Miles of Life ~ My life as a donut Kylie Donia

Archive for the ‘swiming’ Category

Tinman 2010

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Tinman is often a bit of a crazy race for us, as we have a business booth, both race, and drive some Exceeding Expectations kids, which makes for a number of trips to race site and plenty of things going on before and after the race. Saturday we got our gear together, including everything for both a tri club booth and an office booth, and dropping some of that off at the site.

Sunday Mike and I got up dark and early, needing to be out the door by 4:30 at the very latest, and pulled on our awesome Redlands Tri Club kits for their first race 🙂 Oh, and we were out of our normal breakfast food. So with an emergency batch of oatmeal on the stove, Mike packed the bikes into the car as I got the puppies ready for a long morning alone. “Mike, something is wrong with Gracie… she doesn’t want to eat!” Annie, on the other hand, ate her food, although less enthusiastically than usual. Chalking it up to G being a moody bitch, the time of day, and that she knew we were leaving her, we let it go and blew the puppies kisses as we were out the door at 4:25 — before our final cutoff for maybe the first time ever.

It was weird to actually be ahead of schedule, and I wasn’t sure what to do when I had Mike and all the booth items dropped off at the race site before 5am. I was picking up some Exceeding Expectations kids who were racing, but not until 5:30 and they were only about 10 minutes away. Finally I left to get them early, and it must have been something in the air: the kids were actually ready early, too. So we were all back at the race site by about 5:35, and had plenty of time to do the very little transition prep we needed.

This race is a reverse order sprint: 5k run, 9mi bike, 100yd pool swim. Fast, but not so flat (at least on the bike). Still, transition just needs a bike, a helmet, bike shoes (for Mike attached to his pedals) and a pair of goggles lying on a towel. I had an aerobottle of water on the bike, and that was about it. My run shoes and sunglasses were already on. The nice thing about being there before any one else was our choice of transition spots. And knowing this race doesn’t really have a dismount line, we got a rack spot that we ran straight to as the end of the run course, and that we could basically coast right up to after the bike leg. Although it did mean that some times random things happen… like a bike appearing between ours as the race was starting, and still being there as Mike finished the bike. And the random bike someone placed on top of Mike’s after the bike leg of the race. But I’m not at that part of the race yet! First we need to start…

So the run was soon off, and the course last year was missing the turn around marking on an out and back, so fast folks (aka Mike) ran about an extra half mile. This year it was marked, but oddly the out part was in the close lane of traffic, and the back in the far lane, which meant the lines of runners had to cross. Luckily for me there weren’t that many people still on the way out, and I didn’t have a problem getting through.

This run course always feels so long to me, I just seem to lose the motivation to run by about when we are going past the backside of the pool. But I kept going, although definitely not as strong as the first part. And then there is my tendency to slow down for the final straightaway. But this year, Gus came up beside me right then, so I had to keep running. Thanks Gus 🙂

Straight into transition and to my rack spot, and my “T1-reverse-order-tri” mantra was going through my head: helmet shoes bike helmet shoes bike helmet shoes bike. So I put on my helmet, swapped shoes, grabbed my bike and was off. The first part of the course is through the campus on the walkway, with cobblestone and narrow sections. I just like that part to be over as fast as I can get through it. But then comes the climbs.. one that is steep and short, and then one that is loooong and less steep. But there is a turnaround at the top of it, and it’s a chance to see where I stand. This time I saw Mike in 4th, and then thought I counted that I was 5th woman, or 4th. Right at the turn around another lady who kicked butt climbing that beast passed me, but on the descent I passed her right back and didn’t see her again til after the finish line. And soon I passed another girl as well. Counting myself now in 4th place, I WORKED. I was 4th at this race last year, and juuust off the podium sucks. Soon I made the turn back onto the campus and onto their sidewalks, and I don’t like that part, either. But fortunately I made it through safely. So I pedaled and pushed, through another out and back and soon made the turn for home. Undid my bike shoes, but forgot we were getting back into the campus, and had to slow as speed bumps without shoes on are trickier.

