Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TriRock San Diego 2011 - Race Report

by Rachel

OK I'm really good at putting off my closure blog posts - I got to taper week and really needed to just let go of my plans, let go of my structured training, and let go of feeling like I needed to write blogs and keep track of all these things on the internet... and I'm REALLY glad that I did! Just letting go of all that gave me some peace that I needed in my week before the triathlon, and I just decided every day what kind of workout I would do.

I had been training for this olympic triathlon for 16 weeks - following a weekly schedule that I made up myself, tailored for my lifestyle, you might say lol... each week would consist of:

  • 5 days biking to work, with one morning a week being my long bike ride
  • 1 hill run, followed by strength training (at lunchtime)
  • 1 tempo run, followed by strength training (at lunchtime)
  • 1 long run on the weekend
  • 2 swims 
  • starting on week 11, at least 1 brick per week

I feel like I worked soo hard and I was soooo ready to blow right by my previous olytri PR - I was SUPER confident that I would!

So, I did all this hard work, now my taper week comes and I'm letting go of all the stress, getting a couple last runs and bikes in, and on Thursday things start to fall apart...

1. TriRock posts on their Facebook page that there's been a course change... the bike leg was supposed to go through the military base that is downtown San Diego - and due to heightened security levels, the military was closing off the base to the race. So, TriRock shortened the bike loop to 4.75-ish miles, and made the "olympic" bike leg 3 laps totaling around 14.5 miles. I tried to feel OK about this, but the more I thought about it, and read other people's reactions to the news, the more upset I started to feel. I paid for an olympic tri - $155 (not cheap) for one - and I wanted an olympic tri so that I could truly beat my PR. So much for no stress, right? I finally decided to just get over it - it really wasn't TriRock's fault, and I could still PR my paces - even if not the total time.

2. Thursday afternoon around 3:45 the power went out at work. Come to find out, the power was out for all of SD county, Orange county, and all the way over to Arizona... all hell broke loose - traffic was AWFUL and thank goodness I ride my bike to work otherwise I would have been sitting in traffic for HOURS to go a couple miles. So much for one last swim before the race :)  So power is out, and it didn't come back on at our house until around 1:30 am - but by that time, it was decided that SD schools would be closed on Fri, and I also did not have to work on Friday. It was actually really nice to have that extra day off for the weekend... unfortunately for the race, it meant more stress - and here's why. In SD, there were two MAJOR sewage spills due to the power outage - 3.2 million gallons near Torrey Pines, and something like 120,000 gallons spilled down near Chula Vista. Chula Vista - ya, the water flow was such that the spill would float right by where the swim leg would be downtown SD... can you say YUCK??? But, the city never did shut down access to the water there, and so TriRock did not pull the swim leg of the race.

So, I have all this stress sitting on my head coming into race weekend - Saturday I could hardly deal with anything because my brain was fried...

I talked things over with my sweet husband Paul, and we agreed that I should do this race for FUN! Just forget about the bad stuff and get out and enjoy it! So that's what I was gonna do!

OK so I think I've covered all the whining and stress... yep! Time for the good stuff :)

...as an aside, our 14yo had a XC meet on Saturday and he got a medal for running his 1.65 race in 13:03 - FAST! sheesh our boy is a runner!

Sunday morning, up at 3:45, eat toast w/ PB&applesauce, banana, and drink my coffee w/ soymilk. Get down to the transition area with family in tow around 5:15, and set up my assigned spot :)

Try to figure out where all the ins and outs were for the transition area - ended up getting one wrong during the race but I don't think it cost me too much time...

So, I was out of the transition area around 6:30 am - and my wave started at 8:56 am lol - so I didn't get "dressed" for my swim until around 8:30. That gave me 2 hours to relax with the family, eat another breakfast of 2 Gaby Bars (Thanks Gaby!), catch the bathroom a couple times, and check out some of the other wave starts.

We got to watch a seagull try to eat a fish - it tried really hard but couldn't quite get it...

The weather was BEAUTIFUL - the clouds cleared pretty much by the time my wave started, so it was sunny with a slight breeze - perfect!

The view of Coronado Bridge from our spot before my race - not a bad place to prep for a race :)

Into the TriRock corral for our wave start - we were the second to last swim wave...

but I was ready to swim!

Swimming start for the race!

The water was actually really nice - no water quality issues that I could see thank goodness!

Because the race took place on 9/11, TriRock had these parachuters land at the park - I halfway saw them during my swim during a breath - but apparently it was pretty cool to watch!

Climbing stairs out of the water after a swim isn't the easiest thing to do lol

Swim done! 34:05 - blew away my goal of 40 minutes!

This is the point that I messed up my transition - I ran with my bike to the bike IN - then had to turn right around and run to the bike OUT - luckily I was pretty close to both so I don't think it cost me much...

The bike went really well - ate my dates, drank my Perpetuem, and PUSHED! I even passed a few ladies (don't know if they were in my age group or not, but I'll take it!)

Bike done! And look at that dismount - I practiced that soooo much - every day almost lol
47:14 - 18.1 pace - blew away my goal of 16 pace!!

T2 I downed my homemade gel mix, and took a salt tab with some water

Out to run my 10K - my legs were feeling a little bad at this point, but nothing I couldn't handle :)

Time to fill some of the waiting time up - tree climbing!

Almost done with my run - I had only walked through two water stations for about 10 seconds each - I know for sure I passed 2 ladies in my own age group - I really felt good at this point and was trying to kick, but I didn't know exactly where the finish line was... somewhere around the corner

And... FINISHED! Run done! 57:57 - 9:21 pace - totally blew away my goal of 1 hour!

I felt so strong after this race and I was sooo happy!

12/30 in my age group - I have NEVER been in the top half of my age group - crazy stuff...
57/167 for all women
Swim - 34:05 (2:17/100m)
T1 - 3:06
Bike - 47:14 (18.1mph)
T2 - 3:23
Run - 57:57 (9:21/m)
Total - 2:25:45

I had a free beer after I got my medal, then grabbed a free breakfast - basked in how great I felt - then it was time to go. Went home, showered, took a nap, watched Star Trek and ate some totally awesome homemade guacamole de Pablo...

I accomplished what I set out to do, and I can't wait to demolish the next challenge I put myself up to!!

Oh, I should also mention - this is my first race eating plant-based and it felt GREAT!!!

1 comment:

  1. Rachel, you are amazing!!! Congrats! You kicked butt and then some!! :D