Golden Gate Triathlon Sprint!

Pre-race breakfast: water, coffee and 2 granola bars
Fuel during race: 2 gus and 24oz Nuun water
Time: 1:55:17

Golden Gate Triathlon Sprint: Well, that was my first triathlon and it was fun! Hard work, but fun. I think I finished in around 2 hours. I was aiming for 1:45, and after the swim was estimating 2:15, but when I saw that I could probably get in under 2 I was hussling. The hardest part was swimming to the first buoy. It was difficult to see it in the glare of the morning sun. The water was comfortable but I thought I'd never get there! I was so glad I wasn't doing the Olympic. It took me a while to warm up and find a groove. The sprint men went first, then the women. We had ten minutes then the Olympic competitors started behind us. They had already caught up to me (and swam away) before I got to the turn. I used humor to get me to the next stop. The buoys were bright yellow triangles, which reminded me of Pikachu, so I kept thinking "I have to get Pikachu!" LOL!

After that it was all good, though I didn't feel normal until the second lap of the bike. The climbs were tough, but those painful interval workouts paid off, as I was able to hang in there and do some passing. I am mediocre on my descents and climbing so I have to do what I can when I can. After all my worries about littering on the course, guess who lost their carb flask!!! My bad! <:-< It didn't stay secured into the holster! I will try to go back later and find it. I'm glad I had it though because it saved me, and allowed me to get my wits back.

The run was tough in the beginning, (all uphill) but fast on the return. Thankfully, everything went nice and smooth. I just kept inhaling deep breaths, hydrating, allowing myself to warm up for each thing. I tried to relax and stay focused on the moment and what was coming next and try not to stumble in the transition area.

I really loved the course and the volunteers were awesome (especially the little darlings collecting the chips). No aches and pains afterwards, feeling great. I could totally do this again...


...I'm officially on vacation now and have a much needed break ahead. Yeah!

Golden Gate Triathlon Sprint Results Analysis
.5/9.5/3.1 mi (out of 8 in age group):
Swim - 48:46 Rank 6
T1 - 1:39
Bike - 43:14 Rank 2
T2 - 1:14
Run - 21:22 Rank 1 (PR!)
TOTAL - 1:55:17

So you see, if I could have been faster on the swim, I coulda been a contender!


Tapering and Future Goals

It's actually been a great week tapering, because I felt so "bone tired" that I'm ready for a rest phase. I've just been spending more time walking in the park with my dog and tending to my miniature garden. I did my triathlon race plan on paper, plus I broke down the course into sections and added a list of "targets" to hit during the race. Instead of just thinking of the finish line, I have several hurdles to go for during the race.

Planning future goals after the triathlon: I would really like to do a continuous 1 mile swim (almost there) and maybe an endurance swim after that. I still haven't done my century bike ride yet, that might happen later in the fall. I have a marathon in the schedule so will be doing more speedwork. It just keeps going and going.

Training plan for the fall marathon will be based on Hal's Intermediate II, with rest days switched to Tuesdays, track on Fridays, open water swims Sundays and Mondays with bricks and bike rides sprinkled in. I just gotta have structure!

TI: Distance Swimming healthier than running: Uh-oh don't go there!

Nutrition daily must-haves: Fresh fruit and veggies, Garlic, Kefir, Blackstrap Molasses, Omega 3s, Glucosamine / Chondroitin, berries and nuts


Happy Solstice!

Summer is here and events are in full swing. I'm a week away from the tri and just read this great article over on Joe's blog about having a race plan. I'm going to try that, but first I must take a nap 'cause I just burned 1,375 calories swimming, biking and running today! I see an easy bike ride and another ocean swim in my future, then resting before the race!

miles: .88 s / 7 r / 5.7 b


Triathlon Countdown - 10 days!

Getting organized for my race, and am making final decisions. I still need to get a few items. Since it is my first triathlon, I'm wondering if I need to bother with aerobars.

video: Comfort vs. Speed in Transitions

How about also, comfort vs. speed vs. green? I know that I will bring a fuel belt with a carb flask, because it saves way more time than opening gel packs and littering the beautiful Presidio with the wrappers. Plus the wind could easily take the wrappers and send them over the cliff into the beautiful ocean, no way!


