Despite not racing I was actually looking forward to cheering on Tim, his father Bruce, my friend the coolest soccer mom in town and super star triathlete Elizabeth, and my friend Stacy who paced me to a fast 1/2 marathon in Carlsbad. I wanted to see my friend Jess smiling like she did last year while racing at Oceanside.
On the way up the coast I sped along on my pink Guru. I must have tapered right because my legs felt fast. As I headed north through Cardiff a really fast guy wizzed by me followed by a pack of other guys trying to keep up with him. I recognized the rider in front as Paul Todd . We exchanged hellos and I decided to try not to let these guys drop me. I struggled at first, then caught them at a light and controlled my breathing and tried to act like I was just leisurely riding along. Not working one bit. After the light changed the pace slowed a bit and Paul and I chatted about how wedding plans were going. I have Paul to thank for any bad suggestions Tim might have. He advised Tim on getting out of wedding planning by doing a really bad job on purpose. For example: Tim would make a bad suggestion like we should have a punk rock theme or 80's hair band theme. This would inspire me to kick Tim off planning.
The next few miles went by quickly until Paul made a sudden turn across the street and headed to Panikin for coffee. I continued the ride up the coast and was in Oceanside right on schedule. I saw the first pros start the run. I knew it would be a little while before Tim would pass as the pros have a head start. Actually from a spectators point of view the pros should go last. They would have the added challenge of weaving around the others and there would be masses of people on the course at one time.
I found my coach Mike Plumb and had a great viewpoint of the course. We started discussing when we expected to see Tim. I knew about what his split times would be. Time passed and I didn't see Tim. I called Cindy to see if she had seen him. She hadn't. My coach mentioned that the bike course was probably windy. I started to sell my self on the possibility that the waves started late. No Tim. My coach asked what Tim's bib number was so we could assess if others in his wave had passed. Umm they were passing. I was convinced Tim would have been ahead of some of them...maybe he had a bad transition. Those wetsuits can be darn hard to get off. A lot can go wrong in transition. Trust me. Once I got stuck in my wetsuit, then after the bike I ran down row 6 instead of row 9 and couldn't find my Mickey Mouse beach towel marking my spot. Still no Tim.....uh-oh I danced around nervously. I hope he didn't have a mechanical. I hope he didn't crash. I focused on the possibility that Cindy, Mike, and I had all missed Tim's passing. Yes it was possible that we all missed a 6'3 Tim riding an orange bike (commonly referred to as Pumpkin). Just then Tim rounded the corner. "Look he's smiling" Mike said. I shifted my gaze to Tim's face after completing a survey of his body ruling out any road rash or other signs of a crash. Tim gave us the peace sign or was it two? Two flats Tim yelled. Crap I thought. He doesn't carry two tubulars. Nobody does. Coach asked what kind of tires Tim rolled. "Umm. I can't remember the name, but the ones with the lowest rolling resitance." I heard Mike stifle some kind of a groan. The ones with the lowest rolling resistance have the least flat resistance.
Having only had one spare tubular Tim had to walk a 1/4 mile back the nearest course worker. They radioed SAG and he spent the next 30 minutes shivering and consuming his nutrition. All of it. Tim mentioned the course workers were really nice and lent him a t-shirt to keep warm. Another racer chucked a water bottle with a tubular at him while he waited but it was the wrong size. Tubulars rarely flat but the ones
he had were super thin for less rolling resistance. He figured they would save at least 40 seconds :) I'm going to carry two spares for Ironman. Luckily when SAG arrived they had a tubular his size and changed his second tire for him. Unfortunately they tipped his bike upside down and all the water came out of his aero bottle so he didn't have any water until the next aid station. Tim then inspired by Norman Stadler's Ironman performance where Norman flatted and caught back up to the field Tim decided to bike as hard as he could until the finish. The course was really windy and Tim looked pretty knackered by the end of the bike
He started the run as fast as lightning but bonked by mile 3 of the run. He said he
would have quit at that point but he was so hungry he figured the fastest to food was in the finishers tent.He remebered the pizza at the finish in 2006. He said if it were Wildflower or Superfrog he would have quit because they don't have anything at the finish except awful Powerbars. The kind you can't chew. Soon I saw my friend Stacy. She was flying on the run and told me Tim was coming soom and that he was hurting. Crappers again. I hoped he wasn't injured. I cheered Tim on and hurried to the finish to check on Tim. It took me a while to find Tim. Tuns out he was just cramping from bonking.By the time I saw Tim he looked just fine. Like he could do the whole course over again. Apparently, I didn't see him until he had eaten 5 pieces of pizza. He was in good spirits by then. It's amazing how fast a guy can shake things off.
