Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sign Up Day for Barb's Race 2014

Registration for the 2014 Vineman events opens tomorrow. While Vineman 70.3 will sell out quickly, Barb's Race does not fill up quite as fast. Nevertheless, I plan on signing up first thing tomorrow morning! I can't wait to commit to doing the race again and I know some of my teammates are just as excited. I might even have the honor of racing with my daughter!

Time to sign up!
Feels So Good

It's hard to put into words the sense of accomplishment I have from completing Barb's Race this year. Crossing the finish line was such an incredible experience that I wish I could re-live it over and over. Maybe that's why I can't even bring myself to take the number off of my bike!

If Rosa decides to buy my bike, I promise to take the number off

In my closet I have my race packet and the number off of my helmet

My cap, lap bracelet, and finisher's medal reside
in a special cabinet
Here is an excerpt from "Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run". The author, Matt Fitzgerald, does a much better job of explaining the incredible feeling of completing a triathlon...

I'm addicted...I want this feeling over and over and over...

You Can Do It

Yay! Done with the swim
Last night I was talking to Nancy after swim practice and she expressed a concern about being able to complete Barb's Race. This is normal. I was concerned myself after I signed up last year. I kept finding ways to test myself to see if I could do it...most of it revolved around the biggest worry.

I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon to prove to myself that I could handle the swim. I signed up for a second Olympic distance race to prove to myself that the first race wasn't a fluke! At swim practice I would try and swim the race distance non-stop. No matter how many times I passed my own personal "tests", I still doubted my ability to complete the race. Maybe this is why completing it still feels so good :-)

If you could have seen me finishing the run at Barb's Race, you would have seen someone absolutely exhausted! As I ran down the final stretch before turning into the high school, my run had developed into a weird, hobbling gait. Every fiber in my body begged me to walk. However, the street was lined with cheering spectators urging me along.

The encouragement of strangers pushed me to the finish line, and once I crossed, I could not stop smiling. Accepting a challenge, training for it, and then completing it is an absolutely amazing feeling! I wish I could describe it better, but I can't. The only way for you to understand this feeling is to commit to a race (it doesn't have to be Barb's) and go for it!

Hurts so good

In 2014, I look forward to sharing this feeling with many of my female teammates!

More About Barb's Race

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are you using Athlinks?

My first competitive race was the Great Spear-It 5k at the Asparagus Festival in 2006. I was 37 years old at the time. My time was 30:32 and I placed 19th out of 40 women in my age group. A year later I ran the same race and completed it in a time of 25:46, quite an improvement!

I know these stats because of an awesome website called Athlinks. Once you set up your free account you simply claim your results and you have all your race history in one spot…no more jumping from race site to race site trying to compile your times.

Athlinks also allows you to type in the name of a rival to check on their times too ;-)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Addicted to Suffering?

Monday night at swim practice, Coach John asked me if I read the chapter on suffering in "Iron War". Since I read the entire book, I answered "Yes". However, I've read a lot of triathlon stuff in the last year, so I was a little fuzzy on the details of the suffering chapter. He suggested I go back and re-read it.

Later that evening with my Kindle in hand, I searched for the chapter on suffering. Chapter 4 is titled
"Pain Community" so I confirmed with John that this is what he wanted me to revisit. He told me to "skim through until the part on suffering".

I read the chapter and tried to decide what John was getting at. Does he think I'm some kind of endurance, pain junkie? Interestingly, as I was re-reading the chapter (on my phone this time), I noticed something I had highlighted the first time through...
"People are really tired of living a sore of dull, boring, and sedentary lifestyle. Most triathletes have white-collar desk jobs. They don't use their bodies. They use their minds or their voices all day, and they really like the physical aspect of doing something grueling like a triathlon."
Hmmm... interesting and true, but I don't think this is what John was getting I re-read the chapter again and this passage really struck a chord...
"But in today's real world, triathlon is one of the best ways to demonstrate toughness and courage, and the finish-line feeling is one of the best feelings imaginable. There is nothing like it. It is a deep, warming satisfaction - an embracing healthful pride - a moment of well-earned self-love. People weep at triathlon finish lines. Strong grown men who shed tears nowhere else do so openly at triathlon finish lines. People lift their arms and faces to the sky and shout at the top of their lungs. Some speak in tongues. At triathlon finish lines people allow themselves to do things they never do in the rest of their lives because they feel something they never feel in the rest of their lives. Something that not only rewards all of the suffering, but makes all the suffering rewarding."
I'm not sure that I'm addicted to suffering, but I am definitely addicted to that finish line feeling. I cannot express the emotion of crossing the finish line at Barb's Race. Every time I come across one of my mementos from the race (my cap, my race number, photos) it takes me right back to the finish and I want to do it again.

Ultimately, I know I will do a full Ironman race, but for now, I will continue to cherish my memories of Barb's Race and look forward to doing it next fix.

Toughing it Out

I have another post I started, but it's going to have to wait...this is day 4 of a 5 day juice fast/cleanse, and all I can think about right now is juice. Juice, juice, juice, juice, juice and what I'm going to eat on Saturday morning when this is over. I'm in a bit of a funk...I don't feeling like drinking any of the 4 different juices I have made. To make matters worse, I'm watching Top Chef and grilling some chicken for HS. Why don't I just make a Costco run while I'm at it...if I really want to torture myself.

