12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheels Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheels Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:31:44 @ Boston Marathon 2011
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
Tag Archives: triathlon
After I got injured, I knew I was going to train again and achieve my Ironman dream. However, signing up for another Ironman, let alone one that was sold out and I had to buy a foundation spot for, meant that I had to watch my budget closely and I wouldn’t be able to sign up for multiple races leading up to IMCDA. Thus, I knew I wanted to do at least one triathlon before my A race, but it had to be cheap and close.
Enter the 2nd Annual Folsom International Triathlon: 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10k run
I registered, I told my family about it, I told my coach about it so he could work it into my schedule, and that was about all the thought that went into it. Even during the week leading up to the race, I was simply considering it as a good Saturday brick workout, i.e. I didn’t look at the course, the details, nada.
Friday night I packed my stuff, we woke up and Chicken Face drove the two hours to Folsom, where some of my favorite people in the world would be as well:
I didn’t expect my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law and my nephew all to come! Definitely the best part of the day <3
So where were we, oh ya, this whole triathlon thing. My goal was to get re-acquainted to the race day atmosphere, open water swimming, transition practice, and try and push it if I could. But given that I had run my first 20 mile long run two days prior, by legs were heavy and tired; I was anxious to see what would happen.
The start was pretty seamless as it was a small race. Race-day check-in, no line at the port-a-potties, body marking, and transition set-up — easy shmeezy. I also wore my SOAS race kit that I bought last year and raced in it for the first time. It was AMAZING. Zero complaints here (I’ll do a full review on the kit soon!).
But then I looked out and realized that the swim start was waaaaaay out there. Apparently, the water levels were down this year and the swim start was a solid 800 meters (or it least it felt like it) down uneven dirt and rocks. What does this mean? That post-swim we would have to run up it to the bikes for T1…and there was no man-made path. I know, first world problem, but definitely not ideal.
We made our way down to the start where I got in the water, did my drills and got a mini swim warm-up in. You couldn’t see crap in the water, but I’m used to it now, and the temps were perfect. It was exactly what the doctor order.
Soon it was time for the wave beach start. My age group was fairly small, so we all chatted and then ran when the gun went off. The water was so shallow that I ended up running further than most as I’m sure my slow swim wouldn’t have been any faster than me trying to run through the water.
I dove in and just began to sight and swim. NO ANXIETY. I somehow found myself swimming solo. The fast people were far ahead of me and I was just ahead of the back pack. No one to draft off of, just me making my way around the buoys.
I simply found my swim zone and counted down the buoys as a way to break the swim up. Next thing you know, I’m at the finish, ripping off my cap, running up the dirt path and making deals with the devil as I beg to not roll my ankle on the rocks.
Swim Finish: 1.5K — 27:18 — 1:40/100 yard
Transition was quick, well, except for the fact that I put on socks (hello, blister!) and I don’t have Yankz on my shoes. The bike wasn’t difficult per se, but rather it felt like roller after roller after roller…with a big roller/baby climb near the end. It was enough to keep you on your gears and feeling the difference — my legs definitely were. No spring chickens here.
The only part I can really complain about was as we neared the finish of the bike, there was a volunteer telling us to slow down and be careful as there was a 75 ft. gravel path we had to ride on to get to the road. WTF?! I felt like I was taking my tri bike mountain biking — NOT COOL! Please find a different route as this made me come to almost a complete stop for 75 feet, not only loosing all speed but any momentum.
Bike Finish: 40K — 1:24:40 — 17.6/mph
Oh silly Page, you didn’t bring your trail shoes. But how would I have known? The site said “challenging” run, but that was it. They failed to mention that it was 6.1 miles of mostly single track trail that would go UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN, in the blazing heat.
People were dropping like flies and were either verbally huffing, puffing and cursing, or just plain walking. I did not expect this AT ALL. But perhaps I have myself to blame as I didn’t do my homework. Regardless, this course was tough, but it’s intensity was multiplied by the relentless heat. My legs were heavy and I decided that my goal would be to just stay steady. Don’t over exert as it would just burn me out.
I kept it slow, I kept it focused, I dumped water on myself at almost every aid station, and I even had to walk twice up to steep climbs and down a few so that I wouldn’t fall or hurt my ankle (I really wish they told us to bring trail shoes).
The great thing about this course is that all of the athletes were in it together, telling each other “good work,” or venting together about the heat. Occasionally there would be a view that was so gorgeous it would distract you for all of eight seconds, but then it was back to the trails and the heat.
I saw my sister, nephew and brother-in-law on the final stretch in, and she shouted, “You’re third!” I coud see Chicken Face and my parents at the finish and was so happy to be done. I was not expecting such a challenging course today.