But I coasted right to my rack spot, with my “T2-reverse-order-tri” mantra going: rack bike helmet goggles rack bike helmet goggles. Goggles in hand, I ran off toward the pool. At this race, the run to the pool, and then the run from the pool to the finish, are each longer than the swim itself. At the pool I realized I forgot to take off my racebelt, so it was left on the deck and I jumped in. Right as I started swimming I saw the lady I thought of as 3rd heading to the 50yd turn. But she did a breaststroke kick, so I though I could get her. Swim swim swim and on the final turn at 75 yards I saw her beside me, and I went hard for a final 25yds. Then a run, although careful since slippery, down to the finish line, where my arrival surprised Mike and he informed me I was 2nd woman!

Although this race uses chips, they don’t do splits, and I didn’t wear a watch. So I know I was 28 or 29 minutes on the bike, and 55:45 total time. I went 55:04 last year, so I was slower this time, but still moved up in places. I felt like I raced strong, but I could also tell that I’m just busy right now and my mind wasn’t all in the race. The Tri Club and office boothes went well, and then I rode home (about 16 miles) since I just needed bike time. And those 16 miles were painful. I guess I did work hard in the race, and in the 50 miler the day before 😉

Got home, and then more fun: Gracie was sick… yay for carpet cleaning! And Annie soon added a couple pukes of her own to the fun. Ahh well, still a successful day.

back in the saddle

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

After a bit of a break after Barb’s, it is GAME ON for The Next Big Thing. Obviously my biggest focus is my swim, and then the bike. But don’t worry, I’m running, too 🙂 I love this stuff. I’ve had some awesome rides. Like hanging on through more of the speedy Saturday ride than almost ever before! And completely exploding and crawling my way home the last 20 or 25 miles — with my sweet husband tootling along next to me just because he likes me that much! And now I have a new goal on Saturday rides: Blow up. Last as long as you can, but don’t just get dropped, blow up or hang on. All or nothing, none of this “making sure you have enough left for the rest of the ride”. That isn’t the goal on Saturday. The goal is pain, and going harder than I thought possible. And trusting that I can do it.

The bike has also had some new toys: like an upgraded hub for my PowerTap so that it is ANT+, and a fun new Garmin GPS (for the bike and run, actually) that is just damn sexy! Thanks Wheelbuilder for your help!

Garmin 310xt

Garmin 310xt

The pool hasn’t been such a happy story. Two swims back and I’m begging the pool’s forgiveness for my lack of attention. Nothing drastically wrong with the swims, except the reminder that to feel good swimming I have to swim regularly! Got it, will do. I’m prepared to make my world have a faint smell of chlorine again.

And running, well, that is always awesome. But lately my legs just feel good, and I’ll take it.

Of course, there are little issues. My achielles is still a bit sore sometimes, and I think it is the bike. I have lowered my seat on the road bike a bit, and I think that has helped. I will need to check the setting on the tri bike once I get back on it.

too long

Friday, May 29th, 2009

It has been too long since I wrote, and I don’t know where to start. I don’t want to disappoint the 2 people who still read this, so I’ve gotta write something! And yes Gracie, you count in those two 😉

So I have a race tomorrow. My first duathlon! And my next one is in two weeks. Although I have done a number of reverse sprints, so running then biking is familiar, and with the whole tri thing the biking then running thing is familiar, so it will be fun to see how it is to do both in one race.

My taper has taken an interesting approach, called “kick Kylie’s butt into shape” and involves Marky sending me email containing phrases like zone 4 and zone 5 and “just do it!” and “well find a way”. So yesterday I ran in the morning, and then went for a swim. And I did a ride for lunch. And this morning I ran, biked (the long way) to the pool, and then swam. So yes, I have done a tri each of the last two days, and tomorrow I’m racing and I won’t! 🙂 I find that amusing. So yes, getting back into more structured training this month. It’s fun — but Gracie still gets to do my runs with me!

I’m feeling pretty good today — feel like my legs are strong and the biking is getting easier and swimming is feeling more natural. And I”m feeling lighter, and have lost a good bit of the weight I put on since the wedding. I like progress! And cute little mesas… which is all I think about during my intervals on my bike rides — gotta make cute little mesas in the power file!