Downhill Banana

Last night's swim with Swim-Art was awesome! A dozen of us beginners went out with Sarah and did fist drills, boat-hopping, and chasing. The bay is beautiful at sunset, with great conditions and sunlight glistening on the water. I met several women who are doing the Golden Gate Triathlon for the first time also. Psyched.

Whenever I get in the ocean now, I am aware that I am immersing myself into a different experience. I've been in about 10 times, and this weekend I swam 3 consecutive days in a row! I must say that helped my swimming alot. With a few adjustments to my stroke and belly-breathing, I am swimming stronger and not so exhausted. I try to bow my streamline a little to compensate for sinking legs and body position so that the legs are up near the surface of the water. I do this by pressing the chest down into the water. I think of myself as a banana swimming downhill, because when I'm on top of the water in the perfect position it is like cruising downhill.

I'm slowing things down now but still trying to do a mini-brick workout with transitions. I commute by bike with some fast sprints to make the lights. I bike to my swim meets and after the swim I've got a lovely little climb awaiting me. I'm keeping it short and sweet this week and see what I feel like next weekend. Happy Turtle Downhill Banana!


Escape from Alcatraz

Here are some photos of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, the last shot is a video of the transition from swim to bike. It was such a huge event! I just happened to be in front of winner Andy Potts bike when he showed up.

Escape from Alcatraz

Escape from Alcatraz

Afterwards had the best swim ever with Pedro's group and several ladies that swim at my pace. We decided where we were going to swim to and where to meet up. The "Jacuzzi" (on the corner behind the wall) is a nice spot, then from there is a nice long wall to swim along. I practiced the diaphragmatic breathing and it is helping me in all three sports! It was a good feeling to implant as my triathlon nears.


Cove Swim

It was a good day for swimming with Swim-Art today. The water was 58° and slightly ebbing. There were swimmers training for the Bridge-to-Bridge swim that were going to swim the perimeter of Aquatic Park cove 3 times. I decided to try just one loop. This time I didn't treat it like a cross-training swim, and actually rested up beforehand. It was hard to warm up, I brushed over some seaweed at first and the pier seemed to last forever. Pretty soon the group was gone and I was straggling along by myself. Psychologically, it was hard for me and I thought about going back, but then Henrique showed up on his surfboard and offered me a tow. We took a shortcut to the opening and I was so thankful for that! It encouraged me to keep going, and I swam a little further than I normally do. Barry was also there with the kayak nearby, so I felt better. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement.

All this reminds me of when I was training for a marathon and doing those 20 milers and going, WTF am I getting myself into? But it's all good as I soon found out, it's mostly in my head.

Book: "Open Water Swimming" by Penny Lee Dean
DVD: Outside the Box: A Total Immersion Program for Success in Open Water by Terry Laughlin


Different Strokes

This week I'm sneaking in some different strokes and drills I should have been doing weeks ago such as breaststroke and swimming with hands in a fist.

Tri Swim Coach Podcast #5- Tapering for a Triathlon

Swimming - Surviving the Mass Start



My training week is winding down and I am so done. I had to bail halfway through my group swim. I was more tired than I thought I was. The water was great though. I know what I need to work on, but right now, I need to CHILL!

I looked at my training log to see what's up, and last week I trained for almost 9 hours plus the 5 hours of sprinting around town on my bike. My running mileage was a lot higher, and I had a long 2 hour bike ride this weekend. No wonder. Swimming in the ocean takes a lot more effort, and I'm pushing it trying to get some quality workouts in all three in. This week I'm bringing the leg mileage down and working on swim drills, and endurance swim on Saturday.

