TriEvents #3 Report from the back of the pack

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    Les Borsay
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      After reading Jordan Perry’s race report for the three Tri Events races I felt compelled to add my own. My goals in triathlon are very different than Jordan’s as the closest I’ll get to qualifying for Kona is the Kona coffee I sometimes buy for my Keurig machine. But definitely some similarities. My wife is 13 years past her due date with our child so my training time is very limited (though my “baby” sometimes will run with me or ride with me if I promise ice cream afterwards), and almost all of my races are basically local so I reduce travel costs and get to sleep in my own bed. However, unlike Jordan, I am only worried about competing with myself and having a fun time. I’m not competing, I’m completing. So with those differences in mind, here is my race report from the back of the race.
      I woke up to the sound of rain (mind you, in my own bed). I had been checking the weather for a few days now and it showed mostly cloudy with highs in the low to mid 70’s. Now it showed highs in the mid 60’s but despite the noise I heard, it said no rain. Of course despite my iPhone telling me that it was not raining, I had to use my wipers the entire 30 minute drive to Bonelli Park. Now I live in SoCal for a reason, I love the sun and am not a fan of the rain but I’m no marshmallow, I can suffer through the mild drizzle. Once I arrived my day brightened as I saw my good friend Howard drive up in CalTri 1. The number 1 reason I love being part of CalTri is the amazing people that you get to hang out with, train with and race with. So Howard and I grabbed our bikes and headed over to the registration tent to stand in the spritzing weather and get registered. Now personally, I prefer to get my registration done the day before so I can get my race belt ready, affix the stickers and decide if I really want to use the huckleberry Hammer gel that I received in my bag, but the line went smoothly (for me, Howard’s line was having a little bit of a slowdown)and before I knew it I was getting my race belt together and deciding that salted caramel was a better choice than huckleberry. Plus, I really liked the t-shirt. The free t-shirt is a pretty big deal for me and I have to say not all race t-shirts are worthy. Definitely the Trick or Tri shirts really stand out and I love my little collection of long sleeve Big Bear Tri shirts but I also have a couple that are used more for apartment cleaning than training. TriEvents 3 will be worn for today’s run….
      Setting up transition is usually pretty easy but with the misting weather (again, the iPhone assured me that it wasn’t “raining”) I had to get a little creative to keep my shoes from getting too damp and trying to find the right calculation for how far I’m willing to run in bare feet across the cold wet concrete after the swim. But I got set up next to a couple friends very near the Swim In, Run Out and the bathroom (just in case), and headed down to the beach in my sleeveless wetsuit. Happily the water temp was perfect, nice and warmer than the outside air temp. Just right for a sleeveless wetsuit that I hadn’t worn in probably two years. Of course over those two years I had forgotten exactly where my neck and underarm needed extra Glide (qualify for Kona? I can barely figure out how to prevent wetsuit hickeys).
      The swim was great. Why was the swim great? Not because I’m fast (I’m most certainly not), but after participating in the Oxy Masters Workouts I felt great the entire course. Found my pace and just kept going from buoy to buoy. When I passed the last buoy I was actually surprised I was almost done. If the swim is your problem leg, I highly recommend one of the SCAQ workouts that are setup for CalTri such as the Oxy workout. It really helped my swim. The course was well laid out, there were tons of life guards just in case. Overall a fun swim. I even felt strong enough to run up the hill to T1 (though I stayed on the carpet for my sensitive little feet).
      T1 was pretty easy. Good choice to setup near the Swim Out and my bike shoes were dry. No need to use the bathroom though. There’s a reason the lake temperature was so nice.
      The bike…It’s my favorite part of a triathlon. I don’t have a tri bike or aero bars (though that may be a purchase this year) so I just ride in my drops and try to pretend I’m aero. First time on the course so the first lap was a little bit of trying to figure out the route. I had tried to study the map of the route the week before but I was not sure where the inclines and the declines and the flats would show up. The one spot that was really no fun was a stretch of what I’ll politely call “Crappy Road” that shakes your fillings free. I powered through it but there was no escape of the jarring road vibration for that stretch. Otherwise it was a decent ride. A couple of the amazing CalTri volunteers who I know greeted me with cheers of encouragement each lap and I looked forward to that point on the route to get my few seconds of cheers. I think my next race on that course I can knock a little time off now that I’m more familiar with the route.
      T2 was easy peasy. Long run in socks but way better than bare feet. Shoes were still dry and so was my bladder. Good to go!
      The run…due to some construction in my gym I’ve been forced to do some running outside lately and in areas with some climbing. I am so thankful that I had done those training runs because the rolling course was no problem. My Garmin watch decided to stop working a few days before the race (sent it to Garmin and should get it back in working condition by this weekend) so I was not sure about my pace. I just knew that I felt comfortable and knew I could finish strong. The course is not bad with a little trip into what they call the “jungle” for a little dirt running. The volunteers at the water stations were terrific and it was pretty well marked as far as the route. I picked up the pace a little for the last ½ mile or so and was greeted at the line by the announcer “And here comes the 2nd Place Woman!”. I looked behind me…nobody. Who me? I knew I shouldn’t have put on lipstick before the race. Not sure if it’s my shapely legs or my graceful way of running, but I confused the poor announcer. Sadly I did not get to keep that title and was slotted back to my lowly age group slotting of 4th place in my division by over 1 minute. So while Jordan won by a time faster than I can blink, I slotted in behind Jordan by enough time that Jordan probably ate and had a nap before I came through the chute.
      Having finished with a pretty decent time for me and having a great time doing it and still being able to get home in time to take my daughter to her afternoon swim team practice, it was a great race. Small, local, and with lots of amazing CalTri friends to hang with after the race.

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