Days 1 and 2 were the toughest...I was having strong cravings and questioning why I was doing the cleanse. (CIM race weight, dummy!) Yesterday and earlier today were better, but as I get closer to the end, I start thinking about  quitting. What will it hurt if I stop one day early?

I have done numerous juice fasts including a 7 day juice cleanse. I know I can do it, and I know I will have great results if I stick with it. I am hoping that tomorrow morning, when I get on the scale, I will see a number that will boost my resolve and get me through the last day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Barb's Race...Something to Think About

This is for all of my friends, family and teammates considering doing Barb's Race with me in July 2014.

As the registration date draws near, some of you have expressed concerns about the bike course, second thoughts about the river swim, and worries about the distance of the race. Those are legitimate concerns. However, as long as you respect the distance of the race and train for it, you will be fine.

Below are some videos from a website called View the Race. The videos are for the full Vineman course but they will give you a good idea of what to expect at Barb's.


I've always considered swimming to be my weakest leg in triathlon. Even after completing two Olympic distance triathlons (.93 mile swim), I was still certain I was not going to be able to swim 1.2 miles.

However, the Russian River proved to be the perfect place for a nervous swimmer like me. The river is relatively narrow and very shallow in spots. Several times I stood up and ran because I was tired of my fingers dragging in the gravel. I eventually gave up on the running because it was making the bottoms of my feet sore.

If you are worried about swimming against the current, don't! There really isn't a current because dams are installed in June to keep the water level deep enough for swimming.


The month before Barb's Race,  Coach James took me and HS to ride the race course. I plan on doing this a couple of times in 2014. The course is beautiful and the 56 miles go by quickly.

Miles 1-37

Miles 38+

I think my biggest mistake in preparing for the 2013 race was not doing enough hill work (biking and running).


In the past, Barb's Race competitors would run a long loop and then a short loop. In 2013, the loops were equal distance. We ran out 3.275 miles and turned around (x2). The Barb's Race turn around is somewhere around 3:40 in the video.

My Experience

Here is a link to my race report....

Monday, October 7, 2013

FOR SALE - 2010 Planet-X Stealth Pro Carbon

I bit the bullet this afternoon and ordered a new tri bike. Was there anything wrong with my current bike? No, but the deal I got on the 2013 Specialized Shiv Expert was too good to pass up :-)

So...that means I'm selling my Planet-X bike. Here is a link to a review of the Stealth. Note: my bike has Shimano Dura-Ace components, not SRAM Rival.

Bike does not come with Adamo saddle or pedals.

I am selling the bike with the Vuelta carbon wheels. A new set of these wheels is $1,399 (On sale!). The front one on my bike will need to be trued.

When I bought the bike earlier this year, I had a new chain put on it and all of the cables were redone.

Message me if you are interested! I paid $1,600 for this bike and would like to get something close to that amount.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Push the Button, Stupid!

If you asked me yesterday why I was looking at new tri bikes, I would have told you that I liked my current bike and that it was HS's idea because he was feeling guilty for spending so much money on his new toy.

Today, after trying out a few new bikes I would say I wanted a new bike because the new bikes are sooooo pretty!  LOL

My that carbon fiber?

Felt B12

After our triathlon practice at Discovery Park, HS and I headed to Davis Wheelworks (yes, in Davis) for an appointment I had set up to try out a couple of bikes. Let me just say that the guys at Davis Wheelworks were very knowledgeable and professional.

First bike was a Felt B12 with Ultegra Components.

James with Davis Wheelworks, took measurements of my current bike, put my pedals on the Felt, and even swapped the stock saddle with an Adamo saddle (so it would be what I was used to) and then put the bike on a trainer. He watched me ride for a bit and made a few adjustments. I was then ready to roll.

Navigating through downtown Davis was a bit scary at first, but I then got to a nice straight section that seemed to go on forever. About halfway through my test ride I decided I should be tracking the ride on my Garmin. Unfortunately, after setting the Garmin to "bike", I forgot to press start, so my Felt test ride went unrecorded :-/  PUSH THE BUTTON, STUPID!!!

Just a bit too small
One of the few complaints I have with my current bike is that I can't get the aero bars close together.  My elbows seem just a little too spread out for my liking. The Felt was the opposite and the bars were very close together. The bike felt very twitchy which I thought was due to the different aero bar position. It was a nice bike, shifted smoothly, but it did not win me over.

Cervelo P2

While I was out on the Felt, James at Davis Wheelworks set up the P2 for me. The P2 seemed so much more stable then the Felt. Unfortunately, I did not like the SRAM Rival group set. The shifting required way too much effort for my liking.

There was another P2 in the shop that was white/silver with Ultegra components...unfortunately, it was too big for me :-(

BMC Time Machine TM01

Word to the wise, if you can only afford a Pinto, do not test drive a Mercedes!

This bike was my favorite in Davis. Unfortunately, it was way out of my price range.  Fortunately, I am not as impulsive as my hubby otherwise I would have a new BMC sitting in my front room! 

