Break the Tape at a Triathlon (Phase 1)

I did not get to break the tape at the finish line, but this was my first time doing a triathlon, so I’m counting this as phase 1. Phase 2 will be breaking the tape or at least coming in first in my age group.

I raced a triathlon for the 1st time in June 2012.  This is something I’ve been wanting to for a while now.  I just needed to get enough workouts in to be able to finish it.  I mostly worked out, but there were also a lot of lazy days.  I felt very out of shape, but overall so glad I did it.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is a race report I wrote up for beginnertriathlete.com where I found a plan to follow and people to chat with in their forums.

 TRI for FUN Triathlon #1

Sprint (0.5 mile swim / 16 mile bike / 3 mile run)

June 2, 2012 in Herald, California

Weather was sunny about 70 degrees / high of the day was 97 degrees

Total Time = 2h 37m 47s

Overall Rank = 398/421

Age Group = 30-34

Age Group Rank = 24/25

Pre-race routine

racing site was less than an hour away. Woke up and had cereal, toasted wheat bread with peanut butter, and on the drive there had a small bottle of Gatorade.

Got to the site just as the transition opened. set up my spot and then found a couple of people to talk to from a tri club I am thinking of joining. Moved my stuff to their rack. A lady that has done triathlons for a year was very friendly and nice, and a guy that was his first time too. Talking to them calmed my nerves.

I walked around making sure to see where we were coming in from the swim and where to leave, come in on bike, and run. small enough of transition area (421 total people) so it was easy to find my bike.

Swim

Course: U shape course starting on the west side of the swim beach and ending on the east side of the beach

Started off in the water. I was going to be in the back, but no one wanted to tread water on one side of the start line, so I tread water and had hoped that it would help loosen up my muscles.

Took off fast at the start to try to stay away from the pack. swam to the outside the whole way. I think it was because i had a crick on my left side of the neck so ended up doing a shorter stroke with my left arm. felt like a decent enough pace. swam until my hand touched mud, stood up easily enough and ran up grassy area to transition.

I forgot to start the watch at the start and completely forgot to tap it for splits.  So I have no idea what my time was for each leg of the race.

T1

(Transition from swim to bike) sat down and dried off feet, put on sock and then shoes.

re-applied sunscreen to face and arms, put on t-shirt. headband, sunglasses, and helmet. grabbed bike and was off to the next part.

Bike

Course: Out and back from Rancho Seco park onto State Route 104. SR 104 is relatively flat with a couple of rollers thrown in. Had to deal with drivers coming from both directions

Heard a lot of “on your left” as bikers rode pass me. that was frustrating, but I knew I had to just ride since I haven’t done this before. it felt like a good pace to me, but guess it was a bit slow with the number of passerbys. I did have to move to the left once to avoid a pothole and a biker yelled at me to stay on my left. Sorry wasn’t going to ride through that pothole. but i didn’t waste my breath yelling at her back. most bikers were nice, a few added encouragements as they passed. Wasn’t used to the slopes up and down. toward the end, I was really hating even the slight incline.

T2

(Transition from bike to run) got off bike, feet felt like cushioned tops. got the bike racked, helmet off, hat on. made sure to grab a gu. I didn’t have bike shoes, so didn’t have to change that. put on race belt and took off for the run, volunteers all around to point the way.

Run

Course: Grass exit from the transition area and then an out and back on a dirt road. A little bit hilly, but not too high. lots of rocks. had water stations as you left for the run, and at mile 1 / mile 2 marker

by this time, was just doing what i could to finish. I was going run/walk but ended up walking a lot of it. my left foot and lower leg became completely numb. people later said it might have been because the shoelace was too tight. it felt better running for a little bit, then the inside part of my knees cramped up. first time that happened. easily out of breath.  very warm out by this time

Post race

walked around some, ate a banana & some pasta they had there.  was sooo glad that a guy gave the tip to freeze the water bottles the night before so the water was still cold for the bike and run

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5k Mud Run

borrowed from the facebook page

When I started paying attention to all the different kind of running events out there, one of the ones that sounded fun to try was a mud run. This is a 5k (3.1 miles) through mud and different kind of obstacles.