Run: 10k — 54:12 — 8:43
My body was feeling the result of the training and such a challenging triathlon, but the good news about small races is this:
(The race site doesn’t have detailed results up yet…hoping for those soon)
Yaaaaaaay third in my age group. The woman who got first in my age group also got first overall and set a new course record (2:18:15 — damn!). I even hear one of the top female finishers say that this race was, “Like a mini Wildflower, but on actual trails.”
What I am excited about is to see the volume that my body can now handle. Never before would I have been able to run 20 miles, have a crazy intense Friday, then an international triathlon, followed by 3,000 OW yards and a 100 mile bike ride on Sunday. During Ironman training, endurance is the name of the game and I’m so grateful that my body if letting me do this.
Now on to the next week of peak training.
Coach Paul would call week seven “the calm before the storm.”
Apparently, it was the week before things start to “pick up.” Considering this week was a 10 hour plus week, I’m anxious to see how my mind, my body and my relationships manage this time around. Overall, I’m excited, I’m anxious, and week seven was a good segway into the upcoming adventure that is Ironman training. Here’s how it went down:
Mon., 2/25: Swim
2,800 yards. Whoa, when did we get to 2,800 yards already? Still the same battles with swimming, i.e. I never want to do them. But alas, I’m in the pool. I’m just thankful it’s the saline ClubSport pool and not that nasty ass thing I used to go to where they sprayed the weird chemical along the edge while I swam. Thank you, Club Sport, for the sweet membership!
Tues., 2/26: Run & Strength
Oh you know, just me falling back in love with tempo work as I try to see those 7s back in front. Later that night, I tried Jillian Michaels’ new “Hard Body” workout DVD that I was sent. I did level one and it was so-so — I’m anxious to try level two and see if my beloved Jillian can live up to her Six Weeks Six Pack DVD that I love so much.
Wed., 2/27: Rest
Thurs., 2/28: Ride & Swim
Just your usual indoor trainer ride. But that swim. Dear God that swim. I can’t think of anything more boring than a swim workout with an increased amount of kicking and no fins. What I had to keep myself amused was consistent to that of a three-year-old. I would be completely content if the kickboard and I took a long, loooong break. It’s not you. It’s me.
Fri., 3/1: Overslept!
Sat., 3/2: Long Ride & Transition Run
An awesome day with awesome friends as we rode almost 58 miles throughout the East Bay, followed by a 15 minute transition run.
Plus, my first awkward tan line of the season!
Sun., 3/3: Long Run
Almost 11 miles, my longest run post-injury, with Chicken Face by my side. Slowly but surely making my way back and I couldn’t be happier.
I closed out week 7 with:
10 hours and 07 minutes of training:
5,400 yards swimming
74 miles cycling
18.53 miles running
1 hour minutes strength
If you could could do without one workout forever, what would that one be?
Last year I was on a quest.
I’m not speaking of my journey to Ironman quest in this post, but rather the quest for the perfect tri “kit.” A triathlon “kit” is a top and a bottom that you can wear for all three sports. A kit needs to be tight enough to wear under a wetsuit while you swim, long enough that you can contort into odd shapes and still be covered (and wind resistant) on the bike, and comfortable enough that you can run chafe-free. All of this while being appropriately fit for a woman, long enough for my freakish torso and to be honest, cute enough to make you look feminine and fast*.
Testing out my SOAS kit last year.
After racing in a variety of triathlon pieces (none of which were actually designed to work together), I decided to purchase a kit that I had been hearing so much about: a SOAS kit. I tested it out on a few final workouts leading up to the race and was uber-impressed. I was in love with the racer back top, was giddy that the shorts were long enough to get the job done but short enough to not warrant an SNL mom-jeans skit and had a great look to it. It fit well, it was functional and I even got a few compliments! Can I get a HUZZAH?!
When I saw that SOAS was looking for applicant for their 2013 amateur race team, I jumped at the chance, but didn’t really share with anyone that I had applied. I submitted my application and got the shocking/exciting news last week: I was accepted as part of the 2013 team! To say that I’m pumped would be an understatement. I’m honored and ecstatic to be part of a team that is working to empower women in this sport, all while making them functional, feminine and fast.
I’ll make sure to share more SOAS news as it comes in, but I’m even more ready for this season, racing in some awesome gear and being part of the team.
*Nota Bena: For crying out loud, it doesn’t have to be pink and have butterflies if it’s made for women! I hereby petition a ban on all tri kits with flowers and butterflies.
