Driving up Friday afternoon I was pretty excited, I had reserved a cute little place at Cathy's Cottages, my training plan has been good, this was going to be fun, until...wait for it....got to Snow Valley and there was a huge electronic sign for triathlon turnaround! No way, that's got to be a mistake, maybe the sign was from last week's Ride Around the Bear, no that's cycling, still it couldn't be. I started to pay attention to the road, no way, there's no way. I was gulping air already, I became seriously stressed. I knew I could grind out a ride but I was pretty sure there was no way I could meet the cut off time.
I picked up my race packet and the girl assured me it was ok, there is a huge climb coming out of the dam and then a huge climb on the way back, the rest rolls. This did very little to calm my jitters. We stopped at Vons and got some food and tried to sleep.
Race day morning I was a bundle of mess, literally not good, I wasn't hungry, I got ready to go still not sure if I might bag the whole thing. I still hadn't eaten, we passed McDonalds (not my favorite place) and I knew I needed a Sausage McMuffin, strange, I know, erkkk, Craig turned the car around and I had the best Sausage McMuffin I have ever had in my whole life.
When I got to the race there was a lady changing her race registration to sprint, there it was, my answer to my prayers, I knew I needed to do that. Thank you Big Bear Tri for letting me do that with absolutely no hassle. So now I'm in the Sprint and I am one happy granny.
Transition set up
Not sure I'm ready, still jittery, but I'm going to do it.
Always happy to be out of the water! The swim is a deep water start off a dock, I know there were complaints last year about the swim being reedy, I didn't notice that at this location and thought it was a great swim. You swim out around a paddle boat that your friends and family can buy tickets for and they get breakfast and watch you swim, pretty cool idea. It took until the home stretch for my breathing to settle in, but other than slow my swim was ok, it also made me feel like the olympic swim would not be an issue because I would have been settled in and probably done the second loop faster than the first--still happy to be doing the sprint.
Craig got this on the road. The sprint bike course is probably the most fun bike course I have ever done! You have to do this triathlon just for the ride if nothing else. I was trying very hard to follow my coaching race strategy which is all heart race based. I had some bike issues, I dropped my chain right at the beginning and seriously don't know why it took me so long to get it back on, it felt like 5 minutes, probably wasn't. The plan was to drop my heart rate to 145 for the first 15 minutes of the ride (this was the olympic plan so I figured I'd drop it for at least 6-7 minutes). This just wasn't happening, even with stopping to put my chain back on I never got my heart rate under 160. The ride is so much fun, there is some uphill but nothing that isn't easily manageable and some really fun downhill that often shoots you up the next hill. Towards the end of the race there is a turn that directs you through a subdivision so you avoid the boulevard. I missed the turn and had to go back, I think many people missed that turn. I really, really tried the whole time to get my heart rate down, and ride as planned, I didn't care about my time I just wanted to practice riding according to the plan. It never happened, I am not sure how much altitude had to do with it. So with not riding fast, dropped chain etc. my time was: 1:12:21
It probably should have been about an hour if I had been really pushing it.
The run is the run, what can I say, again I couldn't get my heart rate anywhere near where it was supposed to be, I tried run/walk but just couldn't get with the plan. The course rolls a little but it was a nice course. Time: 41:54
First in my age group, that happens a lot when you're old!
Thoughts about the olympic, as always looking back I think, wow, I could have done that after all, but the reality of the morning was I was in no shape mentally to have taken it on. I will ride the course this year and be back for the Olympic next year.
This is a great race and I would recommend it to anyone, I really had no issues with the altitude, on the swim I always have heart rate issues and feel like I'm at altitude, I didn't feel it at all on the bike although it was probably part of my heart rate issue, I did feel it a little on the run.