Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Facing my Fears (aka Writing my List)

Being as I have a whopping three whole triathlons under my belt, I am far from being comfortable with the event, especially the swim portion of it.

My first triathlon consisted of a 200y swim across the American River that was probably closer to 150y.  Clear water, a straight shot across the river, and a relatively short distance made this the easiest swim to date.

My second triathlon was at a race called "Ice Breaker". As the name suggests, it was cold. The water was also murky and choppy and the swim was 800y. On top of that, I had not been doing any kind of open water swimming. My last open water swim was my first race. I entered the water and about 100 yards into it, I began to panic. The race did not go as planned.  Afterwards, my initial thought was, I need to get back in the water. Not that I particularly wanted to do another swim, but I needed to face my demons...and soon!

The third race was the Angels Camp triathlon. Prior to this race, I went and did a practice swim with +James and Mojo. The practice swim put me at ease. I took my time during the practice to try and get comfortable in the water. On race day, I still got jelly legs when my adrenaline kicked in, but it was so much better than Ice Breaker and this swim was 1000y (I'm noting the distances mainly for myself so I can see the progress I have made LOL).

Now I've got my 4th triathlon coming up. It is an Olympic distance race, which means a 1500m swim. The race is still 4 days away, but I'm starting to get that sick, nervous feeling already. I have done a couple of open water swims with the tri group, so I'm hoping that I will see improvement in my ability to remain calm and relaxed.

A Non-Triathlon Read (sort of)

Since I've finished reading my last "triathlon" book, I picked up a book I started reading several months ago called "The Fear Project". Its an interesting book, but sometimes not a very entertaining read which is why it lost out to "Triathlon for Every Woman" and "Sex, Lies, and Triathlon" (to name a few).

Anyway, I started reading "The Fear Project" again and in it the author discussed his fear of surfing the Mavericks. He met with a sports psychology consultant (who happens to be a triathlete).

In the book, she tells him to list all of his fears about the Mavericks. If there were fears that he had no control over, he had to scratch them off the list. No sense in worrying about something you cannot do nothing about. Regarding the fears that he did have control over, she instructed him to script out an action plan for each one.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

"It feels a bit weird to make a list like this, Paige assured me, but she'd seen too many times how necessary it could be. She had one client, a first-time triathlete, call her the night before the big race and say: "I just can't stop thinking that I'm going to get a flat tire on the bike." 
Paige started with the obvious. "Well, do you know how to change a flat tire? Have you ever practiced?" 
"No," the client admitted, "but..." 
"That's why you make a list in advance," Paige said.

Hmmm...I'm thinking the whole list thing may be a good idea.

My List of Tri Fears

  • I won't be able to swim the 1500m. (I've done this distance in the pool.  I've done progressively longer races. There is no reason I cannot do this distance, especially in a wetsuit. I made my 12 year old swim this distance in a pool. Continue working on technique at practice and remaining calm.  Work on long strokes and efficient swimming).
  • I'll get too nervous and won't be able to breathe and then I'll start swimming breaststroke. (Work on remaining calm in the water. Count my strokes, distract myself from my anxiety. Besides, swimming breaststroke is not the end of the world).
  • There will be weeds in the water. (No control over that one, just don't stop swimming if I get in them).
  • Too many people in the water. (No control over that one)
  • Flat tire on the bike. This only scares me because it will slow me down. (I've practiced many times how to change a flat).
  • I'll get overheated. (Work on staying hydrated. Bring a mini ice-chest to the race with cold drinks)
  • I'll want to quit and start walking. (If this feeling starts, trying thinking of all the reasons to keep running. Only walk in the event of an injury or SEVERE cramp).
  • I won't do as well as I want to. I feel a lot of pressure because people think I'm going to do well. (Remember that this is a learning experience. Just going to do my best)

More on Anxiety

As I was eating lunch at the kitchen counter and contemplating my list of triathlon fears, I looked down at the latest issue of Runner's World. On the cover were the words "Anxious? Here's how to calm down."  Must be divine intervention. The suggestions were pretty basic and seemed to focus more on training than racing. However, the article did mention that "negative thoughts and associated stress can sap your energy". I've got to remember this on race day. I need all the energy I have for swimming, biking and running.

A separate note on the same page discussed pre-race jitters and suggested going to watch a race first and see how it unfolds. Perfect! I'll be at the race site the day before to cheer on Jordan as well as the Old Guy Relay.

Tuesday Review

So, Sunday June 2 will be my first olympic distance triathlon. I was on the fence about signing up but F'n James, ORDERED me to do this race! Whatever! I'll do it...I need to do it. I need to do the swim and get it over with.

Since this was a short work week for me, I took a few extra days off. Now I have to fight the urge to train, train, train and try and be smart about my upcoming race. On Monday I did a Spinervals workout on the trainer followed by P90X "Shoulders and Arms". Tuesday was a another double workout day for me. I swam in the morning and then went to Fleet Feet with Hot Stuff in the afternoon.

Morning Swim

Still lovin' my new Garmin. The only set it didn't pick up was a 50y kick set I did, but that's OK. It's not like I was setting a world record or anything. Morning practices are back at Tokay which is nice because the pool feels less crowded.  The other thing I like about morning practices is the fact that everyone is a little less chatty (a LOT less chatty than the Wednesday evening group LOL). Don't get me wrong, I love the Wednesday night group, I'm just not a morning person and appreciate the silence :-)

Tuesday Morning Swim by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Fleet Feet Run

When we got to Fleet Feet, we were immediately asked why we didn't come last week. HS explained that I was too sore after the Avenue of the Vines. Then someone asked "You placed, right?" I wish! Well, 12th is a place, it's just not a place anywhere near the podium. I would love to be able to run much faster than I do. I'm just not sure how to get there.

Mr. Turner arrived as we were about to head out on the run. He was wearing a suit and tie, so I was pretty sure he didn't plan on running. Tony did make him a pretty nice offer if he agreed to run in his suit, but he declined. Darn! I would have loved to see him running down Ben Holt.

Actually, MT came to Fleet Feet because he knew he would find us there. I guess that's better than him going to a bar to look for us ;-) MT just wanted to make sure that I was going to bring my mountain bike to the race on Saturday for Jordan. If Jordan's legs were a little longer, she could have used my rode bike. Saturday should be a lot fun. Not only is Jordan doing her first triathlon, but the old dudes (F'n James, Hot Stuff and MT) are doing a relay.

