Tuesday, May 24, 2011

OC Triathlon!

It seems I have the racing bug right now. Two races in two weekends... Good stuff! I had been wanting to do the OC Tri for a couple of year now, but it was always in the fall and conflicted with my "A" races. This year it was moved to May and I was in! Even better Lesley, Tammy and Katie were game to race too!

Tammy, Katie and I headed up to Mission Viejo on Saturday afternoon and met up with Simon and Lesley at the expo. Not much of anything exciting going on there, so we grabbed our packets and headed to my family beach house in Newport Beach. We made a quick stop at Trader Joe's to get all of our pre-race essentials; Trail Mix, Luna Bars, Seaweed, three kinds of Milk, Potato Chips, Sparkling Water, Beer, Carrots, Pita Chips, etc. Sounds good, right? We even saw a "blow-fish!" Lesley and Simon whipped up a great dinner and we had a relaxing evening chatting and getting our stuff sorted out for the race.

Race morning came way too early as it always does. Up at 4:30 and luckily Tammy had already turned on the coffee; I think I drank more than my fair share! A little breakfast, threw all our stuff in the car and we were off.

Transition was pretty mellow as it is a much smaller race than I'm used to. Unfortunately there was no preassigned racks, so I was on my own to find that perfect spot. Luckily Speedracer is quite small, so he fits in to tight spots with out a problem. A little jog warm-up, a quick swim and we were ready to get racing.


I got a little stressed out at the swim start. All I could see was buoys everywhere and not too sure if they were supposed to be on our right or left or what. Figured I would just follow the masses.

Had an excellent swim entry but about 400 yard in I got that wetsuit-too-tight feeling! Ugh! I should not have had that piece of cake at work last week... or was it all of the yummy stuff we bought at TJ's the night before? Had to work really hard to calm myself down and get out to the turn buoy. About 1/2 way through the swim, I finally found my rhythm and took it strong back to the swim exit. Never did find any feet to draft off of... bummer!


By the time we got out of the swim, it was misting some, so I was a bit nervous to get on the bike course. Just told myself to stay off the paint! Settled in quickly and hammered away. The course was great. Wide open bike lanes and not all bunched up with other competitors. Lots of rolling hills, which I love. What I did not love was the two sections that were "off-road." Basically poorly paved road at the top and bottom of the course. Worried about hitting something wrong and crashing, but more so about getting a puncture in my tubulars; those things are expensive!

Given that it was an out and back course, I had my eyes peeled for the other girls. I knew I would probably see Lesley coming back as I was headed out, and sure enough flying by she came. Pretty sure she did not hear my yelling for her to go faster. As I was coming back towards transition, I came upon Tammy. We exchanged some words of encouragement and then proceeded to go back and fourth for the next few miles. Finally she dropped me, but it was awesome to see her in her first on-road race and to even be in the same zip code as her on the bike.

The last part of the ride was back on the sketchy unpaved roads, but worse as there were a lot of blind turns. Not knowing what was coming, I slowed up a ton! No need to crash at that point in the race! I guess pre-riding that part of the course would have been a good idea.


I literally threw Speedracer on the rack and jammed my feet in my running shoes. It was pretty chilly and it was then that I realized my feet were frozen solid. Not to sure if my shoes were on correctly, but off I went.

I felt amazing from the first step. Guess it is all the hard work we have been putting in at the Braveheart Brick this year. As painful as it is, the workout works! Just focused on getting my legs to turn over and off I went.

I loved the run course. It was a mix of trails, roads and bike paths. Lots of rolling hills, but nothing I could not handle. With all of the variety, I was entertained the entire time; just focused on the next hill, turn and boy to run down. Not too man ladies on the course at that point, but tons of guys to run down, which is my specialty!

At the last water station, a little kid yells "Great job! Only 1/2 mile more!"

"Seriously?" I yelled back. And I took off to find that finish line. Coming down the hill towards the finish I saw Simon who was yelling words of encouragement; that guy is great! The finish was along the lake and was lined by cheering crowds, just what I needed to push it to the end.

I cheered in Tammy, Katie, Chelsea and a few others. We made a quick escape to transition to find warm clothes before meeting back up with Simon and Lesley. As soon as we came back down to the lake, Simon announced podium spots for everyone! I was pretty impressed that Lesley not only won the race overall, but she managed to have every athlete she coaches on the podium! Sweet!

Huge thanks go out to Simon, Tammy, Lesley and Katie for making it a weekend to remember! Lots of good times! Also to 2XU for making the most comfortable race kit and post race compression gear I have ever worn, and to Moment Cycle Sport for keeping Speedracer in tip top shape.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Encinitas Sprint!

Oh how I love this race! So many reason why... Small hometown feel, great expo and PB&J at the finish line.

I have a confession to make... I really have trouble pushing myself in training like I can in a race. So when I realized this race would fit in perfect with my training for Kansas 70.3, I was in!

This year I was determined to have a good swim start. Last year I got flipped head-over-heels while trying to get out and the year before I fell flat on my face two times. But this year was going to be different... and it was! Ran out hard, no falling, and dolphin dove like a pro.

The swim was HARD though. As luck would have it, my AG wave went off right when a set of waves was coming in. Every time I looked up to sight, another wave was coming at me. I swear I had to dive under ten of them! Once out past the break I found a pair of feet to jump on, and we slowly made it to the turn around buoy. There were a ton of people out at the buoy taking a "break" from the extra choppy swim.

Once I rounded the buoy I looked for my friend who had pulled me out and she was no where to be found. I was on my own to make it back to the shore. Thank goodness someone planted a huge Palm tree, as it was my beacon to the swim exit. I just focused on making my way to the palm tree with strong, steady strokes.

As soon as I got out of the water I did a quick scan for other pink caps. None in sight, and I knew I was first out of the water in my AG. This has never happened before, so I was stoked! Now just to hold them all off.

Speedracer was ready to go when I got to transition, and we hit the bike course hard. My goal for the race was to collect some numbers, but as soon as I left transition and got rolling I looked down to see my power and cadence were not working. Crap! My Garmin gets confused when it is around a bunch of other bikes transmitting data. A little bit of messing with it and I was back in the game.

The 2XU Kit just makes me look fast!

I rode the course hard. Just kept telling myself to ride like there was not a run afterwards. Somehow I got a Lady Gaga song stuck in my head, which was annoying and entertaining all at the same time.

The bike was over in the blink of an eye and I was onto the run. Hit it hard and tried not to let up. It was really inspiring to see a ton of CAF athletes out on the course. Great cheering crowds as well.... Thanks!

When all was said and done, it was a great race and a great day seeing friends old and new. I'll be back next year for sure!