I’ve been doing some riding lately with a new rider — one of my coworkers, who I actually met through Gracie and her puppyclass, joined the Redlands Spine and Sport run group on Wednesday nights. After chatting with me, and Mike, and Bjorn, she wanted to try a tri. And with the Tinman reverse sprint coming up, she is in! She was a cross country runner in college, and is definitely strong! It will be fun to see how she progresses in the sport!

Ok enough rambling for now, and I will try to be better about this whole updating thing!

a week with two races

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Holiday race season is here in full swing! I joined the Exceeding Expectations crew for a couple more races, a 15k and then a tri (which Mike also did). This time instead of helping during race time, we helped them get set up and ready and then raced on our own.

The EE kids had a huge showing, with a number of new runners for the Loma Linda Holiday Classic 5k and 15k on December 7th.

Although we need to work on “visor use” and “race belt function” 😉

For more shots of the kids, check out the foundation webpage writeup of the day.

For the 15k the goal was for it to feel fast for the first 5k. And then for the next 5k realize it was going to keep hurting more and more. And the last 5k I should just want it to be over. It was a challenging course — I don’t think it was ever flat. I can sum up the race quickly: yes, it hurt. No, I didn’t puke at the finish. PR’ed, as it was my first time racing that distance. But I also almost went faster than my 10k pace, and just generally felt like I smoked my expectations. It was the first time that at the turn around I started counting women, and actually was in the top 10! Thrilled, I worked to hold onto where I was. I got passed by a couple, but I was doing all I could and at the finish line was proud of what I had given. 1:12:30 with a 7:47 pace. Good enough for 7th out of 169 women! My age group was FAAAST though – but I was still 4th out of 27 W25-29. And 62/339 overall. Works for me!

Although downhill finishes hurt… it was a holiday race so I had to dress the part!

Then this weekend we took a smaller group of kids to the Tinsel Triathlon and 5k. This time Mike came along (he was in class the previous week). Again we helped kids get ready beforehand, and drove a few of them, but then had our own race. And it was another successful one.

It was a reverse sprint so we started with a 5k run. It hurt, and I wasn’t able to find the same zoned feeling I had during the 15k. I think there was some fatigue still there, and some of it was just how cold it got (for here). Later I learned my “sluggy” feeling 5k was actually pretty close to my standalone 5k times, but it didn’t feel it at the time. I just kept going, wanting to be done and on my bike.

On the bike I flew! New bar set up, and it felt goood! I wasn’t putting out the power I expected, but I was passing and passing and passing people for the 12 miles. Just staying aero and pushing. Out and back, complete with some wind fighting, and jumped off the bike. Oh geez my quads were not too pleased with running to the rack. Forgot my goggles, Mike (already done) screamed at me and I grabbed ’em. Off to the pool, wondering how I’d be able to actually breathe in the water.

Jumped in and just went. It was a crazy, horrid swim. Too many people and with a 50m pool made into 3 lanes that you zigzagged through meant no one swam the same direction as anyone else. Some one used my back to push off with 2 hands, one hand grabbed my ankle. I kicked some guts that were over my feet pushing me down. But I swam hard and passed people and focused on just pulling and kicking and going. And then it was the end, and I passed people who were walking to the edge of the pool when it was still deep. Then out of the water, and done.

No official splits, but my watch had the run at 22:42 (7:39 pace), and my PT had the bike at 32:16 (20.9mph). My final time was 1:01:24! 1st of 57 in my age group, 11th of 403 women, and 134th of 1002 overall.

And Mike kicked butt 🙂 1st in M35-39, 1st male, and 1st overall! Yup, I have a pretty speedy husband! And the swim did matter, even though only 150m. He was 3rd into the water, but passed both the other guys. I’m proud of him.

The top 3 guys: Mike (in the Inland Inferno jacket), Ronnie (yes, he raced with the bear head on for the run — and not much else), and Ryan.

Our club, Inland Inferno, had a pretty good day!