OK, back to the Fleet Feet run...once again, I failed at maintaining a slower, recovery pace. Well, I wouldn't say failed. I maintained a pace, but it may have been a bit faster than I had planned. This guy took off really fast so I had to chase him down. Ugh! Why do I always do that?

Tuesday Fleet Feet Run by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Next week is going to be the Mizuno pub run. Not sure where we are going to end up, but it should be fun (it always is)...although I may bring some cash so I can get a glass of wine...just can't do the beer thing.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

LMT Invades Stockton

In an attempt to avoid the craziness of Memorial Day weekend and to keep our group safe and sound, we opted for the streets of Stockton 

Using my house as a base of operations, we met bright and early for an 11+ mile ride followed by a 2.5/3.5 mile run.

Here are links to the stats for today's brick workout:
After the workout, we headed to Bob's at the Marina for a little breakfast or in the case of Hot Stuff and his chili cheese omelet, a LOT of breakfast.

Yes, I'm taking pictures again. Smile!

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

Blog Stats

I occasionally check the stats on the blog dashboard to see which posts are being read. So far this month, my most popular post is the one about my meltdown, and it's less than a week old. I Guess no one really likes the positive posts...only the ones about mental breakdowns and crying and wanting to give up. I'll remember that in the future.

About Alcatraz

One word = NO! 

There is a swim in San Francisco that goes from Alcatraz to the city. This race is called "Alcatraz Sharkfest".  I'm pretty sure this is the race that and +Stephanie and Coach John keep trying to convince me to do.
Just sayin' 

Couple of things:

1) It has the word SHARK in the title!  Hello??? For those of you that say there are no sharks in the bay, check out the article "Sharks of San Francisco Bay". The leopard shark is the most popular, however, "other sharks visit the Bay, including the Great White Sharks".  Nuff said.

2) This warning from the race website:
PLEASE NOTE: This swim is not for novices. This event is for experienced open-water swimmers only. You should be able to swim one mile comfortably in a pool in under 40 minutes.
Please define "comfortably".

3) I had a freak out in Folsom lake because it was choppy and cold.  Do you think SF bay will be choppy and cold? Yeah, that's what I thought.

You see, in the list of things I would like to do in my life, swimming in freezing cold, shark-infested waters with hundreds of crazy people ranks one notch above sky diving (which I NEVER plan on doing).  Now, if Stephanie came to me and said, "Hey, I know we really haven't been training for it, but lets do an Ironman race next month." I would be like "Sure, I'll give it a try. What's the worse that can happen?" :-)

Tri Weirdness

So the latest book I have been reading is called "Sex, Lies and Triathlon" by Leib Dodell. It's a collection of short musings about all the crazy and weird things that triathletes do. +Hot Stuff asked if the author mentioned obsessive reading of triathlon books. Very funny, Hot Stuff!

Funny... great for the bathroom :-)

Shoes and Socks

I finally got the call I had been waiting for...Fleet Feet got the shoes that I had ordered! Woo Hoo! As soon as I got home from work I told Hot Stuff that my shoes had come in and I needed to go pick them up. I went to my room to get a pair of socks, remembering that I dare not show up with cotton socks, lest Tony sees them and tells me that "cotton is rotten". So, in order to not offend, I looked for a pair of good running socks.

On my nightstand was a pair of Feetures! that I vaguely remembered wearing during Avenue of the Vines last week. Why were they still on my nightstand? Why did I put them there instead of the hamper? Oh, well, I looked at the socks to see if they were clean.  They had faint traces of dirt on the bottoms, probably from walking around without my shoes on. So I smelled them...Not bad, but the dirty bottoms made them unacceptable for a new shoe fitting. 

To my amazement, I put them back on my nightstand to wear later. 

OMG! I think I'm turning into a guy ;-) 

Partners in Crime

It's bad enough sitting alone in your office longing to be outside in the sunshine swimming or biking or running. Its hard not to go in search of a supervisor to sign a leave slip just so you don't have to wait a few extra hours to get off of work.  Its exceptionally difficult when you work with your tri peeps and they are thinking the same thing.  It's like a virus running through the office and the next thing you know you are up in Sacramento getting ready to go for a ride with all the bad influences you work with. 

Team Public Works
A Book by Its Cover

Went to dinner last night with Hot Stuff, Loo and Max. There was a group of women in the bar that we could see from our table. One of the ladies was incredibly fit and tan, and had hair that may have been exposed to more chemicals than just the ones at the beauty salon (i.e. chlorine).  Since we were in Folsom, I figured she was probably a triathlete. Hot Stuff was thinking the same thing...sort of.  He leans over to me and ask "Do you think she's a triathlete or a lesbian?"  

What the heck does that mean???

Final Thoughts

Wonder twin powers...activate!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why do I consider myself a "closet athlete"?

I had originally started this post back in March. I have made several attempts since then to put into words why I consider myself a "closet athlete", but have found it to be very challenging. I guess calling myself a "closet athlete" was my way of saying that I didn't consider myself to be an athlete. I felt this way because I had spent most of my adult life living off the athletic accomplishments of others instead of pursuing my own.

Unfulfilled Dreams

I was an active kid.  I took gymnastic and tennis lessons.  I played softball for a season, I played on the first all girl soccer team in Stockton, and I swam on the summer rec team for a few seasons. Were any of these activities on a highly competitive level? Not really. Did I play any of these sports in high school? Nope. Did I aspire to do more? Unfortunately, no. That is, until I had my own kids.

This is probably one of the hardest things to write.  Probably because I have to admit that I pushed my daughters to compete, not always when they wanted to, but when I wanted them to. I think I did this because I felt I had missed my opportunity when I was young and I wanted to make sure that they didn't.  Would I change anything? Of course. Would I have pushed as hard as I did? Maybe not...but then again, maybe I would have.

Ashley (age 10) at Tiger Memorial Day Swim Meet
My girls' accomplishments became my own and I lived through them. Every first place finish, every high point trophy, every PR, every goal, every save...they all became my own. It didn't matter that I wasn't the one spending several hours a week practicing. It didn't matter that I wasn't the one in the pool getting kicked and scratched during a water polo game. It didn't matter that physically I had let myself go while pushing them to improve.

