Monday, August 19, 2013

Tri for Fun Race Report

The name doesn't lie - it was fun!  I signed up for this event purely as practice.  Since this race is at the same location as the See Jane Run Triathlon in October, I thought this would be a good opportunity to test out my skills on the course.

There was no advance packet pick up, so I got there at 5:30 just as check-in was opening.

It was early but at least the lake looked calm.
I checked in, went back to the car to grab my gear, and got a great spot in transition - first row near the bike in and out.  When I checked in I found out I was in the last wave - women 40 and over and kids 16 and under.  My initial thought was, "Great.  Now I get to be smoked by children on the swim!"  But I quickly pushed that thought out of my head.  I spent the entire previous day telling myself that I was finally going to have a good swim.  Negative thoughts, be gone!

The lake in the sunlight.  Still calm - both me and the lake!

With plenty of time before the pre-race briefing on the beach, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could get in the lake and warm up for the swim.  I wasn't able to do this at either of my previous triathlons, and I wish I could have.  The water was so warm, I could have done without a wetsuit.  But I wasn't giving up the extra buoyancy!

It was finally time for my wave to head out.  It was a beach start, so I lined up in the back and towards the outside right since we'd be swimming out and turning left.  They gave us the go and we all moved forward.  It took a while for everyone to start swimming because it wasn't deep enough.  Once I did start swimming, my arms were going through the underwater plants with each stroke.  Luckily I was warned about this ahead of time so it didn't bother me at all.  In fact, nothing bothered me!  I swam, I sighted, I got kicked, I went a little off course but noticed before I got too far, I was going stroke for stroke with another swimmer for a while until she went off course and bumped me, I even passed a few other swimmers.  And it was amazing!  For the first time, I was totally comfortable in the open water.  After the final turn towards shore, I could see all of the cool stuff on the bottom of the lake and I didn't want the swim to end.  I'm not saying I was fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it was comfortable and fun and a real boost to my confidence.

On to the bike, straight uphill out of the gate.  Luckily I was prepared and had my bike in the right gear.  Since I'd done the See Jane Run Duathlon here last year, I was familiar with the bike course.  It's mostly flat with only the hill out of transition and one other uphill.  I remembered to eat and drink on the ride so I wouldn't bonk on the run.  I was really pushing it on the bike and passed quite a few people.  And before I knew it I was back at transition.

Change the shoes, swap out bike helmet for visor and GO!  Only my legs and my heart rate were saying NO!  It took a few minutes for my heart rate to settle to a pace where I actually could run, so it was a few minutes of walking at the start.  Once I got to the top of the first hill, I started in with my run/walk intervals.  The course was mostly on a dirt trail with lots of ups and downs.  So I walked the ups, ran the downs, and tried to run most of the flats.  The course was a crazy figure eight pattern and by the second mile I really just wanted it to be over.  I finally got to the point where we were off the trail and I was so happy to be running on asphalt again.  Strange, I know!  A short sprint to the finish line, and my third triathlon was over.

This was an un-timed event, but there was a clock at the finish.  Our wave was told that if we wanted to know our time to subtract 15 minutes from the clock time.  So I came in at approximately 1:50:xx - about six minutes faster than my time at the Mermaid Tri.

I went into this telling myself that it was practice and it was all for fun, but of course my competitive side was happy that I beat the time of my last tri.  I also learned a few things that will help with the remainder of my training for my race in October.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nerves

This past Sunday I signed up for a triathlon that is happening this Saturday.  That's right - I signed up with only a week until race day.

It's a Tri for Fun so it's not even timed - unless you want to pay an extra fee for a timing chip.  It's at the site of the See Jane Run Triathlon that I'm doing in October.  I thought it would be a great no-pressure way to get a little more familiar with the course and to get in another open water swim.  My plan has been to treat it like a training session and not a race.

But I just got an e-mail from the event company.  And now I've got huge butterflies!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I had nine days off from work, and it was absolute heaven!  I had so much fun and relaxation, only pictures can accurately describe it.

I played in a golf tournament with friends and we all wore farm animal shirts.

Rooster, pig, goat, cow.

I went to the mountains. 

Approaching Lake Tahoe - one of my favorite places!

I spent a lot of time in this yard.

A hot tub and a hammock - what more could one ask for?

I played some more golf with this guy - 36 holes in one day!

Look at those mountains in the background.

I met the local golf dog.

Ruff life.

When we got back from the mountains, we decided to head to the beach.

I rode that roller coaster twice!
Now vacation is over and it's back to my regular routine.  But it's OK.  Life is good!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My New Pool Toy

I've been on the fence about this for a while, but a few weeks ago I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy myself a new toy for the pool.  I purchased a Finis SwiMP3.  It's a device for listening to music underwater - basically a fancy iPod for swimming.

My new toy!
 
What it looks like out of the box.


I find it really helps me tune out the distractions of the crowded pool deck and kids swim lessons when I swim after work.  And if I swim in the morning, the music gives me the extra little push to keep going - especially if one of my favorite songs comes on.  Let me tell you, lap swimming will never be the same again!