I was excited about the Oceanside HIM. It was my first of the season and in my backyard. It wasnโ€™t an A-race, but I was prepared.

Race morning went as well as could be. I had the best sleep before a HIM. Had no issues getting parked, shuttled to transition and setting up. Opted to bring my own bike pump, which was good since the lines were long. Made some new best friends in transition because of the bike pump. ๐Ÿ™‚

Made sure to line up at the front of the group at the boat launch. When the wave before us went off, we were allowed into the water and to swim to the deep water starting point. Got in some good strokes for a quick warm up. Water was warmer than I was expecting.

I went out strong. Tried finding some feet. There was a little action, but it wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t able to latch onto feet and just kept swimming. I could tell there was a group of 3-4 girls about 10 yds ahead, but I wasn’t able to catch on.

As soon as I hit the turnaround, it felt like someone turned the light switch on. All of a sudden it was sunny…and we were swimming into the sun. And as I came back in closer to the boat launch, I saw more spectators on my breathing side. Pretty sure I heard Chris yell “Go Jen”. Tried looking for him, but saw another guy in an orange jacket and white hat. The smell of boat gas/exhaust at that point was kind of gross. Made a right turn into the boat launch…swam, swam, swam until my hands came close to scraping the ground. Stood up and there were volunteers there to help us stand and unzip. Ran down the Swim In chute.

Other than the long run to my transition spot, T1 went just as planned.

First few miles on the bike were pretty congested. There were a lot of turns and with the congestion, meant i couldn’t push it too hard…which was fine because I was able to get my HR settled. Once we were past the short out-and-back turnaround, there were some good straight, flat stretches where I was able to push. Was feeling great. Loved going 20mph. Also loved being on the base. Where else do you see “TANK XING” painted on the roads?!

And while I was on the bike, Chris took some scenic photos of Oceanside and went on his long run.

Once it was flat again and heading back into O’side, legs were still feeling good, so I pushed it. I was expecting quite a bit of headwind, but was still able to push ~20mph while holding 150ish HR. Was passing a lot of people here who were probably getting tired on the bike.

T2 went as it normally does. I should really find a way to not stop to use the porta potty, but so far itโ€™s been a necessary evil.

Turns out I mentally hate runs along the beach. I prefer runs that have lots of turns to distract you. Not only was this run two loops, but they were also out-and-back loops, which meant I could always see where I was going and where I needed to be. Instead of focusing on where I currently was, I was thinking about how I really wanted to be on the other side of the cones, on my way back to the finish. I much prefer paths where I can only see a few yards ahead and see those “short” goals rather than the large, long goals.

It was pretty sunny out with absolutely no shade. Though it never felt *too* hot because of the constant breeze. While the run wasn’t hilly, it felt hilly because we had to run up ramps that took you from sea level to the pier…then run back down the ramps…and run up other street ramps to take you up to the neighborhood area.

At some point, I knew I wasn’t holding a great pace and I pretty much stopped paying attention to my mile paces. With about 3 miles to go, I realized that I could still put in an okay run. Then with 2 miles to go, I realized I could come close to my Boise time. I was looking only at run time and not overall time. The last mile or so, I was determined to keep running and the closer I came to the finish, I felt like the faster I could run because it was almost over.

By the time I was coming toward the chute, there were two other guys in front of me. They were friends so were running together, blocking the path to the finish. They were running more slowly than I wanted, so I said “excuse me” and ran right in between them. When I realized that I had PR-ed my Boise time by 5 seconds, I didn’t feel so bad for running past them and kicking it in the last 100 yards.

OVERALL TIME โ€“ย 5:22:55
Age Group โ€“ย 6th
Gender โ€“ 60th

SWIM โ€“ 33:14 (1:34/100yd)
BIKE โ€“ 2:52:06 (19.5mph)
RUN โ€“ 1:49:20 (8:20/mile)

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