I think it’s probably a good thing that we all have short attention spans or someone might recall that I swore off 70.3 racing last year. :)

I don't remember exactly what I stated but I'm certain the words:  "hate", "never again" (technically a phrase) and "suck" were spoken, written or spoken and written.

Oceanside 70.3

But taking the emotions out of it and looking at the results, I do well at Ironman and not so well at Half Ironman but the half distance is a necessary evil in my Ironman preparation.

Despite all of my whining, two of them (Oceanside and Wildflower) appeared on my 2012 calendar.

As Oceanside approached, I felt confident in my preparation for the event and I went in with the following goals (in no particular order):

1.  Be competitive at the 70.3 distance

In the past, I've had a hard time wrapping my mind around this problem but the solution was obvious -- quit treating the half like a full.

Rather than establishing wattage and heart rate caps, I approached this event as if I were trying to win a sprint --  I rarely coasted, I wasn't overly concerned on wattage output and the only real number I watched was heart rate which I tried to keep from climbing too high.

The outcome was my best bike output at this distance and I think my best bike split as well.

2.  Finish in the top 10 of my age group, preferably top 5

Oceanside is extremely competitive!  I don't know if it's just the first race of the season and everyone wants to come out and play or if it's an unofficial "Worlds" event but the competition is ALWAYS fierce.

My best placement was 22nd in the age group; a far cry from the numerous top ten finishes elsewhere.  And yeah, it's been bugging me.

With my strategy of racing to win, I felt like there was a good chance of finishing in the top 10 or totally wrecking my race.  :)

Fortunately --

4th Place Ironman Hardware

3.  Get some Ironman hardware

Over the last couple of years, I've done fairly well and yet Ironman hardware has eluded me.  This is another item for the "it's been bugging me" category.

As you can see from the above photo, I can finally put a checkmark in that box as well.

4.  Go sub 4:30

At my level, this goal is pretty stretchy but with a downhill swim, a stiff tailwind and some double caffeine gels out on the run course, I think I'll see this number soon.

It didn't happen at Oceanside but I'm really pleased with my 4:39 finish time.

5.  Grab a Vegas slot

Boy, they couldn't give away Clearwater slots but then they moved the race to Vegas and all of the sudden EVERYONE wants to go.

Finishing 37th in the age group last year had me FAR away from a Vegas slot so I signed up for Lake Stevens thinking I could cherry pick one from the soft field.  I wasn't the only person with that idea and I missed out there as well.

After crossing the finish in 4th last Saturday, I thought about whether or not I REALLY wanted to go but in the end, it'll probably haunt me so I took the slot.

Vegas Baby!

Ironman 70.3 World Champs

6.  See the number six as the first digit of my run pace

This really would have been a bitter pill to swallow had I not taken my all-out approach to this event.  I feel like I'm a 6:xx runner at the half distance but with the output on the bike (which was the right move) and the new run course with all of its ups, downs and congestion, I just didn't have it in me. 

Running a 7:00 pace on the nose is pretty sucky though. :)  Ok, not really but 13 seconds -- all I needed was 13 seconds.

Next stop -- Boston

Here's a picture of a boa constrictor...

Boa Constrictor

I'm random like that. :)