Sunday, June 1, 2014

Race Report: Orange County Tri Series Olympic Distance Triathlon

Orange County, California - what a great location for a race! I arrived here on Thursday afternoon and I know that I could live here. The roads are just made for cyclists, the outdoor pools are GORGEOUS and the running is perfect. Rather than go in to too much detail about the pre-race events, I thought I would highlight my top 5 pre-race events:

5. Thai food on Friday night!
4. Seeing the Oakley Headquarters

3. My set of 9x400 in the pool on Friday. Not really a taper swim, huh?
2. The king size bed and fluffy pillows in my hotel room
1. Meeting the awesome owner of One Capital, Don and his wife, Teresa, and their friends Tim and Marty (Thanks for making me feel like family!)

Now...the race report:

WARM-UP: At around 6:30am the entire swim course was in a FOG! You literally couldn't even see the first swim buoy. Of course, I had spent the night before defogging my mirrored swim goggles. Haha - wouldn't even be using them! I did a quick round of swim tubing exercises to warm-up. **special note to the athletes I coach - see, the coach does her swim tubing! why don't you!?! ;)** Then I got in the water for my in-water warmup that included about 20 minutes of easy swimming with a few pickups of about 40 strokes hard. The water was the perfect temperature (around 76F) and I was feeling half decent. I had lots of energy for the event ahead!

SWIM: It was a beach start and I was only one of 2 Elite females starting amongst a HUGE group of men in the first wave. Talk about intimidating!!! However, I put on my *be tough* face and started in the most aggressive position. Closest to the first buoy (we could see it slightly, by now) and closest to the water. The horn went and I ran as fast as I could into the water, determined not to get toppled by the big men (luckily male triathletes are usually not that 'big'). I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't get sucked into the washing machine that is typically a swim start. I had my own water and a good view of a pack ahead that I was going to catch. And catch I did. I swam my super hardest for about 200m and caught a very nice pair of feet - which I drafted off of the rest of the way. Not that I was swimming easy! I was still working hard to stay on those feet and even a moment of daydreaming and I would find myself scrambling to catch them again. I was pleasantly surprised to exit the water in 18:40 (a new PB for a 1500m swim).

T1: Uneventful and all uphill...don't need to say much more! :)

BIKE: I started out on the ride (the first 10km are uphill) feeling great. I had brief moments where I thought I might be superwoman. I passed a male athlete within the first few kms, I was holding power in the 250s, I felt like I was just cruising along...Reality struck at the 6th km though and my legs got heavy. I realized, no, I am just Miranda and I can't hold Zone 5 for an entire 40km ride and I should probably not try! I still had a super fun ride. Well, other than the fact that my SRM cadence magnet was barely stuck on the frame (it fell off in the morning and I had to scramble to get it back on). So, every bump I had to look down and make sure it was still there. It stayed on the whole way, thank you sticky tack! I also wanted to note that, even on the hilly course, I found I was rarely ever out of aero position (a combination of being on an awesome Quintana Roo bike, having an awesome Xlab aero drink system filled with my eLoad and Zone caps, my Rotor QXL rings and being perfectly fit by Scott Judges, and the fact that I wanted to look good for the camera which was filming me as I rode - cool!). There was a small section of the course near the turnaround that was super bumpy, with lots of debris on the road, which I don't like as a hesitant cyclist. After that was over it was super fast back into T2. Before I knew it I was at the dismount line. Literally, that line came up way too fast and I nearly went over the handlebars! I'm sorry to the volunteers that I scared. I finished the ride in 1:07:22, which is another PB for this distance.

T2: Smooth (thanks to my Xtenex speed laces) and uneventful. Oh, but my feet were numb (I really need to get men's cycling shoes to fit my SUPER wide feet).

RUN: I started out on the run feeling half decent, but not great. My feet were still numb from the ride and that made it hard to find a rhythm. The first 3.5km were a net downhill though so that was a nice way for the run to start. I was also passing a number of people from the duathlon (who had started before us) so that gave me some momentum. By the end of this section my pace was solid at 3:50/km and my feet had finally started feeling normal. However, the next 3.5km were on hilly trails including wood chips and loose dirt. Most people loved this and said if reminded them of their cross country days, but I never did cross country and I was very bad at running through the stuff! Finally, at the 7km mark we were back on the pavement and I started to feel my best. I finally felt warmed up by this point and ready to go. My last 1km split was a 3'36 for a final 10K time of 39:47! If only the race had kept going :)

All in all I am very pleased with the race. Not just my performance, but the course itself, the race director - Scott Davis of P5 Racing, the lead sponsor - One Capital, the volunteers, the weather, the location, the awards (I got a HUGE bear!), the post-race food (I ate way too many cranberry oatmeal cookies!), the camera crew (look for me on TV in a few weeks!), the spectators and the other racers! What a spectacular event. I hope to be back.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me! Especially my sponsors: One Capital who invited me to this event, Turner-Tomenson Wealth Management and Raymond James Financial continue to make my life as a Pro triathlete possible, Scott Judges at Fitt1st, Bill Wells (Chiro) at Urban Athlete, Brad Wilson (RMT), all my equipment sponsors: Quintana Roo, ISM Saddles, Gray wheels, Rudy Project, Karhu Running Shoes, eLoad sports nutrition, IBB Cyclery in Utah, The Bike Zone in Toronto, Swiftwick socks, Suunto (love my multisport GPS watch!), Perfect Fuel Chocolate (best recovery food, ever!), Funkita/Funky Trunks swim wear, SRM for my power, Champion System for the most amazingly comfortable race kit, X-1 Audio for allowing me to train to music!!! Oh, and THANK YOU SO MUCH Peter Karmaszin for letting me borrow your front wheel last minute for the race!

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