Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Tri Race Report: There's a first time for everything, I guess!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was ACTION PACKED, to say the least!

Anyone score any good deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday? I stayed far far away from the stores, however, I did find a good deal on running sneakers. I wear the Nike Pegasus 26, and since they have been retired, they are EXTREMELY hard to find. And considering I have 230 miles on my current pair, I decided to get 10% off and free shipping on a new pair. Yay!

Let's talk Race Report.

Le sigh.

The race that "Could have been."

Well, I guess there is a first time for everything, right?
Wanna know more? Read on, my friends! Its a long one.

Saturday, the day before the race, was the usual; rest, do a good brick workout, eat, pack my gear, sleep. All was well.
Sunday: Race Morning

Wake up at 4 am. Feel amazing. Excited. Get out of bed.

Random hip pain on my left butt/hip area. Awesome. I slap on my favorite Salonpas patch and decide not to dwell on it. Grab my gear and head out the door by 5am. So far so good.

Race was at Bonnelli Park in San Dimas, and I got there nice and early, about 15 minutes before packet pick up opened. Got my stuff no problem, got a tech shirt (!!! yay!!!) and got set up for transition. Like both of the triathlons I've done before, T1 and T2 were the same location, which makes it SO easy!

View from transition area, over looking the Puddingstone Reservoire. This is before the sunrise. Once the sun came up, the views were spectacular! The mountains in the background were snow capped and gorgeous, and the water was a great blue color.... deceptively beautiful... more on that later.

Setting up transition are. I got there early so it looks like I had a lot of space, but it got VERY crowded soon after. Tip to triathletes: GET TO TRANSITION EARLY!!!!!!!

Other than the fact that it was FREEZING!!!!, things were going smoothly. I perused through the expo area, went to the restrooms, jumped up and down to stay warm, and got my transition area exactly how I wanted.

But MAN. It was cold. COLD I tell you! I don't know what the air temps were, but the announcers kept announcing how the water temps were below 58 degrees. BELOW 58 Degrees? YOWZA! I kept on my layers on as long as I could. Here I am wearing my full wetsuite, windbreaker, vest, and ear muffs right before heading down to the swim:

I know it looks ridic, but it was so cold! brrr! I was really worried about the bike off the swim. Wet hair+clothes+cold air+wind=Julia freezing to death. I brough extra clothing into transition, just in case I felt like death after the swim. I had the windbreaker and vest, full finger gloves, a t shirt, and a long sleeved t shirt, just in case. I figured spending 30 extra seconds in transition to make sure I don't freeze to death was well worth it!

Soon enough, we made our way down to the Puddingstone Reservoir for the swim. Holy crap. The sand was so so so so cold. My feet were numb. Completely numb. I couldn't bend my toes or feel my arches or anything. All human sensations disappeared from my feet. I was in the third wave, so I didn't have too much time to prepare. I just tried to jump up and down as much as possible to keep warm.

The gun went off, and we ran into the water. OMG. So. Cold. So. Cold. Below 58 degrees. Thank god for my full length wetsuit.

However.... oh boy. Even with the wetsuit, it was unbelievably cold. The cold was a HUGE challenge for me. After the first 30 seconds, my lungs and quad muscles just completely froze. Numb. I was having so much difficulty trying to move and breathe. I just kept running out of breath and my heart rate was really really high. I tried breast stroke. Back stroke. Slow strokes. Fast strokes. It was a big mental challenge to stay calm and keep going.

I stayed calm, but all sorts of negative thoughts went through my head. I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up. I wanted it to end. I did not feel like swimming a half mile. I saw a lot of ppl struggling as well; clinging onto the lifeguards' surf boards, just waddling, and struggling. Seeing I wasn't the only one feeling miserable was actually kind of encouraging. Hey, it's not just me! This is hard for everyone! With this encouragement, I finally reached the quarter mile mark, and FINALLY warmed up. After I warmed up, I was ON A ROLL! I swam and swam and swam, and passed so many people. and kicked ass. I started feeling hopeful; I knew I was one of the first ones in my wave to exit the water.

I ran up to T1, ripped off my wetsuit, and did spend extra time putting on full finger gloves and windbreaker. BEST DECISION EVER. It was cold and windy as eff, so the extra layers were AMAZING! However... my feet! I had ABSOLUTELY NO feeling in them whatsoever. It was seriously so weird to be pedaling without any sensation in my feet!

The bike course was two seven-mile loops around the park. It was rolling hills, which made it quite challenging, and slowed me down a little bit, but I was feeling good, and enjoying the views. It was sooooo beautiful! It was cold, but it was a gorgeous clear day, and the mountains and the reservoir were absolutely stunning.