The end of my daughters' high school careers was bittersweet.  So much of my time had been spent getting them to practice and games, now I wasn't going to be needed. +Ashley went on to Sonoma State and quickly decided that the college experience she wanted to have did not include water polo and she quit the team. I wasn't happy about this, but Lindsey was still in high school so there was plenty of sports still going on close to home.

First Pacific Water Polo Big West Player of the Week
+Lindsey had a choice of several colleges, and a few had offered her water polo scholarships. She eventually selected the University of the Pacific. Not only did she receive a nice scholarship, but she was going to be close to home. It was a win-win in my book.

Unfortunately, once her college career got started, so did problems with the coach. At the end of Lindsey's freshman year at Pacific, a number of players quit the team (including Lindsey), unwilling to put up with the coach's erratic and often abusive behavior.

Without the scholarship, Pacific was out of our price range. Lindsey decided she wanted to go to Sonoma State with her sister and the SSU water polo coach even offered her a scholarship to play for them. However, by the end of that summer, Lindsey was done with sports and declined the scholarship. It was the end of MY athletic career! LOL

Moving On

So, by the fall of 2009, I was completely done with sports. I had no more practices or games to attend.  Mike and I did our P90X workouts together and we did a couple of 5k fun runs, but that was it. Then a funny thing happened.

In 2012, Lindsey decided to do the Great Spear-It run with me at the Asparagus Festival. Lindsey placed first in her age group and I placed second in mine. I was shocked. We really hadn't been training. I had been suffering with plantar fasciitis and had just starting running again after taking several months off. However, that victory ignited something inside of me...I wanted to compete.

Zoo Zoom - They called us the"Amazing Pengilly Running Family"
I think it ignited something in Lindsey too, because that same day she suggested we do a half marathon. Three weeks later we ran in the Avenue of the Vines. We then decided to do the Zoo Zoom and Lindsey, Max, Mike, and I all came home with medals. Who would have thought that competing for yourself instead of vicariously through someone else could be so rewarding? I was hooked!

I started scanning race websites looking for the next event. One event that caught my eye was a super sprint triathlon at Eagle Lakes in Tracy, CA. Unfortunately, it was the same weekend that Mike and the guys go to the motor cycle races at Laguna Seca. I asked a couple of people if they could give me and my mountain bike a ride to the race (since there was no way I could get a bike in my car), but things didn't work out. So I picked a half marathon trail run to do that weekend instead.

Why a Tri?

At this point, I can't tell you why I thought I wanted to do a triathlon. One of the mother's on the girls' water polo team did triathlons and she always looked pretty cool rolling up to practice on her bike AND she dropped a ton of weight. Other than that, it just seemed like a fun new challenge and I wanted to race! Then an interesting post showed up on the Fleet Feet Facebook page...

The post that changed everything!

Wow! A triathlon class! This is just what I needed/wanted. I anxiously attended the first meeting (I made Hot Stuff go with me for support). I was ready to quit before I got started. Coach +James and all of his hard core triathlon gear freaked me out. Funny thing is, it hasn't even been a year since I started, and now I could probably lay out a pile of gear and crap that would freak out a newbie.

Anyway, I went through James' class and completed my first triathlon on October 7. I finished first in my age group and was second overall female. I couldn't wait to race again! I signed up for another 5k and a duathlon the following month. Within days of finishing those races, I registered for Barb's race, a half Ironman distance race.

Out of the Closet

I've heard James' remark that he's created a monster. I beg to differ. I think the monster has always been there, I think James' simply unleashed the monster. Now instead of living through the accomplishments of my children, I spend my time cajoling friends and family to come try a triathlon with me. I'm sure Mike cringes every time I point out a race "we" could do together ("We" meaning, if you don't want to race, you get to carry my stuff and take pictures LOL).

Actually, I'm to the point where I don't feel like I need to have someone there beside me holding my hand (although I love knowing that Hot Stuff is there at the finish line waiting for me). I compete for myself and I enjoy it more than I can say...I guess that's why I want to share it with people. I want my friends and family to experience the sense of accomplishment from pushing past your fears and breaking out of your comfort zone. Regardless of your reasons for competing, the feeling when you cross the finish line is amazing!

Well, this post was a little long, but I've had this stuff in my head for a while and needed to get it out. I guess I'm officially "out of the closet". Maybe my kids can live vicariously through me now ;-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Post Race Meltdown

Typically, I will have a pre-race meltdown...yesterday afternoon, however, I had a post race meltdown.

I was starting to feel the effects of the half marathon and began doubting my ability to complete Barb's Race at the end of July. How am I going to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and THEN do a half marathon? I must have been temporarily insane when I registered for the race. The tears started flowing and all poor Hot Stuff could do was try and tell me it was going to be OK. How could it possibly be OK?

What made things worse was when James mentioned an upcoming Olympic distance race and my first thought was "I can't do an Olympic distance. It's too long".  Hello?  It's almost half the distance of Barb's Race. You better be able to do an Olympic distance! Ugh!!! What am I going to do?  

Running Buddy Pick-Me-Up

Sometimes all it takes is talking to a friend to put things into perspective. I had emailed Michael Turner (I'll just call him Mr. Turner) this
Wrong Michael Turner
morning to confirm he wanted to do the relay on June 1 with James and Hot Stuff.  He said yes, and filled me in on his analysis of his race.  

He has a lot more running insight than I do, so it was really helpful reading his take on things. At the end of his analysis, he noted that he was now up to 30 miles a week.  Wha???

I replied that probably needed to up my mileage because I had only been running 5 miles on Tuesdays and then 10-13 miles on Sundays. What picked up my spirits was his response...

Mr. Turner: "Wait, you only run two times a week?"
Me: "Yeah, and then whatever we do on Saturdays with the group.  I'm going to start ramping it up a bit a couple of brick workouts during the week."
Mr. Turner: "That makes your time all that more impressive yesterday.  I know that you still get a lot of cardio training with the cycling and swimming, but still to run that on basically three runs a week is fantastic."

