Posts Tagged ‘Stanford Treeathlon’

I’m not gonna lie….I’m slow.

March 13, 2009

Omigosh,  the results from my first tri came in. I always knew that I was slow in endurance events. But I didn’t know I was that slow. I came in 2nd to last my division.I guess all that chit chat with the lifeguards on the swim, and the policemen on the bike and volunteers on the run course did slow down my time a bit. But not much. I’m not gonna lie….I’m slow. It can only get better from here, right?

Donella’s Time:
Division: Open Female 34 and under | Place 83 ( out of 84)
Swim:  20:54.4 (Rank 86)     T1: 5:47.4
Bike: 45:59.6 (Rank 79)         T2: 3:39.6
Run: 35:40.1 (Rank 79)
Total: 1:52:01.1

Tony’s Time
Division: Open Male 34 and under | Place: 118 ( out of 181)
Swim: 12:43.2 (Rank 87)       T1: 4:12.3
Bike:   37:39.4 (Rank 111)       T2: 2:06.8
Run:   25:35.0 (Rank 118)
Total: 1:22:16.7

Advertisements

Our First Sprint Triathlon Together

March 12, 2009
The was rising when we arrived.

The was rising when we arrived.

In preparation for Lavaman, we entered the Stanford Treeathlon. We woke up at 430am, ate, loaded the gear and arrived at Redwood Port around 6am.It was still dark when we arrived, but the sun was starting to rise. There were so many people already setting up there transition area. Thankfully we ran into Martin and few other team mates.

Team mates, Karin, Erin & Tony getting into their wetsuits.

30 minutes before the 1st wave start, team mates, Karin, Erin & Tony getting into their wetsuits.

255348

Group shot. I missed the group pix I having fun at the porta potty.

Martin was there helping us setting our transition areas from the swim to the bike, and from the bike to the run. It was nice to have familiar faces at our first race. I think all of our TNT members appreciated having one another there to calm the nerves and just for the overall support.  We hooked up the bikes to rack, set up the transition area, applied the body glide, got body marked, strapped on the timing chips etc. We started putting on our wetsuits around 7am, we had 15 minutes until the transition area closed and we would  no longer had access to our gear until the race. Afterwards, we headed to the starting line for the beginning collegiate 1st wave. From there they moved onto the open age groups, Tony’s wave started 1/2 hour prior to mine, at 7:50am, so I had the opportunity to see him start his race. once he got the water, we all started cheering for him “Go Tony!”

Tony getting ready for his wave.

Tony getting ready for his wave.

3rd Wave, Tony's Wave started at 7:50am

3rd Wave, Tony's Wave started at 7:50am

My wave didn’t start until 8:20am, so I had joy of being nervous for another 30 minutes. During that time, me and some of the  other TNT girls go to hang out in our wetsuits in the cold. I was so jumpy, I wanted to get into the water and let the shock of the cold happen. I knew it was gonna happen, I just needed time to adjust to the freezing water. 8:10am arrived, we had the opportunity to acclimate in the water before our heat. As I imagined it was cold. I let myself get used to it and I was fine. *Whew* . The lady with the blow horn gives us  a 30 second warning before the it goes off. I look around at my other teammates and we all wish one another a safe race and good luck. Kristine and I are both nervous, we look at each other and say, “We can do this!” and give each other a high five. The blow horn goes off and I begin my first sprint triathlon.

Donella waiting for her wave. 5th wave started at 8:20am.

Donella waiting for her wave. 5th wave, women's 35 and under, started at 8:20am.