[thanks to Lee of Exceeding Expectations for the Loma Linda pictures]

Reason #533 I love my coach

Friday, October 31st, 2008

PCF. Patience, consistency, frequency. It’s about getting stronger one day at a time. It’s not about PRs in training and breaking yourself, but about building and progressing to a strong self (and with that PRs at the races). A movement closer to potential.

With that in mind, lets take a look at the swim today. A couple 50s FAST and pushing it, a 100 strong and relaxed as part of recovery, lather, rinse, repeat. Using the clock to make sure I get rest and can do well, and focusing on killing the 50s. Well on those 100s, strong but not feeling like really really crazy pushing it, I was hitting about 1:50.

Now take a step back. To June, actually, and a particular swim workout then. 15×100 on 1:55. I was worried about making it, and thrilled with my 1:51 times. Wait, really? Now that 1:50 is what I expect on strong hundreds. Nice.

Another step back. To January and another particular swim workout. There my cruise pace was 1:55-1:57, and I was thrilled to hit 1:50 on my fast FAST 100s. That was after I first started working with Marky, and he was just giving me tips and not a complete training plan.

The big picture. You know, the one that gets lost in trying to remember the workout scheduled, and working, and making lunch and cleaning the house? The one you ignore because that hard run just sounds good? The one that has you out of the water for months because hey it’s “off season” (whatever that is)? Yeah, that one. He doesn’t forget it — my workouts are moving me in the right direction.

PCF baby! Patience, consistency, frequency. Yeah, I get it. I’m in!

one of my favorite things

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

October rocks this year. Every day is a run. And not just any run. A run with my husband and my puppy. It’s amazing 🙂 I love it!

Other things are also good — a couple classes just ended at school, and working on putting together a swim clinic for the tri club (with the help of MarkyV). I’ve been enjoying pool time, too. Now to just get pedaling more!

With all that, I’m tiiiiired! So bed time. I promise to try to post more often! Really!

Muskoka 70.3: Racing as a Donia

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Muskoka 70.3 was the focus race for the year. Mike and I signed up long long ago — in fact, I don’t even remember signing up! It was before we even got engaged. Once we were engaged, we started planning a wedding. And the question of when to have it came up. We knew we didn’t want a bazillion year long engagement, and we like outdoors, so we settled on Fall 2008. We also knew we’d like to have the wedding in California, and then a reception in Canada for the members of Mike’s family that couldn’t make it to California. Well, with the race near his family and in September, it was the perfect timing for a reception — and we didn’t want a reception that far after the wedding, so our race date was set as the weekend before the race. Yes, you do have to sign up for some races farther in advance than you need to plan a wedding…

I was SOOOO GLAD I had Marky helping me get ready for this one. It was definitely a crazy summer. Yes, a wedding to plan. And school to attend, and work to do, and a new city to move to, and a dog to welcome to our family. Plus the training, and I am glad I didn’t have to also think through and plan out each workout! I just had to “get ’em done”. I knew the training and prep was all in place, and with his help, I got to the race confident and excited. Tapered as well, at least from workouts, thanks to a couple weeks of family and wedding and travel and more family 🙂

My goal on arrival was to PR, as it almost always is when I race (now that I train smart). I was thinking I would PR for sure, having had such better prep. My goal was about 7s: swim 37, bike 3:07, and run 1:57. But what I was forgetting was that the race was 4km long on the bike, and that they found the most “fun” (ie fun looking rollercoaster profile) they could for the bike, run, and yes, transitions! So after driving the course, I was no longer sure what would happen (esp on the bike, where I was really hoping to see one), and I was again glad to be racing with power. I knew where I should stay to have a successful race, and I just didn’t worry about it.

The race was taking up all the parking at the resort hosting it. So we had to park on the airstrip about 2 miles away. However, there were shuttles regularly, and we just ran it once just to get a quick leg-shaker in. It was something we were curious to see how it would go, but the race directors did a great job with it.

