Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tri for Fun Race Report - 2009

I did it again! The Pleasanton Tri for Fun was once again great fun. And this time I did it with a friend, which just added to the fun. We finished in 1 hour 59 minutes (good thing we ran that last 1/4 mile!), a time I can be happy with. I did this race last summer when in better shape and finished in 1 hour 35 minutes.  When 3 months pregnant I did it again and finished in 1 hour 53 minutes. Now, 5 months post baby and I still finished in under 2 hours. But the most important thing is, I did it!

Okay, here are the details...We all loaded up the car and left the house about 5:15am. Michelle, myself, Miguel and Marek headed toward Pleasanton. Michelle is also a new mom, she had her baby 10 days after I had mine. This was to be her first triathlon. I was so excited to be a part of that experience for her! There's just nothing like your first time.

We arrived at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park at around 6:20am and this time we'd learned to avoid the big line of cars coming into the park by approaching from the opposite end. We parked and headed toward transition with all our gear. The bike racks were pretty crowded but we managed to find two spots near one another and squeezed our bikes in. We went to registration and signed our waiver, got our bibs, and then stood in line for body marking. It was a long line but it moved fast. After body marking we went to get our T-shirts. I'm glad we got them early because after the event I saw they ran out and were taking names to mail them out. Here we are with our t-shirts pre-race.

I really like the t-shirt design this year. After getting our shirts we headed back to our bikes to set up our transition spot. I wore the same outfit as last time, a sports bra with a tankini over it and tri shorts. Michelle wore a sports bra with a speedo bathing suit over it with a plan to take the bathing suit off and put on shorts and a shirt in transition. She very cleverly brought a skirt to pop on so she could change all stealth-like. I then set up my gear - bike shoes with socks tucked in, helmet with gloves and sunglasses tucked in, spray on sunscreen, a towel to dry my feet, water bottle on bike, bike set to granny gear (due to a hill heading out of the park), shirt with bib already pinned on...I think that's it. Then down to the beach to catch the rest of the pre-race newbie talk.

We listened to the talk, they informed us of the waves, 1: serious folks, 2: men 18-39, 3: women 18-39...I didn't pay attention after that but I think it was then older men, followed by older women, then an open wave (i.e. for couples that want to race together), and an under 18 wave. Something like that. Anyway, we were third so we would be subtracting 15 minutes from our race time to allow for the earlier waves cutting into our time (they only have 1 race clock, no timing chips).

Michelle and I are both breastfeeding and we had time to make some milk for the babies so we both did that. I have to tell you I felt mighty empowered feeding my baby knowing I was about to take off on a triathlon. I am a woman, I am a mother, and I am an athlete and this morning they all came together.

Some pre-race pictures...

The waves can get full, they set a limit on the number of people per wave (150 people?). Right after the wave before us took off we got in the bunch to head into the swim take-off area so we were sure to get in - and we made it. Here we go!!

Michelle came out of the water a few minutes before I did and we met up in transition. Just like last time I started to leave transition when I realized I'd forgotten to take off my tankini. Back to my transition spot, shirt off, tankini off, shirt on. Now we're off for the bike leg...

I was a bit stronger on the bike, and I was riding a road bike, Michelle was riding my old mountain bike from 1994 (no shocks and I'd put slicks on them to ride around town) so I had a faster bike too. But Michelle was stronger on the run so we balanced each other out. Having someone to ride and run with made the whole thing go by faster and more fun. I tried to snap a picture of Michelle mid-ride and here was the outcome.

Because we're breastfeeding we're both drinking a ton of water all the time and sure enough we decided we had to stop mid-ride and use some facilities. There's a Starbucks along the way so we did a little we are ready to take off again.

Here we come back from the bike, heading into transition and are both feeling great!

...and headed out to the run.

We did a walk/jog combo on the run and Michelle was a great motivator. Many times we picked people that we decided to catch and pass so we kept our motivation up that way. We even jogged up the last hill before the finish! And there's the finish line!! Here we are, closing out the show. Remember, subtract 15 minutes from that time due to our being in the 3rd wave.

Yay!! We did it. Such excitement. We walked around sampling granola, power drinks and fruit. After a little stretching and socializing (someone recognized me from my blog! - Hi Allie!) we packed up our gear and headed out to a much deserved breakfast - we were starving! Dean's Cafe in downtown Pleasanton is the perfect spot.

We both had a huge veggie omelet and all the fixin's, it was gooood. Both of us felt our bodies were a little tight and a little sore but all-in-all not too bad. After breakfast we headed home. I took a nice hot bath and then a nice long nap. Man, a nap hasn't felt so good in a long time.

Well, that's it. A good time, no, a great time, nice weather, wonderful company, a great husband who managed to take care of Marek and still get tons of great pictures...who can ask for more?