Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pleasanton Tri for Fun #3 - Race Report!

My second tri was great fun. I can't really compare it to my first one despite the fact that they are the same exact triathlons. Reasons are related to the health type issues I'm in the midst of right now. I didn't focus on my finish time and in fact won't post my time here. All I wanted to do was finish...and I did! Miguel was with me to cheer me on so this report will be chock full of pictures. And I took my Garmin along this time so I'll post the maps too!

We decided to get there at the same time as our previous trip, around 6am...but we didn't arrive at the park until 6:30am. The tri starts at 7am. Cutting it close. To make matters worse, while waiting in the long line of cars to enter the park, we bumped into a car in front of us. Miguel was distracted and his foot came off the brake while we were stopped. To make matters even worse, they had their bikes mounted on the back of the car. So we bumped their bikes! Ouch. Things got hairy for a few minutes but it all ended fine. Thank goodness their bikes and car were fine. Once in the park I went around like clockwork getting ready, mainly since I'd done this exact triathlon before. The only glitch was I thought I'd packed 2 AccelGels, one for the bike and one for the run, but when I was setting up I only found one in my bento box. There I am getting body-marked. My first tri bib number, 1010, will likely go down in the history books as the best bib number ever. This time I got 3018. I went directly from body marking to the start, which is a good thing because my camera said this picture was taken at 6:56am! I was in wave 3 and knew I wouldn't start until at lease 7:15.

Miguel took a bunch of pics of me waiting to start. I'll spare you the whole roll and just post one. I really like this one because it's sorta like Where's Waldo? Can you spot me?

The swim went well, very little jostling and I did a much better job of staying on course this time. I noticed more women doing alternative strokes (i.e. non-freestyle) and some of them mystified me. How do you do a backstroke and stay on course? That seems really challenging. Plus the arms coming down whack passerby (namely, moi) pretty indiscriminately but it's all part of the fun, right? And here I am coming out of the water. Didn't Miguel do a great job on taking pictures?

I walked to my bike and transitioned smoothly. This time I remembered to take my tankini off before putting my bike/jog shirt on. So Miguel actually shot some super zoom pics of me in transition. Here I am taking my tankini off, and to be honest, I'm posting this picture because I think it makes me look skinny. It's not too often I can say that! Anyway, that's my sports bra underneath and you might also notice my Polar heart rate strap.

After I changed I headed out for the bike ride. Here I am heading out of T1.

This time I had my Garmin so I got to see distance, speed, cadence, etc during the ride and that was fun. Garmin says I averaged 14.3mph on the bike. Strictly average, or maybe even less than average, but that's ok. I meant to pee before the swim and forgot and now I'm paying for it. We passed a Starbucks during the bike and I seriously considered stopping in to use the restroom. I decided to wait and go during T2 even though the bathrooms aren't near the transition area. So I took my time enjoying the scenery during the bike, we passed some vineyards and pretty open spaces. I was sure to thank as many volunteers as I could as well. Here I am coming in from the bike leg. Speaking of you see what I see? Muscles!

I changed my shoes and headed off for the run. Guess what my foot hit when I tried to put on my running shoe? Yep, the other AccelGel. But since I thought I only had one I didn't eat one during the bike. I didn't really need two anyway. So off I went. Given my lack of training lately I was resigned to walking the run portion. But after a little ways I felt strong enough, and my heart rate was plenty low, so I jogged some. About 1/3 of the way who comes jogging up next to me? Miguel! Yay! This race is super casual so he joined in for most of the rest of the run. This was great because he was very encouraging and made the time go by fast. Plus I got to tell him all about my swim and bike experience. He ran off as I rounded the last turn so he could take some finish line pictures. Gotta love that man. So here I am just past the finish line.

Good thing Miguel was snapping because the official photographer was having camera issues and missed me. Miguel said he missed a bunch of people. Can you imagine no finish line picture? I'd be mad if that was my first tri. They need to carry two cameras. Anyway, enough telling the world how to function. Oh, here's the route of the bike and the run. The bike is the portion on the city streets surrounding the park and the run is the criss-cross portion inside the park.

I had a great time. I felt so content afterward. That's the best way I can describe it. So I had a colleague there racing who said I had inspired her to try triathlons. Can you imagine? She's super skinny and super gorgeous and I never, in 5 million years, would have imagined inspiring someone like her. Just goes to show you that stereotypes are bull-pucky. She ran in the 6th wave with her boyfriend so I waited at the finish line to cheer them on. She was so excited!! I was so proud of her for facing the challenge and conquering it!! And it was super fun listening to her go through her swim, which was challenging, bike and run. Yay! Another triathlete!! I'd post this super cute pic I took of them near the finish line but I didn't ask her permission. So in lieu of that I'll post a pic of Miguel and I just after the race.

