Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Catching UP

Well, it's been quite a while since I've updated my blog, so I thought I'd write a quick write up of what's been going on. I've raced a few races since the last race post; races include the Danskin Triathlon at Disneyland, Alcatraz and Vineman 70.3. I had a great time at all of them!

The Danskin race was a super sprint that started the swim in the murky and VERY warm lagoon at Disneyland California Adventure Park. I led the swim, which I think is a first! Eventhough I had a kayak leading the way and a few buoys, it was still hard to see where I was going and I hoped that I didn't miss a buoy or cut the course. We weren't allowed to look at the course prior to swimming, so it was a surprise! What was quite interesting about this race is that the spectators had an over the top view...what I mean, is that they were watching the swim from above! Jay was there with me and he said that it really was a different perspective.

From the swim, it was a short run to T1 where I got my bike and proceeding to ride along the outskirts of the park (on the city streets) for 2 loops which totaled 10 miles of mostly flat with two small inclines. I held about 23 mph which was pretty good for me. Needless to say (I say this with no ego was a sprint race mostly with first timers and no pros), there was no one near me, but I still wanted to see how fast I could go. I had a quick T2 and was out on the flat and fast run course that went through the park. My race started at 6am, so the only people that were allowed in the park where the employees which all were very nice and cheered happily for me and the other competitors!! The only place where spectators were allowed was where they watched the swim. The run was advertised as 2.5 miles, but by the look of my time I think it was maybe just over 2 miles. I was finished in 48:04!!

If you are looking for something different and short, this would be a great race!

Next race was Alcatraz in San Francisco, CA. This has to be one of my favorite races because there is really no other race like it. This was my 8th year competing here and it's always a bit nerve wracking when you're hanging over the side of a ferry, hanging on to chains while your trying to keep your footing on the one foot ledge waiting nervously for the horn to blow!! I got in with a group of people and drafted the entire way. It was choppy only briefly and the water was never really cold. I ran the 1/2 mile or so to T1, grabbed my bike and was out. I wasn't too sure how many women were ahead of me, but I was on my way to catch as many as I could. I was able to catch a few and hold them off. The 18 mile hilly and technical bike course is one that I love. I entered T2 and right behind me was Sam Mcglone. She passed me in transition, but I was able to pass her back within a mile or so. The techinical and hilly run covers pavement as well as trails and sand and the infamous sand ladder. I was in 5th place on the top of the sand ladder and thought I could hold off Sam. She passed me with about a mile to go and I couldn't respond; I placed 6th and was only 30 seconds behind 5th place! It was definitely a strong field and for the training that I've been putting in (or lack there of) I'm doing pretty well.

My most recent race was the 70.3 Vineman in Santa Rosa on July 20th. My mom and younger sister, Erin were competing as well. This was my sister's first 1/2 IM and she was excited and nervous. My mom has been racing since the mid 1980's but this was her first time at Vineman. The day before the race we went into the river to do a pre race swim. When my mom proceeded to take off her wetsuit, the zipper broke! There was nothing we could do, so she decided to get back in the river and see what it would be like to swim sans wetsuit. She was chilly at first but figured she could do it! My sister had her surf wetsuit that she was planning on swimming in. She was in the process of getting a new suit and it hadn't arrived yet. The surf wetsuit was too big and bulky, so she too decided that it would be best to swim without it! So hard core, the both of them!! Me on the other hand wanted my wetsuit!

The next day, my race started well. It took a while for me to get into the groove of the swim, but I eventually found it and was able to get in with a group for the later half of the swim. I later found out that it was a group of men that I was drafting off of and I was the second women to exit the water behind Joanna Zeiger! I must say, my swimming has improved...finally!!! I got onto the bike and it felt great. I felt strong and was able to keep a steady pace while I hydrated and made sure to eat enough. I think it was around mile 25 or 30 that Sam McGlone passed me, but I decided not to let her out of my sights. I stayed back quite a ways, but I could always see her. Shortly after that Tyler Stewart flew by me like I was standing still. What a phenomenal cyclist she is and very friendly too!! I continued to push as hard as I could until I got to T2. I headed out on the run in hopes of catching a girl or two (I still didn't know where I was, placement wise). I felt pretty good and kept a good pace (it would've been nice to run faster, but if you don't put in the training, it wont magically appear on race day, as much as we'd all like it to, right?). At mile 5 Kate Major comes running by me. I decided to keep her in sight as best as possible and maybe, just maybe I could get her towards the end!! When I got closer to the trailed figure 8 loop I was able to count the girls, Joanna was first, then Tyler, Sam, Kate and me! I was in 5th and I wanted to at least keep it that way! Money only went to 5th and rent was due right around the corner!! As I was leaving the dirt section, I noticed a woman who just got onto the dirt. I had no idea how many minutes she was back, but there was no way I was going to let another person pass me! I picked it up for the final half of the run which allowed me to gain some time on Kate. With 2 miles or so to go, my mind wanted to run faster, but my body wasn't having any of it. It was all I could do to keep going and finish in 5th place, only 19 seconds behind Kate and 5 or 6 minutes ahead of 6th place, whewww!!

As I was running down the finish chute I noticed my mom cheering me on! I gave her a look of "what the ?#%^& are you doing there?" She told me that after having a good swim and heading out onto the bike that she got not one but 2 flats at mile 9 of the bike!! What a bummer; she hitched a ride back to the finish and was waiting for quite some time. I hope that next year she'll come back and be able to finish the race.

We were able to see Erin coming in to T2. She had the biggest smile on her face! She looked good! We waited for a few minutes and was able to see her start the run. She still had a big smile and said she was feeling great! She finished in 6 hrs. 31 minutes for her first half!!

My hubby, Jay, deserves a big hug and kiss for he was our sherpa the entire weekend! He packed up our gear after the start of the race and drove to the finish all the while keeping tract of Sprocket (our dog) and Tex (my parents new puppy!) who was 11 weeks old! So needless to say he had his hands full for a few hours! Thanks sweetie for taking care of us chickens!!!

So, what else is new, you ask??? I've been working for my aunt and uncle who own and irrigation store in sand city. The needed some extra help while my uncle and cousin went to visit relatives in Spain. It's been fun and different which is exactly what I need.

My second year of grad school starts at the end of August. It's been nice to not have to travel up to San Jose, so I'm not looking forward to that. I am however looking forward to my two classes, the psychology of women and advanced sport psychology! It most likely will be a busy semester though so I'm enjoying my summer break!

My next race will be the Pacific Grove Triathlon on the second saturday in September.

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