Starting a 2012 recap is a somewhat daunting process. Especially when you consider that I started 2012 with the goal of going from runner to Ironman finisher.
At this exact time last year I was starting my Ironman journey and had no idea what it would really entail. I never imagined that I would close out 2012 with a DNS on the goal of a lifetime and still rehabbing a bum ankle, but looking back, I once again realize that my dad was right, “It’s not always about the goal, but about the journey.”
Here’s a look at my 2012 journey:
After signing up for an Ironman and getting my act together, I was nervous with my beginner gear, but eventually pulled myself together to go for my first group ride and realized that this cycling thing was going to be pretty amazing.
Was called a “Fred” and thrown for a loop.
I hired a coach.
I completed my first duathlon and took super sexy finisher photos.
I celebrated ruined Valentine’s Day in the most humiliating way possible.
We added a new member to our family: Dora.
I ran a new half marathon PR, but missed breaking 1:30 by seven seconds.
I was reminded of who I was and why I do this.
I bought and squeezed into one of triathlon’s most attractive pieces: the wetsuit.
I raced my first sprint triathlon and placed 3rd in my age group.
My family came to California to watch me race my first international distance triathlon.
I went to Napa, became an Oakley Women ambassador and met some amazing women.
I completed my first half Ironman: Vineman 70.3.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a trip to Sonoma and a hot air balloon ride.
I dealt with a horrible knee injury due to cycling and found out the importance of regular sports massage, rolling and ART.
I found out my little sister was expecting and I’m going to be an aunt!
I made amazing new cycling friends that kept me sane during long training weekends.
I was reminded (multiple times) that I am horrible with directions, should never be the bike lead and rode 110 miles!
I swam 2.4 miles for the first time.
My little sister got married in a simply perfect wedding.
I had the cycling day from hell: triple brick with a double flat, but still celebrated Chicken Face’s birthday.
Had an amazing run with old and new friends, and decided to register for the Eugene Marathon.
The blog got it’s first-ever re-design.
Went for an easy recovery run and did the unthinkable, then got the worst news ever. It changed the rest of the year, my goals and my perspective, making me only that much more hungry to make the most of 2013.
Looking back, I’m excited for all that was 2012 as I’ve grown in more ways than I’ve imagined. It was complete with it’s highs and lows, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. 2012 was for me to get my bearings, 2013 will be my time.
Happy New Year!
In the second part of this series, the goal is to share a few tips about swimming. Truth be told, I’m still not a strong swimmer. It is definitely my weakest leg as well as my least favorite of the three sports.
Throughout the training cycle, I developed a love-hate relationship with swimming. As I saw my endurance increase, I loved swimming. It was new, fun and refreshing. But when my knee injury struck, my pool time increased – a lot (well, at least for me). It wasn’t bad at first, but after a while, I just got tired of looking at the bottom of the pool and counting, counting, counting.
My open water swimming was another issue altogether. The anxiety is still present and it makes no logical sense. Thankfully, I have good friends who helped me dry my fear tears and try to be ok in the open water. It’s getting better, but still there. I’m incredibly nervous for what will happen come race day, but until then, I’ll just have to do as my coach says and, “Man up, cupcake.”
Here are a few race day swimming tips:
Fifteen minutes before the swim start, I take a Gu. You’re going to be out there for a while and obviously won’t be able to fuel, so suck one down now in preparation for the swim.
De-fog your goggles.
This is a tip I just learned and am trying to implement it: before your swim, rub a tiny amount of baby shampoo in your goggles. Once you get in the water, shake-em out.
Do your anti-anxiety drills.
Open water anxiety is something that I’m still dealing with. However, I’ve learned what works for me: I need to do my little anti-anxiety drills. This included getting in the water 15-20 minutes before my wave starts. I need to ease in, get warm and most importantly, put my face in the water and blow bubbles. I have to do this “face dip/bubble drill” at least four times. Somehow, it calms my heart. Then I need to do some sprints to get my heart rate going.
One of the most important things I have to remind myself is that my wetsuit is like a lifejacket. It’s near impossible to sink/drown in it – you won’t die.
The swim start.
Where you start in the swim all depends on the race (wave start vs. running start vs. deep water start), so this varies. But a few things I’ve been told over and over again, you don’t want to be in the front unless you’re a super fast swimmer as you’ll get clobbered. I’m happy starting right in the middle. Expect to be kicked, touched, grabbed, etc. I haven’t had anything too crazy, but don’t be afraid of other people’s body contact.
If you’re doing a wave, deep water start (most of my tris were), the group of 25 to 30-year-old women would be bobbing in the water together waiting for the start. If you’re nervous, they probably all are too. I say be casual, friendly and chat it up with the other racers, it helps calm the nerves.
