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Burien Alps Ride MapMap of the Jet City Tri Burien Alps ride Feb 2010
Kirkland Triathlon Race Report 2008Sunday, 21 Sept, 4:30am.
It's dark, cold and damp outside. The bed is warm and dry. Repeat morning mantra, “It’ll be fun once I’m out the door. It’ll be fun once I’m out the door.”
Got to Carillon Point at 5:45, parked and picked up race packet. This event is very well organized and there are A LOT of participants. I set up my gear in transition, met up with Paul, Robin, Bryan and Peter and commenced the long “standing around” process. Racers have to be out of transition by 6:45. I was in the 10th wave and the waves were 5 mins apart. The first wave was delayed, so I didn’t start until about 8:00am. As I was standing on the shore waiting for the race to start, I realized I hadn’t put my water bottle on my bike. It was still in the side pocket of my transition bag. It would add a few seconds to my transition time, but I decided I would grab the bottle and put it on my bike when I came in from the swim. I hadn’t had much water that morning and I didn’t want to risk being dehydrated. Turns out I didn’t need it because the sun didn’t come out and there was plenty of water on the run course.
Swim – 15:44 (01:57 pace)
The most painful part of the entire race was walking on the rocks at the bottom of Lake Washington as I was entering the water. I don’t know if I hit a couple of particularly sharp rocks or if it was because the bottoms of my feet are bruised from running barefoot in and out of transition over the past few weeks, but I was amazed at how much this hurt! There were sounds of discomfort coming from other women to my right and left.
It was a one lap swim counter clockwise around some white buoys. About half way around I started passing the blue-capped swimmers from the wave before mine. Some of these people were doing the frog kick, so I had to swing out wide to avoid a foot in the head. There was a swimmer from my wave that was my same speed but I couldn’t draft her due to dodging the blue caps. About 150 meters from the shore I decided I wanted to beat her out of the water, so I started going hard; so hard that I occasionally had to breathe every other stroke. I know from previous experiments that this can mean my form goes out the window and I’m working harder but not going any faster. But this time the harder effort seemed to be getting me through the water faster because I passed and stayed ahead of that other woman. I was definitely working at a high intensity, which was not the case in other short distance races earlier this season. I felt good and was happy with the swim. Leading up to shore, I was going over T1 in my mind and thinking about grabbing that water bottle.
T1 – 1:54
Out of the water I had plenty of time to strip off the top half of my wetsuit before reaching my bike, which was racked quite close to bike out. I was a little dizzy but managed to step out of my wetsuit legs without falling over. I grabbed the water bottle and put it on my bike, strapped on my helmet, then glasses and ran barefoot with my bike out of transition. I mounted by standing on my left pedal and pushing off. I don’t have the running “hop on” mount yet. And I need more practice with getting my feet in my shoes quickly once on the bike. A lot of people pass me as I’m doing this. I’m still ahead of where I would be if I put my bike shoes on inside transition though. One of the cyclists that passed me was Peter Beeson. I knew this because Robin was on the sidelines cheering him on. I waved and said hi to Robin, finally got into both my shoes then set out to catch up with Peter.
Bike – 41:26 (17.38 mph average)
I never caught Peter. He absolutely smoked on the bike course. While standing on the shore before the race, I was talking with Mike Pritchard. He said, “You’ll really like the bike course.” I actually found it kind of frustrating. There were a lot of sharp turns which I’m not good at. There was a footbridge where you’re not allowed to pass other riders. Mike warned me about this before the race and I pedaled hard and passed a few riders, but was still forced to put on my brakes for much of that footbridge because there were slower riders in front of me. There was also mile and a half stretch where the bike course was relegated to a pretty narrow strip on the right side of the lane. It was ok to pass here, but a lot of cyclists rode in the center of that strip and I had to wait for them to heed my “on your left” before I could pass them. I didn’t feel like I ever got my groove on the bike.
T2 – 1:18
I’ve been working on transitions this season and they’ve gotten a lot quicker. Pretty easy way to shave time of your race. I highly recommend lace locks on your run shoes and having your bike shoes clipped into your pedals. Don’t muck around with socks or gloves for short races. Don’t eat or drink or put your race belt on while standing at your transition spot. Grab the things and do what you need while moving forward.
Run – 23:29 (07:49 min mile)
The run was fun since I got to see JCT buddies along the course and give high fives. The finish line came up long before I expected (I hadn’t studied the course) so I definitely could have put a bit more effort into it, but I’m starting to get out of my plodding pace. The track sessions are really helping.
