Monday, July 21, 2008

Tri for Fun race report and tons of pics

The Tri for Fun is a three race series that takes place at Shadow Cliffs Park in Pleasanton. Last year I did the August event with Zach as our first ever triathlon. This year I did it alone as a practice day for my half ironman on August 2nd. I didn't push too hard but I certainly didn't take it easy and I'm really happy with the results!


Got up about 5:15 am and ate a bowl of oatmeal and headed out the door. We arrived about 6:00 am, checked in, and I crammed my bike into a nearly full rack. It sure pays to arrive early, which I did not. Set up my transition area, made a quick bathroom stop, and then put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water. I jumped in the water really quick- it felt really warm and comfortable so I knew I didn't really need to warm up. Zach was snapping pictures and I was feeling very relaxed.

The Swim 400 y.

The first three waves went off and I entered the water. I knew there were a lot of first timers, and there had been a self-seeded "competitive wave" already, so I figured I was safe to start toward the front. As I positioned myself in shallow water, I was sinking in mud and stepping on sharp rocks and these sharp shells that are everywhere. I felt like something was kind of stuck to the bottom of my right foot, so I tried to shake it off, but it didn't move. I asked a girl next to me if I could hold onto her for a second, and I picked my foot up out of the water and sure enough I had a big effing gash in it. What I thought was something stuck to my foot was a flap of skin. Horf. I didn't know what to do, but figured I was fine and just get on with it.

(I'm on the far right, that's probably exactly where I cut my foot)

I was right up front on the outside, so I kind of went out fast to stay ahead of the crowd. My foot hurt a little at first but then I forgot about it. I felt really good and comfortable in the water. I remember last year being totally thrashed around and scared out of my mind, but this time I was just like la, la, la. The water was warm, the swim was short, and I wasn't running into anyone. I found some feet to draft off of and just swam. The whole thing went by pretty fast and I tried to swim hard as I approached the beach. Zach said he was surprised to see me because I was at the front of the pack. Yay! I ran out of the water and pulled my wetsuit off. I hit the lap on my watch at that point and it said 7:14.


I used the water bottle I had in my transition area to rinse my bloody, dirty foot cut before putting on my socks and bike shoes. Once it's clean it doesn't look too bad. It doesn't really hurt either so I soldier on. Helmet and sunglasses on, off we go. 1:44

The Bike: 11 miles (actually 10.3)

There's a slight hill coming out of transition, but nothing at all like the one at Showdown at Sundown and I didn't even need my easiest gear. Once up the hill I just zoomed along. I didn't really know how long the bike course was (was it 11? 12? 15? I forget...) but I know the course pretty well so I knew when I was getting close. It is really flat and I was flying along. There were a couple fast girls that I was trying to keep up with but mostly the whole course was passing slow guys on mountain bikes. I felt like such a bad ass. Then I kind of felt just like a regular ass because this is a Tri for Fun and I'm totally showing off. :D Oh well. It felt great to go so fast on the bike, usually I'm holding back a bit because I'm riding a lot farther. I was at 16+ MPH the whole time and spent a lot of time going 20-22. Soon enough I see the landmarks that indicate I'm back at the lake so I push hard for the last bit. Down the little hill and off my bike. 34:07/18.0 MPH


Rack the bike, change shoes (notice large blotch of blood on sock), visor on, grab the race belt, off we go. 0:33

The Run: 3 miles

Still felt really good and under control. I remember from last year the run is all over these little hills in the park area and is not a fast course. At first I wasn't pushing too hard, but just running along. The whole run I was passing tons of guys who all started in waves before me. One girl passed me right away but that was it (well, almost). I got water at the aid station and kept cruising along. I saw Zach and waved. Then, about 15 minutes into the run, I hear footsteps right behind me and they stay there. That is, someone caught up to me but is not passing me. At one point I see that person in my peripheral vision and sure enough it is a girl. She stays behind me, RIGHT behind me, for the entire rest of the run. Oh game on sister! I increase my pace by about a minute per mile. I crank up the hills and I fly down, twisted ankle be damned. I felt really good and had plenty of energy so I hammered. Finally, we are over the last of the hills and heading back into the beach part of the park. I don't hear her behind me anymore but I don't take that for granted, I pick up the pace even more. I figure I have about a quarter mile left so I try to get as much distance on her as possible, as I know she'll try to get me in a finishing sprint. I get onto the paved path, I could see the finish line ahead, and WHOOSH, girl blows by me like I'm standing still. I tried to sprint with her but that lasted about 4 seconds before I gave up. I kinda jogged it in, finishing a few second behind her. I wish I could have held her off, but that girl was the best thing that could have happened to me since she made me run harder. Plus, it was fun. 25:36/8:32 average pace (if the distance was correct, which I don't know about. I think I ran a lot faster than that)

One of many dudes I chicked:

This picture says it all: the blue shirt girl about to kick my ass, and the guy giving the the stink eye for kicking his ass. Ah the circle of life.