The Swim: The dreaded swim, distance was short, I’ve swam in pool for several miles. So 500m shouldn’t be a problem right? Wrong!  I start off ok, suddenly i realize that I’m at the end of the pack. I had to remind myself, time to relax and go at my pace. Otherwise, if I start out too fast I’ll wear out too quickly, and i still had the bike and swim to do. The pack is moving farther and farther away from me.  Suddenly, a life guard on a surfboard tells me that I’m going the wrong way and to follow the buoy. The small choppy waves are crashing against my face and throws off my rhythm, the bright sun is hitting my eyes and are blinding me, and my head is so cold that I start becoming dizzy and disoriented. My vision starts to get blurry and I start to begin to see stars. I haven’t experience this before and I start to get scared. Inside I’m thinking “oh no, I’m going to have to stop, I’m too disoriented to handle this”. Another lifeguard on a surfboard comes up to me and I ask him if I’m going the correct direction, “he says yes, but the current is started to pull me the wrong way again”. I’m freezing and out of breath, I ask him if I can I hold on to the board to rest for a few seconds (it legal to do so).  Then, I ask him, “Are you going to pluck me out of the water b/k I’m too slow?”. He smiled and said, “No, just as long as you keep moving in a forward progression and make it to the buoy, I’ll guide you to make sure you don’t go off course”. So nice of him. The short rest allowed me to compose myself and continue moving on. I then run into another kayak and surfboard  catches me, the current is pushing off course again! I told the guy (a different guy) on the surfboard that this was my 1st triathlon and if there were any other surfers that we be on the rest of the swim course. He smiles, gives me some encouraging words and guides me towards dock. He tells me that if i get any more tired I can grab on to the dock.  I progressed on,  thankfully, I finally warmed up, my confidence  returned and it was smooth sailing from here. A group of course volunteers pulled us up from the water like beached whales, and soon as I got up, I was so dizzy that I had to grab onto the ramp rails . Then, I ran to the transition area and  got ready for the bike ride. It wasn’t the best swim, but I did it! I completed my first open water swim! Martin L. our team photographer was there to take my pix, thanks Martin!

Race Start, I'm the 2nd red cap from the left.

Race Start, I'm the 2nd red cap from the left.

Transition #1:  Swim to Bike
When I arrived at my transition area, Kristine was dressing up just about to get on to her bike (our transition areas were next to each other)  We both looked so dizzy and tore up all the while talking, giving each other encouraging words and trying to dress up. We were kinda out of it…like drunk or tipsy from the swim, it was so funny I was laughing inside. By the time, I got out of my wetsuit, changed into my biking clothes and headed off into the bike portion, Tony was arriving from his bike ride and getting ready for his run. We  gave each other a short lil encouraging peck on the lips before we headed onto the next leg of our respective races.

Bike Ride: It was a fairly smooth ride, early on the ride, I saw a water bottle rolling around on the road. I was thinking to myself. Oh I hope that doesn’t happen to me. Hello! Jinx, no more than two minutes later, after I got a sip of my Gatorade, I missed the cage and the bottle went right thru my frame and dropped my water bottle on the road. Shoot! I probably should have left it there, but that would have meant I wouldn’t have any hydration for 14 miles, plus, I didn’t think it was safe for the other riders. So i stopped, unclipped, got out of the lane, and walked back to grab my water, by that time 20 people on bikes had passed me by. Shoot! ext time I’ll just leave the bottle. Through out the ride, i could feel a stitch ache on my side. It was kinda odd, I usually get stitches running, but never on a bike. I figured I had another 10 miles for the stitch to go away.  Other than that little mishap everything on the bike ride went well. I even thanked the police officer for holding traffic to let me go thru!

14 mile, bike ride

Short 14 mile, bike ride

Tony on his bike ride.

Tony on his bike ride.

Donella on her bike.

Donella on her bike.


Transition #2: Bike to run
When I arrived back at my transition area Tony had already finished his race. He was kind enough to follow me with a camera and take pics of me while I did my transition. Thankfully, he was there b/k in the midst of the race. I forgot where my rack was. Oh no! He guided me to wear it was, i got all my biking gear off, except my helmet, I started to run and  had to go back and take my helmet off. By then I had thrown all of my stuff all over the place.  I was off to last leg of the race.

