On Saturday, April 4th, I competed (I use that term loosely!) in the Ironman California 70.3 race. This is considered a 1/2 Ironman, which consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. It was held in Oceanside, CA - just north of San Diego.
I had a pretty darn good race! My swim was slower than I anticipated it would be, and slower than I thought I was swimming! I had to take a quick stop a few hundred yards into it and have one of the lifeguards help me adjust my wetsuit. I felt like I was choking because it was too tight around my neck. Once she loosened it up for me, I felt much better! It's hard to be confident in the water (especially open water - and the ocean!) when you don't feel like you can breathe! 44 minutes to do the swim.
The bike course is mostly out on Camp Pendleton. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! The first half is flat and usually fast, with the second half being quite hilly. Well, it was windy all day and not too many times was the wind coming from behind. I have done a lot of training in the wind lately so it didn't seem too bad. I felt strong on the bike. 3:02 to bike.
The run was ok. I didn't have any stomach issues this year, which was a blessing! I felt pretty good on the first lap. The second lap found me slowing down a bit. It was a mental game at that point. We had to run 1/4 mile, each direction, each lap, on the sand. This was not my idea of fun for a race! So, it was a total of a mile on the sand. Some of it was hard packed, but a good portion of it was soft. It made it an additional challenge on the run. The course is fairly flat, but after a hilly bike course, those little hills felt like mountains!
Overall, I was really happy with the results. I finally broke my 6 hour barrier, finishing in 5:54:40! That smashes my previous time by 23 minutes! I was happy about that! I finished 39th out of 142 in my age division.
It was great to have three friends out there with me to cheer me on, as well as other teammates. We had a great little condo right on the beach and close to all the race action, which was great! The extra support out on the course is SO helpful to keeping my head in the game!
From here, I continue to train for the full Ironman in June. I'm excited! It is going to be an adventure!
A few really bad race pictures. Racing never has me looking my best! :)
In all my spandex glory!!!