Registration was easy. The expo disappointing. I mean, it was my honeymoon race. You think I would by *something*. But they had decided to only make men’s jerseys, and the smallest size was a medium that was about right for Mike. When we asked if they had any women’s jerseys, we were told no, and that there were plenty of other clothes to buy and to go pick one. Umm sorry, but a cotton fitted baby shirt and a bike jersey are different. So my credit cards got a break there.

We headed to Mike’s brothers, got the bikes all set up (it’s easy when all you need to do is stick on a couple stickers!) and put our race stuff together. I was really excited about our outfits: bride and groom jerseys, bike shorts with “just married” on the butt, and for the run “just married” visors thanks to Tribabe (mine enhanced with a veil thanks to my sis and Holly). The next day we checked in our bikes and got in a practice swim. We were ready to go. Off to our wedding reception, and then bed time!

I woke up part way into the night to some rain. Ok, not some rain, but sheets and sheets of downpour. I love the sound of rain, so apologised to my bike for leaving it out in that and went back to sleep. Still not sure how the whole shuttles from parking would work on the big day, we arrived at the race nice and early. And it was still raining. Not pouring now, but more a constant drizzle. Other than the electrical tape on our wheelcovers the bikes were just fine. And the tape was just to stop the sound of it rattling on some bumps, so it was no big deal. We set up our bike shoes and helmets, deciding to place glasses nearby but forgo them if it was still that wet when climbing on. Our run shoes and socks were placed in a plastic bag beside the bike stuff. A bottle of carbopro/nuun (600 cal in the bottle) were placed on each bike, and the aerobottles filled with water. We were done, and just had to chat while waiting for the start.

We had met another couple while at the practice swim – he was in Mike’s AG, and she was in mine. They got married at Kona last year. So we chatted a bit with them, maybe too long — or we all forgot how long it took to walk to the swim start. So Mike and Scott got down to the water as their wave was ready to go. Leanne and I had a bit more of a wait, but soon we were also off!

I started to the outside on the swim as our wave had a number of the older and sometimes big and rough guy age groups in it. It was a smart choice, as I had a somewhat clear swim. There were always people right around me, but never much of a washing machine. I even caught a draft for a while, thinking about how Marky had told me to try it and given me some tips. Out of the water in 38:40 for a 2:00/100m pace (as I learned later – I don’t keep race time during races). Good enough for 11 in my AG, which I believe is my best AG swim placing ever.

The run to transition was not short, and not easy. It was a crazy-ass climb, and about 300m long!! An a fairly serious climb. So I took advantage of the wetsuit strippers and just cruised on up, already chanting my T1 mantra. Shoes, helmet, inhaler, blocks. Shoes, helmet, inhaler blocks. At my bike I dropped the wetsuit. The inhaler and blocks in my helmet were put into my pocket, helmet on my head, shoes on my feet and I was off. I had a great rack spot with an easy exit route! T1: 4:21.

(photo by Paul Graham)

I was looking forward to the bike. I knew I could do it, the hills weren’t scaring me, and I had my lovely yellow PowerTap friend smiling up at me. Until one of the many rough spots in the first couple miles, when the back of the craddle broke and my poor little PT CPU went flying. Shit shit shit… do I stop? Go? For a race this distance, and not having another watch to know timing and nutrition, not to mention the cost of that computer, I stopped and grabbed it. Back on the bike, with the PT now in my pocket, all I could think was how Marky said I should ride on feel 🙂 And then wondered if he somehow caused this.

I enjoyed the bike course. Up, down, around, up, up, down, up, over, around, up again… Never a dull moment, and beautiful scenery. But I was good, and only glanced at it out of the corner of my eyes. I felt good on the bike. It was still raining, and then it started raining more seriously. It was like needles on my arms and legs, but it wasn’t cold, so it was actually kind of comfortable. Every now and then I’d pull the PT CPU from my pocket and check what I was at — was about where I wanted in effort, nutrition was on, it was just a slow day for what I had hoped for. But that’s racing: it’s not a course you know, an a know scenario. It’s an experience.

