Santa Rosa 70.3 race (2018) a little late but here goes. Marisa and I headed to Santa Rosa on Thursday, 2 days before the race, to settle in and get ready for the race. After settling in, we headed down to the expo and I checked in to the race. Much smaller lines on Thirsday by the way. After that we relaxed and I took the day off from activity. Tony and Karen showed up later in the day, in just enough time to check in to the race.
Friday morning, I got up earlyish, to go for a short run (1.5 miles) at race pace. Felt really good on the run and decided that was enough for pre-race activity. Once everyone got up, we packed the car with the bikes and headed down to bike check in. The drive was about 30 minutes, and since we were there fairly early, it wasn't too busy yet. we lucked out on a parking spot and dropped off everything and set up our transition. We had heard there was potential for a non-wetsuit swim due to lake temperature, but that call was going to be made on race day. We checked out the climb from the swim exit to T1, which was long and uphill which made me add about 5 minutes to my expected finish time. After the lake visit we headed to downtown in order to set up T2. T2 setup was pretty easy, find you spot, put your run gear in the bag, and tie it to the bike rack. Once done, we headed back to the house and relaxed until Jacqueline and Geoff showed up. Once everyone was good, we headed over to the Watkin's place for a fun CTC dinner to pretty much close out the night.
Race morning, got up at 4:30, threw on my gear, grabbed my bag, and Geoff was awesome enough to drive us to the race start. Just before we arrived, we heard there was potential for a shortened or cancelled swim due to the heavy fog on the lake. After all was said and done, Ironman called off the swim due to the fog. I did head down to the lake to see how bad it was, and it was very thick. I could only see 2 of the bouys from the shore, which was at most 200-300' from the edge. While swimming is my least favorite of the triathlon, I was still disappointed that we didn't get to do that portion.
The bike was then started at just after 7am with a Time Trial style by race bib number. Since I was 2473, I had about 45 minutes before I would start. I stretched out and got ready for my start. I was expecting to push the bike with a normalized power of 230 based on my training over the last few months and started off well. Due to the type of start, there was a lot of racers on the road and there was a lot of bunching up. I crossed the centerline at least 2 dozen times in order to get around the clumps of racers. There were times where it felt like I was on the freeway where the slow car was parked in the passing lane, which was a bit frustrating. I felt really good throughout the bike, but then hit a unmarked pothole, in the middle of the road at an intersection at mile 35 which ended up with me flatting my rear tire. After a 9 minute hiatus, I was back on the road. Finished the bike in about 2:42, with a Normalized power of 248 (little high...) which with the flat, I was still happy.
Got to run transition and felt like I was pretty quick in there and headed out for the run. As usual, I cramped up heading into mile 1, but was able to run through it, and too fast as my first mile was an 8:04 pace which was about 25-40 seconds faster than I had planned. I settled down and then slowed my pace to try make sure I didn't burn myself out. This worked well and I maintained an 8:45 pace until mile 10 when both my quads and my left hamstring cramped and i was not able to run through it and work them out. My pace dropped drastically and i ended up with a 9:22 overall average.
Considering the swim was cancelled and the flat on the bike, i think i would have been pretty close to my 5:30 expected finish had everything gone right, but either way, it was the best 70.3 (69.1, but who is counting) I have had in the last few years. Had a good bike, and the wheels didn't entirely come off on the run, so overall, had a good race.