Transition: Bike to run (couldn't find my rack)

Transition: Bike to run (couldn't find my rack)

Run: The run was slow, but fine. I kept chatting with all of the volunteers and thanked them for their encouraging words of “good job!” “you can do it!”. They prolly could have cared less and they say it to ever person running by, but when you’re tired and worn any piece of encouragement helps to get you thru to the next leg. 1/2 way thru the run, I was feeling sick and upchucked! Gross, so sour, but it helped to get rid of my stitch. Only 1.5 miles to go, i was feeling better, but on the last 700meters my left front of my foot, started to go numb. It was so weird, it’s never happened before. But I didn’t want to stop b/k I could  see the rest of my TNT teammates cheering me on and I could hear the band playing. I ran thru the numbness and enjoyed crossing the line, giving high fives and receiving a loving hug from Tony at the finish line.

Short 3.1 mile run

3.1 mile run

Tony on his run.

Tony on his run.

Tony was there to give me hug when I crossed the finish line.

Tony was there to give me hug when I crossed the finish line.

Afterwards, we waited for the rest of our teammates to finish and a few of us celebrated completing our first sprint tri and went out for lunch. Overall, I was probably a bit too chattiy talking to the lifeguards, police people and volunteers, but it helped to ease my nerves, especially in the water. It wasn’t the fastest or smoothest race. But we were just happy finishing it! I was just mostly just happy getting thru the swim portion! It was me and Tony’s first tri together! We did it! Now on to Lavaman!

The night before my first sprint triathlon

March 10, 2009

Picking our Race Packets and bibs the night before.

Picking our Race Packets and bibs the night before.

Friday evening, the night before the Stanford Treeathlon. We just picked up our race packets at Stanford and we saw some fellow Team in Training Teammates picking up there packets as well. It’s three weeks until our main race, the Olympic distance, Lavaman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. But tomorrow will be my first ever triathlon experience whatsoever. It’s much shorter, much smaller and much more local. I should be more relaxed.

We’re packing our bags for stuff for tomorrow event:
Directions to event, watches, road bikes, emergency bike repair stuff ( i don’t really know how to use it tho), pumps, helmets, sunglasses, biking gloves,transition bags, body glide, wetsuits, trash bags for wetsuits, tri shorts, goggles, race bib numbers, safety pins,running hat, beanie, black permanent marker, swim caps, sunscreen, chapstick, hair ties,warm post race clothes, running shoes, flip flops, transition towels, cliff blocks, Luna moons, goo, cliff shots, Gatorade, water etc.

Our event race bibs and swim caps.

Our event race bibs and swim caps.

It’s supposed to be a short, flat easy race, a nice beginner race. I still have concerns about the open water. Tony is jumpy and excited, bouncing all over the place.  I on the other hand, am nervous. Ever since I was kid, I feel nausea when I get nervous…..I think I’m gonna throw up.

This past week…getting back in the water

March 10, 2009
Registration confirmation for my first sprint tri.

Registration confirmation for my first sprint tri.

About a month ago, our coach gave us the option to either attend a weekend coached workout or enter the Stanford Treeathlon. A short sprint distance local triathlon. Swim 500m, Bike 13 miles and run 3.1 miles. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Back then Tony, myself and a few other teammates entered the race. But after last weekend’s horrendous 1st open water experience, I was having second thoughts. I was even considered pulling out of the race. All last week I would go thru random moments, when I’d be sitting at my desk at work and would just think about doing the sprint triathlon would get butterflies in my stomach. If I couldn’t swim a short distance lagoon, what more during a race with other swimmers!

On Wednesday, during our coached swim workout, Todd, the mentor that helped me get thru my 1st open water , saw me and said, “ Are you read to get back in there?” . I replied, “Yep, I’m cool with the pool, just not the open water!”. During our workout we did some relays and practiced more snake swimming. Snake swimming is no longer scary as scary as it once was. After being clubbed in the head a few times, I have somewhat learned hang back and avoid the flying feet and crowds.

During this practice one of our Team Honorees and Coach Mike’s wife, Vanessa, mentioned that her friend and a member of last years Team in Training’s Lavaman Winter Triathlon Team,  was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently going thru chemo treatment. It’s always a bummer to hear sad news, but we are praying for her and sending her good thoughts.

Notes for myself for this past week:
Tuesday:  6am light run /bike and night swim at Burgess
Wednesday: Coach worked out,  snake simming & relays
Thursday: Light spinning the trainer
Friday:  Pick up packet for Treeathlon.