It was an incredibly fun race weekend staying with my friend Caroline in Del Mar. She also had another friend, Jenny, who was in for the race so we had loads of laughs throughout the weekend. Friday before the race I was invited to speak at the IronPrayer service being held on the beach. It was such a blessing to meet other athletes & volunteers and hear some motivating words & music. I have spoken at several of these events and the Oceanside gathering wasy very cool with the sun setting & ocean waves as a back drop. A special thanks to Robin & Troy Soares for getting it organized & hooking me up with a ride from San Diego up to Oceanside so I could register, attend my pre-race briefing and participate in the IronPrayer service. If you are ever looking for a special way to jump start your race weekend check out the IronPrayer at your next race. The weather was fantastic on race day and the four days I was in San Diego. It was great to see many of my friends racing and get things rolling for '09.
Swim (26:30) - Upon entering the water in my new blueseventy helix I felt calm & relaxed. I had a decent warm-up and did not feel too cold unlike previous years. I lined myself at the front sandwiched between Michael & a few guys I did not know. I had a fairly clean start, but took a good whack to my face which knocked my goggles. After about 300m I had to stop & adjust my goggles as they were beginning to fill with cold, salty Pacific water. I could see a gap had developed between me and the main pack, but I was able to secure a draft and swim the entire distance with Trevor Wurtle & Sergio Marques. It seems like Sergio & I often swim together and as we exited the water he was probably thinking, "Oh that guy again" just as I was. The three of us exited T1 together and were off on the challenging 56 mile bike course.
Bike (2:34) - Early in the bike course I hit some rough patches of road which caused my seat post to drop down. I could tell my position was off, but figured if things got bad I would be able to find some kind of tech support up the road or borrow some tools from a spectating cyclist. As the bike progressed Sergio & Trevor faded away in the distance and I seemed to be moving backwards. I just could not generate the necessary power and at times felt like a circus clown in my new "position". As my legs fatigued through the middle portion of the bike I started debating whether or not I should simply stop and wait for tech to make some much needed adjustments. I continued to ride and found myself coming off the bike dead last!
Run (1:16) - Needless to say I was quite happy to get my bum onto the run course. After donning my new red racing flats from Spira I was determined to put together a solid run & salvage this day. It took a good four miles for my legs to come around and I felt stronger as the run progressed. I caught my teammate, Jeff Piland, shortly after making the first turn-around and we exchanged a few encouraging words for one another. Through the second loop I was feeling pretty good and kept the focus on staying relaxed with my form while trying to press the pace. I caught a couple of the Timex fellas within the last mile and was happy to hold things together despite the frustrations with things on the bike crossing the line in 4:22 and 33rd overall.
A big congrats to Matt Reed for his overall win & all my friends on their finishes. I really appreciated the cheers & words of encouragement from folks along the course. Thanks as well to my sponsors for their continued support: Team Sport Beans/NTTC, Champion Systems, blueseventy, Rudy Project, Spira, Mix1, Flex Power & Adrenaline Tri-Sport.
Keep it smooth,