Wow! I felt so much better after that exchange...but now, seriously, I need to start getting some more miles in and I have a plan for that:

  • Tuesday Night Fleet Feet run: Run to Fleet Feet from my house and then back home after the run.  This should add 3 miles to the run.
  • Wednesday: Run before swim practice for an hour. (6-7 miles)
  • Off Fridays: Brick workout (need to get some longer rides back on the schedule). (5-8 miles)
  • Sunday Long Run: Start to increase the mileage.
Don't Forget About the Hills

Yes, hills continue to terrify me whether I'm on the bike or running. This morning, I got up at 3:15am and got on my bike trainer.  I had put off trying out my latest Spinervals DVD "Hill Climber" until after Avenue of the Vines. Well, this morning was "after", so I did the workout.  Honestly, the workout seemed much easier than any hill I have tried to climb on the bike, but the fact that I was drenched in sweat tells me that it may have been harder than I thought.  

Hopefully I can get Hot Stuff to take me back to Angels Camp one of these days... I really, really, REALLY need to climb that damn hill without stopping.  Once I get that monkey off my back, I will feel so much better. Plus, it is a great place to go for a swim. I think I'll buy Hot Stuff a David Hasselhoff buoy ;-)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Avenue of the Vines 2013 - Race Report

This was my second time running the Avenue of the Vines half marathon.  I did this race for the first time last year with my youngest daughter, Lindsey.  I don't remember much from that race other than I was really hot at the end and I tried to get Lindsey to run on without me but she wouldn't.

We had a good time during that race and mugged for the cameras along the way.  Lindsey kept me entertained with her Dr. Doolittle routine...she would bark, quack, moo, etc. at any animal we came across. Not only was it funny, but it kept other runners away from us.

Me & Lindsey in 2012

Lindsey has been busy with school this year and was unable to train like we did for 4 full weeks last year, so she didn't make it down for the race. I missed having her there, but I had plenty of other crazy people that did sign up for the race.  There were 6 members of Lodi Masters Triathletes signed up for the half (Eric, Rosa, Stephanie, Jordan, Nancy & myself) as well as our assistant to the assistant photographer (Michael Turner). We were also represented on the bicycle as James, Hot Stuff, and Johan lead the fast runners to the finish.

Lodi Masters Triathletes - Pre-Race


Got up this morning and decided to have two pieces of toast as part of my standard "eggs on toast" race day breakfast. I had a glass of FRS and a cup of coffee too.  I did eat some Skittles on the car ride to Woodbridge winery and at about 6:45am I had a GU and some Gatorade.  The race was delayed and did not start until 7:15am so that threw the GU timing off a bit.

Eric revealed his new Garmin 910XT and mentioned that he got it on sale...6 days after I got mine...NOT on sale!!!  Thankfully, he didn't tell me how much he saved because that may have really messed with my head.  I could have spent the whole race composing my angry letter to REI telling them how I was ripped off. I didn't realize how much he saved until I got home and looked it up...then I flipped out (Not to worry, I took it back and they gave me back $119!).

F'n James

So, F'n James made an appearance this morning before the race.  He casually mentioned that he wanted to see me on the podium. What??? Are you trying to see if you can get me to punch you?  LOL!  I love getting on the podium... nothing makes me happier than to come home with some hardware.  That being said, I am realistic and based on last year's race results, I would have to average a pace that would blow my best 5K pace out of the water.  I'm not sure how these women run that fast, but I can't.  I explained that a podium finish wasn't in the cards for me and refrained from punching my coach ;-) F'n James!  ha ha ha ha ha


I had the playlist on my iPod programmed with some slower songs in the beginning.  They were still songs that mentally got me going, but not the type that would have me running like a crazed fool right out of the gate. I tried to maintain a slower pace (I wanted to run about an 8:45 and ended up closer to 8:20). Mike Turner pulled out ahead of me after mile 1 and I resisted the urge to chase him down.

Not chasing him down was one of the 3 goals I had for this race:

1) Run my own race (don't worry if people pass me)
2) Average a 8:30 pace
3) Stick to my nutrition plan

My nutrition plan included eating the two GU packs I strapped to my race belt as well as keeping properly hydrated.  At last year's race, I don't remember drinking much, this time I actually stopped at the aid stations so I could get the water into my mouth instead of down my shirt. I tried timing my GU's so that I would eat them right before the aid station so I could wash them down with some water.

I eventually caught up with Turner somewhere around mile 8 as he ran head on into the dreaded "wall".  A little while later, Mojo caught up with me.  I knew that was bound to happen sooner or later. As Mojo pulled away from me, I considered walking.

When I'm racing, I don't have the typical angel and a devil on my shoulders.  Instead, I have a super motivated, rah rah person on one side and a quitter on the other.  As soon as Mojo passed me, the quitter started in with "Why don't you just walk?", "Do you know you just got passed by a 50 year old?", "It's really hot out here." Ugh!!!

Luckily the rah rah person woke up and pointed out that my BFF would keep running no matter what.  I didn't need to walk. So I sucked it up and kept going.  I'm glad I did, because Mojo eased up a bit and I was able to catch up with him and follow him in across the finish.


I finished this year's race at 1:51.45 (8:32 pace) and was 12th in my age group (sorry James LOL).  I am thrilled with my results.  I never felt winded and finished the race with a smile. Can't wait to do this again at the end of July after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles.  What was I thinking???

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mock Tri Revisited

Today our tri training group returned to Lake Camanche to do a mock triathlon. This was my second time doing this exercise and it went so much better than the first time.  My first practice triathlon was a real learning experience.  Let's just say, the swim, the bike and the run didn't go well for me :-/

But hey, if I didn't come stumbling up the boat ramp to T1, +James  wouldn't have one of his favorites stories to tell new people.  Of course, things progressively got worse after T1.

I had not purchased a road bike yet so I was on my mountain bike. I rode that puppy as fast as I could around the mountain.  I think I probably pushed a little too hard.  After racking my bike and putting on my running gear, I ended up stumbling out of T2.  I was exhausted at this point, but when someone says "race", even if its a pretend race, I race.

Anyway, the run left the paved road and merged on to a gravel path. I was soon faced with a hill.  "Oh, no freakin' way! I'm not running up that hill." (I'm starting to think I have a problem with hills).  So I walked.  And when I came to another slight hill, I walked again.  I did a lot of walking...a lot more than I needed to that day. I was thoroughly disgusted with myself.


Fast forward about 8 months. I am back at Camanche, but I am no longer considered a newbie (even
Normal people can't wait to get out...
fish people try and decide how far to swim the next time :-)
though I still feel like it sometimes).  With three whole triathlons under my belt, I am now a veteran. Ha! Since I have a race tomorrow, I decide I'm going to take it easy.  In fact, I wasn't even planning on doing the run portion because I wanted to rest my legs and I didn't want to kill myself on the hill.

