6:49 Race Time. PR by 12 minutes.
Race Day started early. Breakfast: Banana, PB&J, OJ. Pills. Pour bottles and powder. We rode the van to the river at 5:15am. I alway find the cutest volunteer for body marking and Vineman didn’t disappoint! I had an early Wave 5 at 6:52am Blue Caps, 45-49 L-Z. I set up my transition area quickly, hugged a couple friends, and dropped off my white morning bag (There’s not many pictures on race day cuz my phone was packed away). I got a quick potty stop and headed down to the beach. I sang along with the National Anthem and watched the Pros take off. Spoiler: Andy Potts won, the guy signed my bib!
SWIM: 36:26. The sun was just rising over the tree tops, as I entered the water for the warm up. It was a little blinding in the water, so I drifted over to the shady side. It’s a floating start. I had a great swim. Good news: I’m faster than ever before and kept up with the pack. Bad news: I got kicked in the right eye 4x. Argh. Later, my eye felt sore and slightly blurry. The swim gets pretty shallow in parts. Like ankle deep. I was going to dolphin dive and float, but I didn’t want to scratch up the belly of my new ROKA wetsuit. I finally got around the pack after the turn around point. I felt really good on the 2nd half. I hit my Garmin at the swim in.
TRANSITION 1: 4:53. T1 was fine. Got all my bike stuff on, and stuff the swim stuff into the blue bags. I trotted out and ran my bike all the way up the ramp.
BIKE: 3:08. I had a great bike. The vineyards were beautiful. The weather was bright and sunny. It wasn’t hot yet. The northbound sections had some real head winds. The course was rollers from start to finish. I picked up two bananas at the first two aid stations. One quick potty stop at third aid station. Chalk Hill was quite memorable. Steep. Some sections were really bumpy, crappy roads. But, overall, compared to previous years, much more roads were paved and smooth. The roads were pretty clear of other riders and only a few cars on course. I did have to break on the descent of Chalk Hill, so that was a little annoying. The course had lots of rollers and turns; there was little straight aways. This made fueling a little sketchy at full speed. I ended up fueling (drinking and eating) on the ascents.
TRANSITION 2: 5:08. Checked in. Grabbed run gear. Full hat for ice. Sunglasses cuz it was really bright. Cooling towel. Small bottle. 3 goos. I forgot my stash of Endurolytes and Anti-fatigue pills. Big mistake. Started feeling lower abdominal pain, so I took a potty stop. Tyler gave me an “atta boy” on my way out, as he sped out.
RUN: 2:55. I ran/walked most of the course. I picked up oranges and water and ice at each stop. The course was hot. The early stretches were tree-covered with light breezes. That was nice. Then, there were the wide-open, barren, desert, hot sections. Not so nice. The loop through the vineyard was hot. I saw a bunch of friends while on the run. Amy, Scott, Todd, Kirk, GT, Alvin. TJ was roaming and cheering the course. I saw him twice. I knew I as going to PR by a lot, so I kept my run/walk up. Not sure exactly why the run was so hard for me. Nutrition or GI upset or stabbing lower abdominal pain. You pick.
FINISH: 6:49. I shuffled in and felt relieved. I got a finisher medal and black Vineman hat. This was a 12 minute PR over 2014! I made up tons of time on the swim and bike. The run was about the same. I gathered my breath and found my friends at the food corral. I wasn’t hungry, but I ate some fruit and drank a lot. We picked up all our bags stumbled home. A big Thank You to Jaime and Janet for bringing the van back to Windsor.
POST: Alvin, GT, Luis and I went back to the hotel and floated around for a bit to cool off. Lynda and Danny went to the award ceremony and roll down for Worlds. We met the PTC and VOLT kids for dinner back in Windsor. Tiffany and Matthew Burkett and Deanna and Tyler and Danny and me went beer tasting after dinner, down the street. That was super fun. I went to bed early.
We had a big breakfast in Santa Rosa and drove home. The van ride was entertaining telling stories about the race all the way home. Nicole gave us a copy of the Press Democrat, where we made the front page!
Big Thank you to Lynda for driving us up in her awesome van!
Finishers: Israel, Lynda, me, Luis, Bryan, Trevor, Amy, Matthew, Deanna, (Jaime supporter), Tyler, Alvin, Kirk, GT. Thanks to Nicole for the Post Pics.