This last Saturday (April 6, 2013) I got to go to my 1st mud run with 3 other friends. We had signed up a few months ago and didn’t think about it until 2 weeks before the event. No training and preparing for it; we weren’t sure what to expect. A friend drove us and looked after our stuff so we didn’t have to put them in gear check. Added bonus was that he took photos and we didn’t have to worry about getting our cameras dirty.

The day of, the weather was overcast, but not too cold. So, it was in fact perfect for a run in the middle of the day. The race had different wave times throughout the day. I saw a post they had over 10,000 participants. that would have been super crazy to have them go all at one time.

I hadn’t paid attention to the website recommending not to wear shorts but capris or long pants. Learned the reason soon enough for that statement. my legs and knees got all scraped and bruised.

I had such a blast, it’s definitely not for time, and you would benefit having friends doing it with you. Good for helping each other get over obstacles. There is one major one where the front side was just wood panel set at a 70 degree angle and you have to somehow get yourself up and over. People ended up having to make chains to pull their friends over. I got on the side where I could step up halfway on a beam, and then a bit of the wood paneling was a bit caved in, so there was a lip there, then I could get to the top and over. I have a HUGE bruise on my arm that I think I got from this obstacle.

borrowed from the Facebook page

Any of the other obstacles I was able to pull myself a little, of get help pushing/pulling me up. Except one, the rope climb. I was able to pull myself up most of the way, but then I could tell if I tried to moved my hand up to grab higher, it would probably slip and I’d fall. That or I got too scared to try, so went back down and then around. Definitely will work on my upper arms strength for next time.

I was the only only that got mostly covered in mud because I slipped and fell in one of the mud pits. I did try to push one of my friends down when crawling under wire, but she was strong enough to stay up.

We crossed the finish line and got a finisher’s medal. Then over to get a celebratory beer. Almost forgot, we of course gave our friend watching all our stuff a muddy hug. Lastly was time to get under the shower of water they had to wash off and changed out of a bit of the muddy clothes and shoes and then headed home.

thanks Mike!

I would recommend trying a mud run, totally fun. Especially trying a 5k one before attempting a Tough Mudder, if you are thinking of doing that one. This was a very tame obstacle course from overheard comments.

First Half Marathon

I always thought that people were crazy doing half and full marathons, that I would never be able to go that distance running.  In 2010, I learned from a friend that she would run/walk these 13.1 mile races.  It stunned me.  I never considered that someone could  walk it.  Guess I always pictured running because that’s what you see on the news when they talk about these events.  The more I thought about it, the more it made sense that one could indeed run and walk marathons.  So, I signed up for the half marathon in March celebrating St. Patrick’s day.  It’s also one of the starting half’s in the area for the running season.  I thought, perfect, this gives me a couple of months to train.  And a great way to kick start my goal of getting back in shape and living a healthy lifestyle again.

Well, I didn’t really get off my butt for training, but I was still determined to do the race.  Quick enough race day came, and we met up at the start.  I remember walking most of it, and was probably pretty slow going for my friend.  She was very nice in staying with me and my other friend who joined in for her first half marathon.

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Half way through the race!

Half way through the race!

I loved the atmosphere and the attitude of all the racers.  They were so happy (most of them) and a lot dressed up for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s when I learned how often there were themes to races that people would dress for (especially wearing tutus).  I hadn’t realized how much I missed being around athletes, like I used to be with swimming, until I was surrounded by them again.  That’s what got me hook on racing again.  I am not much for running, but I definitely am for doing more races.

shamrockn marathon 2010-M

My goal is to properly train for a half marathon and see what kind of time I could do running the whole thing.