When the gun goes off, I have to remind myself to STAY CALM and IN CONTROL. If all of a sudden I go hog-wild or I wasn’t able to warm-up, my heart rate will surely skyrocket, sending me into an anxiety meltdown. But if I have done my drills, warmed-up properly, and stayed calm and steady, I’m able to ease into my swim.
Find your rhythm.
The most important part of the swim for me is just finding my rhythm. Once I do, it’s makes the swim manageable. Count, sing, breathe on every stroke, whatever it is that helps you find your rhythm, do it.
Passing, drafting and sighting.
As your swimming, it will be easy to find someone and just drafting behind them, eating their bubbles. If this person is a tad bit faster than you, good, stay with them. But if they are too fast, let them go, or if they are too slow, don’t be afraid to surge past them for a bit.
I’m still not very good at sighting, but every third stroke or so, make sure to quickly look up and sight. Look for the next buoy or whatever it is you are sighting off of. Mentally, I use each buoy as a goal. Swim until you reach X, swim until you reach Y, etc. It helps break up the swim and keeps you mentally sane.
As you approach the finish, there will likely be sand. But when do you stop swimming and walk in? Keep swimming until your hand touches the bottom three times. Then get up, and jog in. As you are doing so, start unzipping your wetsuit and prepping for T1.
I’ve read that a good swim won’t win a triathlon, but a bad swim can lose a triathlon.
What other race-day swimming tips do you have?
I can’t believe it – TWO WEEKS UNTIL MY FIRST IRONMAN! It still doesn’t seem real! Today, I met up with my group for a swim and recovery ride and it was the first time that I started to hit me – it’s time.
I started this journey really not knowing ANYTHING about triathlons. From barely being able to swim eight laps to being nervous for my first clip-in, group ride, the past year has taught me so much. But before I get to that blog post, I wanted to share some of the race day triathlon tips that I’ve learned. Throughout the week I’ll be sharing pre-race, swim, bike and run tips.
This doesn’t include fueling and there’s so much more that I have left to learn, but hopefully there are a few nuggets in here for you.
Get up early and eat.
My body likes to get up early enough to ensure that I’m not rushed. I get up and eat first thing. Eat the same thing you’ve eaten on training. Don’t try anything new. I eat two English muffins with a light PB&J spread.
Eating early gives me enough time to get the GI system flowing, and, um, ensure that you do your business fully before race start. I hop in the shower just to wake up, but skip washing your hair or getting gorgeous – not necessary. Do a double check on all your gear and triple check your packing list (highly recommended).
Have a really good Sherpa that gets you there early.
I’m lucky enough to having an amazing race Sherpa that will drive me to the race start while I sleep, or listen to be blab on and on about anything race-related.
Make sure you get to the race at least an hour and a half before race start. You never know what traffic or parking issues you may have.
Prep for your gear for the race.
When you arrive. Go to the bathroom. Now. Get it out of the way before the line gets too long. You can go again later if you need to.
Time to prep the first transition area, also known as T1. Don’t be fooled by the ridiculous amount of crap people have at T1 – you don’t need it!
Rack your bike by the seat with the handlebars pointing towards you. Put your helmet on the aerobars, helmet strap undone, upside down with your sunglasses in them.
Make sure your tires are pumped to the appropriate PSIs and that your bike already has your water bottles fully loaded on your bike and your bento box full with whatever fuel you’ll need.
I then lay out a small towel and put all my transition stuff on it. This is my zone. For T1, make sure your shoes are unvelcroed (or opened, however your shoes work), socks (if you choose to use them – shorter tris, no.), gloves (I later learned that people don’t usually wear gloves) and any weather appropriate gear (e.g. armwarmers) are laid out. Use your towel to wipe off your feet in T1, you can also bring a small water bottle to rinse off your feet if you need to.
For T2, make sure your running shoes are either unlaced or you are using Yanks. I admit that I haven’t used Yanks yet, but I need to. Add a visor and your set for T2 set-up. If you need sunscreen, chapstick, or anything else, lay them out here, but you really don’t need much.
Note: Bitches be crazy during transition, so make sure you take inventory of your stuff. I’ve found some of my things a few feet away of where I originally put it. If you run up to T1 to see your stuff is not where you originally put it, stay calm and look in a three feet perimeter around your stuff.
Go to the bathroom again if you can.
If you weren’t able to scope of the transitions the prior day, make sure you familiarize yourself with how you will be entering and exiting T1 and T2. Or you can run around looking like an idiot like I did.
Get suited up and watch check.