The practice triathlon consisted of a 400y swim, 2.75 mile bike ride, and a 1.5 mile run.  I did the swim and ignored the fish people around me.  Success!  (I can't let them get in my head...they clearly enjoy it much more than I do and are much faster).

I got out of the water, slipped on my flip flops and had a leisurely stroll up the boat ramp (The fish people stayed in the water so they could swim some more).  I stripped off my wetsuit, slipped on my bike shoes and helmet and headed off for a couple of laps around the mountain. I maintained a relatively easy pace and didn't try to kill myself. Success!

I headed out on the run and forced myself to run at an easy pace in an effort to save my legs for tomorrow.  My Garmin reported an average pace of 8:54, so that was good.  As I jogged down the paved section of road, I contemplated what I was going to do when I came to the hill. Would I try and run up it?  Would I walk? Are my legs still tired from Angels Camp?  When I finally turned on to the gravel road, I had to laugh when I saw the hill.  Really, Tracy?  This is what you were fretting about?

Monster hill
It's amazing how our perception of things can change over time.  Yes there is a slight grade to this hill, but I can't believe I struggled up this hill only 8 months ago. I can't believe I was actually worried about it today. I am pleased to report that, today, I ran up the hill.  Success!

Half Time

Tomorrow morning I will be up bright and early to run in the Avenue of the Vines half marathon.  I did this race last year (my first time doing a half), so my goal this year is to improve on my time. I would be very happy to maintain an 8:30 pace and to cross the finish line with a smile. Hopefully, this race, like the hill, will have changed for me too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pain Pain Go Away

So Wednesday night at swim practice, I was still testing out (playing with) my new Garmin 910XT.  Near the end of practice, I decided to see if it would recognize a lap of butterfly.  I slipped on my fins and pressed start. Halfway through the lap, my left calf was gripped in a horrible cramp.  Of course I kept swimming because I didn't want to mess up my lap...bad move.  The cramp ended any aspirations of trying a second lap of butterfly.  I swam back to the other side and took the fins off.  I tried to continue my workout, but then my right foot cramped.  Ugh!!!

Luckily, Thursday's are typically my day off from workouts.  Sometimes I will do a P90X - X-Stretch workout, but yesterday I stuck to the rumble roller and the hot tub.  I also rubbed in Icy Hot and popped several Advil through out the evening. I sat in Mike's massage chair for a while and let the chair work on my calves.  Unfortunately, this set off some weird toe cramps in BOTH feet.

This morning I dismayed to find that my left calf is still tender from the cramp.  Normally this wouldn't bother me too much, but I have a half marathon on Sunday. I ended up taking a second day off from working out.  Hopefully I will feel better in the morning.  Now I'm worried that all my fitness is slipping away and that I've gained 5 lbs.  I know this isn't possible, it's just what's going through my head.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fleet Feet Tuesday Night Run

I love going on Tuesday nights to run with the group at Fleet Feet.  Yes, I am often by myself on the 5 mile route, but it's the time before and after the run, swapping race stories and training tips with the other runners, that makes it so enjoyable. I'm happy to see +James (who absolutely LOVES running) making a regular appearance.  And of course I would never have met the newest member of LMT, Nancy, if I hadn't been doing the Fleet Feet runs. The people are the reason the Tuesday night Fleet Feet run is one of my favorite workouts of the week.

My plan for this Tuesday was to try and take things easy.  I was relieved to see that the fast chick from last week was not there because I probably would have hurt myself. I kept a slower pace and hopefully saved my legs for this Sunday's Avenue of the Vines :-)

Fleet Feet Tuesday Night Run by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Search for Shoes

Last Saturday, I went to Fleet Feet to have them order a pair of the Asics Gel-Noosa 8.  I had tried them on at Dillard's and was convinced that I wanted these shoes.  On Monday I received a call from Fleet Feet telling me that the shoes were not available.  Ugh!!!  On Tuesday, I ran over to Dillard's to buy the shoes.  I had planned to just run in and buy my size, but I decided to take a minute and try them on again.
No bueno!

The salesman brought out the shoes, I put them on and tried jogging around a bit.  To my dismay, there was a piece of vinyl/plastic on the top of the shoe that dug into the top of my foot when the shoe flexed.  I tried a different pair on, same problem.  I have shoes that hurt my feet, I didn't want another pair.  So, as much as I loved the flash and the color of these shoes, I decided to take a pass.

I asked Hot Stuff to take me over to Fleet Feet a little bit early so I could pick out a different pair of shoes.  At this point, I had decided to stick with my favorite...the Brooks Pure Cadence.  My current pair have over 600 miles on them!  I initially bought them for the hot pink color, but kept running in them because I loved the way they felt. Unfortunately, Fleet Feet didn't have my size (damn my big feet) in the current version.  I was bound and determined to get a pair of shoes, so I asked if I could try on the New Balance shoes I liked from the demo run.

The salesman at Fleet Feet told me he wasn't sure if he could sell me the New Balance because my Brooks were a stability shoe. What??? You don't know if you can sell me those shoes?  Have you heard of the internet?  Because I'm pretty sure that there are hundreds of stores online that will sell me the shoes I want. He said he needed to check my gait and watch me run.

I jogged back and forth for him and he relented and brought out the New Balance.  When he opened the box, I remembered the ugly color scheme.  "Do you have these in a different color?" I asked.  "No," he answered, these are the v3. Ugh! Nevermind...

At this point, Tony came over and asked if I had gotten the message about the Gel-Noosa's.  I told him the story about going over to Dillard's and not liking how they felt.  I said I wanted to try the new version of the Brooks Pure Cadence but that he didn't have my size.  After thinking about it for a while, I decided to have him order me a pair in black and white.  Hopefully they will feel as wonderful as my current shoes.  I am going to miss the flash of the hot pink, so I think I'll order some hot pink bungee laces to spice these shoes up a bit.
No flash, but they will match most of my outfits!

Wednesday Night Swim

Monday night's swim was an eye opener for me.  Yes, it was a recovery swim and I wasn't exactly killing myself, but I only swam for about 28 minutes out of the hour I was there.  On top of that, I only burned 250 calories.  I am going to remind myself of this next time I come home from the pool and think I deserve a treat.  I ran for 40 minutes on Tuesday and burned 700 calories!