Finish time – 1:53:22
4th in my category (female 40-44), 20th female out of 416, and 144th out of 899 competitors.
Super Jock N Jill Half Marathon
Beaver Lake Sprint Triathlon 2008 Race ReportSaturday, August 16
This was my third ever sprint triathlon. My first was the Danskin in 2001 and my second was just outside of London in 2002. I haven’t trained for high intensity racing, so I knew it was going to be mentally and physically challenging. I met Paul and Bryan in the Allstar parking lot at 5:30am and we carpooled to Issaquah. The sunrise was spectacular, enhanced by a bit of Seattle smog in the air.
We arrived at the venue with ample time to pick up packets, get body marked, set up in transition and spend 20 mins on a warm-up jog. I’m completely sold on the benefits of a good warm-up, especially for a race as short as this. It takes me 45-60 mins of exercise before I feel like I can work hard, despite doing three 60 min hard cardio workouts a week. As I was jogging alone in the woods, I kept hearing something like water sloshing around in a tank. It sounded eerily close to me and I kept looking over my shoulder to see if someone or something was there. It took me a long time to be convinced that it was actually the coffee and water in my own stomach making that noise. Woops, consumed a bit too much liquid.
We lined up on the shore of Beaver Lake, a small lake with, at this time of year, warm water. Paul and I decided not to wear wet suits. Bryan donned his new Blue Seventy sleeveless. An uninviting green film sat on top of the water, but with 521 triathletes in the individual competition, there were plenty of waves in front of mine to clear off the slime. The race organizers did an excellent job and the race started bang on time. I was in the 9th wave and we 40-45 year-old females waded into the water just before 8:00.
Swim - 400 Meters
There was a lot of glare on the water and I wished for reflective goggles so I could see the buoys. I just followed the caps in front of me. No time to relax and look for fish in these short distance races. There were two buoys to turn around and turning strategy could lose or win you a place or two. I’ll have to remember that for future sprints. After 8 ½ minutes the swim was already over and I was running on terra firma.
Although I had no wetsuit to strip out of, my transition time was abysmal. I was hurrying, but I wasn’t using good technique. I sat down to dry my feet, slide on socks, then shoes and fasten the three straps on my cycling shoes. I drank water, put on gloves, and took time to fasten my race belt around my waist. None of these were things I should have done in transition and it cost me.
Bike - 13.8 Miles
This bike course starts flat, goes down a nice long hill, and then becomes a 2-mile staircase uphill grind to the top of the plateau. Lots of volunteers were on the course guiding racers around all the turns. It’s an open course, meaning traffic on the road which was problematic coming down off the plateau. Unfortunately, I had to brake on the downhill because there were slower cyclists from earlier waves in front of me and car traffic stuck behind these slower riders. The cars couldn’t get around the cyclists due to oncoming traffic. Once I finally got out of the car clot, I opened it up and saw 39.5mph on my bike computer. I decided not to look down again because things started feeling a bit wobbly. I was 4th in my age group starting the bike, 3rd in my age group after the bike. My average speed was 19.11mph.
Again, I was hurrying in transition but didn’t use good technique. I had to get out of my cumbersome cycling shoes and gloves and I didn’t have lace locks on my running shoes. When the race results were posted and I saw the transition times of other racers I decided I wanted to improve this for my next triathlon. I watched the Transitions video, bought some lace locks and tri specific shoes, took off the bottle cages on the back and practiced getting in and out of my shoes on the bike. The next week I shaved 2:13 off my total transition time, even with the added burden of a wetsuit. In this Beaver Lake tri, that would have brought me up three positions in my age group. I get it now; Ironman 4th discipline = nutrition, short course 4th discipline = transition.
Run 4.3 Miles
The run is a rolling hills course is on quiet streets circling Beaver Lake with not much traffic. Volunteers were handing out water at multiple locations along the run course. I'll be doing lots of running training in the days ahead so I can get back to my 7:30 pace. On this race, I averaged 8:34 min miles.
Bryan, Paul and I all had a great time on this course and I’d love to do it again next year. It would be a perfect course for some pre-season Jet City Tri brick workouts.
400 M Swim - 8:29 (1:56 per 100 yards)
T1 – 2:33
13.8 Mile Bike – 43:20 (19.11 mph)
T2 - 1:18
4.3 Mile Run – 36:59
Finish Time - 1:32:39
Satsop International Triathlon1500 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run
Ok, so I need to work on relaxing my upper body when I run. Got it.
