Thursday, March 8, 2012

Desert International Triathlon- race report

It's nice to start every race season with a little kick-off race where you bust out the cobwebs and make sure you remember how to do swim-bike-run in "GO!" mode. I'm always amazed at the amount of "things" you need for a triathlon and I spent my free moments the days before the race scavenging around for said things. Of course, I integrated my errands into workouts...Stopped at Nytro for some new cleats for my tri shoes during a spin, ran into the swim store for some goggles (& shoved in my sports bra) during my T-run.

After some short workouts on Saturday, Kristin and I drove out to Palm Desert, CA for the Desert Tri. I feel like everyone in San Diego goes to this race and somehow, each year I have missed it for one reason or another. So, the race was new to me, which is always fun...Turns out that this is an awesome season opener for anyone- Great venue, low key, great weather and a fun (but not too challenging) course.

Let's get to point, here. The race was good to great! The distances are 3/4 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run. It's all basically flat. The run is two loops on dirt/sand/gravel/pavement around Lake Cahuilla.

I dusted off my Zoot Prophet and pulled it on for the first time since August. Felt as good as ever and I lined up for the 7:30am elite (& Men 25-29) wave. The entire first leg of the swim, you swim directly into the sun and can't see a thing. I tried to follow swim caps and just tried to get to the first buoy/turn as fast as possible. After rounding the buoy, I could see! Unfortunately, I could see two swimmers about 10yds ahead of me, but no one else. I tried my best to catch them, but was unable to close any gaps. So, draftless, I nagivated to the swim exit uneventfully. My wetsuit cord was tangled, stuck, so I lost a few seconds trying to get it off, then running to a spectator and asking her to pull down. Pretty sure I scared her, but once she understood what I was saying, she got the job done. I ran through T1 and was stoked to see both Lesley Paterson and Heather Jackson (my training bud & Zoot/Cannondale teammate) still in transition.

 HJ was on her way out and Les was still getting it together. I T-1d as fast as I know how and followed about 75yds behind Lesley onto the bike course.
Chasing (thanks MJ for the bike photos) 
That 75yds slowly increased, but I kept her in (distant) sight for about the first 10 miles. Other than that.....crickets! not a soul in sight. I reminded myself that this is what I need to get used to now that I'm racing at the front of the race.

By the time we reached lap two of the bike course, the course filled in and there was a lot of people dodging, and I got passed by a few elite men I had swum faster than. I tried to get & stay in a groove but I just waffed between "oh, i'm pushing too hard" and "go harder you are just pedaling". I could not find that sweet spot. I knew my bike ride was nothing to write home about, I still need to work a lot on flat time trialing. My bike and position, however, were awesome. The Cannondale Slice fits me SO well, its just amazing and such a great feeling to know I'm on the right bike.

Anyway, I rolled into T2 and was excited to see how the run would go. I began ticking off the miles (and the men who had passed me on the bike) and was pleased to see my garmin check off right about 6-min miles.
Running- photo thanks to Wattie- although I'm not officially a Watti Ink-er, I still like to rock the W.
Don't get me wrong, it was hard, but I felt comfortable in pushing the pace and going hard. Lesley is a phenomenal runner, as is Heather, so they were both holding position way out in front of my. My mission was to a) not get caught and b) not slow down- I wanted to go as hard as possible to get the most out of this "workout" before Oceanside. My run time was 36:01 for the 6 miles- 6 minute pace, I'll take it for now!

Mission accomplished. I crossed the line in 1:59, 3rd place woman overall, 4 minutes back of Lesley. Heather made a clean sweep of the field beating all of the women and all of the men.
Finished! (photo by Wattie)

SoCal Podium girls: Lesley, HJ, me
*Thank you to all my family , friends, and supporters who make it possible for me to chase my dreams. Coach PJ, thanks for taking me on and believing in me.  To our Champion Factory squad - thanks for being the best training partners around- I am SO happy & lucky to be surrounded by greatness. And James- I love you, my chef, bike fairy, & hot husband!
*Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm swimming better than ever in the Prophet wetsuit. Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & the perfect Zipp firecrest carbon clincher 808/404 pair of Race Day Wheels. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan Selstad, Rehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddles, Betty Designs, Beaker Concepts & Bont shoes for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. 


Born To Endure said...


goSonja said...

Awesome Beth!! Every run picture I see of you looks ripped from a magazine. The extension in your stride is beautiful. Such a little gazelle you are!! Congrats on getting the cobwebs out!!

Toby Guillette said...

Totally badass! Congrats on such a positive season opener. I'm excited to follow your adventures this year. Way to go Beth :)

Christi said...

Congrats! You are off to an awesome start for the season!

Beth said...

Congrats again! Great racing! :)

Kristin said...

woo hoo! congrats! awesome time!

Alison said...

Congrats on making the podium on your first pro race!

JC said...

What a great PRO debut! Awesome job Lady!

Katie said...

I hope you don't think I'm being too forward, but your running form is GORGEOUS! ;)

Heidi Austin, PT, DPT said...

congrats! lllove that pic of you... welcome to your pro year ;)

Sara said...

That's awesome Beth. I love that picture of you running. Good luck in O-side :)