Oceanside 70.3: Race Day

So if you have followed by blog at all you read the article about Madonna Buder. (If not see the archives). When asked if she was ready for Ironman she said "this is the day the Lord has made so I will rejoice and be happy. Darn if I hadn't quoted her blog I could have slept in and mourned. Instead I was up at early thirty to ride to the race course and send some positive energy to Tim. After some coffee and some oats I threw my cow bell in my pocket and headed north to Oceanside for the race.

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.

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