38 athletes lined up along the lake in Vance Creek County Park to do the Olympic distance race. It was a foggy morning, but the fog was lifting fast. Jet City Tri was out en force with seven members racing in the club Olympic distance championship race. The JCT support crew was there as well. The transition area was small, in fact, it was tiny. This could make for some fast transition times and it wasn’t very likely that you’d forget where your bike was.
Swim - 31:53
The water was plenty warm, but not too warm for a wet suit. During the swim warm-up, my goggles wouldn’t hold a seal, so I had David run and get my spares out of my transition bag. Thank goodness I had the spares and thank goodness I had my support! As the countdown began, the JCT-ers were calling out each others’ names in encouragement. Someone said, “Jeez, how many people do you know at this race?” Loved that!
It was an out-and-back course that we swam three times. We didn’t have to get all the way out of the water between laps, but we did have to wade or swim a few meters from shore between two cones. I tried picking up a draft a couple of times but I didn’t find anyone swimming close enough to my speed for a consistent period of time. It seemed like most of the swimmers went off a bit too hard and faded on the last lap. All but the leaders that is. I saw one swimmer that was waaaaay ahead of the rest of us.
T1 – 1:40
After seeing my slow times from last week, I was determined to improve my transition times in this race. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to actually practice this and learn some transition techniques because determination alone ain’t doin it. I was 1:48 in T1 at Federal Escape and 1:40 in T1 this race. Yes, I shaved off 8 secs here but my T2 time was actually slower in this race than it was the week before.
Bike – 1:12:30, 20.7 mph
The bike course was one loop that took us past the two defunct nuclear cooling towers. There was a ¾ mile hill with a 5% grade which I hadn’t planned on, followed by a couple miles of rollers. This part was all on chip seal road which isn’t the smoothest ride, but I’ve become quite used to it this past year. The last 15 miles of the bike was flat and fast. I only carried two water bottles this time which was plenty. I had two gels during the bike.
T2 – 1:13
Oh dear. Eight seconds slower than last week. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I do remember saying out loud that I was having difficulties here. Robin and Karen were both cheering me on, telling me I was doing great.
Run – 48:46
Starting out on the run, my legs felt like footless stubs. Not that they weren’t ready to run (thanks to my weekly brick in tri training class) but my feet were just plain numb. It feels weird but doesn’t seem to affect my running.
This was the best part of the race, and typically the run is the part I enjoy the least. This time, I had six other JCT mates giving me high fives all along the course. I also had awesome inspiration from Laura and Cathleen who knew I was working on upping my run intensity. They’re encouragement really helped me stay out of a comfortable jog and challenge myself to actually run. Laura blazed passed me with a mile left in the run. She would have passed me eight minutes earlier if she hadn’t been misdirected on the course. Bryan and Paul ran the whole thing side-by-side and when we passed each other going opposite directions, they let me run right between the two of them for double high fives!
I had bought new running shoes the day before, and while I don’t recommend racing in shoes you haven’t practiced in, they felt fantastic. It was the same make and model shoes I’ve been running in for the past couple years, so the risk of them not fitting right was pretty low.
The run was two out-and-back laps with a cone and a black van at the turnaround. The black van was playing some great tunes, hand-picked for racing I’m sure, as the first time I came around it was pumping out Clubbed To Death from the Matrix soundtrack. Not likely that this song is on the airwaves in Elma.
My finish time was 2:36:04 and I came 3rd in my age group, behind Monique and Laura. We pulled off 1, 2 and 3 which was great. I got a pre- and post-race massage. I think it help stave off my leg/back/bun pain quite a bit.
It was a really fun day out and I just loved seeing everyone out on the course.
Federal Escape Olympic Triathlon July 26, 2008.9 mile swim, (nearly) 24 mile bike, 10k run
126 athletes participated in the olympic distance race. I arrived at 6:15am, plenty of time to get a spot in Five Mile Lake Park parking lot. We got to pick out our own spot in transition, there weren't any numbers on the racks. Lots of Cervelos were in the rack closest to the bike in/out spot, including mine. We got our race packets, put our numbers on our bike and helmet, got body marked and I went for a little jog. The wether was perfect; no rain, low 60's and no detectable wind. It stayed that way throughout the race.
BrIronman was there to get us psyched for the event and cheer us on. He worked the whole night through and came to the course with zero sleep. That is dedication to your pals! Thanks, Bryan.