While swimming is an essential part of my triathlon training, it is not what is going to get me to my race weight.  Running and biking, combined with a smart nutrition plan is what is going to slim me down. My plan tonight is to swim for 45 minutes out of the hour ;-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Angels Camp Triathlon - Race Report

Angels Camp was my third triathlon (I can't believe that it's been less than a year since I joined +James Cotta's  training group). Angels Camp was also the longest open water swim I had ever done (in a race). Luckily, I had my hubby and teammates there for support.


My favorite pre-race meal is eggs on toast.  I made sure I went grocery shopping the day before the race so I would have everything I needed for breakfast. I fixed one piece of sourdough toast with two soft boiled eggs.  In retrospect, I probably should have had two pieces of toast. I should have also eaten something other than Skittles on the car ride to the race.
James giving some last minute advice

HS and I arrived at New Melones a little after 7am.  When we were pulling into the park, I sent James a text message telling him we just left Stockton.  Unfortunately, my attempt at humor was wasted because he wasn't looking at his phone.

James and I racked our bikes and laid out all of our gear. Set up was uneventful except for when I spilled a good portion of my water trying to fill up my aero bottle. Eric arrived a little while later and positioned himself next to us. About half an hour before the race start, we headed to the water to warm up.


This race only had one mass start.  Luckily there were only about 60-70 competitors so it wasn't that crowded.  I was very proud of myself at the start as I waited a couple of seconds to let all the fast people jump out ahead. I waded out into the water and started my swim.  I focused on trying to stay relaxed and taking long strokes and staying streamlined.

Unfortunately, my plan went out the window when the lady next to me kept bumping me. I would move over a bit and she would move over and hit me with her arm.  I moved again and she moved again. This went on for a couple of minutes so I finally stopped and just let her go.

HS thought she was doing that to mess with me and that I had let her get what she wanted when I stopped to just let her go. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. All I know is that my plan for the swim was to swim my race and not worry about other people.  That is very hard to do when the other person keeps running into you!!


Putting on my shoes
I had every intention of running up the boat ramp.  After I got out of the water, I slipped on my shoes and started to jog up the hill. As I passed a guy walking up the ramp he said "Good for you."  What did that mean? For some reason that really bugged me.Was he being sarcastic or was he giving me a compliment? Who knows.

Anyway, about 1/3 of the way up the ramp I said "Screw it". My legs felt like rubber after the swim and I wanted to give them a rest before I got on the bike. All I can say is that this walk to transition was nothing like "The Walk of Shame" at Ice Breaker (sorry James, just had to mention that again).

I got my helmet and shoes on quickly and mounted my bike. We were allowed to ride out of transition as soon as we cleared the end of the bike rack. As I tried to clip-in, the Velcro on one of my shoes came undone.  I stopped the bike, fixed my strap and headed off.


The bike portion of the race didn't go exactly as I had planned, but that's alright.  As I headed down Angels Creek Access Road, I passed a couple of women. Woo hoo!!! Take that fish people! I hope one of you was the chick that kept hitting me!

I passed a few more women on my way to Glory Hole Point. I felt confident on my bike and even eased up on my brakes on the down hills (some descents I even pedaled! LOL). As I made my way back towards Angels Creek Access Rd. a park ranger waved on a motorhome pulling a boat. Great! That's just what I want to follow up the hill. Fortunately, they turned off somewhere.

Eventually I arrived at the big nemesis. My first practice attempt at this hill was basically a non-attempt as I was certain that it wasn't part of the race.  The next time I tried to climb the hill (another practice run) I stopped to see where James and Eric were. However, today was race day, not practice. Today was the day to climb to the top. Today was the day to fly past people and leave them in awe. "Who was that?" they would ask. Talk about delusions of grandeur!!!  LOL  This is where things took a turn for the worse.

I started the climb and everything seemed fine. However, my legs were more fatigued than I had expected them to be (I think the swim really took it out of me). A couple of times my rear brake grabbed at the wheel and made that noise again and that was worrisome. A little more than halfway up the hill, my cadence started to really slow down. My fear of rolling backwards all the way down the hill surfaced so I stood up to pedal. I kept hearing James' voice in my head saying "Don't go anaerobic".  The bike kept moving, but my left leg turned to jelly and felt like it was going to buckle underneath me.

At this point I remembered the race director saying there was nothing wrong with walking your bike up the hill as it was only 3/4 mile long. I dismounted and pushed my bike up the rest of the steep ascent. Eventually Eric caught up with me and cajoled me back into the saddle (only one other person passed me as I was walking).  I pedaled up the next short but steep climb and was fine for the rest of the ride.


I racked my bike and immediately took off my helmet (no more running with a helmet for me!). I grabbed my water bottle and drank what was left.  "Yuck!  Nothing worse than hot water" I exclaimed. The guy next to me heard this and offered me a Gatorade out of his ice chest. At first I declined, but when he said it was "Ok" I accepted. No time for pride when it's close to 90 degrees outside and you're thirsty.  I don't know who you were, but THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I was going to grab a GU pack for the run but forgot. I did grab about 5 GU chomps. I was also going to cram a handful of Skittles into my mouth but did not want to appear childish in front of the other competitors (Everyone seemed so intense at this race). This was a big mistake on my part and I definitely need to have my nutrition planned out a little better.

Leaving T2...AGAIN!  This time with my race belt

As I started to run out of transition, I saw Rosa and heard her say "You're fifth!".  I held up five fingers and nodded.  She then said "No, you're fifth!"  At this point, I'm thinking I got it, I'm fifth. As I neared the timing table, something jogged my memory, and I realized that I forgot to put on my race belt with my number!!!

I later found out that Rosa wasn't saying "You're fifth" she was saying "Your bib!"  My darling husband was only focused on making sure I didn't run off with my helmet on again.  LOL


The run started off with a gradual ascent out of the parking lot.  At the end of the parking lot was a left turn and then a steep climb up a paved path.  I jogged up the path and then switched to a brisk walk.  At the top of the hill, things leveled out a bit and turned into a nice single track dirt trail.  Of course, it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the trail with the rattlesnake warning talk from the pre-race meeting is still in your head. I was intently listening for rattlesnake sounds.