I saw the girl past the finish line and we high-fived and talked for a minute. She said I was setting a good pace and I said "You're welcome" hehe. I made my way over to the food table and ate my weight in cantaloupe.

I am really happy with my finish time and my effort. I finished about 6 minutes faster than last year. The best part was that I really felt like I knew what I was doing. I'm glad I got one last race in before Barb's Race, the transition practice itself was worth the entry fee.

My foot is fine, by the way. I cleaned it out and put some antibiotic ointment on it and covered it up. I was kind of a baby about it in retrospect.

I spent the day resting and took a nap, and then Zach and I headed to Berkeley for dinner and a concert. We went to a tapas place called Cesar's and then went to the Greek Theatre to see Feist. I didn't get to bed until about midnight, so it was a long day.

Sunday I really didn't feel like doing anything, but I wanted to get in my last long bike ride and wrap up my last big week. It took me until about 3:30 pm but I finally got my butt out the door:

Sunday pm: bike
34.6 miles/2:23:12/14.4 MPH
Iron Horse Trail because I was too tired/lazy to tackle any hills.

TOTALS for the week: 20 miles run, 125 miles bike, 9,200 yards swim
TOTAL training time for the week: 15 hours

Now it is taper time! Thank GOD! I am celebrating by taking today completely off. I might walk down to the library later or something like that. Have a great week everyone! :)

Video from the start of my wave

Short Feist video


Nitmos said...

I think he WAS giving you the stink eye in that picture. Way to chick him right out of those skin tights.

*aron* said...

awesome job!!! sounds like a great confidence booster for the big race! enjoy your day off and enjoy the taper - you are going to rock your tri!

love all the pics too... fun to have your own personal photographer there :)

Petraruns said...

Wow - What a report! Can you believe how you enjoyed this now you know what you're doing? You're such an inspiration.. Love you chicking the guy he is totally giving you the evil eye!

Now rest up and get ready. I am so excited for you!

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Great job at the race! It looks like you are pretty ready for your HIM.

21stCenturyMom said...

Nice race! You did great and you are going to lurve Barb's Race. Too much fun.

How was the course support at Tri for Fun? Most of FoMo was off racing so I hope they had enough people.

KK said...

OMG "chicked" I love it.

Okay, Dire Tune (or whatever that girl's name was from Boston who drafted off the leader until the very end). I think that's bogus to do to someone. But you're right, good in the sense that she pushed you to go harder. But STILL- ANNOYING!

You did so well, that is a heck of a lot of time to take off for such a short distance. My money is on you totally kicking a$$ in your HIM. Nice job!!!!!!!

"ate my weight in cantaloupe" love it!

Arcane said...

Great job! I would have been completed worried about the gash, but I guess you tri people take it with a grain of salt. Great pics!

miss petite america said...

jen, seriously, you NEVER cease to amaze and inspire me! way to rock and race!

ncrunner12 said...

What a great post, I could totally imagine it and felt like I was there. I was waiting to hear you kicked that girls ass in the last 100m turned around and said "nice try."

Can't wait to hear about the half iron. Again, great job!

Gotta Run said...

What a strong race and solid race report. Love all of the pictures!! You are kicking butt big time. Enjoy your taper. You have earned it.

Sorry to read about the cut on your foot but it did not seem to be a factor for you at all.

Love the photo best of the guy giving you stink eye!! That was great!

jahowie said...

Wow!! Where did you find all of that speed on the bike?!?! You did awesome!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Nice work out there!

Bummer about the cut foot but glad it turned out not to be serious. You're going to rock Barb's!!

kelsalynn said...

Holy cow- 6 minutes faster than last year? Now THAT's IMPROVEMENT! Dang girl! Great job! It sounds like you had a lot of fun and I'm glad that bitch, I mean fellow female triathlon participant, made you push yourself!!! LOL! Thanks for sharing all of your stories and pictures. I'm glad to hear your foot is fine.


Ewen said...

Great report Jen - it really conveyed a fun race. Congrats on chicking all those dudes - who cares if you were blasting along on a TdF bike?

As for blue-shirt girl - now that you know she's a sit-and-kicker, you'll have to surge away from her earlier in the run.

Are you sure about the cantaloupe? It's not that heavy you know ;)

Paul said...

Great work! those short races are always lots of fun!

Bob Gentile said...

Awesome Jen way to Chick those boys!

Mir said...

You are a STUD.

Chicking the dudes is one of my favorite pastimes in races. Brilliant.

Marathon Maritza said...

Way to chick a bunch of dudes!!!

You did great!!!!