The start was delayed by about 15 minutes which gave us some extra time to warm up in the lake. You can't tell from the surface, but if you open your eyes under the water it's a dark reddish brown color. I heard one person say, "It's like swimming in cold tea." It was a running shore start in two waves; men first and the women 5 minutes later. The swim was two laps around the perimeter of the lake. We didn't have to exit the water after the first lap, which was nice. Because the water was so dark, I couldn't see feet in front of me, so couldn't catch a draft behind anyone. The water was calm, the buoys were easy to spot, and there was always a line of yellow caps in front of me so sighting wasn't a problem. It took a little more than half a lap for my swimming cluster to thin out. I didn't kick at all when I felt swimmers near me so as not to kick anyone in the head. I've had that happen before and it is no fun. The more races I do, the better I get at navigating my way through other swimmers. If an arm comes down on my back, I just glide out of the way. Some swimmers struggle and kick and churn up the water when they come in contact with another swimmer. I imagine they waste a lot of precious energy thrashing about.
Coming out of the water I heard Heather cheering my name. I saw BrIronman sitting on a bench, trying to keep his eyes open and watching for his tri buddies.
The bike course had some rollers but no big climbs. Some of the roads had been re-paved just that week which made for some really fast, smooth sections. And no flat tires!! I saw 30 mph on my computer a few times. My average speed was just under 20 mph. There were quite a few sharp turns where I had to use my brakes. The course was well marked with a volunteer at all the turns and police halting traffic at some of the intersections. There were no aid stations along the bike course, but you don't need more than two water bottles on an olympic course. I brought three, (I'm so used to being on the bike course for 6 hours) and launched the one that was in my back rack when I went over a big bump. I just can't make the bottles stay in that back rack.
The run was flat and perfect for a fast kick... but I couldn't find one. I was in zone 2 for the entire run except the last 100 meters. I guess that's what a year of Iron distance training has done for me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not ideal for a fast time on a short course. Coming into the finish I saw Tammy shooting photos and heard Laura, Paul, David, Bryan and Annette all cheering me on. After crossing the line, I felt like I had enough energy to do it all again. I need to figure out how to up the intensity, starting with a track session this Wednesday.
In all it was a really fun morning and a great re-entry into shorter distance racing.
Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2008
Carl let us drive Big Orange around Coeur d'Alene for our Ironman support trip. David, Raelle and I flew out on Friday in the Cessna 182 to cheer on our fellow Jet City Tri team mates. We stayed in the Butler's Room at the splendid Clark House. Robin and Paul Murphy had a room there too.
We all met BrIronman and Bobbie down at the course early on race morning. They seemed relaxed and happy.
And a bit goofy. The music was pumpin', adrenaline was flowing and the energy level was off the charts for this fantastic endurance event.
Thousands of fans cheered as the canon went off and the wetsuit clad competitors streamed into the water.
I thought I was over them, cured if you will. Oh no. They're back and as good as ever. Have you heard/seen "The Only One"? Oh Em Gee. I love The Cure all over again.
I worked hard for this look when I started my job at the Toys-R-Us in Bellevue. The store hadn't opened yet. I was stocking stuff at night while attending classes during the day. I remember one guy commenting that I looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I took it as a compliment.
When the store opened, I decided to stay on and sell the stuff that I stocked. They offered me a position behind the Security Cage where they kept the remote control cars and video games. My partner in sales was Sam Smith, a retired mining engineer. When business was slow, Sam educated me on the Anglo-Saxon history research he was doing or the dried up mining engineering business. Both were fascinating and I felt like I was getting as much an education at Toys-R-Us as I was at UW.
Wait, back to The Cure. I saw them in Hyde Park in London for my birthday. I fell back in love with them then. And now here I am again. Absolutely brilliant.
Ironman South Africa 2008
Relaxing pre-race ride
David and I rode out to Edmonds on Saturday to visit Mom before taking off on our South Africa trip. It was a leisurely short ride, so different than what I've been doing these past six months and it reminded me that bike riding can be a really pleasurable means of transportation, not just a way to train up for a triathlon.
At Mom’s we christened the pasta maker by making ravioli. We stuffed the little pillows with a delicious squash filling.
Sunday morning we rode back to Pioneer Square at the same leisurely pace then went to the Collins Pub for brunch. It was a blissful weekend.
Korean BBQKristin was in town on her way to La Florida so we met up in Shoreline for Korean BBQ.
We grilled the beef right at our table (with quite a bit of help from restaurant staff). Our meal included numerous banchan (small side dishes) including kimchi, spinach, white radish noodles, squid and other goodies.
Spirit of the MarathonWent to see the Spirit of the Marathon documentary tonight with David and Tammy at Pacific Place.
