Encinitas Sprint

Sunday I did the Encinitas Sprint with Elizabeth and Stacy. I met Marit, my friend from blog land, for the first time in real life. Somehow by the end of it we all went home with glasses that said "I'M REALLY FAST" Unfortunately Tim was post call and couldn't play. He currently is trying to scrape the "S" off and call it his glass. He says it fits the "Team in Eating" image better. The race was super fun. I think that is my primary goal for this year: To go faster than ever before AND to have fun, regardless of the distance. I did not identify an A race, B race, or C race this year. Last year finishing two full IM's were my primary concern. This year it is just to take advantage of whatever opportunity comes my way and have fun with. I figure I'll build my focus as the season goes on. My "A" race goal is to maintain a cheery persona while increasing my base fitness and speed peaking on November 23..... It sounds easy but feel free to give me gentle reminders of this blog starting about 8 wks out from IMAZ.

Anyway ....Sunday things were good. Even though it was a little race I got things right in a big race sort of way. I went to bed on Saturday before 9 p.m. Like a big race I got up at 4:00 a.m. Did a little spin, spin on my trainer as the coffee brewed. Ate, stretched, and inflated my disk with the crack pipe adapter all by myself. (For all you non-cycling people, a "crack pipe" is the bike pump adaptor to inflate a tire on a disc wheel, aptly named because it looks like a piece of drug paraphenelia) . What a self sufficient triathlete I am. Up to 120 psi without the air leaking out through the adapter. Not having a fight with anything mechanical set the tune for my day. Elizabeth was suprised when she rolled her aerodynamic minivan into the drive and I told her I was all set. Secretly I think she wanted to get her hands on the crack pipe:)

Arrived in T1. Found a spot on the transition rack near Stacy....our bikes are siblings and were glad to be reunited. I think my bike gets a little lonely when Stacy's bike heads out of T1 before me. I told my bike, "Sweet Thunder," that I would try and pick it up on the swim but she'll have to just be patient. She should be thankful she wasn't around 2 years ago when this very swim took me 9 extra minutes to complete. Stacy and I headed out for a warmup run and hit the port a potties. I would like to thank the race directors for having conveniently located port a potties and a good porta potty to racer ratio. Those things are important. Soon we headed down to the water to warm up. The waves were pretty mello for Encinitas. I don't know if I was relieved or dissapointed. When I did this race prior the waves were so big and I got so pummeled I remember the jet skis circling me and almost raised my hands for help. The good thing about this was I had adrenaline galore for the rest of the race.....and memories for the rest of my life. A few sets came in during the warm up. I felt very safe, but not aggressive at accelerating out of them. Catching them in was about the same. Then I miss-timed one or caught one too close to shore and it sort of broke on me leaving me with sand in my teeth. I was hoping to catch a wave on the way in but not quite like that. I brushed myself off and Stacy and I nodded at each other we had enough warming up.

We lined up with our wave and I heard Elizabeth yell to us. I yelled good luck and waited a row or two back. Then Stacy and I exchanged a knowing look and moved forword to the front of the pack. I know I'm not the fastest in the pack but folks I've paid my dues and if you want to beat me you are going to have to swim over me or around me. For the the first time ever I thought when the guns goes off my race starts, not when I get on the bike my race starts. It was wierd but I stood confidently on the front line with my hands on my hips. I was ready.

The horn sounded and I ran to the water. I wanted to copy Stacy's tactics as long as I could. I figured she was smart so that would be a smart move. I ran just behind Stacy and watched her aggressivly and skillfully enter the water. All of the sudden she was horizontal. Then vertical then horizontal again. I thought maybe she was trying to do the ITU dolphin dive. Not to be rude to Stacy but the dolphin dive looked like it needed a little work. I sort of tried to copy but couldn't quite execute I was stumbling into holes. It turns out Stacy wasn't dolphin diving. She was executing the run, fall in a hole, run fall in another hole technique. No real big surf going out just swells that made it hard to sight the buoy. There were two buoys: a yellow or orange one and everytime I tried to site on them I would see an orange swim buddy cap or a yellow kayak. I found no feet to swim behind. We seemed to all be very spread out. No exciting surf for me to ride to shore but no sand in my teeth either. I'll take it. Tried to slow my breathing and equibrilate post swim for the run up the hill. The transition to land seemed easier than the last few times.