Time to get it your wetsuit. Make sure to lube up well! Get it on your ankles, wrists neck and anywhere you might experience some chafing. Don’t be afraid to put a lot on, it will also help you take the suit off.
Power-up your watch, get the signal and make sure you’re in triathlon mode, ready to go.
Prep your mind for the race.
Now that you’ve arrived at the race, you’ll be overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of “parking lot intimidation.” Extremely fit looking people doing warm-up jogs, strange stretches or babbling on about PRs/why they’re taking this race “easy.” Whatever. This is YOUR race. Try not to look around and compare yourself to anyone. Focus on what you need to do out there and then get after it.
Say your thank yous.
Make sure to make time to tell your family and friends just how much you appreciate them coming out to your race and pose for a lot of photos with them. You’ll be glad you did later.
Ahhhh, I’m tearing up now as I just start to write about my triathlon journey. I need to go before my tears make my keyboard glitch.
What are your pre-race triathlon or running tips?
Next up: the swim!
Saturday was the big one.
The training day that my mind decided would be the “make it or break it” workout.
THE TRIPLE BRICK!
A two hour ride, 50 minute run, two hour ride, 40 minute run, two hour ride and finally a 30 minute run. A total of six hours of riding and two hours of running. I was nervous, I was pumped, and for some reason I blasted Sir Mix-A-Lot on the way there (it was the only thing on the radio). I was ready.
As I put the final touches on my bike, I noticed a special addition to my aero bottle. It instantly made my heart smile. Thank you, Chicken Face.
As soon as there was a safe amount of sunlight, we hit the road ready to conquer the day. It was cold, but I was happy just riding along talking with friends. But then it hit me and so did one of the worst noises you could hear.
Oh double shit!
I cursed like a sailor, pulled to the side and my sad fate was confirmed. FLATS! Really, world? REAAAALLLY?! I’ve never had a flat before, let alone two, and was not a happy camper. Thankfully Coach Paul was right behind me and he pulled over to help.
Dora went down.
We were literally eight minutes into the ride, EIGHT MINUTES, and I had thrown a giant monkey wrench into the mix. Knowing that we had a long day ahead of us and my tire changing skills are…wait, I don’t even have any tire changing skills, so Paul put his skills to the test and began fixing my flats.
Good job, Paul. I’ll just stand here and take photos of you.
I had one spare tube with me so we used that to fix the back flat. Done. Despite it being for his race wheels, Paul had an extra tube and began to use it to fix my front tire but then he found something extra special. Not only had the son-of-a-bitch rock busted both of my tubes, but it literally ripped my front tire.
Paul, being the genius that he is, took out a Gu, emptied it, then lined the tire with the Gu wrapper. From there, he then replaced the tube. This little Macgyver trick would be enough to get me back to the parking lot where he would then hop in his truck, go home and get a spare tire, tube, C02 cartridge and everything we needed to get back on the road.
The results from a very vicious rock.
Let’s just say that my little rock issue set Paul and I an hour behind schedule. I am so thankful for Paul being there and all of his quick thinking – I owe him big time! But it also put me in a horrible mood for the entire first brick. I mentally complained about how I would have to complete this entire day by myself, a fun ride with friends was lost, and more importantly, I was fretting on how I was going to make it back by 4:45 in time for Chicken Face’s birthday party. I was throwing myself a miserable little pity party.
If I haven’t given Paul enough praise already, I owe him even more. Despite my sour mood, he was great and stayed with me for a solid portion of each ride making sure that I wasn’t alone and that I was safe. I was probably a gem to be with, but I can’t thank him enough.
As I was riding my first brick, I saw my friend Ilona on the side of the road. She had been the victim of a flat as well! What the?! I asked her if she needed anything and then assured her Paul was right behind me, because let’s be honest, I would be of no tire changing help anyways.
I got back from the first brick, made my way out on the first run and tried to get down to my Ironman pace, but just couldn’t get there. I need to learn to slow down! After I completed the first brick I was still grumbling about my first world problems. But as I was reloading my bike with more fuel for the second ride I found these:
It was exactly what I needed – a reminder of what’s important and the amazing support I have. Thank you, Chicken Face!
I shoved down half of a sandwich (bad idea, by the way. Need to space those out more.) and it was almost as if I had become content with peanut butter, jelly and acceptance. I finally accepted what had happened and would make it work. I was going to be by myself, but that’s alright because it’s great mental training for race day. Like my dad says time and time again…
Shit happens. It always has and always will. But it’s not what happens, but how you handle it.