One person said that completing a marathon gives you the sense that you can do anything. For me, finishing a marathon was a great physical accomplishment, but I can't honestly say it gave me any more confidence. The "I can do it" confidence came when I was able to make a living for myself in a foreign country at age 22. Try it. It's quite empowering.
The quote from the movie that rang true for me was Paula Radcliffe saying that it adds another layer to who you are. I can run a marathon. Yeah, that fits.
Goodbye Robert Craig KnievelEvel Knievel started his daredevil career the year I was born. He died today, only 69 years old. I remember watching his 1974 attempt at jumping the Snake River Canyon on a rocket powered motorcycle (failed) and in the same year jumping over 13 Mack trucks...success.
The Evel photo reminded me of my Adam poster. Same agency, or just trends of the times?
Poser PosterAlthough I do fancy myself as somewhat of a geek (or at least a wannabe) I'm really not a Trekkie, but you wouldn't know that from the poster my friend Paul made.
Resurrection Flashback SundaySplit Enz - What's the Matter With You
Adam and the Ants - Desperate But Not Serious
Gang of Four - I Love A Man in Uniform
ABC - When Smokey Sings
Thomas Dolby - One of Our Submarines
B-52s - Planet Claire
Q-Feel - Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)
It's Jim Keller hosting my favorite Sunday radio show on 107.7 the End. I'm in heaven. Stuart Goddard (aka Adam Ant) will be 53 this Wednesday. Last night I watched Spinal Tap. I got to wax 80s Wave for a couple hours with Duncan at Talarico's Pizza Lounge in West Seattle Friday night after a great Masters swim session with the Jet City Tri club. We all went out to celebrate Sebastian's 22nd birthday, who wasn't even born when Spinal Tap came out. How Bizarre. Hey, another great tune! I've been using it for cycling warm-up.
Cheap Trick Is Coming to Townand I know what I'm wearing. Got the jacket, just need to find the hat and tie.
Ironman Korea - Jeju 2007My times were:
swim - 1:30
bike - 6:58
run - 6:08
total - 14:49:17
Ai Ishida marries John in Toronto
Swim-Run-Eat Brick Session with FriendsHad a great tri workout this morning at Lake Washington. David, Peter, Ron, Jason and I met at 5am near the Day Street boat ramp for an hour run. Then Bryan and Annette joined us for a swim along the buoys under the I-90 bridge. We rounded out the session with carrot cake and coffee, a birthday surprise from David. A perfect way to start a sunny Seattle summer day, thanks to my great friends.
Erasure at the Moore
Marco's Supper ClubDavid and I met on the back patio of Marco's Supper Club for a delicious dinner. We had the plant-filled patio all to ourselves and our waitress was fabulous. The food was good. Prices were expensive. The atmosphere was excellent.
Fried sage leaves with tomatillo and chipotle sauces, lemon aioli
Penn Cove muscles and manilla clams in smoked tomato butter fume
Malbec 2006 from Argentina, San Telmo, Mendoza
Pot de creme
ChelanMan 1/2 Ironman RaceSwim - 00:37:03 min/100yd 01:47
T1 - 03:22
Bike - 03:07:48 mph 17.9
T2 - 01:12
Run - 02:05:27 min/mi 09:34
Total Time - 05:54:54
David guided three of his friends to the summit of Mt. Rainier today. Here they are on Muir snowfield coming down from the top.
Crayfisher I am notDavid and I spent the weekend on lovely Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I tried crayfish hunting for the first time. The water was clear and the perfect temperature for snorkeling. I was getting the hang of turned over rocks and scaring the little lobstrosities out of their hiding spots, but when they turned and faced me with their giant pinchers up (or "paws" as Gordon likes to call them), I was too scared to grab them. I think they were catching on, because after a fruitless 30 mins of finding but not catching, one crayfish that I uncovered didn't even try to run. He just stared me in the eye with a little smirk on his lobster lips. As I walked away, I heard the sound of crawfish guffaws that had been carried to the to the lake's surface in tiny crawdaddy bubbles that burst as they reached the water's surface.
I came out of the water to find Elise on the dock playing with 2 very large crayfish, one in each of her little 4-year-old hands. I'll get 'em next time!
Oh, humor! Ar ArIn cycling class yesterday, I played a Billy Squire song. I asked, "Who was the opening band for Billy Squire's 1983 tour?" Nobody knew, or at least admitted to knowing. So, I did the old 'one arm behind the back drummer' trick. Now the blank stares were turning to worried glares. "Def Leppard, get it?" They didn't. In my mind, I was catapulted back to Japan.