Why Not Tri? >>
Painful Thoughts >>


AnchorMan Triathlon

Here's some photos of the AnchorMan Triathlon

AnchorMan Triathlon

It was very exciting to watch. I don't have the finish photos because I had to go to my swim meet with Pedro's group. I saw Coach Edna competing in the tri - that was awesome! Way to go! I was checking out the Transition area and noticed that the fast ones spend less than 15 seconds in there, max. They mount/dismount their bikes barefoot and deal with securing the shoe while rolling. They did need shoes after peeling out of the wetsuit for the run to the transition zone, because it was a gravel track. Someone handed them shoes as they got out of the water. I'll be back next weekend to get some Escape pics.

We had a great swim at Aquatic Park. It was sunny today, no numb feet. The current was swift so had to keep moving. Coach Pedro helped me out by saying "don't think about it too much" before crossing the flood. I stop and sight alot, which makes a slow swimmer slower because then I start drifting away. It's like a giant treadmill. But at least I found someone else my pace to swim with. When I was running back to my bike I saw a big jellyfish floating near the shore. It was clear, maybe 12 inches in diameter with reddish brown ruffly tentacles. Whenever I swim into the seaweed it freaks me out and I think it's a jelly. Ah!



A bike trip out to Marin Headlands for a trail run. The weather was gorgeous!



Marin Headlands

I really enjoyed the way up Wolf Ridge Trail, even though it is uphill (790 elev) it is absolutely beautiful. The Coastal Trail constantly amazing. When I reached the peak and saw the view I was bowled over.


An hour to get out there, an hour to run, an hour to get back.



Tonight I swam my half mile in 200 meters sets, with only 3 breaks. I'm slow, but I'm a happy little turtle! 6 months ago I was just learning how to swim. I love how all the trivialities and trifles of the day get washed away underwater. When I feel overwhelmed, I've learned to focus on little technical things that keep my mind from going into the negative zones, such as: counting, trying to keep one goggle underwater, relax the arms, pushing your buoy (chest) down into the water, rotate to the side, high elbows, reach for the wall, flutter kick from the hip, breathe out fully, etc. etc. etc! You see, there's no time to get caught up in stuff this way.


The X List

When presented with challenges, sometimes it helps to make a list. After reviewing the triathlon schedule and course for the Golden Gate Triathlon, I'm just making a little list of X factors that may present a challenge on race day. I will keep adding to it as needed (updates in italics a week from event)

1. Cold. We have to get there an hour before our wave start. For me that's 6am. Stay warm. Bring windbreaker.It's been warmer lately, may not be an issue.
2. Swim - I swim slow, so will have to find a nice spot in the back so I don't get mowed down by faster swimmers. Turnaround at 2nd yellow buoy. Sight also on Palace of Fine Arts
3. T1 - getting the wetsuit off in a timely fashion with cold hands and numb feet. Will probably still need the windbreaker on the bike with soaked tri-outfit underneath. No worries, weather has warmed up
transition areas
. T1 and T2 are in the same place. Just make sure to have running shoes available after the swim for the run to transition. The course is similar to AnchorMan
5. Bike - there is a steep mashfest right at the beginning of the course. On training rides, visibility was an issue on foggy days because of wind hitting naked eyeballs and tearing up. Need some kind of eye protection. There is a bumpy patch of road (Cowles) on the return loop. I totally didn't take into account the width of the course will be narrower because of oncoming cyclists. Bring fuel belt with my own carbohydrate flask because I've never trained with any of the things they'll be serving at the aid stations. Just remember to turn off on Long after two loops, sharp right on Marine.
6. Run - Steep stairs in the beginning of the course. Will the feet still be numb? The turnaround for the sprint is on the bridge, which means we'll be sharing the lane with oncoming runners. Tight squeeze? Most likely I will be in the back of the pack on all this stuff so will not have to worry about crowding. No worries, warmer weather is here and acclimatization to the water has been accomplished.

The good thing is, I live here and can familiarize myself with the course. I'm going to go check out some of the other tri's happening this month. There is the Anchorman this weekend and the Escape the following weekend. Both were great!

Now to make a list of what I will need and what goes in each bag! A list of positive affirmations will also be helpful. It's going to be fun!

May in Pictures

May is a long haul with all the events: Bike to Work Day , the BoMF Gala , the Alcatraz Classic, the art auction I was in for HH , and fina...