October 02, 2019 - Mission Bay Triathlon, International Distance
Mission Bay Triathlon, International Distance, September 29, 2019
Race morning: Arose 4:20am for a breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, a pbj “Uncrustable” and a little coffee. Sipped on some Infinit Custom Blend while I filled the tank on my Ventum Z and gathered the rest of my things. Out the door at 5:10am for the short walk to transition which was to open at 5:30.
Arrived in transition in a timely manner to set up my gear, all the while continuing to hydrate. I took note my rack spot was near the swim exit (good) but furthest from the bike out (not so good). Approaching the close of transition, I made my way to swim start. At the start,I had time to spare and utilized it to for an easy jog up and down the beach with a few pick-ups. As it got closer to my wave start I jumped in the water for a brief warm up swim.
Swim start: I was to be in the 5th, and last (“Old Guys Rule!”), wave of the International distance. My support team had arrived, wishing me luck and lifting my spirit. As I cued up we were informed to keep the sighting buoys to our right but the lone green buoy we were to keep on the left due to stingray sightings, yikes! I staged myself near the front but to the left and outside in the start chute. Horn blows and we trot through the shallow for a short distance before diving in and stroking. I anticipated a pleasant swim as the water was warm (70*, sleeveless suit) and the bay calm. My instructions were “do not take the swim out fast”. I backed off a bit while continuing to feel for pace. I rounded the first turning buoy, headed down the back stretch feeling comfortable, and picked up the pace as I was to “build throughout”. Along the way I took a few “traditional” gulps of salt water inadvertently. Around the next buoy, I sighted for the final turning buoy with some difficulty so I popped up for a quick glance and motored on. At the final buoy, I picked it up again for the charge to the beach. I reached the shallow and cautiously stood up as I could feel a cramp wishing to present itself but because of my care, did not. I took my time exiting the water before breaking into a trot to transition.
T1: At the rack, I stripped my suit without much trouble and took in as much hydration as I could, while throwing on my shoes, lid and glasses. As I noted earlier, the bike out was at the opposite end of transition and I had made the decision to run in my shoes as I’m not comfortable mounting my bike with shoes pre-clipped into pedals. At the mount line, I jumped on my bike, while on an easy roll, clipped in and headed onto the course.
Bike: Onto the course with an easy climb over a bridge crossing the bay, and then into some technical turns for about the first mile. I was to “settle into a solid Zn3 HR” as I headed into the main section of a two loop course. I felt good as I made my way along the bay and around “Fiesta Island”, confidence building as I picked people off. Off the island, and on the stretch to the turnaround for the second loop, I felt the race plan was working well. At the turnaround, I checked my Ave HR and was to “average two beats higher during the second half of the bike”. Once through the technical mile, I settled in again for the main section, out and around the island, focusing on “two beats higher”. Approaching transition, I spot my support team encouraging me to “Go!”. I’m much more comfortable pulling my feet out of my shoes while riding and do this in anticipation of the jog to the rack. Dismounting at the line, I make my way to T2.
T2: At the rack, I slap on my run shoes with old school laces, hat and race belt. In the morning I realized I had forgotten my hydration flasks so I go with plan B and have a throw away bottle filled with Infinit Custom Blend. Plan B worked out perfectly as it lasted until the last 1.5miles at which point I tossed it.
Onto the two loop run course, I was to “build the HR steadily through Zn3”. Initially, I wasn't feeling solid off the bike, but as I warmed, about a mile, I began to feel the groove. The course was flat, fast, and scenic along the bay and beach boardwalk. I made the first loop according to plan. The weather was warming so at the aid station I doused myself with cold water while still hydrating with my Custom Blend. My idea was, once at the boardwalk, I would turn it on for the final stretch to the finish. Reaching the boardwalk, I gave it what I had and as I approached the chute, I spotted my team once again, High Five. Final turn, down the chute and across the line!
Whenever crossing the finish, I’m always blessed with gratitude and the feeling of accomplishment. I felt I had personally done well and my watch reflected that. I was pleased. Checking the results, I was tickled to death to have placed 4th as I’m rarely, if ever, that close to the podium. It was a good day.
After the disappointment at Santa Cruz 70.3, forfeiting the race, I wanted to end the season on a positive note, and with this performance I’ve accomplished that.
I’d like to thank Coach Rob Reddy, of AJ Baucco Coaching, for an excellent race plan which virtually came together perfectly.
2019 Tri season, for all practical purposes, has come to an end and I now plan to take it easy heading into 2020, at which time I’ll have exciting news.
Team Infinit Performance Rocks!