Well, we took our final race for the 2013 year to San Diego on December 15th (I know…I am way behind on this post). We had just wrapped up a great week with some friends in the San Diego area. The weather remained unseasonably cold during this entire week and race morning. This race, the Beach Blast, was a sprint. It was held on Fiesta Island right outside of downtown San Diego. This was an interesting little island that made for a pretty fun race.
The swim was a point to point 500 yard swim in very cold water (58 degrees or so). I am getting a bit tired of really cold swims..they sort of set up the rest of the day. The swim was chaotic for the first 100 yards. I think cold swims get people worked up a bit more and the arms fly and bit more aggressively as everyone works to warm up.
My only complaint about this entire race came at the transitions. They had the transitions set up on very loose and deep sand. Even with a towel laid down at your transition spot there was simply no way to get the sand off of you prior to getting on the bike. It wasn’t terrible but a bit annoying. The bike was where the race got fun. It was basically a four loop course around the island. I enjoyed this a lot because it gave me a chance to come back through the crowd and see Maggie and Lincoln. When you race this much some times it is the little things that make the difference and being able to come through the crowd and see the supporters is a great boost.
Off the bike..back into the sand pit to get ready for the run. I fumbled through both transitions because I was trying to get as much sand off my feet as I could (no socks since it was a sprint race) with frozen fingers. As I slipped my sand covered feet into my running shoes I just cringed because I knew I would have chewed up feet at the end of the run. No choice though..off we went.
The run, when your feet are frozen, always feels awkward. Sort of like you are slapping the ground with pieces of frozen meat on every step. You don’t feel fluid or fast. After a mile or so they melt and you begin to feel a bit normal again. The run was an out and back so I could keep an eye on where I was in the race. I could tell at this point that I was doing pretty well. By the turn around I figured that I was in 11th place overall with two runners within my range. I made the turn and decided that it was time to try and see if I could push the run on the way in. That is what I tried to do…I am not going to say that I had a fast run but I was able to pick those two runners off in front of me….finished 9th overall and won the 30-35 age group. Nice little bonus to round out 2013.
This race capped off an amazing 6 months of racing. I am going to do a follow up blog this week discussing the journey of 25 races in 6 months. But for now, this race added 15.5 miles and brings the total distance to 586.8 miles. This puts us ahead of our target to get to a minimum of 1,000 total miles raced for Team Chad by July 2014.