Monday, June 18, 2007

Tri 101

Lakeport, CA
June 10, 2007
A new series began this year called the One O One. If you add the distances of a 1.86mi swim, 80.6 mi bike and 18.6 mi run, the total equals 101, clever, isn't it??? Not only are the distances unique (3/4 IM length) but the prize purse is one of a kind in our sport. I skipped out on the first race in Bradenton, Fl; but when I looked closely into the race, the June event in Lakeport, CA looked pretty appealing. After researching the course and the participant lists I decided to sign up. It's been about 2 years since my last IM and about 6 years since I've completed this 3/4 IM distance.

I should also mention that I have decided to terminate my quest for the 2008 Olympics. Briefly, my motivation was low to train for the specific races (ITU & World Cup) as were my funds to chase these races around the world. I was in debt after the 2004 Olympic Trials and with my wedding a few months away my goals have changed. I do not regret my decision as there is always the possibility of an Olympics in a different sport...

Race morning in Lakeport saw clear skies and a small participant field. It's also been a long time since I've raced a small race and it was great!! The race organization as well as the plethora of volunteers through out race day and the the entire weekend was absolutely superb!

I was a bit more nervous than usual probably due to the fact that this was a long race and I was a bit under-trained. I was out to race this race and not merely to finish (although that is always the first goal, no matter what!)

The men and women pros had an in water start and a 5 minute lead on the amatuers. It was a wetsuit swim, but very quickly into the start I wish it wasn't as it got pretty warm as we swam the two loop course. I felt as though I couldn't quite get my rhythm together but managed to get in with a pack. I tried to keep it comfortable as I knew the swim was only the beginning of a long day. My time for the swim was 40:05 with a T1 time of 1:00.

I came out with a pack of men and women and was pretty quick upon exiting T1 as I eventually found out within a few miles of the bike course that I was in 3rd place. The bike was advertised as a flat course done three times. I don't know where these reports came from but it wasn't all that flat of a course. I'd actually call it rolling hills! It was a nice course although the roads were quite rough in spots and with each consecutive lap the wind began to increase. During the second lap, I noticed that the velcro that was holding my spare tubular had come loose and the tubular had slipped out of it's velcro grasp. I fiddled with it for about a minute and knew that I had lost some time on second place; but I couldn't afford to loose my spare, just in case.

These long races are always a learning experience no matter how many times you've raced. So, my learing experience during this race came on the second loop when I knew I needed to eat. I had started to feel sleepy during the ride. If I could, I would have stopped and taken a nap on the side of the road. It was the most bizzarre experience. I knew at that point that I needed food desperately if I was to hold onto third place. I missed food at a few aid stations and had eaten all of my gel that I had taped onto my bike. I was finally able to pick up my special needs bag as I rode through transition on my way to the third and final loop. I had a bit of trouble getting my goods out but eventually was able to. While digging around I was passed by a women. I tried to keep my eye on her for as long as I could, but my main concern was getting in the nutrition.

After eating and drinking I felt much better and was now focused once again to keep my mph as high as I could keep them...oh and not to get passed again!

I could tell that my cycling miles were not enough in the weeks leading up to this race. Note to self: Ride more in the months leading up to a long race!!

I came into T2 in fourth place after riding 80.6 miles in 3:51:23 (20.9 mph) and was glad to get off and start running. After my :43 transition, I was on a mission to run some girls down!

The only flat section of the run was in the beginning and it only lasted for a mile at the most. The rest of the run was either up hill or down hill! I kept a strong pace and at the only out and back section (maybe a mile each way) I was able to see how far ahead the women in front of me where. I didn't see first place who was minutes ahead of me, but I did see second and third place probably a minute ahead of me and as I made the turn around I saw fifth place like a bullet train out of control. How long could I hold Kim off??? Maybe a little over a minute. She eventually came up along side of me just long enough for each of us to say "good job" to one another and then she moved ahead. We were on a gradual up hill where you can see a good distance in front and there about :30 ahead was second and third place. I was now in fifth place, but that would only last for two left hand turns as I passed Karen Holloway and Heather Wurtele (Kim had ran into second at this point). I was now back in third place by mile 7 of the run. Now all I had to do was at least keep myself in this position for the second loop of 9 miles.

I should mention that as you complete the first loop of the run, the course takes you the outide of the transition area by the crowd of spectators before heading out on the undulating course. The mantra that I remember saying to myself for the remaining loop was "top 3 for me, top 3 for me!" Over and over I kept repeating this little saying until it was a constant hum in my mind. At the turn around I kept a watchful eye on who was behind me and how far away there where. But to my surprise I saw no one. I was safe for now. Towards the end of the run, even though I knew I was tired and I'm sure my pace had slipped, I had a renewed burst of energy as "Top 3 for me" was now a solid reality! I looked one last time as I rounded the last corner and saw no one...I had finished in 3rd place with a run time of 2:18:21 and an overall time of 6:51:31. I was approximately 12 minutes behind 1st place and 9 minutes ahead of fourth place!