A few months ago I shared with you smiling pictures of me, stories of dropping boys and race reports. I was hoping to have great pictures of me racing this weekend and some great stories to tell. I have been training. A 9 minute half marathon pr this season says it all. Even Coach Sickie of the UCSD says I'm becoming a swimmer. Most importantly the ride up Kitchen Creek road for the Queen of the Mountain challenge said that I was ready for this weekends 70.3. Just how fast could I go? No injury or strep throat to slow me down this year. I was ready. No excuses.
I spent the few days leading up to the race discussing my tactics with Coach Mike Plumb of Tripower. (Home of affordable training....that's true and I bet per dollar/mile he's the best deal in the country ;) I felt really ready for the race beacuse Mike's had me building a solid base since November. Also I've been training for a full Ironman which means I'm finally ready for a half. In fact, the race day seemed like just another day of training to me. Actually, I had quite an easy week of tapering. I spent most of the final few days hammering out the details.I even went for a mile swim in the ocean just to make sure I was used to the cold and the seals (just kidding about the seals).
Last year I wasn't that trained. I really didn't think the details mattered. Really if you didn't train for the run all the salt tabs and carbo loading in the world isn't going to change that. This year though is different. I was ready to do more than just finish. I asked my coach to help me establish some goals. My goal was to swim efficiently, to make up some time with a solid bike (but not an over the top, rip my legs off bike) leaving enough to give it my all on the run. With my "fierce" pink Guru I shouldn't have trouble beating last years time on the bike. I felt I needed a time to shoot for on the run. If I don't have a pace per mile to shoot for I sometimes drift off pace. I know Mom.... sounds just like me lagging doing my homework, huh? My mom used to set the egg timer and say "no gymnastics this Saturday if you are not finished by the time that timer goes off" Some readers might think this would sound cruel but honestly I'd still be at the kitchen table with the spelling book if it wasn't for this trick. Interestingly enough Tim's mother had to use this same tactic with Tim.
Armed with my Garmin, my pace for the first two miles of the run would be around 9 minutes/mile. After that I would speed up and be on pace to finish with a 1:50 run split potentially minus a minute or two. My nutritional goal was to consume 225 cal/hour on the bike. Simple enough.
Thursday afternoon, after completing an easy (yet stellar) 20 mile bike/4 mile brick on 8 min/miles. Tim and I headed to Oceanside for the expo and entry pick up. Already I knew this year would be better than last years race because Tim was racing. Last year, Tim was up to his ears in his intern year of residency. He could barely get out of work on time to see me finish. In fact, if I hadn't ran so slow, he would have missed me. It's much more fun when we do races together. The car ride to the Oceanside expo was fun. Despite sitting in traffic I entertained myself by looking at designer fashion in the Saks catalog and contrasting it with the attire I would be wearing on Saturday and talked about how lady like I'd be behaving. To be an accomplished triathlete one must be able to pee in his or her wetsuit, launch snot rockets, snorkle energy gel, and if you are really good you can relieve yourself without stopping. I bet you thought this was a glamorous sport with all that shiny pink paint.
Tim and I arrived in Oceanside and checked the competitor list. No Jennifer Yake to be found. Hmm, we looked a second and a third time....no dice. Not worried (ok maybe a little) we headed inside certainly somebody could take care of this mix up. We headed to the help desk poised, calm, and kind the IM officials began to check their record for my name. Still no dice. Hmm, I thought I bet there is record of my entrance on my computer. I ask if there is an internet cafe nearbye and Heather Fuhr offers me her computer.
Heather made an ecspecially big impression on me last year when I was watching Tim at Xterra. Xterra is a venue that makes triathlons look like a sissy sport. The bike is a gnarly mountain bike course and the run in an epic trail run up mountains with the sun blazing down on the competitors. Anyway, Heather broke her pedal on the bike , finished the bike with one pedal and ran so fast she almost caught Tim and his friend Simon on the run. (Let me tell you ....she was looking a lot better than those guys at that point) I digress......I frantically accessed every credit card statement, saved e-mail, and my active.com account from Heather's computer with no success. At this point my whole body feels like it is shaking and I think I might be sick, maybe cry or even pass out. I bet I never completed the entry. Crap. Crap. Instead of crying, vomitting or passing out I begin to barter? Can't I buy an extra spot, what about an injured friend? Please. Please. No luck.
We meet up with Tim's parents for dinner mourn my race. Oh well, at least I can focus on the upcoming wedding dress shopping with Cindy. I shift my focus to resuming my training and cheering for Tim, Bruce, and all of the San Diego Tri Club members. I guess I'll have to live vicariously through Tim this year. Stay tuned for his race day report.