There were a couple pairs of drafters, and people who would try to draft anyone near them and then get dropped. I just don’t get it — especially when you are at a place in the race where it’s not about podium spots. It just gave me a desire to ride clean: I made sure I dropped back before repassing (dudes who pass and then quit pedaling: it’s ok to ride your own race. Please ignore me and let me do the same to you). And to the guy who (I think) made a snarky comment about using a wheel cover: it worked just fine and I had fun, thanks for asking.

Then a big descent, and a guy passing me goes down, HARD. Starts sliding across the pavement, right in front of me, rollling into a ball. I somehow manage to barely miss him and keep on the edge of the road. Hoping Steve is ok (we’d been near each other for a while) I thanked my lucky stars my day wasn’t over and kept going. A right turn, and I was on a fairly rough stretch of road. It was almost like it wasn’t paved, but it was just bumpy and not really pot-holey. About on the home stretch now, and ready to get running. I like biking, but I was tired of being on a bike in the rain, and I love running. Plus the attention-whore in me was ready to have my visor and to run like a bride 😉 Off the bike: 3:26:34 (58.4mi, 16.98mph).

T2 mantra was going: Helmet and shoes off, watch, socks, shoes, visor. Helmet and shoes off, the watchband of my Garmin into my mouth, socks and shoes on, and visor in hand I ran on out. 1:51.

One thing I love is seeing Mike on the course. At IMKY last year, I happened to be right where the loop joins itself as he started his second loop and that was just amazing. We knew it would be close, so for the first mile I focused on not running to hard and watching for him. I never saw him, but we found out later we had just missed. And no matter how easy I made myself go, I was flying! 8:17 for the first mile! And I thought I was going nice and easy. I guess I was more excited than I thought to be off the bike 😉 Like the bike, and T1, there wasn’t much flat about the run.

But I was having fun. I ran with a girl from the area for a while, I ran with a girl in my age group for a bit. Through it all I felt I was going just maybe too hard, but I felt maybe just maybe I could hold it. Along the way many people told me they had seen the groom, and lots loved the outfit. Some asked if I was running to the alter, and I asked if they thought I should turn back. I focused on maintaining on uphills, and cadence on the down. I cursed and thanked Marky both ways as his words on turnover and effort and such rolled through my head. It was again pouring at times, and I just enjoyed the drops on me keeping me nice and cool.

(photo by Paul Graham)

I reached the final 5k and thought I had stepped into an Escher poster. It was on golf course paths, and there were runners everywhere, but you couldn’t tell where they were from or going or how much farther it was. I kept going, knowing it was only a 5k — I can hold this pace that far! I kept telling myself. So I did. I saw Mike, and he encouraged me, and I knew it was only about 3k left. Oh. My. God. Longest 3k ever. I thought my Garmin might have started going backwards. It was hilly and hard and I hurt and just had to keep going. Marky said to neg split, just barely. So I couldn’t slow now — that would be the same as admitting I had gone too hard on the bike! So I didn’t. And somehow my legs listened. And we just kept on going. And going. And finally it was the last turn. Nope, I was wrong. Maybe now? Nope… at least one more… But then it was the last uphill, and the finall slight down right into the finish chute! I relaxed, let the person by me go on and through, and had my own moment at the line. My watch read 1:56:00 (and sportstats matched it) but I’m going with 1:55:59 like the tracking had :). A half marathon PR. And on <a href=”http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6786816″>that course</a>, and that weather. 4th fastest in my AG.


Total: 06:07:24, and 8/37 in my AG. I think that’s my best placing in a big race so far. Not the sub-6 I was hoping to repeat, but a tougher course and day, and I had a blast and felt I executed really really well. So I’m happy with it. But as Marky said of his last race, it is only going to get better. 🙂

A post-race massage, and then a hunt for warm food and to the awards. And then — a warm shower and REAL FOOD. Ahh it was good 🙂

I will let Mike post his race report in full later — but I’m so proud of him that I’m going to give some of it away! 4th out of the water in his AG, and then he led the AG race through the end of the bike! He ended up in 3rd in his age group and looked stylish doing it 😉

Reason #532 I love my coach

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

You know that little voice in your head? That isn’t negative, but doesn’t always push you as much as it could? That believes in you, but keeps you a bit safe from that edge of failure?

