||Oxnard Strawberry Fields - Sprint
The Strawberry Fields Triathlon (Sprint distance) in Oxnard marked my return to the sport after a long hiatus, a lot of good food, and a lap-band operation. All in all, it beats sleeping in on Sunday morning. I had to remind myself that when I got up at 3:45 am to make the trip from Santa Clarita.
The swim was a brisk 62 degrees. I had a sleeveless wetsuit (the wife-beater, as I call it) and I was so chilled by the water when I jumped in, I considered turning back. (Note to self: If the weight-loss thing goes well, treat yourself to a full-sleeve wetsuit next spring.) It seemed like a long 1/4, but maybe not. Iíve been out of the scene for awile, so all the distances seem longer. Fortunately, there was a warm current of water between bouy 1 and 2, or maybe some of the seniors ahead of me lost control. Either way, not complaining. I have been working on my swim, and I had a pack of Clydesdales with me. The water was rough and it was a bit tough getting back to shore. The nice part was, I had a moment of zen (one of those times when you realize why you got up so early to do this.) It was the swim that prevented me from being dead last in this race.
The bike was a breeze. The weather had warmed up considerably, so there was none of the chill you get when you hop on the bike soaking wet. There were only two parts of the course where you had anything like a hill (5th St and Channel Islands Blvd,) but as hills go they were maybe a 2 on a scale of 10. Harbor Blvd. was flat and fast.
The run was an exercise in humilty. I havenít done any running in 8 years, and Iíve been dealing with what my sawbones calls ďpatella femoral bilateral disorderĒ. I couldnít get any knee lift on my run and walked most of the course, barely breaking the 1 hour 5k run (I used to do these in about 35 minutes.) That being said, it was a nice course, very flat and scenic. When the organizers call it a "PR course," they aren't exaggerating. There was even a nice neighbor spraying his hose at hot runners. You have to love that kind of local participation.
The fresh strawberries given to athletes post race really hit the spot.
My only negative comment was exiting the parking area, after the day was done. The police made us take side streets all the way to 5th St., which was a long and probably unnecessary detour. I would like to see that organized a bit better in the future.