All was going wonderfully until mile 5.



OH M F G. OMFG. OMG~!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!~~~~~~ :(

It WOULD happen. It WOULD happen. At mile 5.

My first flat.

Ef my life.

Seriously. Gahhh. It made me SO SO SO SO sad. I was doing SO WELL! SO WELL!

Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh. le sigh. I lost about ten minutes fixing my flat.

My heart cannot express enough appreciation to the kind hearted man who stopped and tried to help me, and the SAG support guy who actually fixed it for me cause I was falling apart. Thank you so so so much. I don't know what I would have done without you two. Life savers!

But still. Wahhhh.

I finished the bike course with a vengeance. The second loop was a blur. I tried my best to catch up and make up for lost time.

Back to T2. Changed shoes and took off running. Feet were still numb. No sensations ever. Weirdest feeling EVER. I took off with a vengeance, but the course was quite hilly and challenging. The scenery was beautiful, and I was feeling great, but the hills slowed my time. I passed three girls in my age group and kept trucking along. Run run run. Up a hill down a hill up a hill down a hill.

My mottos for the run were "If this were easy, everyone would do it," and "this is good training for Vineman". These mottos kept me going, and charging up the hills.

Right before mile 3, I felt a little burst in my toes. That instance marks the first time I was able to feel my toes in the entire race! Hooray! It was kind of funny that there was a defining moment when I was able to feel my toes. It wasn't gradual; it was an instant thing. Strange.

I maintained a great pace for the entire run; 8:01 for the 4.5 miles with hills. Not bad. I ran confidently to the finish.

Third triahtlon DONE.

I later found out that though I placed seventh in my AG, but had I not gotten that flat, I would have been first or second.

wahhhhhhh. Le Sigh Indeed.

But life goes on. At the finish line, they were serving pumpkin pie. How awesome is that? Perfect post race food for a Turkey Tri!

Awards ceremony. Le sigh. It could have been me.

Posing with my medal

It did turn out to be a gorgeous day!
Battle wounds. I scratched myself up pretty good somehow, but I didn't even feel it till a good half hour after the race because of the adrenaline and the cold. The paramedics who took care of me were so sweet and helpful. THANK YOU!
Shwag from the expo

T shirt, bib and medal

I love how the footprints turn into running footprints from turkey footprints. I also love how the bib says "I Burned My Holiday Calories!" haha

How adorable is this medal?

So the random hip pain I woke up with on Sunday has gotten progressively worse. According to the free post-race massage booth, apparently, something is "stuck" between my glutes and ITB. He said heat and stretching, along with foam roller should take care of it. I sure hope so! I still can't walk normally today. At least it didn't hurt too much during the actual race.


After all is said and done, I had a fun race to top off my first triathlon "season." Of course, I wish the race had gone better, but there is a first time for everything, and it was a great learning experience. It's so much fun for me to be a part of this triathlon sport. I truly learn something new and valuable each and every time. The lesson I learned this time is that I obviously need to work on my flat changing skills. I'm on it. I am definitely going to practice, practice, practice, until I have it DOWN.

However, I am proud of myself for keeping my composure throughout a challenging race. With the super cold and hard swim, to surviving my first flat, it definitely tested my mental strength much more than it tested me physically. I had ample reasons to have a craptastic race, but I still managed to keep cool and have a lot of fun. Am I bummed about my finish? Of course, but it could have been a lot worse. I'm not too bent out of shape over it. I had a fun race. There are many more races to come to look forward to!

As for the immediate future, I will be sticking to running races, until the spring when triathlon season starts back up. I will also be taking some down time, a sort of "off-season" ish thing late December. I'm kind of excited.

I really do hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, and can you believe December and the holiday season is right around the corner? Love it!!!! PS the Eggnogg cookies from Trader Joe's are Ahhmazing. :)

Happy Monday!


  1. looks like a great time! pumpkin pie at tbe end of the race seems perfect!!

  2. Well... you figure that you used up your bad luck for a while. Great job pushing through the cold, the flat and wanting to quit!

  3. WOOT!!! Great job lady! Looks like lots of fun!

  4. Getting a flat during a race is my biggest fear also!! You still kicked butt!! I can't believe you couldn't feel your feet until the run!! That would have freaked me right out!

    Love the race swag!! I need a medal like that!

  5. Julia, you had an awesome race regardless of that *stupid* flat, ughh! Cold water is also hard for me because it takes your breath away - i hate freezing to death, too!



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