Tuesday, July 19, 2011

La Jolla Swim & Run 2011 - Race Recap

by Rachel

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team puts on a lot of different types of races around the world, and this particular race was a perfect training race for my TriRock olympic triathlon in September. Not only that, it was only $40 - which is a STEAL compared to a lot of other races - especially triathlons...

So the race is a 1 mile open-ocean swim, followed by a 10K run - this type of race is called an aquathlon - and it was my first aquathlon, and first open-ocean race swim. My other races have been in a bay, lake, or river.



I tried to compile a Google Map that would give you a decent feel of what the course was - it started at the lower left - at La Jolla Cove. Then we passed by three buoys in the ocean, then headed inland to the shore. After that was 6 1-mile loops on the beach. Obviously the line through the ocean is a guess, but the last buoy was a decent way out from the shore - I'd say it's a pretty close representation.



Saturday night I made Sweet Potato Lasagna (from Engine 2) - it wasn't done until 10PM! Scarfed that down, then went right to bed - sat there for a little while before I finally fell asleep...

Sunday morning up at 4am - had toast with PB&Applesauce, a banana, 1cup of water, and coffee with almondmilk! I wanted to give my body some time to wake up and start processing. Did some morning yoga poses, and yep - my body started processing ;)

Woke everyone up - then had a fig with sunflower butter and 1 more cup of water.

Left at 6am - got to La Jolla Cove and checkin was really easy - there were less than 200 people in the race so it was a very small group. This, to me, is crazy for a San Diego race!

We all gathered at the beach, watching sea lions in the water, while they made their announcements before the race:
1. 3 bright orange buoys - follow them on your right
2. white shark sighting the day before at Scipps Pier
3. moment of silence and contemplation
4. Get ready Go!
wait - white shark??!! Well, at least I knew about this already, as we had spent Saturday at La Jolla Shores and were there when the sighting occurred. Nobody saw the shark during the race as far as I know...

I swam at La Jolla Cove several times before, but this was the first low tide swim - we had to walk out over the seagrass till we were far enough out, then the swim starts!

Only 3 buoys for a 1 mile swim meant that for a lot of the time, you couldn't see the buoy you were swimming towards - it would be interesting to see how far offcourse I was throughout the swim...

I was correct in my assumption that swimming with others would diminish the fear in my mind about swimming here - knowing that everyone else was doing the same exact thing helped a lot! Also, focusing on what everyone else was doing keeps your mind off of fear.

I swam past many kelp plants reaching up to the surface - it helped a lot to get around those without freaking out - another step to conquering this fear I have of the open ocean.

I didn't see any wildlife while I was swimming - guess they all knew well enough to stay away from all the splashing idiots in the water :)

There were lots of lifeguards out on ski-doos, surfboards, and even a boat - so that was always nice to see as you swam by them.

Like I said, I'm sure I was offcourse a lot - can't be helped much when the waves are always changing your line of sight. It was not a windy morning, but the waves were hard to deal with - but I just kept going - no laying on my back to rest - in fact, the only rest I took was to try to ride the waves up to gain a better view of where the next buoy was!

After the last buoy, we turned to head right into shore - but it was hard to see where we were supposed to be heading - so I ended up veering off - but corrected myself... that probably added some time to my swim.

I got out (finally!) and the time on the clock said around 45 minutes - which was more than I had wanted, so I was kind of bummed but had to keep going!

Transition was a little difficult because I hadn't really practiced a swim to run transition - but got through that in a few minutes, then off to my 10K!

6 1-mile loops - time for some transcendence!

If I'm going to run around in circles, I'll always enjoy running with this beautiful scenery! :)

I walked through the aid station 3 times... and I'm OK with that... dangit - I'm OK with it!

By the last lap, I was getting a blister on both balls of my feet - so I stopped and took my shoes and socks off! Ran the last lap barefoot - and it felt like my fastest lap!

Finally I was done! 1:47:37 was my final time - I loved having my family there to cheer me on - they are my cheering squad!


Initially, I was kinda bummed about my time - my swim took longer than I wanted, and my run was a little slower than my 3mile pace has been... but it was my 1st open ocean race - and I had never raced in the waves, or with buoys so far apart! And my 10K was just about the same time as the 10K practice I had done the week earlier.

So, I am happy with this race! I would definitely do it again - it was low-key, and I got a cool shirt with the following on the back:

"Always take the mind's positive thought-road" - Sri Chinmoy

I definitely walked the walk with this quote during the race - and during all my races - so many times in my races, my mind is telling me that I can stop, or slow down, or take a little break - or any number of negative things - but I choose to take the positive path!

3 comments:

  1. this is my fav-race and I esp. love the few people,the kind people who put it on and esp.the prizes!!!!Their resturant in Normal Heights is my fav. in Sandiego-Oh,I saw a huge jellyfish by the 1st. white buoy!!!Time 1:33 Place 3rd. 50-59 and I'm 59 but don't tell anyone!!!Sandi R

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  2. That is crazy - I am not sure how I would react to seeing a huge jelly fish... :)
    I love Jyoti Bihanga - two different people have taken us there to eat and we're definitely going back!

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  3. great recap! I've been considering this race so I'm happy to hear how great it is!

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