Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 Tri for Real #2 - Race Report

Sunday's race was one of the few races in our marriage that HS was not going to be able to attend. He had been asked to be head usher at church and this had been on the calendar way before I decided whether or not I was going to do this race.

As a result, a few tears were shed as I drove away from the house on the way to Rancho Seco by myself. Luckily there was an awesome playlist on the "80's on 8" channel to distract me.

There may be no crying in baseball, but there's plenty of crying in triathlons... the water works will only get worse as I get closer to Barb's Race. I'm such a big baby!


Today's race was a dress rehearsal for Barb's Race. I wanted to try out a few new things, but mostly I just wanted to fine tune what I already knew worked for me. Once again, breakfast consisted of two fried eggs on a piece of toast liberally covered in unsalted, grass fed butter...and I mean liberally...I had a big ol' gob of butter on my toast. I also had a cup of coffee and some FRS.

I intended to drink a chia fresca on the way to Rancho Seco...just like I had done before previous races. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy limes. Instead, I made some beet and black grape juice. As I got ready to leave the house, I rethought drinking beet juice before the race. 1) My stomach was a little upset and 2) I was afraid that if I drank the beet juice and then peed in my wetsuit I would stain my new Betty Design kit. Yikes!!!

Instead of beet juice I opted for a concoction of water, chia seeds, and agave for my chia fresca. Let me just say that without the lime juice, chia fresca is not very fresca. In fact, it sort of tasted like sweet paste. Yuck! I drank as much of this potion as I could and then put the lid back on the bottle.

Once I got to the race and saw my sister, BFF, team mates and coach, I relaxed a bit and started to get ready for my race. I checked in and got my body markings. Once I had my transition set up, I took my Sport Legs supplement (got a sample in my goody bag for Avenue of the Vines). I used this before the last Tri for Real and I didn't want to change anything for this race.

Pre-race selfie

Lindsey suggested a super, short pony tail for my hair. I tried it and it held for the entire race, although I did get a sunburn on my hairline in the back...need to remember sunblock back there for Barb's Race.


If there is one thing I can say about this race is that I was wrong about everything I thought I was doing during the race except for the first leg of the swim. During the swim out to the first turn buoy, I knew I was swimming fairly straight. I was doing a good job at sighting and I didn't resort to breaststroke one time. After the turn though, I was convinced I was way off course.

The water was extremely clear at this race
When I looked to my right, all of my competitors seemed to be at least 30 to 40 feet away from me. How did I get that far off course? I looked up to try to see the sighting buoy, but even with my polarized TYR Special Ops goggles, the glare off the water was blinding. I resorted to breaststroke to get my bearing and kept swimming. I knew...without a doubt...that this was going to be my longest Olympic distance swim.

When I got home and looked at my Garmin data, I was shocked that I was pretty much on track the entire swim. My total distance was .96 which is not too bad, although it should be .93. Last time I did this race my distance was 1.02. So, even though I thought I was all over the place, I was actually swimming pretty straight.

NOTE: I lost focus after the first turn and stopped concentrating on my stroke. I also stopped kicking. I need to stay focused for the entire race at Barb's.


My first transition was uneventful. I ran from the water up to my bike. I should have taken an extra second or two and made sure my shoes were properly tightened because my left shoe felt loose for the entire ride.

Before the race, I opened my Coconut and Chocolate Chip Clif bar and placed it (still in the wrapper) in my helmet. When I came in to T1, I started eating the bar immediately. At this distance, I would rather eat during transition than try and eat on the bike. After reaching the mount line, I fumbled a bit trying to get clipped in, but it wasn't too bad.


The bike leg has become my favorite part of triathlon racing. I was especially looking forward to this ride because I got to try out my new helmet. However, with the new hot pink aero helmet came the added pressure of needing to take off some time from the last race in order to prove to HS that it was worth the money. LOL

It looked great with my new kit ;-)
During the ride, I was convinced I was going slower than the last race. I just didn't feel like I was pushing myself. At the Tri for Real in June, I rode my ass off! I pushed as hard as I could for the entire bike portion of that race because I wanted to average 20 mph. At this race, though, I just didn't feel the same effort level. On top of that, I caught myself zoning out and thinking about Barb's race and other stuff completely unrelated to what I was doing. Ugh. I was certain my split was going to be slower than last time.

As it turns out, I was wrong about the bike too. I finished in 1:11:38. Last month my time was 1:13:48. I was over 2 minutes faster this time and I didn't feel as if I was working at hard. Yay! I get to keep my helmet! 

NOTE: I was also at least 6 pounds lighter at this race than I was last month and I know that also contributed to my quicker time and my perceived effort level.


I came in, hit the button on my Garmin and ran over to my rack only to find that the a-hole guy that had set up next to me had racked his bike over the top of my stuff! WTH??? I racked my bike over his stuff and proceeded to put on my running gear. I popped 3 more Sport Leg capsules, grabbed my race belt and GU and took off for the run course. I put the belt on as I was moving and then ripped into the GU. My goal was to finish the GU before the first aid station on the grass so I could wash it down. Mission accomplished.


As I headed out on the run course, I looked down at my Garmin and something didn't seem right. I hit the lap button again thinking I had missed it leaving transition. To my dismay, the Garmin chirped and then showed the multi-sport recording had ended. UGH!!! I should have left it I wasn't going to know my pace :-/

A lot of people think I use my Garmin to make me run faster. Actually the opposite is true. I have a bad habit of going out too fast. I use (need) my Garmin to slow my stupid self down so I don't implode on the run course. I felt like I was doomed. 

I tried to run by feel, but I had no idea what I was doing. Every once in a while I would remember to focus on my stride and my breathing, but I found myself going into day dream land. I was convinced that HS was driving straight from church to surprise me at the finish line. When I neared the turn to the grass area / finish line, I found myself looking for his car...silly girl, he's not going to park where you can see him...this is going to be a surprise!

Unfortunately, HS wasn't there to surprise me and I was hug-less at the finish line. Crap. Don't cry...don't cry....just go pick up your stuff and don't start crying! Yes there is crying in triathlons, but not now...PLEASE, not now...hahahaha

Post Race

When I went into this race, my only goal was to shave off a minute from last month. I needed to take some time off my bike just to prove the value in my helmet, but I also wanted to shave some time off my run since last time I was was running with an injury. 

Last month my time was 2:40:28. I told myself that if I could finish in 2:39 then the race would be a success regardless of my finish. During portions of the race when I needed to re-focus, I just kept repeating 2:39, 2:39, 2:39. 

As I crossed the finish line I looked at the clock but had no idea what my time was. I had no idea how far after the first wave I started, so I didn't even attempt any finish line math. I was pretty sure I hit 2:39 though.

Always a bridesmaid ;-)

My time is what really mattered today (that and my
new, super-cute kit from Betty Designs)

To my surprise, my finish time was 2:34:58. I was 7th overall for the women, 2nd in my age group. My splits broke down to 7th overall in the swim, 4th overall in the bike, and 14th overall in the run. It is painfully clear to me that my running is still not 100% after my injury. This is something I am going to address through stretching and foam rolling in preparation for Barb's Race.

In fact, I came home from the race and did P90X - XStretch... 58 minutes of much needed stretching to speed up my recovery from the race.

Trying to take a selfie while doing a side bend
I will be using the rumble roller every night for the next two weeks!

Additional Thoughts

I loved having my sister competing in the Tri for Real relay and my nephew in the Kids Tri. It was an awesome day of racing and it was great having family there!

A family that races together, stays together :-)

Sister selfie