|I am a triathlete | I am a lover of microbreweries and craft beer | I am convinced these two passions go hand-in-hand | I am hard on myself and my running shoes | I am fond of recovering from a hard workout with a fantastic beer | I am in support of individuals who love to create daring and delicious beers ||
Photo by Tyler Olson
Going into this race, the first tri of 2014 for everyone out there, I was thinking of it as a race against (lack of?) early season fitness. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, coming off of a high volume-training camp (with Black Dragon and Wattie Ink), and a few easy days. I wasn’t even convinced I’d be able to fit into my wetsuit, since I haven’t brought it out of the closet since October. That’s the point of low-key early races I guess, to set expectations for the races to come.
Artie and I braved the elements (some SoCal rain) to drive out to Palm Springs the day before the race. I tested out my Shiv for 30 minutes, which I also hadn’t been on since October. Luckily Kyle at Cynergy Cycles had worked on it that week, and reinstalled my Reynolds 72/Disc wheelset from Mr. Dusty. The bike felt perfect. My wetsuit felt like uncomfortable rubber when I did a test swim in the lake, but at least I could get it on. I even got Artie to jog around the lake with me, to make the perfect pre-race day.
Artie and I then had an adventure in Thai cuisine and headed to our hotel, the Indian Wells Resort Hotel, which had been founded by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. That was the one and only reason I had picked that spot. I felt so close to Lucy that night and hoped she’d lead me to a great race with some I Love Lucy Vitameatavegamin power. I’ve been stuffy and coldy for awhile, so I took some Alka Seltzer nighttime and went to bed by 9. That meant I got 8 hours of sleep for the first time EVER before a race. It was great.
Race morning dawned and I had my traditional coffee, Bonk Breakers and Pur Pak as I tossed on my colorful custom Champion System kit. We got to the race early enough for me to set up and get in a nice warmup jog and even jump in the water. I was feeling nervous, and even a little queasy. I figured it was only because it was my first tri since October and tried to breath through it, a task made more difficult because my breath-right nose strips kept falling off.
The swim was in a great, calm lake. I started in the Elite wave, which was both male and female elites as well as male and female military and a young guy age group. I got pretty thrashed around in the first 5 minutes, and then suddenly there was no one nearby. I started getting nervous I had gone off-course and kept swimming backstroke to look for buoys I’d missed. There were none, because it’s a ridiculously simple course to follow. But i was weirded out by being alone for some reason and turned in a pretty slow swim. I think that’s probably the reason I was swimming alone.
I then had a ridiculous T1, where I ducked under the bar instead of going around it for some reason, couldn’t get my wetsuit off, and missed fastening my Rudy Project helmet properly and almost dropped my bike when i tried to fix it. Then, my foot slipped off my shoe when I tried to hop on and I almost took a tumble. Looks like I forgot to practice any transitions in these last 6 months. (see video, thanks to Ariel and One Thirty One Productions)
The bike was smooth. My power was hovering lower than I had planned on, but I was comfortable and didn’t want to push too hard. I had only done one short run off the bike over the last few months, so I was thinking about preservation to have a strong run. I focused on smooth full pedal strokes, and avoiding lots of spikes and dips in power. On flat courses I sometimes space out, so I was trying to stay in the moment and present. The only time my mind wandered was when I started thinking about I Love Lucy and that episode when Lucy danced the tango with Ricky with dozens of eggs in her shirt and they broke all over the place when they had a final spin into each other. It was the longest laugh ever recorded in the show’s history. But I digress.
T2 went quite a bit faster than T1, my Skechers GOrun Speeds slipped right on my feet, and I caught up to Sara Gross, the female elite in second place. Emma Kate Lidbury, first place, was 5 minutes ahead I think, so I wasn’t even thinking about her. Sara and I ran out of T2 together. I may have been a little complacent and fell a bit behind almost immediately. But, i was running hard, and wanted to avoid blowing up. I stayed about the same 20-25 seconds behind for both of the 3 mile flat loops around Lake Cahuilla and into the finish. I was running faster than I thought I could, but felt relatively fine with it, so I just tried to focus on not slowing down. As Artie pointed out to me later, because I was happy to just be so close to second, I wasn’t really fighting for more. The mind is a powerful racing and training tool, and I plan on practicing to use it a little more to prepare for the fight and hurt.
I like to learn something new every day, and training and racing provide so many opportunities for lessons! I was really pleased with this first race of the year. My T1 debacle provided much needed comedic relief, as Lucy has also done so often in my life, and blew away any nerves and negative thoughts I had before we started and during the swim. The rest of the race was pure fun. It was great seeing so many tri-friends out there on the course and hanging out post-race. Thanks to Skechers, Fortius Coaching, Pur Pak, Bonk Breakers, Rudy Project, Champion System, Balanced Strength, Cynergy Cycles, Dusty at NNI Racing, and ARTIE for powering that day, and every other day. And, thanks to Lucille Ball for being a really cool lady, who started my love for bright colors with her hair!
Swim .75 mile: 00:19:19
Bike 24 miles: 01:01:52
Run 6 miles: 00:37:08
Total: 02:00:30, good for third female overall
Team Skechers! Last two photos by Gerardo Barrios
During the Black Dragon Racing/Wattie Ink triathlon camp that I attended last week, I got through my longest time on a bike ever. I woke up that morning under the weather, with body aches and a throat ache. I hopped on the bike determined to get it over with. Here’s the file for the ride. My power was pretty low, and I only got through a few windy sections thanks to camp mates who circled around to ride in front of me and let me draft. I stared at a lot of butts that day, and finally broke the 4 hour barrier, my previous longest ride ever.
The ride first went North through towns and cut East on a long windy bike path. After getting off the bike path, it gets a little fuzzy. We went through small towns and on some small roads with lots of up-downs. We climbed a hill, then did a little descending, then some more rollers…that’s most of what I remember through the haze. At one point I sprayed sunscreen in my eyes and somehow I ate a PB&J sandwich, 10 Girl Scout cookies, 6 bottles of water/sports drink, 2 bananas, and I think some gummy chomps, but was still hungry. Sometimes riding bikes is hard.