Sunday, November 4, 2012

Marin Triathlon 2012 Race Report

I kept my week fairly normal in terms of exercise, hitting the gym on Sun, Mon, Tue and Thur.  After the 1/2 marathon from two weeks prior, I just wasn't in the mood to taper again.  So I decided to exercise as if nothing was happening, other than taking the day before the race (Friday) off from exercise.  I also did a fair amount of eating on Friday in the name of carb loading.  That's almost too good of an excuse to eat for me.

I'd had a lot of reservations doing this triathlon on nothing but run training and in the back of my mind I was considering not doing it altogether, though I didn't say that out loud to anyone.  By mid-week I hadn't rented a wetsuit.  I tried on a friend's and I could get it on but it didn't feel right.  So at the last minute I ran to Sports Basement to rent one, unless they had a deal I couldn't turn down to buy my own.  Turns out they did!  They had a Women's TYR Hurricane Category 1 wetsuit for...wait for it...wait for it - $70.00.  Seventy. dollars.  Dude - the thing retails for $290.  The category 1 is an entry level wetsuit, perfect for my needs.  I only have to wear it two more times for it to pay for itself in saved rental fees.  And I can't tell you how comfortable this thing is.  I hardly feel like I'm wearing a wetsuit!  And SO easy to put on.  Happy, happy.  But now, I have to do the tri!

So I hustled home to get my stuff out.  I'd not done a thing, thank goodness Miguel had prepped my bike for me.  Love that guy.  I got all my gear packed up and ready for the morning.  I'd had a huge thai curry lunch with rice so wasn't very hungry.  I ended up having a bowl of cereal and a couple of dinner rolls before bed.

Up at 5:30am and I had my normal breakfast, cereal and coffee.  I only had a bit of coffee, I didn't want to be peeing all morning.  I got on the road and arrived near the park with more than an hour to spare before the race.  Not to mention my wave start was 20 minutes after that. Put my pack on my back and rode into the park (with my headlamp, it was still dark).   I got marked, 242, and started setting up my area.  The biggest difference from last year is that I wasn't freezing my ass off.  It was a going to be a nice day weather wise.

I chatted up the people near me for a bit.  The woman next to me was a first-timer (which also happened last year) so I kept busy answering her questions and assuaging her fears.  The guy across from me, Mike, is a regular so we talked about local triathlon options and how great the Pleasanton Tri for Funs are.  We are so lucky to live in an area filled with these types of events - the options are many and varied.

And then I noticed a woman who was wearing her wetsuit inside out!  I finally decided she was probably not doing it on purpose and someone had to tell her.  Fortunately she had enough time to change it.  And then it was time to head to the start to watch the early waves take off.  Oh the excitement, I just love it!  Now it's my turn.  In the water and waiting for the horn.  Neil from TriMore Fitness was there to lead out the swimmers - it was nice to see a friendly face.

So I'm swimming along and before too long my arms start to hurt a bit, "A little bit of training probably would have been a good idea" I thought.  But I just pushed on, telling myself I wouldn't need my arms for the rest of the day so just go for it.  I bumped a few people and got bumped some but nothing bad.  And I had a mouthful or two of water, but again, nothing awful.  I made a bad turn around the last buoy and got a little off course, though not too astray, probably only lost a minute or so if that.  And my wetsuit was awesome, kept me plenty comfortable and I hardly noticed it, which means it's working, right?  Out of the water and off to T1.  Swim time: 10:53.6

I changed into my bike gear without incident.  I tend to take my time though, I dried off my feet, put on some sunblock, etc.  I probably value comfort over time.  Just as I was heading out Mike comes in from his swim.  His wave was 5 minutes behind mine.  I note to myself that I should probably try to finish before him but I really didn't know how fast he would be on the bike or the run so I don't get too serious about it.  T1 time: 4:17.2

Head out on the bike, which starts with a nice steep uphill out of the park.  And then the rollers of hills just keep coming.  The good thing is I had no issues with my gears like last year.  And I even passed a few people, though mostly I was getting passed.  About halfway through I had an AccelGel just because it sounded like a reasonable idea. And then I realized that I messed up my Garmin and had paused it after 58 seconds on the bike.  Must have bumped it while putting on my gloves.  Good thing this wasn't my first tri, details aren't as important.  My legs were hurting but I just kept pushing myself, and it was kind of liberating not paying attention to the Garmin, I would just do what I could.  And my butt was hurting from no time in the saddle.  I exchanged a few friendly words with fellow racers and then next thing you know, back at the park.  I never saw Mike on the bike so I had no idea if he'd passed me or, if not, how far behind me he was. Bike time: 37:43.2

Back at transition and Mike's bike was not back, so he was still behind me.  I changed out of bike stuff and into running stuff.  Things went off without a hitch.  I was just taking off when he arrived.  Better hustle!  T2 time: 1:51.5