The rest of the day went pretty much as planned: ride, run, eat, drink, repeat. But there was something strange in the air…
On my final ride, I saw Paul and Jared on the side of the road – Jared had fallen victim as well. Two flat tires! WHAT WAS HAPPENING TODAY? Add Ed’s flat and it made for a total of six flats from one group in one day! WITCHCRAFT I TELL YOU! But seriously, my theory is that there was so much debris in the road from the season’s changing, or maybe it’s all of the bad vibes getting out of the way now instead of race day. Either way I know one thing for sure: I need to practice changing tires.
When I was approaching the final run, I knew I had to cut it short to try and retain my marriage — it was his birthday afterall! I shortened the run to 20 minutes and increased my pace. When I was done I briefly stretched and had to hustle back home as all of the guest were already at our house!
Yes, I was late and everybody was already there, but they were patient enough to wait for me before we, wait for it, went on the beer crawl. A triple brick followed by a beer crawl birthday party. Genius refueling, I know. As we made our way from shop to shop filling our glasses, my legs were tired, but I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment. I completed the dreaded triple brick with some very unfriendly circumstance and still made it back to celebrate. It was an amazing confidence booster and I’m getting more ready than ever for the big day.
It’s almost time, I’m getting excited and I’m pretty sure I have the best little family ever.
(No, the candles aren’t representative of his age. They were the only candles I had.)
The Silicon Valley International Triathlon, or as I like to call tri number two, is in the books and it ended up being more than I could have expected. Not necessarily because of my time, but because of a few special people. My husband, mom, dad, sister, future brother-in-law (sorry, Nate!) and aunt all woke-up at 4:30 in the morning to hit the road and watch me race. Now that’s love.
Now let’s talk recap, shall we?
For some reason, I’ve become very peculiar about this breakfast. It must be Safeway Open Nature whole wheat English muffins, Trader Joe’s preserve and all natural peanut butter. They must also be toasted. I don’t know why, but I’m sticking with it for now.
Chicken Face, being the amazing Sherpa that he is, drove down while I tried to sleep some more. But after two weeks of only getting in one swim a week and the thought of my entire family watching and waiting for me, I was extremely nervous – I was almost confident that a panic attack would ensue. But the good news was that I had familiarity on my side. Because of the course change, we would be swimming at the same reservoir as the Morgan Hill Sprint Tri.
We got to the start, fussed around with the necessary body marking, laying out my stuff, and photo ops.
I knew that unlike my last race, I wanted to get in the water and do a bit of swimming before the actual start and just get my heart rate steady as I think I’ve figured out what’s happening. I start swimming, my heart rate spikes and my brain goes into this fight or flight mode causing these mental games and panic attacks. Thus, I sucked down my Gu, said goodbye to my family, into the water I went.
After I did my pre-race warm-up, I found my way into the pack of pink caps for the deep water start. The sun was glaring and we all giggled as you could barely see any of the buoys. Instead, I just knew what direction to swim and would sight the buoys as soon as I could see. 3-2-1…we’re off!
I’m the one in the pink cap.
Let’s be real: swimming is not my strong suit. Instead of sprinting like I am even half a decent swimming, I told myself to just take it slow and steady. I’d rather save myself the extra elevated heart rate and come to T1 relaxed and ready for the bike than shave an extra minute off my swim time. So that’s exactly what I did: slow, steady, stay calm, talk to myself, and in turn, I was free on any panic attacks.
In order to break up the swim distance, I broke it up into mini-goals. Get to the buoy, sight, see the next buoy, focus on nothing but getting to that next yellow triangle. These mini goals were extremely calming and kept my focused on that task at hand. I did experience a few first by getting kicked and my goggles slightly knocked off, a bit more “motion” in the water, and seeing some of the gals from the wave behind me starting pass me, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Just keep swimming.
As I rounded the last buoy, sighted, saw the finish as my next mini goal I was ecstatic. I know I hadn’t gone fast, but I had stayed calm and had fun the entire time. The scary part was done.
I swam until I felt my hands touch the ground three time (thanks for the tip, Jeff!) and then got out and walked. Last time I ran and I felt discombobulated. What would the extra 10 seconds really do if I just walked until I regained my composure. Nada.
Walking up the ramp.
Swim Time: 29:11 / 1:47/100 yard pace
Transition 1 Time: 1:55
After I felt normal, I ran to my bike and stripped off my wetsuit and got ready to ride. Because of the course change, I had to stuff all of my swim stuff into a white bag and the race folks would pick it up and take it to the finish. I eyed my arm warmers and decided to forgo them as I didn’t want to waste anymore time.
I hopped on the bike, shouted out to my family and was on my way.
