Monday, August 07, 2006

Long Beach Triathlon

Well, it has been quite some time since I've written about my races and to be honest there is only one race that I need to write about, so here it goes...I caught a ride with Brandee the day before the race. We left early enough but ran into a few rough spots along the way...the first being a large piece of rubber from a tire that was kicked out into the air by an 18-wheeler and happened to just miss the passenger side of the windshied (where I was sitting) and hit the right front of the car. We pulled over quickly and determined that it looked okay and that we were very lucky that it didn't hit the windshield. I did however notice a slight dripping of something under the car but didn't pay too much attention as I thought it could have been there before the car got hit. So, we continued our drive south on I5 only to discover that just prior to one of the major exits on the freeway that the temperature gage had skyrocketed and we needed to pull over; so, we did just that and let me say that it is pretty scary to be on the side of I5 on a friday afternoon! We had plenty of water and were trying to figure out where it went when a guy pulled his car over and came over to help us...are you sure we're in L.A.??? That doesn't happen here, right? Apparently his brother is a mechanic and he worked with him some time and knew a bit about cars so for about 30min. this guy proceeds to fill the cars resevoir with water and help us out!! Eventually, we got the temp. gauge down a bit and thanked him and decided we'd take a chance and finish the drive to Long Beach.
Well, we made it and in time for the 5pm meeting too. I was able to catch up with a college friend/roomie of mine whom I hadn't seen in about 8 years! After dinner, it was back to the hotel to pack up my gear for the following day.

Race morning was an early one, but I'd rather it be ealier than later as we had a long drive home ahead of us. I checked in, got my cap and chip and proceeded to my transition to set up. I must have dropped my chip along the way becuase when I went to put it around my ankle I couldn't find it. I looked on the ground and eventually went back to tell the volunteers that I'd lost it. After having to go see a few different people on this subject and receiving a new chip I actually found mine on the ground! Wheww, that was lucky.

I decided to do a short warm up swim and since it was about 6:15am the water was a bit chilly and luckily wetsuits were allowed. We finally started the race closer to 7am (a bit later than expected) and with a running start into the flat ocean we were off to complete two loops where after the first loop you got out of the water and ran around a few cones and then got back into the water for the second loop. I was with a pack of women as I exited the water after the first loop and ran hard to make sure I stayed with them. We entered the water as a group and I must say that I was out of breath as the pace seemed to quicken once back in the water! I need to work on that I think...swimming hard, running around the cones and then swimming harder to stay with the pack. I exited the water with a pretty good group of women in a time of 21:43 and ran the 400m or so to T1. I missed a group of 3 girls who headed out on the bike just before me. I did however notice a girl about 15 seconds infront of me and I knew how strong of a rider she was, so I tried to catch her; if I could catch her, I knew we could catch the girls up ahead. Unfortunately that wasn't going to happen as my legs just wouldn't accelerate and the girl pulled away from me until I eventually saw her join the group of 3. I continued on my own trying to push as hard as I could only to realize a group of 3 riders coming up from behind.

The bike course was mostly flat except for two small overpasses which normally I could ride over effortlessly; but not legs were so heavy and I had no energy for cycling. I had my sunny's ontop of my head (in my helmet) when I looked down at one point and all of a sudden in slow motion I saw my sunny's fall from my helmet, bounce off of my top tube and fall to the ground. I tried my best to catch them but I didn't. So I'm guessing that some homeless man/woman has a nice pair of sunny's on!!

With ~ 2 laps to go I was caught by Jessica, Beth and Kelly. The four of us worked well together but were unable to make any progress in catching any of the girls in front of us. I was struggling on every little uphill bump that we went over, but I made a point of riding as hard as I could to stay up with my pack. My ride time was 1:05:42.
We entered transition and I exited onto the flat run course with Jessica. We stayed together for about 3/4 of a mile when she pulled away from me. I had no legs to go with her. I was also passed by Kelly somewhere on the run course, but I continued to run as hard as my legs could go despite the heaviness and eventual huge blisters that lined my arches of both of my feet. The last lap of two laps on the course, I could only think about how much my feet hurt and how I couldn't wait for the run to be finished. My run time left much to be desired at 40:18! My overall time was 2:10:23 and I placed 15th.

I figured out why I was so tired; or at least I think I did. Part of the reason was because of time in the car driving down the day before. My legs were tight and I was unable to get a good warm up the day before. The other reason is that I didn't taper for this race. I kept my workouts the same as I would any normal training week. I guess there is something to be said about tapering for a race!

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