In 2010 I raced my first 70.3 in Oceanside. I didn't even have a year of professional racing and had only about 18 months of any triathlon training under my belt. I made a joke/deal with my friend John Dahlz that if I finished in the top 10, I would quit work. I somehow managed to finish 8th that year in what I thought was a really stacked field. At the time I had no intention of quitting work regardless of my finish. Little did I know that the next time I raced at Oceanside I would be training full time.
That brings me to the 2013 Oceanside 70.3. Oceanside is typically the first big hit out race for the North American racing season and this year was no exception. In fact one could argue that this was the deepest field ever at Oceanside. Since getting back from South Africa, my training has been going very well and I was really excited to test myself at this race and hopefully pick up some points for Hy-Vee. And I was extremely excited to be back racing in California with the chance to see my family and spend a few days post race with my brother. I was able to spend a few days eating great Mexican food, surfing, going to the beach, and visiting Stone Brewing with Chad which was awesome.
The race started well with a fast and solid swim. I swam in the front group and we were able to keep Andy from getting away. I think I was about 4th out of the water and was anxious to get on the bike and start riding hard. This field was not only stacked but also really large in numbers. I wasn't sure what would happen on the bike with so many athletes and my main goal was to ride hard to stay out of trouble. I had a couple of penalties last year and really wanted to have a clean race. I was amazed at how tactical the bike leg was for this race. I made some mistakes with my positioning in what was a huge group of athletes and that cost me later in the bike when I ended up getting dropped from the group. I ended up getting into T2 about 4min down from the lead group. I ran as hard as I could and had a decent run. Made some nutritional mistakes towards the end of the run but put together what I thought was a solid effort.
This race was my first experience in what was a World Championship level field. The race was very different from other half distance races that I have done and although I am not really happy with my 14th overall place, I did learn a lot of valuable things from this race. I am fortunate enough to have power data from my SRM; which, is really important for me at this point. With that information my coach, Grant Holicky, and I are able to get a more objective view of what happened on the bike leg of the race and what we need to work on. I am really looking forward to some more quality training as the season is still very early. I definitely think I am making progress but have a lot of work to do to start getting closer to the guys like Jesse Thomas and Andy Potts who are dominating these races.