Yay! My second triathlon in the bag. I am so grateful, so pleased with my body. Despite a shocking lack of exercise in the last few weeks I was still able to pop up and do this. Woo-hoo! So after the event we headed off to breakfast. I had some nice post-race pancakes and super crispy bacon and a scrambled egg white. Not too bad. I was beat after that and tried to fall asleep during the hour car ride home.

After a shower and a nap I headed out to dinner with some friends. I got to seem super fit and strong saying things like, "At my tri this morning...". They were appropriately impressed :) Oh, and of course my inked up leg had to be shown off. We went to a very yummy Italian restaurant. By the time my head hit the pillow at 10:30 I was dead tired.

Today is all about resting. I did a little house cleaning and plan to watch some videos and catch up on blogs and TV shows. I also plan to do some cooking. Some big changes are afoot in the nutrition department and I'll tell you all about that next time. Oh, and did I mention I signed up for a swimming class for fall? It's with Jean and the class starts 9/2. I'm excited!! Alright, I'm off to read some blogs and see what the rest of the world's been up to.

p.s. I feel like I could say this after every post but Thank You so much for each and every comment. I don't mind saying that the people who read my blog are obviously the sweetest, most clever, most supportive folks around. THANK YOU!!


  1. Michelle, You are AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing this post and all the pictures. You looked fantastic and seeing the pictures I NEVER would have guessed you were once 75#'s heavier. You are one of the bloggers than inspired me to get my bike, and I have been biking like crazy the past week. My bad knees won't allow me to run comfortable, but I do plan to keep up with the biking and healthy eating. Thanks again and congrats!

  2. You are AWESOME!!!

    Nice job on your tri! :)

    You know, everyone has ups and downs - and it's coming back up again that makes you stronger. You just did your second tri, you look smokin' athletic AND you had fun! You're inspiring people all over the place.

  3. You are so frickin' inspiring! Way to go on triathlon dos!! Wow. Great photos too. Miguel is a good photographer! You look great---totally noticed your muscular arms and legs!!! Thanks so much for writing the posts and for sharing the photos. You make me want to try new things:) and get off my butt.

  4. Way to go! It was really nice reading about your swim portion-I want to do tri's but really don't enjoy swimming-but I love the breaststroke-now I don't feel silly possibly trying a tri and swimming the breastsroke. And it was nice to see a mountain bike amongst the bikes in one of your pics. I don't have a road bike and feel like it would be silly to do a tri on a hybrid....

    I'm so glad you had a greta time and that you had a wonderful man taking pictures of you!!!

    Southbay Girl

  5. Congrats on getting out there and enjoying your race. That is the main aim after all, and most of the time we forget that as we get wrapped up in times etc...

    Love the pics, you look amazing! You've inspired me again!!!!! Thanks.

  6. Hooray! way to get through number two, Michelle... I'm super impressed with how well you've done, and thanks so much for sharing your success with us. I think I (#3233) might even remember having seen you in the transition area, will have to coordinate meeting up next time. Keep up the great work!

  7. way to go, michelle! the tri sounds awesome! i remember the day after my first tri. i went to the farmers market and intentionally wore a sleeveless top so that my arm numbers would show. :)

  8. you are so awesome!! you definitely inspire me...I wish I could do something like that. you look fantastic and you should be so proud!

  9. Awesome effort!
    No doubt about are an athlete!

    And a very inspirational one at that! I can't wait to post pics of my first tri

    Well done

  10. Congratulations on your second tri! Great job. You're an inspiration to all of us. Keep up the great work.

    Yes, you look great and I see lots of muscles!

  11. ARE YOU KIDDING!!! You inspire me's because of you that I am training for a triathlon. Don't ever doubt your reach to inspire people.

    I am glad that you finished and that you had a good time. You look fantastic and happy which makes me happy. :-)

    We'll have to compare notes on our swim classes.

    xox from NY

  12. You look fantastic! Isn't it great to finish something many/most people would not even consider doing? And whats more to feel so happy about it! Great job!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog!

  13. You inspire me too! When I was thinner I did alot of cycling but never running or swimming. I am keeping a list of things I want to accomplish as I lose weight. I have running a 5K on the list. Maybe I need to add a tri!

    Also, how well does your heart rate monitor work in the water? I have a Polar (not sure of the model off the top of my head) but I did read on their website that all their monitors can be used in water. I have started doing water aerobics and wanted to try to use mine to make sure I get my heart rate up. I've been hesitant to try it for fear of ruining it.