I was alone on the trail most of the run.  I did get passed by a couple of men, but most of the time it was just me and my thoughts.  I noted the "1" on the ground and felt relieved that there were only a few more miles to go.  When I came to the "2" on the ground, I started to wonder where the aid station was.  I was extremely thirsty at this pointed and needed a drink.  I kept aid station in sight.

At this point I was worried that I had ran past the aid station.  Maybe I was lost and had gone off course somewhere.  Thankfully, I saw a flour arrow on the ground and knew I was still headed the right way. I soon came up on two other runners! Yay, finally a female to try and pass. I also finally found the aid station. Double Yay!

As I reached the aid station the volunteer handed me a cup of water and the two runners I was following veered right and kept going.  The volunteer pointed me to the left.  "How come they are going that way?" I asked.  "Because they already went that way" he answered pointing to the left.  Ugh!  He then informed me that there was only a mile and a half to go.

I took off running and came up on another runner.  He was young, probably in his 20's and was walking.  "Come on. Let's finish this. You can do it!" I said to him.  He responded "There's still a mile and a half to go".  I gave him a little more encouragement and then took off.  I was so happy when I came back around to the aid station and the volunteer pointed my to the right and said "It's all down hill from here."

There is never a more welcoming site than the finish line arch!  As I ran across the parking lot I picked up my pace...desperate to see the time on the clock.  I had gone into the race hoping to break the two hour mark.  I was thrilled to see that I was going to finish about 9 minutes faster than that!


I ended up finishing 2nd in my age group and 4th female overall.  Not bad for my third triathlon!  Especially not bad given my horrific performance at my second race!  LOL (Sorry James, I can't let it go!).  I learned a lot from this race and cannot wait to apply what I have learned.

1)  Don't let someone get in your head...whether they are bumping/hitting you in the swim or making (snarky?) comments when you decide to run up the hill to transition.

2)  Don't be ashamed to slow down and walk if it means being able to finish.  (That being said, I am kicking myself in hindsight now for walking so much).

3)  Always be willing to help a competitor in need and be willing to accept help when offered.

Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fleet Feet - Pizza & Pearl Izumi

I had a great time at the Fleet Feet Tuesday night run...again!  I was happy to see Coach James show up...especially when I know how much he LOVES to run. Hot Stuff did a repeat of last week and ran off full blast.  I'm not sure what he's trying to accomplish other than hurting his knee again.  I was planning on taking it easy because of the Angels Camp triathlon on Sunday, but I forgot my plan and pushed myself to keep up with this really fast chick. At first I didn't think I was going that fast, but a quick peek at my Garmin proved me wrong.  Uh oh!

After about 3 miles, I prayed that she would just drop me and then I could slow down, but she didn't or wouldn't, so I kept running. Eventually we came to the last zag in our zig-zag pattern through Park Woods. Instead of turning down Fernvale, she continued straight on Alexandria. Yay! This allowed me to turn on Fernvale and continue at my own pace.

Fleet Feet - Pizza & Pearl Izumi by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Women’s EM ROAD N2
Another Pair of Shoes to Consider

I'm still trying to decide which shoes to buy.  Pearl Izumi was at the Fleet Feet run and I got to try a pair of the N2's.  They felt good, although I could have used a shoe about 1/2 size larger. The only thing I didn't like was the color.  

I wore a light aqua/orange shoe that would clash with 99% of my workout clothes. That's unacceptable!  I'm leaning towards the Asics Gel-Noosa, a tri specific shoe.  For one, it's a triathlon shoe and for two, it looks awesome. They are bright with a splash of every other color you can imagine. I have a hard time believing they won't go with everything I own :-)

Pizza Anyone?

Instead of going back to the store after the run, everyone headed over to David's Pizza for pizza and beer.  I had water because I'm not a beer drinker, but I did indulge in some pizza.  Either I was really, really hungry or the pizza was some of the best I have had in a while, because I felt like I could have ate a whole pizza.  Instead, I had two pieces myself and split a third piece with Hot Stuff.

Pizza & Beer = Smiles!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Random Thoughts During My Sunday Run

Next week I have the Angels Camp triathlon so I shortened my mileage a bit. The temps seemed a little cooler than last week but I was still hot by the end of the run.  Hot Stuff was working on his bike, so he didn't catch up with me until the last few miles of my run. This gave me plenty of time to think.  Here's some of my random thoughts...actually, it's more of a list of pet peeves...people were really irritating me today :-)

  • The sidewalk is NOT your personal parking space.  Do you really think your car is safer half-way on the sidewalk?  I would be more concerned with kids on bikes than cars.
  • Your "friendly" dog just barked and came after me.  I do not believe "he would just kiss me to death" as you claim.  If your dog likes to chase runners, perhaps it should be on a leash.  I would really hate to kick your dog in front of you.
  • McDonald's isn't going anywhere. You do not have to run me over to make it to the drive-thru 5 seconds faster.
  • Red lights are not optional.
  • I am thankful the City of Stockton has one working drinking fountain at Grupe Park (and I know where it is).
  • If you are riding your bike on the sidewalk and you see a pedestrian or runner, get off the sidewalk.

Upcoming Races

The rest of my thoughts focused on my next two races...what shoes I'm going to wear, am I going to bring my iPod to Avenue of the Vines, should I get new shoes, what should I eat on race day...stuff like that. I wondered if I would beat my time from last year.  I wondered how hot or cold it would be on race day. I focused on the small stuff, because thinking about the actual races made me feel a little sick.

I'm starting to get really nervous about Angels Camp.  Just thinking about that race makes my heart start beating faster and my knees weak. My mind wandered to thoughts of the race while I was waiting for church to begin and I started feeling really anxious.  I need to get a grip.  It's only a race and I know it is a distance I can handle.  I guess it will get better after I get a few more races under my belt.

Sunday Runday by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Angels Camp - Practice No. 2

I am happy to report that Hot Stuff fixed the issue with my bike. It's amazing that such a small thing as a loose wheel could cause such big problems. And when I say "loose wheel", it's not like it was wobbling all over the place, there was just a little bit of movement back and forth.

Pretty Baby II - Fixed and Ready to Ride

Swim, Swim, Swim

The Angels Creek boat ramp area was closed, so we met over on Angels Creek Access Rd. and walked to the boat ramp. James showed us where transition would be and where the run would start (great, another hill!).  Mojo and I put on our wet suits and James strapped on his David Hasselhoff swim buoy.  James had decided he didn't need the wetsuit.

