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5:25 overall, 5th in AG<br><br>
34:27 swim, 12 in AG<br><br>
2:45 ride - I dunno, the chip didn't work.<br><br>
1:53 run - 13.48 miles! 2nd in AG.<br><br>
Looks like all those miles I logged in the most recent VRAA paid off <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br><br>
After weeks and weeks training in the oven that is the CA central valley, I was looking forward to a nice cool coastal 1/2 IM - my first. Venue - Santa Cruz<br>
Took a long time to fall asleep Saturday night, then BRIIINNGGG - 4:30 AM alarm. We mixed our nutrition, got our transition bags, and rode the two miles to transition. It was cool and overcast, maybe 58 degrees, typical Cal central coast weather. Got a good spot right between swim in bike out. Got it all set up, then walked down to the beach to check the water.<br><br>
One word - BUTTASSFREEZING!!! When we swam it on Monday the water was very comfortable, maybe 62-63. Yesterday everyone is coming out of their warm up swims with chattering teeth. A local said the waves changed direction and we got a lot of very cold deep trench water - water temp was 56. A little choppy. Luckily cold water doesn't bother me much, but I was glad I had the full sleeved wetsuit. But I was kicking myself for not bringing my cold water cap.<br><br>
They introduce the notables - Michellie Jones, Ironman champion was the class of the field. Then off they go. I took advantage of the 30 minute gap before my wave to run back the 1/2 mile to the now empty portapotty and finally, movement!!! That's an important development. <img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"> And it was a nice warm up run.<br><br>
Finally it's the old guys turn. The water was a shock, but within a minute I was numb and not feeling any pain. 1/2 mile clockwise out to the end of the pier, around the pier, and back in. Sighting was a breeze as we had the pier on our right the entire team. I started catching the slow 35+ women before the first turn, and even some of the real slow 30 year old men. It got real choppy when we swam parallel to the beach, but over all it was fine, only a couple of mouthfulls of water. I did get kicked pretty good in the first 5 minutes, knocked my goggles off, but no big deal, no injuries.<br><br>
Caught some yellow caps - woman 20-30 towards the end, felt good to make up a 15 minute head start. Hit the beach exit at 34 minutes, I anticipated 40-45 (I'm a sucky swimmer), so I was ahead of schdule already. One minor problem - my feet were completely numb, and we had a 1/3 mile run back to T1 - first 100 yards on sand, then a good quarter mile on pavement. OUCH! I think, I have no idea what damage I was doing to my feet, couldn't feel a thing.<br><br>
I get to my bike, grab my cycling shoes, and the right one is full of water. The bad thing about last wave is that everyone else has already knocked your helmet off your bike, and left their dripping wet suit on top of your shoe. I poured out the puddle and put my nice dry sock into the salty frigid sea water. YUCK!<br><br>
The bike start is a good hill, and my tri shoes are different than my usual cycling shoes, much slicker bottom. I missed the clip in twice (it's hard to clip in while climbing from a dead stop) and banged my ankle hard enough to draw blood. I finally stopped (god what a rookie move) and clipped in at a standstill.<br><br>
So finally moving along, check my Garmin, I had set it for multisport with pre set bike T2 run modes, but it didn't take. I was in run mode. I f'ed with it for a few minutes to get it to cycle mode, then finally got untracked and rolling. Snaked around US Santa Cruz (home of the fighting Banana Slugs) and then north on Hwy 1 towards San Francisco. The coastline north of SC is beautiful - artichoke fields, lettuce fields, and beautiful deserted beaches. Weather wes cool and overcast, and my right foot was completely numb the entire ride. But it made for great cycling weather once the body warmed up after 10 minutes.<br><br>
The bike course had some pretty good ups and downs. I was banking on the normal wind pattern of calm early morning headwinds gradually increasing to a good tailwind by the time you hit turnaround 28 miles down the road. But we never really got much wind. A lot of downhill on the out, but you give it all back on the in - still I had consistent bike splits and made it back in 2:45 - 19.7 mph average and 15 minutes better than I expected. No flats, no major incidents other than nearly getting flattened by a giant tour bus - I was passing a woman and she started to drift out of the bike lane and into me despite my numerous "on your left...passing... ON YOUR LEFT! PASSING!". Turns out she was from our tri club.<br><br>
Bike nutrition was good. I did three bottles of CarboPro at 224 cals per bottle. Two gels at 110 cals per gel. I did learn not to try to pour your new water bottle into your areo bottle on a downhill, it all blows back into your face. I had premade baggies of CarboPro powder and Nuun fizzies ready to go. Wait for an uphill, rip the corner off the baggie with your teeth, and pour it in, then add water. Instant nutrition.<br><br>
We come back into T2 down that same hill, so instead of my usual running dismount I stopped completely and jumped off. T2 was about 3 minutes, little slow, but I wanted to get the garbage out of my jersey. Back up the same freaking hill to the run course. It was still overcast, but the clouds were breaking up and I knew I'd be running in the sun.<br><br>
The run course was beautiful. I was just past mile 1 when Michellie Jones went the other way. Damn she's fast!! First mile was at 7:50, then I settled in at an 8:30 pace. I hurt! Bad! My legs were cramping up, especially my quads on the uphills. I started gulping salt tabs, and that staved it off for a bit, but I was struggling and very tired.<br><br>
The run included a good three miles of trail running right on the bluffs over the ocean. Amazing, but rough. And some good ups, which just knotted up my quads. I've never had muscle cramp issues, or ITB issues. I had both yesterday.<br><br>
I had my Garmin working by now, all the mile marks are dead on. Except one - I hit mile 8 exacly at mile 8 on my Garmin, but mile 9 comes and goes - no course marker. I finally see it at mile 9.48. Crap, which is right. I knew Garmin was, because that was a 13 minute mile! I figure it will be straightened out at mile 10 or 11 - maybe someone moved the sign.<br><br>
Nope. We ran 13:48 miles!! And the worst of it was the very end - we come down this huge hill, turn right onto beach. The last 1/2 mile is sand running!! OMG that hurt!! It wasn't so bad on the hardpack, but we had to negotiate 100 yards of soft sand to the hard pack, and then then angle up off it as we headed up to the finish. It seemed like that finish would never get there.<br><br>
My run time was 1:53, a little slow, but also a little long. 8:30 pace, I had hoped to come in at 1:45.<br><br>
5:25 total - 5th in my AG, and a better ranked run (2nd) than I expected. 5 minutes off what I was hoping for, 20 minutes off worst case. <a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#800080;"></span></a><br><br>
We had to check out of the hotel when we left in the morning, so my only shower before making the 3 hour drive home was the cold shower on the beach. God it felt good, but then I shivered for 30 minutes during the awards ceremony.<br><br>
We stopped at the Santa Cruz Diner - right out of Pulp Fiction - on our way home. I ordered a gianormous coke, Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce, garlic fries, and chicken and artichokes. And a big slice of chocolate cake. And a milkshake to go.<br><br>
I was really gassy on the drive home <img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;">

3,207 Posts
Nice job!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers"><br><br>
And uh, thanks for sharing that last bit. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">

3,862 Posts
Outstanding! A terrific read.<br><br>
Sounds like you nailed the nutrition -- not easy when upping the distance.<br><br>
Yes, let you be the first VRAA testimonial for the new season! Great work, RP.
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