Well, sometimes it has to shut up. Marky recently had me doing 15×100 on 2 min. That is good for me — I had often done on 2:05 or occasionally on 2 min. But never for that many repeats. But I trust him (a requirement for success with a coach) and so I didn’t mention any fear, climbed in the pool, and got it done.

Well this time it was 15×100 on 1:55. I saw that and part of me doubted. But Marky said it, so I got in the pool and that was the goal. So what did i do? Well, came in on 1:47-1:51 for all of them and hit each one. Because that faith in me helped me try pushing that envelop, and it was something I could do. And it felt DAMN GOOD.

*edit 12/16/08* for some reason this post is getting a zillion spam comments so I have had to close comments on it

PossAbilities Triathlon

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

2 years ago I almost skipped this race, but ended up going since I’d done it every year I’ve done tris. And while there I met a pretty cute boy, and now I get to keep him, so we like doing that race and signed up again this year.

So off we went to the races in a clown car! We took Mike’s 2door Civic. My bike fits standing in the back seat with only the front wheel off, and his fits in the trunk with the seat folded down. Then the wheels and our race gear squeeze in around, and when we get to the race site you wonder where all the stuff we have in there was stored for the drive.

I got ready, leaving my shoes on my bike for the first time. I had practiced it the night before on our street, and figured why not. Then a quick warmup, and to the line. Where I realized I was not interested in running. I felt exhausted and just wanted to play on my bike. As the national anthem was sung, I remembered my bike shoes were still velcro’ed — so getting them on would be a bit more complicated than I had practiced 🙂 Mike told me it was too late — to not race (which I didn’t reallly want to do anyways) or to fix the shoes. And he even noticed how I just wasn’t giggly excited like I usually am before a race. So the horn blew, and I just ran.

I didn’t really push it — cheered for Mike as he went by the other way, and got to run with some of the kids from the Exceeding Expectations program (they were all there racing, so it was fun to see them). Finished the run, put on a helmet and dropped my visor and GPS and jumped on. Shoes on successfully, and I pedaled.

I still wasn’t really in the zone, and the bike was over. Into the water and I swam a bit hard. But it was sooo crowded. With the serpentine swim I kept getting pushed into the lane lines if I tried to pass, or caught up in others arms. So I just swam hard and passed pretty much everyone around me. I’m by no means a good swimmer, I just think that is often one of the weakest things for most people who show up to the little local races.

Out of the water, jog to the line. I didn’t even notice the time, just gave Mike a high five and was ready to go pack up so he could get on his way.

Mike had a conference in Palm Springs all weekend (which meant I got to commute with him on Friday, which was fun). And then he had to leave immediately after he was done racing to go for more, but would be back around 2 or 3, so I just hung out at the race site until he was back — there was a tri club meeting, and it is my gym, and I had a book. I was a bit sunburned when all was done, but it was a good day.

This post has me sounding like I really didn’t like the race. I did — I felt ok for it, and it has a great atmosphere. I just felt kind of blah in general, and for some reason wasn’t too excited about it being race day. It was fun to cheer for some of the exceeding expectations kids (I just couldn’t cheer for the ones that beat me ;)). And I do like the feeling of that race: some very fast people (Kate Major, Julie Swail) but also tons of people just giving triathlon a first go.

not a bad weekend!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Saturday was a 5k. The same course I set a PR on last year. I went faster 🙂 23:44! Although their times were a bit odd in that I was in a group and they have no one right by me — my watch had me at 23:19 and a 7:21 pace since the course is long, but also didn’t have the 5 seconds of getting to the start line. Either way, a PR. And yeah, it kinda hurt. But it was a beautiful course, and I’ll take it! Official stats:

23:44 (7:38 pace) — 282/3015 overall, 43/1505 women, 8/171 W25-29

Sunday was Mike’s and my first off-road tri, and from there we were going to head to Redlands and see some of the Redlands Classic bike race on our bikes, so Saturday night we packed up the car and the bikes had a sleepover in the car (which left our house looking a bit empty).

