Into the West Coast Swing of Things

Today, I ran my first West Coast tri as a native (I guess, technically, I ran a West Coast tri at 70.3 Vegas last year) and it was a blast.  The weekend wasn’t easy, though.  My husband flew out to DC on Thursday to race in the Marine Corps Marathon for Team Navy and I was left to take care of business as usual while also preparing for a race.  The race site was about an hour from me and I was stressing about logistics and trying to remember everything, etc., and then I learned that I would be carpooling with some triathlete friends from Virginia Beach who were out here for the race and everything got easier and became a LOT more fun! 🙂  I met them at the home they’re staying in this weekend yesterday morning and we went for a swim in a harbor on Coronado Island.  I drove home, walked the dogs and got the rest of my things together and then they swung by with their giant SUV and picked me up to head to the expo.

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.02.31 PMThere were plenty of seals hanging around in the harbor and spectators got to watch them swim in and out of the triathletes!  This was one little guy (or gal) who was saying hi when we were scoping out the swim course the day before the race.

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Ther is a Toyota built especially for triathletes!  It includes a swimsuit spinner, special storage for bike shoes, helmet, running shoes and wetsuit, mini-fridge, bike stand, bike rack and… a hot water shower!

I was up at 3:15 a.m. on race day to walk the dogs and get something to eat before my friends Ian and Meredith picked me up for the race.  Boy is 3:15 a.m. early!  Thankfully, the dogs were cooperative… though they were a bit on the difficult side in the middle of the night.  I finally started to take the race seriously and feel nervous once we arrived at the race venue.  In general, this wasn’t a major race but I still wanted to do my best and I wanted to feel justified in being a part of the amateur elite (open) devision.  Of course, I WAS justified because I ran the qualifying time, but still…

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And the elite swim start!  I am the neon pink swim cap that is being left behind by all of the other swim caps.  *sigh* The elite women and men started together and I watched as they swam away from me within the first 2 minutes.  I was alone for 95% of the swim.  It was very lonely and very difficult physically.  I’m not accustomed to having none off of whom I can draft.  I was really surprised to discover later that I had PR’d my swim.  Oh, did I mention I wasn’t wearing a watch!

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I was annoyed to find that someone had knocked my helmet over in T1 and my stuff was all sorts of tossed about.  Whatever they did to jam my helmet back on my handlebars caused my aero bottle to fall off around mile1.  So, that’s gone and I’m thankful that I didn’t get penalized for littering!

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And meanwhile, Ian was kickin’ are in his race!  He ended up finishing with a season PR!

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I was really pleased to have a fellow intern and friend come cheer me on with her husband.  She got some great pictures and it was a pleasure to see her every time I ran by! Thanks, Jess!

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Out on the run… and embracing the watch-free run!

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Almost to the finish line!  I wasn’t certain because I didn’t have my watch but I suspected that I would have a PR!  My feet were on fire, though… race in these shoes the first time and got two enormous blisters on the arch of my feet.  The right foot is misses a few inches of skin, there.  Ouch!

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And meanwhile, here is my husband receiving his award for 3rd place overall at the Marine Corps Marathon from the Commandant of the Marine Corps!  He ran a 2:25 to take home a major trophy AND a PR!

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My results were a pleasant surprise!  I wasn’t even last in the elite women’s division! 😀

I have to say that this race was not really on the forefront of my mind over the last few weeks.  I’ve been getting very busy at work and I love my job but it has been hard to keep up the training with a new all-day schedule.  I’m up at 4:40 a.m. most week days to get in a pre-work workout and then I get in another workout immediately after work each day.  I miss out on weekday group workouts because there just doesn’t seem to be a way to get them in without preventing myself from getting to bed in time for a decent night’s sleep… except for master’s swim class at 5:30 a.m. two days a week for now. 🙂  Ugh, it’s exhausting! 🙂  Now that this race is over, it’s marathon training with tri fitness maintenance.  Thanks to my awesome sponsors for getting me through this day!  Cycleops/Powertap was priceless in helping me get the most of out of my bike workouts, Infinit Nutrition got me through my bike ride, even though I lost half of my hydration when my aero bottle fell off, and I don’t know where I would be without the awesome #sleepfuel I get with my Bedgear pillow!  Oh, and of course there is always Betty Designs to thank for helping me look so awesome while being a bad@ss and Coach Dai for responding to texts and emails long after he should have gone to bed on East Coast time! 😀

This was just such an amazing weekend! I can’t wait for Justin to get home tomorrow so that we can celebrate together!