Oceanside 70.3 – Heather’s Race Report

Ahh Oceanside. It has been my first race of the year for a couple of years now and I was starting to accept a general jinx on the event – it is the bad one I can get out of the way early!

There was the usual stacked field – an impressive roster of super talented women toeing the line – but this time I was actually able to demonstrate my early season fitness and be in the mix throughout.

I was quite anxious before the race. I knew I was racing to win and there was no reason I shouldn’t do well, but I’ve thought that in the past too…

My training has also been focused on building for Ironman St. George so I wasn’t sure if my speed would be there. Paulo and I put together a race plan and he really helped instill confidence in the week leading up. Important lesson: Feeling that pressure to perform is a positive thing because it means you are a contender. You’ve got to embrace the butterflies. I’m getting there…

The women are not allowed in the water until the pro men start so we have all of 3 minutes to “warm up” and get to the start line. A face hit and goggle leak had me stop to adjust on the way out after trying too long to just ignore it and swim without being able to see much of anything. I missed the 2 leaders because of it and ended up being 3rd out of the water with Magali and Mirinda hot on my heels. I need to work on my SPRINTING in T1 because those two put the hurt on running to the racks. I practiced my bike mounts a lot at our training camps this winter so I was happy to have a much smoother transistion there.

The ride was the first time I’ve had at PowerTap race wheel and I was excited to be able to collect the data. I didn’t look at my watts too much on the day b/c I am so used to racing by feel but it was great to be able to keep on top of things on the downhill/flatter sections where the sensation of speed can lull you into being lazy.  I tried to ride a wee bit more conservatively than I have in the past. Hard to do, but it definitely paid off with some more freshness in the legs for the run!

T2 – sigh – I just have to wear socks. I’ve tried training runs without, copious amounts of vaseline, pretty much everything, but my skin is just too sensitive, and one can only put those things on so fast… I can always feel the  “hurry up!!!” vibe from the crowd!

The run was definitely the highlight of the day for me. Because of my height, I don’t look like I am moving fast at all – especially when the rest of the women are tiny and have such obviously-quick strides. I like that this is deceiving for my competitors but the crowd always seems to be surprised when I am still up there on the second loop! Despite appearances, my turnover has improved a lot and I pretty much just thought of the form cues that Paulo yells at me during all of our runs, over and over and over.  It was great to really race the run an feel strong throughout.

4th place is always a bit of a bummer – just off the podium and just under the radar – but when your finish time is 2 minutes from the win and the winner is Mirinda Carfrae in a sprint finish with Heather Jackson I guess it’s nothing to be too upset about!

One thing that I always love about racing is the chance to see other pro athlete friends and to meet new ones. Often you know all about people but have never shaken hands or had a real conversation. It was great to see fellow Canadians and AVIA athletes Magali Tisseyre (who also happens to ride a great, though somewhat smaller Blue bike like me ) and Mel McQuaid, and it was fun to finally meet Dede Griesbauer and Kelly Williamson. There are a lot of cool and classy women in this sport and it is an honor to compete with them!

I have to give a bit shout out to all my sponsors who enable me to perform at this level with the best equipment and nutrition out there – AVIA, Blue Competition Cycles, Aqua Sphere, Rolf Prima Wheel Systems, CycleOps Power, and First Endurance Nutrition. Check out the Team First Endurance website for a race nutrition report in the next few days.

Also thanks to Kevin Koresky at Finishline Multisport, Dan Knott-Beaver and Matt Cusack for the photos.

The 2011 season has officially begun! See you at the races!

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~ by trevorandheather on April 5, 2011.

3 Responses to “Oceanside 70.3 – Heather’s Race Report”

  1. 3rd out. I like the sound of that. I was tracking and loving your run. Good work H. Good Work.

  2. Thank Ian. I hope your training is going well. We’ll miss being at the camp in Las Cruces.

  3. “somewhat smaller bike”

    that is an enormous understatement 🙂

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