  14. Congrats!!! You are an inspiration and don't forget that!!! You almost make me want to do one. Almost:)

  15. hey GF! Nice pics, Miguel deserves major props. =)

    I love that huge smile you're sporting when you're waving back at the camera - you look so happy! And the "skinny" picture is hilarious. =)

    You sound in great spirits, and I hope health things are under haven't shared anything big lately, so inquiring minds are still inquisitive...

    take care, my friend, and have an awesome week!

  16. Good for you, Michelle! You should be very proud of what you have accomplished!!!!! We certainly are...

    Ready to get Real? As in Tri-For-Real?

    ~Jonathan Lance
    On Your Mark Events

  17. GO YOU!!!

    amazing and love the pictures you made the time to post!


  18. GREAT JOB! GREAT Blog!

    So nice to find your story.

    I used to weigh about 300 I understand quite a bit.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    Hugs from Ohio,


  19. Fist of all, congrats on completing your second tri!!!! You are one amazing person! And just for the record, you said you put one picture in because you thought it made you look thin. Girl, you ARE thin!

    Maybe this tri, and the high you feel after completing it will help motivate and get you back totally on the wagon!

  20. What a great report. That Miguel is really a great photographer too. I loved when you said you finished content. It seemed the perfect emotion to punctuate this one. I'm glad things went well for you, given the "bumpy" start :-)

  21. Yay that is so so amazing that you are so fit and healthy now that you can just hop right back into the tri world.

    And um hello? You are so inspiring to anyone!! So no shocker here!

    Can't wait to here about the new nutritional stuff!

    And again - super congrats!!

  22. Congrats on your 2nd tri! It has to be a great feeling knowing how far you've come over the last year! When I first came across your blog, it inspired me to just 'go for it' to try something new and see what happens. I can't imagine doing a Tri (right now just running 3 minutes ha ha), but it's nice to see it can be done if you want it bad enough and work hard enough!

    Great job, and looking forward to reading about your nutrition changes and most importantly, hope things are getting better for you in the health department.

  23. Congrats on your second tri...I'm one of those who you're inspiring BTW...I'm thinking of a sprint tri in the I crazy?

  24. Michelle: Count me in for the inspired team. You are amazing.

    And, HELLO leg muscles in the bike photo!! Awesome.

  25. Um. I think you look skinny in all of your photos. Plus your muscles are really popping out! Girl you are a brick house, I swear. Congratulations on the Tri. Looking good!

  26. WAY TO GO!! I love the "where's waldo" photo. And the one of you taking of your top. More women need to post photos of them taking off their clothes.


    No really, sweet job!!!

  27. Congratulations on a wonderful race. Loved your race report - and just accept it - you are inspiring!

  28. Oaky, you little skinny athlete, you! Even with your recent challenges you're showing us, and more importantly yourself, that you are just that kind of girl. The kind that can run, swim, bike, whatever it is you want to do.
    And has muscles!!!
    Love all the pics. Good job, Miguel!!!

  29. You are amazing, and such an inspiration. Congrats on finishing your second Tri!! So cool!
    I hope you got some rest after your big day! Take care of yourself!!

  30. Look at those muscles, baby!

    You had the foundation already set, so you were able to knock out this tri! Miguel took some great pictures, too. :)

  31. Congrats on your accomplishment!

    Sounds like you had a really fun time.

    You always look so happy in the photos, I just know you are out there enjoying yourself and the event.

  32. I loved reading this... it is very inspiring especially for me being so frightening of the upcoming baby tri I've put myself in for.
    When you look at those photos and then at your before photos.. well, you're amazing!! :)

  33. What an inspiration! You mnake it sound and look so easy!

  34. I'm a little late, but congrats on your second triathlon! Looks like it was a lot of fun.

  35. Yay for you and your 2nd triathlon. Ypu look awesome!!

  36. Yay for you!! That's awesome and so great that you can just go at your own pace and enjoy it :)

    I don't know how they do backstroke either! I do it sometimes in my training swims but I don't think there's anyway I could do it in an actual tri.

    Anyway, Congrats on finshing your 2nd. You're way cool!

  37. Michelle, your race report makes me want to try a tri. You enjoyed yourself and your journey, even if you've had a few tough weeks you 'popped-up' and did it - the human body is an amazing thing. Keep up the new active you, it is keeping me going - I want to try new things with my new body every day, thanks for the inspiration!
    You go girl - were all here to cheer you on!

  38. Hi Michelle -- just wondering where you are these days, I miss your posts! I haven't blogged this past week either, but I hope health concerns haven't been tripping you up too much. I look forward to your next post, hope all is well :)


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