Coach Hasselhoff
Personally, I like the buoyancy and warmth of the wetsuit and I dread the day I have to race without it.  The water was cold on my arms at first, but I eventually warmed up and then it wasn't so bad.  James pointed out a couple of "sticks" across the water and told us to use those for sighting.  He said that it was probably 1/2 a mile all the way across...WRONG!  

I started swimming and focused on long, relaxed strokes.  The water was calm and smooth and the swimming felt so much better than it did during the race I am not supposed to talk about anymore ;-) James told me not to get too far ahead, so I would swim for a bit and then float and relax.  

At one point, some big bubbles floated up from the depths of the water and I wondered what creature was swimming underneath me.  Someone at work told me that snakes swim on top of the water.  I don't know if that is true or not, but I prayed that snakes were smart enough not to come way out into the middle where we were. (I need to work on staying focused and not worrying about sea creatures.)

Our swim.  The white line is .67 miles long.

We finally decided to turn around and swim back.  I had been fiddling with my goggles and had worked my caps loose (I had 2 on for the swim).  Ever so slowly, my caps filled with water and started squeezing their way to the top of my head.  My bangs were exposed and every time I put my face in the water to swim, they would get in the way.  It was very annoying so I'm going to make sure my caps are on correctly for the race and I'm going to leave my goggles alone.

As we neared the boat ramp, I could see two people walking down the ramp.  All I could think about was that they were going to take our stuff and steal our cars, bikes and phones.  We would be stranded in Angels Camp. As it turned out, they were there to swim too, and they were also in charge of setting up the swim course for the race. They gave us a tip about having some shoes at the bottom of the boat ramp for the run (ha ha) up to transition.

Climb that Hill

After the swim, we walked back over to our cars and changed into our bike gear.  Once on the bikes, we followed the race route over to Glory Hole Point to use the restrooms.  One quick peek (and whiff) inside and I changed my mind (I knew I should have went in the lake).  We continued on the route and I was pleased when my bike made it up the first short but steep hill.  Last week, this same hill is where I first noticed the problem with my rear wheel.

When we finally reached the big hill, I was scared.  My legs were fresher than last week, and I knew my bike wasn't going to be a problem, but I was still worried.  I started up the hill in my lowest gear.  To my surprise, I kept climbing.  About 1/2 way up, my legs felt like they were on fire.  I looked behind me and I didn't see, or hear, the guys.  I kept pedaling and then looked for them again.  Did they stop?  Was this some sort of cruel joke just to make me climb this hill?  I decided to stop to see where they were.

I finally saw Mojo and waited for him.  Unfortunately, I had stopped on a steep part of the hill and there was no way I was going to get my bike going again.  So I did what I did last week and started walking my bike up the hill.  Mojo commented that I was walking my bike almost as fast as he was riding.  Could be a strategy for the race ;-)

We turned around at the highway and made the descent.  It was better than last week and I only made my brakes squeal one time, at the bottom of the big hill.  My total time for the ride was about 52 minutes, so I am hoping to improve next week at the race.

Angels Camp - Practice 2 by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's Only a Hill

Since I started competing in triathlons and duathlons, I have also started reading race reports. Race reports can give you a lot of good information and they can also freak you out.  I've got the Angels Camp Triathlon in a little more than a week and I am starting to get a bit worried/excited.  Some reports are encouraging, others not so much.

For example, in one race report (Return to Glory Hole), the author remarks:
"Despite my fears, I actually passed two or three women on the bike and, more significantly, did not get passed by any sprightly climber women. The last one I passed was riding her brakes on the huge descent back to transition. Women, let's please learn how to ride downhill safely and confidently. Seriously."
Seriously?  Uh, that hill is steep!  I'll ride my brakes if I want to ride my brakes because I plan on making the turn at the bottom!

The author of the Tandem Hearts blog wrote:
"The downhill was a lot of fun.  The pavement was beautiful and if I knew the road better, I probably would not brake on the hill at all."
I also got a little freaked out when Tony at Fleet Feet started talking about the hill and people coming down too fast...Ugh. Guess I need to work on my descents :-)

F'n Bike - Take 2

I went to Angels Camp last week to practice and will be going back again tomorrow with my coach and a couple team mates.  I've got my fingers crossed that the issue with my bike has been resolved and that I will be successful in climbing the big hill and that I will be able to descend without incident.

The cautious side of me keeps saying to bring the road bike.  The practical side of me keeps reminding the cautious side that I am going to be riding the TT bike in Barb's Race and that there are going to be hills. I'm bringing the TT bike.  Angels Camp is a training race.  Besides, it's not as if my TT won't handle the hills.  In fact, my Planet-X has better gearing for hills than my road bike.  It also got a good review at for how well it handles hills.
"Climbing was also better than I expected. I found I could comfortably stay in the aero position without losing power on gradients up to about 3%. This position was also OK for steeper hills, providing they were short. On longer, steeper climbs, it was necessary to ride on the bull horns, but this was no worse than riding on the hoods on a normal road bike. So much so that I intend to ride the Stealth Pro Carbon in the British national hill climb championships at the end of October. 
I really don't know what my problem is with hills.  I told Hot Stuff that I worry about climbing a hill and then not being able to pedal anymore and rolling all the way back down.  He said he would pay to see that because I would surely crash way before I made it to the bottom.  Thanks, honey!  Way to be encouraging!  I guess the way I need to look at it is that, when I am climbing, I am going pretty slow and that if I was to fall over, it really wouldn't hurt much...just my pride.

Honestly, my bike (provided the rear wheel is not loose) can climb hills.  I know I am fit enough to pedal my bike up the hill.  I just need to keep working at it until I have some more confidence.

Open Water Swim

We are also planning on swimming tomorrow while at New Melones.  Hopefully, I will remember to bring my cap and goggles this time.  I am going to work on relaxed, efficient swimming.  I am not going to race.  In fact, I am not going to race in the race.  I need to conserve my energy for the bike and run.  My plan for the actual race is to wade into the water and allow the faster swimmers to get out in front.  I will follow behind at a distance.

My goal is to be faster than I was at Folsom Lake during the swim portion of the Ice Breaker.  While the Angels Camp Triathlon swim is 200y longer than Ice Breaker, if I don't spend most of my time doing breast stroke and fiddling with my goggles, my time should be faster ;-)