T1: Up the hill, out of the suit. Felt like forever ratcheting my shoes on but whatever I was off and cycling. Who could want more. This was where I had work to do. Tim told me to make an attempt to win the bike split for my age, actually he said you should at least win your age group's bike split. No pressure....becuase it's just that easy controling what other people do, how talented they are, and how hard they stomp. I gave it a shot. Mostly I just tried to get a bit uncomfortable ...that is so hard for me to do. If I can ride a 1/2 mph slower and feel great why wouldn't I....that's the whole make peace with it. Take it to a place you want out of and deal with it but don't back down. Heavy on my mind was that I have about every technological advantage besides a power tap...but that wouldn't actually make me go faster, so I figured I better do something. Plus Elizabeth's husband Pat had ridden his bike up and was taking pictures. I was worried he would think I was too slow to ride with anymore so I tried to make it look like I was going fast. When I got home I told Tim the time for my bike and he crinkled his nose and said "Hmm that sounds kind of slow." I made up a bunch of excuses about the roads being slippery, people in my way, mostly whatever I could think of. Luckily when the results came out I had at least taken my age groups bike. Caught Stacy late in the bike and I knew this meant trouble for the run.

T2: I had what felt to be a slow motion transition off the bike. Stacy caught me in transition and I fought the sensation to want to follow her, like follow the leader. This should not be the thought process when you are racing somebody and in contention to win a race. I figured with my swim there must be gobs of people ahead. I ran out of transition with Stacy on me. We headed out the run and I felt like my legs weren't going fast enough. Like I was in the wrong gear. I wasn't tired from the bike but I had the feeling that I was doing the equivilant of pushing too big a gear and slugging along. Stacy ran next to me for a bit and then it was like a dance or art. She started executing this super clean, fast, gliding stride that was getting further in front of me until she was gone. The kind you want to watch and imitate. I saw her at the turn around just after the short steep incline. I don't remember that incline from the first time I raced Encnitas. Anyway I heard Stacy yell "come on" to me and Pat cheering me to get some people but I just kept slugging my legs along. I tried to increase my cadence but I felt like I was running standing straight up and into a brick wall. I saw Elizabeth finishing the bike, looking fabulous in her Moment Cycle Sport kit. I was glad I had a 24 minute head start. I needed it.

I met Stacy at the finish and we were super excited. We met Mer and we all were giddy. Stacy and I got some quick slugs of Gatorade and collected our gear. Next on the agenda was to cheer Elizabeth in and go for a bit of a run. Yeah about 60 minutes worth. Elizabeth even found some hills for us to climb. Mid run Elizabeth veered off course to run by the aerodynamic mini van and grab some Gu. We decided to meet at the awards area at 10:30. We knew Elizabeth won her age. She probably wouldn't have stayed for the awards but we convinced her there was real food there. Stacy and I headed straight to the food area and the nice ladies offered to make us sandwiches even though they were putting the food away. How's that for a small town community feeling. We wondered over to where the results were posted. It was a little chaotic finding are results. I found Stacy's and saw a #1 by her name. You won, I said. I was so excited. Then I found my name and saw #3. Wow. I had no idea. Not a clue. We were super excited and high fiving. Happy for each other, happy for ourselves. Woo Hoo.

All in all it was pretty sweet morning.

In less time than it took me to write this blog:

Completed a sprint tri.

Ran miles "recovery"..and had a Better Home and Garden's house tour along the way

And .....drum role....

We were deemed fast.

Yup that's what the cup says that they handed us on the podium.

(Might be the bikes....we got'em at Moment Cycle Sports)

Thanks to my sponsors who made this day possible ;)

Ok that would be Tim for prepping my bike and putting up with me. Stacy for being a fast, fun, friend and getting so fast I have no choice but to try to get fast too. The Daubner's for picking me up on race day and for riding with me enough so that some of your speed might rub off by osmosis.


tim said...

My glass says "I'M REALLY FA-T" Must be a printing error.

Stacy said...

I laugh harder each time I read this! I must have been quite a sight...it's a wonder you could continue racing and not have to stop to laugh at me!

beth said...

YEAH YEAH!!!! i saw you crushing it out there (i was the scremaing weirdo in pink and black bike kit). you guys deserve it- what a great day. i must say, i am REEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAALY jealous of that cup. dammit, i want one! i want one NOW!

Mary said...

You crack me up! Love it! So proud of you! I'm also jealous of the cup!

tim said...

The first place glass says, "I'M KIND OF A BIG DEAL"

JMoTriBella said...

Jen (and Stacy) - CONGRATS! You two are both having an absolutely awesome season. And although I know you are racing against yourselves, it is fun to watch the two of you race each other.....I think it's making you even faster! Plus, it's making me more motivated to get back out there. I was so excited when I looked at results and see that both of you podiumed! You girls are ROCK STARS!