The mountain bike race was chosen since Mike won an entry by winning the Redlands Tri, and since I have wanted to do one for a couple years we went for it. Although it was a bit confusing at the start (missing Mike’s early reg and no one sure what we needed to fill out) we got registered and got a great spot set up in transition. Wetsuits on, and down to the beach. There were only 2 waves (it was a pretty small local race) and Mike’s was off fairly quickly. Supposed to be 5 minutes after, my wave was bumped to 20 minutes after. I watched Mike come out of the water in second 🙂 and got ready to go. And our start time was bumped back by another 20 minutes. So much for that well-planned gel and warm-up! About 20 minutes later, we suddenly we had a 30 second warning, just enough time to wipe the fog out of my goggles, and we were off. I had a pretty good swim, and felt my spotting was not as bad as usual.

It has been a while since I had to wiggle out of a wetsuit on my own! I made it, pulled on bike shoes and a helmet and was off in about 5th or so according to one of the race guys telling us things. I passed a couple other women early in the loop, and later was passed by a couple. Oh, and in one section, there were TALL weeds, taller than me on my bike, with just barely a path through them. One of the weeds caught my handlebars and pulled me into the weeds. Where I didn’t fall over since they were strong, and just had to pull out of them and keep going. And then I made it up and over a curb without pausing (I still feel like I have TONS of mtb skills work to do!). One loop down, off the bike at the dismount, run through the TA, and then back on the bike at the mount line for loop 2. Weird, but it worked (there was a one loop race as well).

Second (and final) loop about 10 miles into the race I could feel that PR from the day before. My legs were tiring fast! The 2 women I had just in sight moved well ahead, and I started wondering how that hilly 3.2 mile run would feel. But first things first, and I kept pedaling. And found that I had launched one of my 2 gels, so I had one and wouldn’t have one at the start of the run. Oh well, keep moving. As I came around the final turn there was Mike (and a camera)!

Back into transition, and a nice smooth change into the run gear. My mtb shoes are so hard to get off! I will have to try out my new ones (with a tongue instead of elastic) next time.

I got off the bike in about 7th place Mike thought, and I started my run. My plan was to enjoy it. There were some pretty trails, and I knew my legs were fairly shot. Someone forgot to tell my competitive side though! It was a tough course, with the first part having tons of climbing. I guess the ultra training has helped — feeling pretty bad I still passed the 2 women right in front of me! And then later another one that had passed me on the bike, and into a fun little single track, and with .8 miles to go I could see another. But she had a decent lead, so I didn’t think I’d make it. Then she walked a hill, and I went for it and made it past. Since most of the climbing and harder downhills were all in the first half, this last mile was a lot of fun. Almost done, around a turn, and again Mike. He was chatting, so I had to talk for him to see me. But he still got a picture as I told him that if I beat him to the finish line he owed me lunch *and* dinner (he already owed me lunch).

He did beat me to the line, but still ended up buying me dinner. He’s that awesome.

The other nice thing about a first off-road tri is the automatic PR! 🙂 Although I didn’t do too shabby:

2:29:36 — 53/112 overall, 5/20 women, 2/5 W25-29

After the race we hung out for quite a while waiting for results. They still had nothing, and finally announced that they’d have to mail out the awards and weren’t going to get them done that day. It was chipped timed, but they were having computer issues. Honestly, I’m not so impressed with the race organization. For how expensive it was, I expected better. While I had a lot of fun, it was so behind schedule and disappointing to not get results, so I’m not sure if I’d do it again. When they announced results would be online this evening, we left, and headed to Redlands and had a nice easy 11ish mile ride around the Redlands Classic course. With In N Out burgers on the way, and then great Thai food before heading home.

Mike had a great race as well and was 2nd or 3rd overall! He says 3rd, but right now results have him 2nd. So the results might all change — oh, and it now says splits won’t be available until Wednesday night. So there are definitely some issues still there.

Oh… and for those of you still wondering how Oceanside was, Mike did a great job and I got some great photos. It’s all over on his blog, and I don’t have the energy to type it up now 🙂 But I had fun cheering for people and hanging out with Marky and crew.