After a night where I was in bed by 8:30PM following a good carb load meal it was up by 4:15AM to make the twenty-two mile drive north from San Diego to Encinitas. Just before leaving I ate a meal that was made the night before of a few potatoes and "microwaved eggs" (it's not as bad as it sounds). The diabetes couldn't have gone better in the morning, waking up with a blood sugar of 125. I gave myself the normal amount of insulin for the meal and head out the door.
Arriving at the race, I set up the transition area at 5:15 before most people had arrived, still in the dark. I was surprised how relaxed I was this race, finally feeling like it wasn't my first rodeo, which obviously lead to my enhanced blood sugar levels. By 6:15 I was still at a great 135, I gave myself a tiny amount of insulin then left my pump at transition.
Go down to the beach, get the race and age group numbers written on my arm followed by putting on the wet suit. UGH! Ripped one of the seams on the wet suit! Right there on my left bicep. First thought, great here's to a good day. (After the race though I spoke with one of the sponsors and he told me about a woman that will patch it for only $20.)
I had a Powerbar, 45g carb there then 20 minutes later (my swim wave was at 6:58AM) I checked my blood sugar again and had one gel pack to raise it a little more.
Well here goes nothing!
Gun goes off and into the water. Bam! First wave, fall. Get up, keep running into the next wave. Then the swimming started. As you can see in the video the waves were breaking fairly well. This is the first time that I got really worried. After sucking in a few gulps of salt water I realized I needed to calm down, I knew if I could still stay with the group everything would be fine.
I was shocked at how well I stayed in the group and how much better my sighting was. Everything felt like it came together. I knew if I could just get to the buoy and turn around everything would be fine on the way back. I got to the buoy and turned back around, still with the pack. Actually I wasn't even the last person, my swimming has definitely come together since joining Master's swimming last November.
My right shoulder was tight by the end of the swim however, I factor this to two things. First, I know I was short arming everything, not extending like I should have been. Secondly, the wet suit seems to be about one size too small (which does explain the easy tare), locking my shoulder, it still works though for a race like this.
After staying with the group the entire way, with my swim confidence now much higher, I got out of the water and ran up the hill. The problem with the ocean race is that it's on the side of a cliff, making the transition area further from the beach.
Grabbed my gear and off… A little slow to get the wetsuit off but that's fine.
2:47.6 (Hence the hill)
This is the first time in a race I had my shoes clipped in. It worked but honestly (as can be seen in the video) I need to learn to hop on the bike quicker and get going.
The bike course at Encinitas is great, it couldn't be more pretty. Two loops, up and down the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway. During the first loop I let an elite draft off me on his second loop, while illegal in USA-Triathlon rules I felt like I played a greater role in the race, with him pushing me a little harder as well.
During the race I could tell my legs definitely weren't well rested but it's a sprint race with no real taper, so this is to be expected. The two loops went well, I felt good. Honestly, this is really where I knew my swimming had come along. During my last triathlon I knew from the bike that I really needed swim training as I was so dizzy and bloated from swallowing water. Now however I am looking forward to my next race in a lake with few waves.
At one point, one of the age-group athletes that started in a swim wave after me was screaming at a lady near another male about drafting (remember against the rules). I looked at the guy next to me, asking "is she serious?". He just laughed, "no idea man, wow".
In the last portion of the bike I had an energy gel, some water and took my feet out of my bike shoes. After finishing the bike portion I went into transition.
Slower than I want but hey, it's the first race of the season and I felt like I learned a lot.
Wait, where's my stuff. Couldn't find it, of course, it's behind me the whole time. Lost some good time looking, showing that I would have a good transition if I could find it.
When I finally found those run shoes I was off. Two laps, holding a solid pace. I didn't wear the GPS watch for pacing just like I had stated in my previous blog. I don't know how it would go in a longer race but I like it. There are no distractions; "o I need to go faster" or "my heart rate is too high"; just the feel of the race, not a slave to technology.
The first half mile the legs are always a little jello-y but I still felt good. The legs got rid of the heavier feeling by the end of the first mile. Let's say I felt a lot better than the two triathlons or the duathlon of last season.
My time shows I held about a 7:14 pace. I probably could push myself a little harder next time but I felt comfortable. My two blood sugars during the run were excellent as well, 137 and 153. Showing I held good blood sugars levels the whole race.
Diabetes-wise I couldn't ask for more. I woke up with a good blood sugar and held it throughout the entire race. Swimming is still getting better each time I get in the water. However, I do believe I could push a little harder on the runs and bike, especially the bike portion. My transitions will also become faster. I would say I should practice that but while I was living in Los Angeles where would I practice more of this, leave my stuff with the homeless? Time to join a triathlon club!
One of the things I realized in the days leading up to the race is how much of an effect the racing does have on my diabetes. I put so much more emphasis on great blood sugar control because I want to make sure I am completely hydrated and fueled for the race. Cutting back on coffee consumption, watching what I eat even more such as not finishing a meal that I knew would be bad for me in the days leading up, keeping my blood sugars really under control.
Also, Jamie got out of bed well before the sun came up and went with me to Encinitas for the race. Taking all the great video and pictures you see below. Not to mention taking control and holding my bag full of stuff! Thanks Jamie!
"Pain is temporary but race results on the internet last forever."