Saturday, March 30, 2013

Early Season Experimentation

The Race
As a native San Diegan, I've had the city of Oceanside on my radar for a long time- it's only about a 40 minute drive from where I grew up.  My family took frequent trips up to the harbor when I was a girl to enjoy the beach, stroll through the cute shops, and generally just take a little break. When I took up triathlon and learned there was a race that began in the harbor, it immediately went on my "to-do" list.  The bike course even goes through the Marine base at Camp Pendleton, where one set of my grandparents met.  Last summer I noticed that the 2013 race would fall at the end of UW's spring break week- at last the timing was right, and I signed up.

As luck would have it, over winter break I developed an ulcer on the cornea of my right eye, a problem I also had once in high school.  I have been a contact wearer since 8th grade and switched to daily contacts after the first problem.  This time, after treatment and evaluation the doctor concluded that my eyes were having too much of an allergic reaction to the contacts, and that I would always be prone to problems while wearing them.  Essentially he put his foot down: I needed to be in glasses full time, or have vision correction surgery.  My lifestyle as a triathlete is definitely NOT conducive to glasses, so surgery it would be.  The scarring on my right eye from the past ulcers meant that Lasik was not safe on that eye, and even the alternative procedure (PRK) was a bit trickier than normal.  I trust my San Diego ophthalmologist completely- he is one of best in the US and helped me through my previous problems, knew my history.  I wouldn't want the procedure to be done by anyone else.  So we formed a new plan: since I would be out in CA in March anyway for the race, I would now arrive a little bit earlier, have the surgery immediately, and leave a safe cushion of a few days between healing and racing.

ready for some quality laser time
All in all, my preparation so far this year has not quite been ideal.  My fitness, particularly my swim fitness, took a bit of a hit over winter break with the eye problem, again last month with a bad flu, then with some "forced taper" due to the eye surgery.  Still, I have had a few good workouts this spring, particularly run workouts, and put in some quality time on the trainer. At this point, my left eye has fully recovered, at least.  Vision in my right eye is still a bit blurry (though not as bad as pre-surgery) so I'll have to be patient with that one and I was cleared to race in a temporary contact to "balance me out" better.  With everything that's been going on lately, it's hard to know what to expect from this race.  This is the longest one I've done this early in the year, and it's a bit scary for me to pick a half as my first race of the season.

Race "Goals"
Since I'm not quite sure where I stand right now, my race plan tomorrow is basically to be flexible(!).  If nothing else, this race will be a fun chance to race by my hometown and get in a solid long workout.  Because it's close, a lot of family will be able to be there to watch.  It definitely helps a ton to see friendly faces during a race! Hopefully it will be a good way for me to clear out the cobwebs and burn off some nerves before I line up in Tempe at Collegiate Nationals in 2 weeks.  Every year I definitely get a bit rusty on my transitions, etc. during the winter months, and it's already been valuable to spend time practicing race skills like bike dismounts in prep for this race.

Taking my BlueSeventy out for a practice swim!

Tomorrow will also be my first race representing Team Rev3! Our 2013 kits won't debut until Knoxville, but my teammate Holly generously lent me her 2012 kit for the weekend.  If you'll be in the area, look for me rocking the awesome blue and green Pearl Izumi Rev3 kit!

1 comment :

  1. Yay! Congrats on an awesome race!! Despite everything, looks like you managed to go out and crush the field! Nice work!