As Coach Paul advised me, I didn’t eat or drink anything for the first 15 minutes. You need to let your body acclimate from being horizontal to now being vertical again. I dropped into aero and felt really good to be there.
SURPISE! The course wasn’t as flat as I thought. There were a few little hills and some rollers along the way that kept you in check. The other thing that kept me in check? This 27-year-old female who I kept playing leap frog with (your age is written on the back of your left calf). Whenever she passed me I would grumble a silent, “WTF!” She didn’t do anything wrong, but that was positioning me one spot further from placing in my AG.
Furthermore, with the course change I got a little bored by the end. They squeezed us into narrow lanes on poorly paved streets. As I turned into the park (T2) I heard, “PAGE!” and saw my family again – LOVE!
I dismounted, called out my number, and volunteers helped point me in the direction of the new bike racks that we’d never seen (thank you, volunteers!). Frustratingly, they had tied my T2 bag so I had to sit down and waste time untying it and getting into my run gear.
Open, damn bag! OPEN!
Bike Time: 01:20:28 / 18.5 mph pace
Transition 2 Time:1:57
The thing about me and triathlons is that I know the run is my time. It’s my time to make up for my sub-par swimming and cycling skills, and it was time to pick off the other age groupers that had passed me.
I shoved ClifBloks in my top (they’re easier for me to access there) and was ready to execute the game plan I had made on the bike. Keep it at low 7 minute miles for the first three miles, then kick it up picking off any age groupers that I saw. Translation: look at legs, looks for age groupers, go after them one at a time.
Throughout the six mile run, I was able to pass three gals that had passed me on the bike. Nothing against these girls, they are great athletes, but it was an incredible confidence boost to know that my running mojo is a great advantage for me.
The run course was a little dull itself, but I met another woman on the run, we chatted and encouraged each other along – hi Shawn!
Given that this is the sport of how long you can talk to yourself, I continued to do so until I saw the finish and kicked it in.
Run Time: 42:44 / 6:53 pace
Finish Time: 2:36:15
5th in my age group, 17th female overall
I had told Chicken Face that if I was on my A-game, I’d come in under 2:40. When I found out that I came in below my goal time, I was stoked! I was also secretly basing my goal time around what might earn me an age group place compared to last year’s age group finishers. Needless to say, this year’s competitors were crazy fast!
I probably could have picked up some speed during the swim and my walk up to T1, but I’d rather be anxiety-free than shave a minute off my time. Overall, I had an amazing time and felt great. After crossing the finish line, I didn’t feel exhausted at all, indicating that I probably could have pushed it some more out there. But the best part of it all? These folks.
Thank you everyone for all of your continual support – it means the world to me. And a big congrats too all of the CDA Ironman and half IM finishers this weekend!
P.S. I still feel extremely awkward about posting so many photos of myself with these race recaps…
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
This Sunday, some of my favorite bloggers (that I’ve never actually met in real life) are racing Ironman CDA – good luck Nicole, Rachel and Katie! I’m going to try and stalk your every move. If I’m not the best stalker, that’s because I’ll be racing my own little triathlon: The Silicon Valley International Triathlon.
The Silicon Valley International Triathlon is a .93 mile swim, 24.9 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run.
The race was originally scheduled at a different reservoir and had a different bike course, but due to poor water quality (thanks for actually checking), they are changing the entire swim to be at the same reservoir that the Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon was at. It’s going to be a logistics pain in the ass, but I guess I prefer not getting diseases from a lake and will drop my bike off the day before.
The swim is the same loop as the sprint tri, but they just placed the buoys farther. It actually puts me a bit at ease knowing what I’m getting into. However, this time I’m going to try and get some pre-race swimming warm-ups in so I don’t have another bout of anxiety.
Pancake flat. Awesome.
Another flat and fast run course!
Usually, I include more strategy, information and goals with my pre-race posts, but I’ve told myself that just like the sprint tri, this tri is my time to get used to the sport, get to know my own limits, and really get comfy with this whole “triathlon” thing. My overall goal is just push myself and see where I end up.
My family is actually in town this week so I’m excited to show them what this sport is all about – or at least the bits and pieces that I know. I’ll be sure to report back with enough photos to make myself embarrassed and a full race report.
Anyone else going to be at this race this weekend?
Happy running and good luck to everyone racing this weekend!
Warming: be prepared for a ridiculously long recap and far too many photos of myself.
A 4:15 alarm is never a welcome thing, especially when you wake-up every hour wondering if it’s time for your fate to be determined. Soon it was time to roll out of bed and head to Morgan Hill for the Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon: 3/4 mile swim, 16 mile bike and 5 mile run.
