, it was an awesome race done in 6:16:00. The venue and weather was excellent, PTC and Volt were awesome and am so happy to be a part of this! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful group and experience.
Rudy Quintero, MD