I had forgotten how long these races lasted but I know what I do a half IM it will feel least I hope!

After this fantastic race, the organzers and the volunteers I am contemplating on signing up for another 101.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Articles about the Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

For full results go to

For pictures of the race go to:

For articles about the race:


Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

San Francisco, CA
June 3, 2007

This year's race started an hour earlier, 7am, due to the projected fast currents. It was an early morning, but I was wide awake at 3:30am (or as wide awake as one can be at that hour!)
Once again I decided to drop off a pair of shoes for the long run from the swim exit to the transition area.

Jay in our hotel room

After getting my transition together I got a ride over to Pier 3 where after body marking I boarded the San Francisco Belle...our ride out to "The Rock." This will be my 7th time "Escaping" and every year I have placed higher and had an overall time that was faster than the previous year. I am always excited for this race as there is really nothing like. If you have any inkling of completing or competing this race I highly suggest it!
Linda & Dan at dinner

With about 15 minutes to race start the pros were escorted outside and were lined up according to numerical bib order. The horn blew signaling for us to jump off the small ledge where we were standing about 5 -6 feet from the water. I began swimming as soon as I hit the water. Now most people think that the water is cold here, but I always find it to be just right!
It took a bit of navigation to finally keep my eye on the lead boat, but it wasn't very long until the chop of the water started. I felt jostled and tumbled for most of the swim and was having trouble getting into a real rhythme. You could only see the lead boat if you were on top of the wave and nothing when you were in the trough. It definitely made sighting a bit of a challenge. I ended up swimming by myself for a short period, but then some of the age group men came by me and I tried to stay with a pack. With about 5 yards to go to the swim exit the water temperature got drastically colder and I was glad that it hadn't been that cold for the duration of the swim. The swim took me 28:38 and only 2:10 back from first place.

Jay & Me at awards

I ran the 800m from the swim exit to transition, got my bike and headed out onto the course with the second fastest T1...I was on a mission to catch the women ahead of me. I was able to pass at least one girl on the way into T1. I headed onto the first part on the course...a straight road that paralled the ocean and quickly found out that I could not shift my big chain ring; it was stuck! I saw my dad on the side of the road cheering and I yelled out "I can't shift to my big chain ring!" Luckily he heard, but there was nothing he could do. For the next 4 miles or so I tried with all my might to get the darn thing to shift but eventually made the decision that I'd have to spin like Lance Armstrong and do the "super tuck" on the down hills. That would be my only chance to catch a few more girls on the ride. Just prior to the Legion of Honor I was able to pass Gina Kehr while Joanna Lawn and I where playing leap frog. If there was any chance at all for me on the bike, I had to ride as quickly as I could on every up hill; if I was not to have the use of my big chain ring, then I'm glad that this was the course I was on because there are more up hills than flats or down hills. My bike split was 54:52 only 1:06 behind Becky Lavelle's split (which was the fastest of the women).

Sprocket, Jay, Mike, Erin, Lauren & Mike at Awards

I rolled into T2 and now with the quickest transition I headed out onto the run to see if I could catch any more women. I had an idea of where I was but wasn't sure until I got to Baker Beach and the turn around. There I could see Leanda, Pip and Becky just ahead of me. I quickly formulated a new immediate catch Becky before the top of the sand ladder. I pushed harder and tried to run up the majority of the sand ladder. For the second year in a row, I had the fastest sand ladder time...this year it was 2:08 and :08 seconds faster than the second woman!
Once I ran past Becky, I didn't look back, I just kept on going in hopes of maybe catching Pip. I got to the top of the sand ladder and made the left hand turn onto the single track trail that continued to climb. Running on the road in the opposite direction I caught a glimpse of Erin Reed who yelled "Go!" But quickly realizing that Becky was behind me and not knowing (most likely that I had caught her) yelled again and this time it was long, loud and drawn out, "Gooooooooo!" I knew exactly what she was refering too and it make me laugh a little; not too much though, or I wouldn't have been able to run!!
After the trails and steps leading towards the Golden Gate and back on flat ground again I briefly saw Pip ahead of me and tried to pick it up even more. The crowd was yelling and cheering and so I kept on running. I had the fastest run split for the women in 51:34. I made the turn into the finish chute and gave the crowd a few waves before crossing the line in 2:20:29; less than 2 minutes from first place. I finished in 3rd place, the best finish so far for me at this race!
My next race is sunday June 10 at the Tri One O One in Clearlake, CA.