Before the race
After a 2-day journey from San Francisco, I arrived in Oceanside last Friday, excited to race in the 2007 Ralph's Triathlon. Okay, well, it's actually now called the Ironman 70.3 California since Ironman took charge a couple years ago. Anyway, I checked into my hotel and made my way to the registration near the Oceanside pier, seen in the picture here. Most of the race volunteers were U.S. Marines from the nearby base, Camp Pendleton. They were young, friendly, but strict! When I tried to exit the wrong door, my request was politely but firmly denied! Anyway, I wondered, as they were helping us get ready for this race, what they thought about all of these athletes, so serious about a race when many of their friends' lives were in daily peril in Iraq. Would they be leaving for Iraq soon also?
I checked out the orientation movie, which was actually pretty funny as it poked fun of some of the more uptight behaviors seen at these events. Regarding a dangerous descent with a no-pass zone and a speed limit of 25 MPH, they imitated an athlete saying, "But if I have to slow down, that will totally ruin my chances for Konaaa..."
We grabbed dinner at a restaurant along the harbor called Dominic's Pizza. The pasta I ordered--eggplant with mushrooms and chicken--and the caprese salad we shared were both delicious, albeit a little pricey. Our server was fantastic, though, and accommodated our larger group with ease. I would definitely return again.
After dinner, we walked over to the transition area, still being set up, and scoped out the swim buoys. They always seem to stretch out way too far! The water was calm, and I didn't see any evidence of the truck and boat that had sunk in the harbor earlier that day!
I woke up by about 5:00 AM, ate a banana and half of a Clif bar, and took about 2/3 of a regular insulin bolus. I double-checked to make sure I had everything, and loaded up my very huge triathlon backpack. It was still dark when I left around 5:40, but I made it safely to the transition area, about a mile away. My rack was already about 1/2 full so I found a spot midway down. I laid out my towel and various shoes and food. I was determined that I would have fast transitions this time around by really planning out my food and having everything ready, as opposed to deciding how much food to bring based on my blood sugar at T1 or T2. For the bike, I stocked the seat pack with enough carbs to rescue me from a serious blood glucose (BG) crash, and taped about 5 gels to my top tube. I also had, in ziploc baggies, 2 packages of Sharkies, a broken-up Clif bar, and a few salt tablets & some Advil. For the run, I had my visor, and my Fuel Belt loaded with gels and some sharkies, as well as another bag of salt tablets & Advil. I can also stick my Ultra BG meter on the side of the Fuel Belt, in one of the spots normally used for a small water bottle. The plan was to, after the swim, test my BG and then throw that meter, in a ziploc baggie, into the side pocket of my tri top; I would grab the other baggies and put them in the other pocket, throw on my race belt, helmet, sunglasses and shoes, and be on my way. Oh yeah, I would also need to put my pump back on at some point. I looked over everything and, satisfied, left for the Long Line, meaning the endless line for a portapotty.
Okay, I have to stop for now. I'll post Part 2: the race! soon.