On the run (duh).  Why am I still so wet?!
I took off with no Garmin.  I was feeling free and decided to just run on feel and hope for the best.  Heck, it was only 3.1 miles, right?  Just out of the transition area and I decided to have the AccelGel I was carrying, mostly to get it out of the way.  I made a horrible decision to have it right at the start of a hill.  WTF?  And worst thing, the gel squirted right into the back of my throat and instantly my throat was burning and I had to cough a lot.  That made me stop running and start walking up that hill.  Oh well, it is a pretty steep hill so I probably would've had to walk at some point.  At the top of the hill I started running and, while my legs felt kind of weird (can't really explain it, just different), the running was going well.  No idea of my pace without a gadget.  I had a few moments here and there that felt hard and I questioned if I'd be able to run the whole way, but for the most part I felt good.  Not too long after the turnaround I saw Mike - he was only a couple minutes behind me!  That put a pep in my step and I did all I could to gather my strength to speed up. My calves threatened to cramp up a couple times but nothing ever came of that.  I got back to the hill to re-enter the park and hoped to run up the whole thing but I petered out during the last hundred feet or so.  But I walked as fast as I could - I knew Mike was close behind me.  And then the hill was over and it was all downhill and flat to the finish line.  Woo-weeeeeee!!!  Run time: 29:51.3

It was so nice to cross that finish line!  I'd made a little sprint at the very end...and good thing, I squeaked in under 30 minutes on the run!!!!!, which felt amazing.  That means I averaged 9:36 minute miles, or 6.24 miles per hour.  And that includes some walking.  Go me!!!!!  I am so happy with my running this year.  Who knew it could get so good?  Overall time: 1:24:36.7

W40-44: 12/18, Women: 76/129, Overall: 181/265
So that means I beat last year's time of 1:39:57 by over 15 minutes!!  I was faster on the swim this year, which makes little sense since I didn't train at all.  And I was a few minutes faster on the bike too but the big news was the run - I cut nearly 10 minutes from my run time.  The only thing in which I was slower this year was T1.  Amazing!

A few post-tri pictures...

Is this seriously my life?  So good!

More bling for me!!

What a great day.  Can't believe I considered skipping it!!
I got my free lunch, a lamb shawarma, and then walked around a bit while I waited for my massage.  I checked my time and was so pumped to see that sub-30 minute run.  The massage was pretty good.  Oh man, I was on a serious post-tri high.  I couldn't imagine being in a better mood.  I finally packed it in and headed back to the car.  I was wiped out yet barely noticed I felt so good.  And I cannot express how thrilled I am that I switched to the sprint distance.  It was the difference between a fun day, in which I could push myself, and a suffer-fest.  Show me the fun!!!  Smartest. decision. ever.  And the Marin Triathlon remains a great event - well organized, friendly atmosphere, beautiful surrounds and so much positive, supportive energy.  I love it.

Next year I'm a gal with a goal and I will do that Olympic distance.  I started an Upcoming Races page here on the blog to assure I don't screw up my schedule for 2013.  I first registered for the Olympic distance in 2008.  I ended up being too pregnant to do the event so I relayed it and just did the run.  2013 will be five years later.  So I think it's a good year to do it.

I came home and spent some time with the kids while getting all my gear cleaned up and put away.  And then my girlfriend Michelle called about going to see Kelly Clarkson play at a free concert put on by Microsoft.  She'd gotten wristbands that morning.  Score!  After some cajoling Miguel agreed to let me go.  I was still on a bit of a high and figured I could ride that for the rest of the day.  The concert was fun and it's always fun to hang with the best mommy friends around.  We were scheming up future dance outings, yay!  We got to take a bunch of fun pictures and enjoy one of the best voices out there.  Kelly even sang a couple country songs, which I particularly enjoyed.

Rock Stars!
The real rock star :)
You can imagine I slept well last night.  Today I spent time with the kids and did some much needed grocery shopping.  I have added lunch making for the kids to the routine.  What a joy that is...not.

A small piece of business before I sign off.  At weigh-in on Friday I was 146.2.  At my WW meeting my leader pointed out that I am basically maintaining.  Bouncing around the same weight.  She said if I just hit that goal weight I can start counting all these weeks toward maintenance to hit lifetime and stop having to pay for WW.  Maybe that will motivate me this week?  I am looking forward to a week with almost zero social events.  I have a mother's club board meeting on Wednesday, which does not need to involve indulging (though I usually like to have at least one glass of wine to take the edge off).  Saturday night I am headed across the bay to dinner at a friend's house (but that's a day after weigh-in so it doesn't really count yet).  Maybe, maybe I can hit goal this week.

That's all I got.  I hope you had an action packed weekend as well.  Take care of yourself, you deserve it!


  1. Yep! You summed it up in that one word, Michelle. Amazing! Your body has changed so much in the past year. Doing a tri is something you can just "do". When I look at the pic of you finishing it strikes me that your body is turning into a runner's body, all sleek and long muscles. All of these changes means that after a tri you can still go out and rock it with your girlfriends. I am so happy for you, Michelle. You really are an example of what happens when a person dedicates themselves to getting healthy.. Go goal weight!

  2. Amazing! I hated my first and only tri, this makes me want to give it another shot! I saw Kelly Clarkson this year too! She was awesome

  3. Check out the pins on that doll! You look amazing all in full flight in your running pic. Go you sexy thing. You must be loving the mirror right now. Glad you had so much fun with this race and got to love the wetsuit bargain. :)

  4. I think I've said this before, but I swear you look like a fitness model! I'm super impressed with all of the progress you've made AND look at those times! Woah! Not to mention how happy you look!


  5. I am catching up on my blogs and I know this is late, but I wanted to say how proud of you I am. You are my most inspiring role model. I need to never delay reading your posts because they help my motivation so much. And I love your blurbs on your FB page. Just wanted to let you know. And you look so awesome!


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