This bike just felt right! Sigh...

Aloha colors!
Test Ride Summary

Since I forgot to press start on the Felt, I only recorded my pace with the Cervelo and BMC. Lap 1 = Cervelo, Lap 2 = BMC.

Davis Wheelworks - Test Rides by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

During both rides (that I managed to record), I tried to keep my effort the same and rode in the same gear. On the Cervelo my average pace was 16.9 and on the BMC it was 18.3. Is the 1.4 MPH difference worth $2,400??? I don't know, but the bike is so cool!

Actually...that difference would mean a 25 minutes in a 70.3 maybe it would be worth it!  LOL

After 3-1/2 hours, HS and I were both done and I was no where near making a decision. I did not like the color scheme on the P2 and I definitely did not like the SRAM Rival group set. The Felt colors were nice, but I did not like the feel of the ride. After talking with another guy at Davis he said that the Felt was probably too small for me. That left the BMC, but I could not justify paying that much for a bike (even with the Profile Design Aeria aero bars).

I left Davis more confused than when I arrived.

Specialized Shiv Expert

As we headed home and came up to Elk Grove, HS asked if I wanted to stop at Kinetic Cycles...just to look. I figured why not....even though I was tired and not really in the mood to look at any more bikes.

Kinetic only had two tri bikes in stock. Both were 2014 entry level Shivs with Shimano 105s on the rear and Shimano Tiagra on the front. The sticker price was $3,000. Not exactly what I was looking for.

Bruce, the salesman at Kinetic, then said that they had 2013 bikes on sale. He started going through his book and showed us the Shiv Expert with Dura satin with hot pink...normally $4,400 on sale for $3,000! OMG! This was the same bike I drooled over at Bikes Plus in Folsom only months ago.  A bike that I was "this close" to getting. I am so glad I waited :-)

Bruce asked if I wanted to take one of the entry level Shivs out for a test ride and was nice enough to stay late while I cruised around the neighborhood.  I did manage to set my Garmin, but the route was completely different. In Davis, I had a long straightaway without much traffic or stops. In Elk Grove, I had to ride through a residential area with quite a few intersections.

That being said, the Shiv felt great and it was very comfortable....I think I may be going back to Elk Grove :-)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Walk Down Memory Lane's early, early in morning and I'm in the bathroom crying. It's the morning of my first triathlon...October 7, 2012 and I am scared to death.  I think I even shed a few tears on the way to Sacramento...ah, memories...

James insisted that we get there early ;-)

Last year I did the Golden State super sprint. It was a very short distance race and I had more than adequately trained for it. I think my fear came from the fact that I was convinced that the competition was going to destroy me. Of course I was going to get destroyed... every hardcore triathlete longs to wrap up their season with a super sprint...or so I thought. 

As it turned out, my competitors were no different than I was. Most were new to the sport, many were nervous, everyone was friendly though. 

There was really nothing to worry about.

What to Expect

After you check in, you will get your body markings (race number on your arms and hands, age on your calf).

You can then go into transition to set up.

First with our markings done (since we were so early)
James will show you around the race course to make sure you know what to do.

Waiting to warm up
You can swim or walk across the bridge to get to the start.

Most of our group (don't know where Eric went)
 Be prepared to pose for a few pics!

Waiting for the start

More people than our practice triathlons, but still a relatively small field.

Leaving T1
No fancy bike shoes necessary. 

Stephanie finishing the run

If I could make one suggestion for anyone doing their first triathlon... it would be to relax and have fun. Put a smile on your face and enjoy your race.

Smiles all around!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Congratulations from USA Triathlon

Yesterday I got a very interesting email from USA Triathlon. It read...
Congratulations Tracy Pengilly. You have qualified for the Olympic-Distance race at the 2014 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on August 9 in Milwaukee, Wis., after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Vineman Triathlon, Barb's Race and AquaBike Events

Can I just get the shirt?

Who would have thought that after only a year in the sport I would qualify to go to a race like this? I certainly didn't. I don't think James did either because he seemed quite surprised when I told him last night.

I qualified for this race because of my finish in Barb's Race. Ironically, I won't be going to this race because of Barb's Race. Barb's Race 2014 is July 26. The National Age Group Championships are Aug 9. This leaves two weeks between races, which would not be enough time for me to recover from Barb's Race :-(

I'm sure some of you are thinking "Just don't do Barb's Race" but I have some very good reasons for doing Barb's again:

  • Traveling to a race is stressful enough without having to get on an airplane (I hate flying!!!) I would be a nervous wreck before, during and after the flight! Now, maybe if I was going to Kona.... ;-)
  • I was a mess the weeks before Barb's race. I cannot imagine what it would be like before going the National Age Group Championships...I'm just not ready for that kind of pressure.
  • I've got teammates racing at Barb's in 2014. I was very lonely on the run this year and was jealous of my competitors whenever they high-fived a teammate.  Next year I'll be high-fiving Emily and Nancy!
  • I've got a couple of demons to slay at Barb's such as breaking the 6 hour barrier and not walking on the run. 

Maybe someday I'll be ready to go to Milwaukee...