Monday, September 24, 2007

Michellie Jones Checks In......


Why the Big Kahuna Half? It fit all the criteria for a race this time of the year. It was relatively close to home, it's a Half Ironman distance and plus a bunch of my friends were also planning on racing. Matt( my training buddy/mechanic), John(the guy who doesn't eat soy), Hayley( I have been helping her with her training), Roch(husband of Heather Fuhr) and Pete was going to be our cheer squad.My friend Molly was going dog sit the brats while we were in Sana Cruz so we all were set.

Some how I think I got the better deal because while I took a Southwest flight on Friday to San Jose and then a quick ride into Sana Cruz. Everyone else where doing the 6-7hour car ride. I did get up for a 6am Masters swim workout and a run before catching my flight. I got bored on Saturday morning and managed to convince everyone to get out for a run by 7.30am. Actually Pete was trying to locate a Starbucks hours before. Believe it not, it's not that easy in San Cruz. So we headed out for a 30 minute jog and then we went for an easy hour spin on our bikes over the run course. We also picked up our race packets and I was a little surprised I was going to be in one of the last waves. But with a little convincing I was able to change my entry into the elite wave. The rest of the day we got our gear ready and l pretty much rested all afternoon. Which felt very weird after all the training I had been doing over the last few weeks. Maybe my legs would start to feel a little fresher by Sunday fingers crossed.

Dinner was at a little shack called Hong Kong Charlie's which we would never have ventured into if Alex from Sram hadn't had some local knowledge.

Race morning began at 4.30am with some oatmeal and toast while I sipped on MotorTabs and Carbo Pro. I nearly crashed on the way to the race as while we all were riding our expensive race bikes Pete pedaled as fast as he could on a beach cruiser with a basket on the front. We all were laughing so hard you really had to be there.

As I dove into the water for the swim it was almost cold enough to give you a ice cream headache. It is always interesting when you go to a race and all the rumors start circulating about water temperature. So if I was going to guess what the water temp was, maybe around 60. One guy was so far in front at the start of the swim by the time I took my first breathe he was gone and then another guy wanted to swim the widest possible path to the first buoy.

So I was in third swimming all by myself.

I kept thinking to myself what if one of the seals at the Pier decides he wants to come over and play. Everyone was telling me how there are sharks in Sana Cruz but I have never been bitten by shark but I have been by a seal so they scare me more!. I have the scar to prove it... I got the seal of a approval. Ha. Ha. Ha. I kept thinking this as I headed to the beach and ran what seemed like a mile on the hard pavement in bare cold feet to the bike transition.

Once onto the bike I just tried to get into my groove as quickly as possible. Around mile 4 the poor guy just in front of me lost all his water bottles at the railway crossing. He came storming pass me after he went back to get them but his anger must have worn off because just before we hit the turn around I passed him for the last time and didn't see him again. I was expecting the nasty head winds that everyone had told me about but the free ride back home didn't eventuate.

I was feeling stronger as the miles ticked over. I transitioned into the run leg in 4th place and the plan for the run was to go out steady and come home strong. At around mile 5.5 someone at the aid station yelled turn around at the Tiki. As I was running on the winding trail I was thinking boy were is that darn Tiki. It took what seemed like forever to reach it and then there wasn't even anyone to say Hi.:) One guy passed me with 4 miles to go.

The finish was on the beach in pretty deep sand I am sure the race director was thinking let's make them really earn it when they were designing the course. With a 3/4 of a mile run along the sand it sure did. I finished 5th across the line and ended up 7th overall in a time of 4.19.32. Matt rode like a demon with the 5th fastest bike spilt and did a personal best but he lost his bet to me as he finished outside his predicted finish time so he has to cook me breakfast. John finished 12th in his division. Hayley was 4th and just missed the podium a great result for someone doing there second half. Roch pulled up a little hurt but still managed 4th.

Coolest thing about the race were the trophy's I won a Hula statue and age group winners all got Tiki's.

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