Monday, April 14, 2008

ready (or not) to race

its been a while since a substantial post, so here we go!

over the past four weeks, i haven't been able to swim from the faux crash in the bike shop when my bike flew off the trainer. however, the situation is improving dramatically with help from my ART homie Dan. apparently, the trauma inflamed the tissues causing the supinator to grind over the radial head or something. who knows. but since i've gone to Dan, i've noticed at least 80% improvement and totally getting there....

dan helped soooo much that i decided to tough out an 800 meter open water swim in the TCSD April Club race. without swimming, i wasn't sure how the arm would hold up (also was freaked out by the first open water venture of the year) but i decided to give it a go and treat it as a good training day and prep for the Spring Sprint triathlon in a few weeks.

here's the race report....with plenty of pictures..

got to fiesta island a lot later than i should have. the race started at 7 and we rolled on the island about 6:35. so not enough time to warm up, but i wasn't being "serious" about the race. looking back, probably would have been best to get there earlier and do more of a race simulation warm-up, but i think i needed my sleep.
the day was perfect. it was already at least 60 degrees at 7 am and 70 or so by the finish. about 100 people showed up to throw down and have some fun-it was an april fools race, so they pulled some tricks on us.

we really have the best tri club ever. i mean. you show up (for free, every month) and they have already closed off the whole island, got music pumping over loud speakers, full on chip timing, prizes for winners and those who tried hard, and a huge brekkie of eggs, bacon, potatoes, granola/fruit parfaits, fruit salads, muffins, you name it.
here is transition.....

so i didn't get in a running or swimming warm-up (1) and hit the water unprimed. i didn't check my tires and hadn't pumped them up in at least a couple hundred miles (2) as mentioned, i hadn't been swimming at all for a month (3) or had an open water swim since last september (4).(okay, i'm going to use these numbers as "footnotes "at the end of this thing)

at 7am...we were off! the water was calm and PERFECT. the swim was long for a sprint, but it felt nice and aside from some mild arm pain, i got into a nice rhythm and felt good.

i didn't get to draft anyone (maybe b/c i don't know how, need to learn that one)..but finished feeling fine to transition!

T1 was a sh*t show. it probably took me 4 or 5 minutes. i didn't even unzip my westuit until i was standing at my bike. then i took time to put my hair in a lower ponytail since i had forgotton that helmets can't sit on big mounds of hair. i couldn't get out of my wetsuit, my glasses fogged up and i had to wipe them off. i sat down on the ground to put on my bike shoes and clopped out of T1 slowly while others glided past me because their shoes were clipped in to the pedals (4, 5, 6)...
on to the bike. we did 12.5 miles which is 5 big loops around fiesta island. super flat and a great place to practice staying in the aerobars. i got passed by 2 girls and a lot of dudes on the bike. i passed a few people, but its hard to tell with all the loops. the bike was fun and i felt stronger than usual.

the bike leg went smoothly and i clopped back into T2. the april foolery began as the race directors had piled all our running shoes in various piles around transition. funny! one of the directors said "yeah, that is where you find out who takes this crap too seriously!" sweet.
that photo is of matt searching for his kicks. well, i found mine pretty easily and got my running legs under me for the 2 mile run (8). i started off with pretty good turnover and started going by a good number of dudes who blew by me on the bike. i counted for fun and ended up passing 13 people in the 2-mile run (12 guys and one of the girls who had passed me on the bike). ..and ran in through the finish...this was definitley a "learning" race for me. (See footnotes) above. i have no excuses becuase i was definitely outraced and not prepared to win. at first i was a little deflated and kept thinking that there was no way i could be "good" in triathlon.
however, after being a little bummed that i wasn't in the top 3 (i was 5th woman overall), james helped me see all the little ways i could have made up the 2 minutes that were between me (5th) and the second place woman (first place woman was 5 minutes ahead of everyone and out of reach for sure).
i could have easily made up the time by managing things that were in my control that i failed to do (warming up on run or swim, having a respectable transition, pumping my tires-the next day when james pumped them he said they were only at 60 PSI and that affects rolling resistance).
and, the factors out of my control (no swimming , short run leg) will be changed come "real" race day. i think i definitely could have caught 3 of the girls ahead of me if the run had been a full 5k and my swim was in good shape.

the best part of the race, besides the learning (which was invaluable), was that i actually had fun on the bike! i didn't feel as slow as usual and felt a little bit of power. granted, my bike split was still a couple minutes slower than the top women, but i didn't feel so helpless as usual. if i keep working on putting in time on the bike, the small improvements will pay off in the long run..

on to sunday...still with me? we headed up to castaic, ca (30 miles north of LA) for an offroad triathlon for james. last year he was second at this race to pro Mike Vine, so this year, the goal was to win. as soon as we got to the race site, i headed off for a 2-hour mountainous trail run. it was hot as hell and perfect training for the xterra temecula xduro 21k trail race i am doing mid-may. my legs were heavy from several solid days of riding, running, and a race the day before, but i put in the time and think this was a key workout for the race prep with all the climbing in the blazing heat.

james had a killer race and smoked the competition. he did not run off course for once, so he finished in first place, over 5 minutes ahead of the next guy. i messed with him a little on 2nd loop of the run and told him there were 2 dudes still ahead of him so he would go hard....funny joke!
after the race.....

as usual, i demanded payment for my race support and photography , so i received my

frozen yogurt
james called this my "paparazzi" photo he took as i came out of the yogurt shop... cerveza and mexican food....(ceviche!)...are also included in my "race support" contract greement.

all in all, an incredible weekend. and we didn't want it to end. the school i work at is on spring break this week, so i convinced (didn't take any convincing) james to take today (monday) off and we went on a nice recovery spin along the coast and are going to chillax by the pool, pack some salads and wine, and hit the beach for sunset....tough tough life.


Paul said...

Great job on the race! Sounds like a killer weekend all around. :)

GZ said...

Awesome stuff. Glad to hear the arm is on the mend.

It is very cool to see you guys living it and loving it.



Mac Brown said...

I love the fact they put your shoes in piles, that is hilarious . . . I am imagining me coming in out of the water and being so clueless, I would never find my shoes.

jameson said...

your race saturday was just what you needed... you learn more from "bad" races than good ones (i just read that somewhere). It's on at Spring Sprint! thanks for the support... as always!

kerrie said...

yummmmm, i love ceviche...i was however expecting to see some nice bib pics, lol. next post, right?

sounds like a solid first race of the season - you aren't supposed to be flying yet - you will find those 2 min. next race. just make sure that you say 'nice bike' when you re-pass all of those tools that went by you on the bike. guys like that kind of thing, especially when they are being passed by a girl.

Ryan Denner said...

hhmmm bad race and something to learn from it? I know the feeling!!

great job beth!

Nikee Pomper said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement on my blog. I am totally on the same page about learning from negative race experiences (or at least I am trying to convince myself of that). Everything happens for a reason.

Seriously, let’s grab a beer and fish tacos one of these days.

triguyjt said...

james gonna get you a cover shot on glamour magazine.....??

good job on the race..glad your recovering from the trainer mishap

i love how they dumped the shoes in a pile.....

jay said...

Looks like fun! I cant wait to start doing the Tri Club races.

TRI-ROB said...

Beth! YAY! Good job! Here's the thing I liked the most... you said that you can, "manage the things that are in your control"... that's EXACTLY right! You are a SMART cookie! Great things to come I'm sure...