Thursday, 12pm: Preview Swim. I met Gary, Alvin, Rick, San, Julian at Oceanside at 12pm for a preview swim. Slightly terrifying. I’m brave in the ocean, but not comfortable in the waves. We went in and through the waves several times. There were about 5-6, maybe 7 waves to get all the way past the breaks. The sandy beach reaches pretty far out, so i can walk and jump through 2-3 waves before I have to dive under. The preview did what it suppose to give you a realistic prep for race day and you have to deal with it in your head. I had a near drowning experience when I was a little kid, so I have really psyche myself up for these ocean swims.
Thur, 4pm. Shopping at Ironman Village. Bought the Ironman Oceanside 2022 T-shirt, with all participant names. Blue. Actually, my shopping spree started before I left Pasadena. I bought new Allbird shoes, shirt and shorts. Kirk found us at Village. He had a timeshare across from the Pier. We checked it out. Very nice view of the Course!
Thur, 8pm. Night Market. 4 blocks of yummy food. One block was all desserts. All kinds of food. Very well attended. I had a tritip sandwich. I bought a Slutty (chocolate chip cookie / oreo layer / brownie) for post-race indulgence.
Thur. Got some sleep.
Friday: Sleep in. Rental house with Alvin, Julian and Susana. It was great. I had the loft area on the third floor. Two couches, both were pull out beds. Walk out, big patio with table, chairs, umbrella, ocean view. Laid out all my clothes and gear for Race Day. Packed into Transition bag. Note anything missing, I can buy at Village if needed.
Fri, 10:30a. Met the Club at Registration. Steve, Joe, Johnny, Raul, Rob, Greg, Rick, San, Julian, David, Alvin, Gary, Larry, Paul, Jessica, Dwight, Mark, Peter, Mike.17 racers all registered together and we got Race Numbers consecutively, so we racked up all in a row. We can prep together and see who’s back from the swim and bike. Check in was pretty smooth.
Fri, 11am. Race Briefing. Water Temp = 59F, Waves are descending from Fri to Sat, smaller. Current from left to right, toward the harbor, in our favor. Speed zone, do not DQ in the trap. Took notes on cut off times. 1:10 time for swim. 3:00 pm for half of run. 4:00p for run. Carrie was at the Briefing.
Fri, Lunch with Kirk, Peter. Lynda arrived. Dropped off stuff at the Rental house.
Fri, 4pm: Bike Drop off at Transition. Quick. Lots of fancy bikes. Our rack was at the end, near the Swim in.
Fri, 6pm: Light dinner. Vietnames Rice dish, BBQ pork, chicken. Just right, not too spicy, not too heavy, clean.
Fri, 9pm: Unwind. Go to bed. Rest. Slept better than expected!
Sat, 4am: Big Race Day. Say a prayer. Eat. Banana, toast, hard boiled egg. Had a good morning BM.
Sat, 5:30am: Walk down to Transition area. Set up Bike stuff, Run stuff, Swim stuff. Lorrie and Lynda were cheering outside Transition in the morning. Great to see everybody racking up next to each other. Greg, Gary, Joe, David, San, Rick, Alvin, Julian, Jessica, Dwight, Larry, Johnny, Raul, Rob, Mike.
Sat. Swim: 45:06. Swim start. I walked into the water to warm up. Cold, but not too cold. Dark still. Sun was still coming up. Walked to the corral, but the Banners with Times were already loaded into the chute, but all the guys were stuck behind the chute. This didn’t work out right. All the fast guys were still in the back and ended up swimming over everyone, just like the old days. Rolling start. 5 people start, every 5 seconds. It took a while to get to the start. Watching the waves crashing during the wait was unnerving. Suddenly, I got my courage and was filled with energy and super ready to jump in and do it. I was lined up Rob. Someone thought I got pumped from a particular song they were playing. Nah, I was just hoping and waiting for my courage to come up. Thankfully, it showed up just in time. We ran out to water. There were about 20+ people wading through the knee-high waves. They said to swim toward the two yellow buoys off to the left, and the current will pull you to the right toward the big Red Buoy, where you turn right. I swam through 2 real waves and then it was calm. I swam as fast as I could, not knowing in another monster was going to grow up in an instant. I needed a breather to pause and catch my breath, but I didn’t dare slow down. I caught up to a lifeguard with a floaty buoy. I asked him if there were any more waves coming. He said ‘no, you’re past the waves.’ I scream for joy. Longest 6 minutes of my life. I was so happy. I got super lucky to swim out between wave sets. I took a big breath, pushed off the floaty and headed to Big Red Buoy #1. The swells were not too bad. I could track on the buoys ok. I swam buoy to buoy. The fast guys kept swimming over me. Not too annoyed. At each big turn, it got crowded. I hit my Garmin watch lap, peeking at the time. I felt good on the swim. No panic attacks. Final Red Buoy, super crowded.
T1: 10:05: Long run from boat dock to Transition Area. Peeled off cap and goggles. Pulled suit off arms and chest. Wet strippers pulled off your wet suit. I held onto my short for dear life. I made a potty stop before heading to racks. Hung up suit over rack to dry off. Put on bike jersey and wind breaker. Helmet, gloves, socks and shoes. Trotted bike out to mounting line. I saw Alvin and Gary in transition. I cross chained and locked up my chain. This happened 3x to me. I have to be careful not to be on my big ring in the front and then big ring in the back, it will lock up, won’t spin at all.
Mile 0-12. Rollers. Getting to the coast. Tummy felt good today. Better than last Oct. I had trouble relaxing last time. This time was pretty good, settle into aero, grind it out. Relax and breath. I saw a lot of guys pass me on the bike, at the out and back. Mike, Julian, Alvin.
Mile 13-23. Cruising along the beach. Stay in aero as much as possible. Might have been some winds, hard to tell.
Mile 23: Cross inland, onto Camp Pendleton. Steep entry.
Mile 29: Climb #1. 12% grade. Steep. 0.5 mile line. Lots of people walking their bikes. I made it up grinding it slowly.
Mile 36: Climb #2. Long slow climb. 8%. 0.5 mile. More walkers.
Mile 39: Speed trap.
Mile 40: Climb #3. Short steep. 8%. 0.5 mile. More walkers. On the descent, top speed of the day 40.8 mph!
Mile 42-56: Descent and then flat on the way back in.
T2: 10:08: Pack up my bags for easy pick up for Lynda! Changed to running shirt, added shorts with pockets. Food. Wrist bottle. Short potty stop. Tummy was still cooperating!
Run: 3:08:55. Run / walk was my game plan. Kept it up pretty good. I saw a lot of Clubmates on the run route. I was trying to figure out if they were on their first or second loop. Alvin, Julian, Paul, Greg, Gary, Mark, Mike, David, Larry, Steve, Carrie. I was recognized by a volunteer Sandra from my Youtube video. Sandra was my biggest fan today! I saw her again at the finish line, so we took selfie together! My run was under trained due to allergies and breathing issues for the last couple months. So, this was as expected.
Finish. 7:56:56. Whew. I met up with Kirk at the Finish Line Party. He took my pic and watched me recover for a bit. Then, I stumbled off to the Rental House for a Party!
Post-Party at Rental House, with Alvin. Thank you to Lynda for picking up the food! Thank you Alvin for hosting the Party! Good times. Congrats to Larry for Podium in AG (5th Place!). Pasta, pizza and Patrone! Fun times swapping stories. Trials and Triumphs. Things that worked and those that didn’t.