(Triathlon tip from Coach Paul: apparently there is no “official” or “standard” distance for sprint triathlons. Technically anything less than an Olympic distance is considered a sprint. Who knew.)
As I rolled into the event I saw Chris McCrary, one of the leaders on the Forward Motion Race Club that I’m a part of, and he was quick to help me through the set-up process. Tape your number here, rack your bike there, etc. – he knew this was my first and it just the type of newbie support that I needed.
After a quick bathroom break and body marking, I wiggled into my wetsuit and made my way to the start of the swim with Chicken Face to watch the waves ahead of me take off. I nervously took a Gu and before you knew it, kissed Chicken Face goodbye and I was ready to go.
As I stepped into the edge of the water, my feet quickly sank in the mud. Oh no. Mud = murky water. I put my head down and my suspicions were verified, I couldn’t see anything but green and my hands. Strangely, at least being able to see my hand brought some comfort. I swam out to the far right side of the buoys as it was a deep water start. Looking back, I should have spent this time warming up, but I thought my elevated heart rate was enough.
As the yellow caps went off, the pink caps made their way to the start. I stayed to the right (just like track, the fast folks go on the left) and within a matter of moments, we were off. There wasn’t much kicking, punching, touching or anything to be drama or panic-worthy. So I just swam and like clockwork, my heart rate was overwhelming me. NO. NO. NO! NO PANIC ATTACKS.
I knew in my head that this panic was unwarranted so I stopped, did some breaststroke, then flipped on my back for a quick moment to get my composure. It only took about 30 seconds but it was worth it because it worked. I flipped back over and counted. 1-2-3-breathe-1-2-3-breathe-1-2-3-sight/breathe-1-2-3-breather. It seemed to do the trick because from that moment on I found my rhythm and just swam. The swimming felt like it came naturally, as did my sighting, and I wanted to smile in the water.
The swim was actually around an island in the reservoir and as I rounded the corner, I sighted and could see the end of the swim. I did it. I had overcome my panic attack and went on to actually enjoy the open water swimming.
As I neared the end, I remembered the tips that my coach and friends had told me: keep swimming until your hand scrapes the bottom three times. As soon as I felt the ground, I popped up and started my way up the ramp while ripping the top half of my wetsuit off.
I heard Chicken Face cheering for me and I screamed at him, “What was my swim time?!” Apparently my watch didn’t start and I had no idea what my pace actually was.
He shouted “24 minutes,” back at me.
“24?!” I questioned.
“Yes!” he replied.
With a minor panic attack and a newbie swimmer, this was exactly the confidence booster that I needed. I slipped on my cycling gear (no gloves, no socks – lesson learned), switched watches (annoying) and took my baby on to the next leg.
Swim Time: 23:46 / 1:49/100 yard pace
Transition Time: 2:00
Pumped with excitement from accomplishing my biggest fear, I made my way to the bike course and quickly popped into my aerobars. BOOM! Another fear accomplished and I stayed there for a majority of the ride (except photo ops and the hill climbs).
More than anything, this leg made me appreciate people who say, “On your left!” You can scream it at me, you can politely warn me, I don’t care, just say it. Because when I almost eat it from seeing a pothole to late so I swerve and you get pissed because I slightly swerved, well maybe you should have told me you were trying to pass!
I continued on my way and was fairly uneventful outside of the ridiculously good time I was having. I love cycling.
As I approached the transition, I could see girls getting out of their shoes while riding and while admirable, there was no way I was going to attempt that just yet.
Bike Time: 51:00 / 18.8 mph pace
Unsure of how my body would react by this point and given that it was an out and back course, I decided to try and maintain my pace at 7:00/miles and then decide as the turnaround how I wanted to pace the second half.
I started out with small steps until I quickly regained my balance and stride. When I saw other athlete’s ages on their legs, I kept an eye out for the 25-29 age groupers. As I reached the turnaround, my stomach was “sloshy” so I downed some ClifBloks and tried to increase the pace to sub 7 minutes.
As I rounded the corner, I ripped off my sunglasses and pushed it in. FINISHED!
Run Time: 34:38 / 6:55 pace
I crossed the finish line feeling fantastic. I wasn’t exhausted or tired, but instead, proud of this next step in my journey. To add to my excitement, I found out that I placed in my age group and couldn’t be happier.
Finish Time: 1:52:49
3rd in my age group, 23rd female overall
Overall, I felt fantastic and it reconfirmed why I’m on this journey. Taking risks, overcoming fears and pushing myself to new levels. I think I’m in love.
Next up…lessons learned from my first tri.