Wednesday evening I headed to Pasadena to stay the night at Sierra's so we could leave Thursday morning for our looong drive to Windsor. After a good night's sleep, we swam a solid LCM workout & I was suprised & elated to be right behind her in the pool as she's an amazing swimmer. We followed that with a 40min trail run, breakfast at Whole Foods and then hit the road.
After roughly 5hrs of driving we stopped in Tiburon to have dinner with John & Sierra's friends. I had a yummy red snapper overlooking the Pacific with San Francisco in the distance.
It was good to take that break before driving the final 1hr into Santa Rosa/Windsor. I had reservations at an Extended Stay in Santa Rosa & that turned out to be a nightmare. We get there, get our room key from the girl in the office (motel-ish place with the doors right by the street- I was immediately not digging this place), go up to the room, and find there are people there!!! Back down we go to get a room change, and we spent the next 45min watching the girl go back and forth confused as ever by the computer as to which rooms are non smoking, which are occupied, which have two beds. Really? Is it that difficult?!?! We were tired, and just wanted a decent bed. Ugh. On the last attmept she gives us a "nonsmoking room", but as we walk to that side of the building the ENITRE thing reeks smoke. That was my threshold. "Oh I didn't realize you could not even be around smoke", she says. WTF?! No, just like I can't be around cow shit. Sierra quickly found a Holiday Inn that had rooms available in Windsor.
Ahhh, much better! Clean, not motel-ish, maybe 2 blocks from the finish/Windsor High School, & with cute little shops/restaurants within walking distance. Perfect.
Content with some good rest, we got up and went for a swim at the Russian River around 10am. It was absolutely gorgeous out! The water felt fantastic and I was sooo happy to be swimming without concern for any wildlife, chop, surf, etc. We stopped at a little fruit stand on the way back and I ate one of the best papayas I've ever had :D
The next day we just did a little jog & ride, I found Golden Spoon in the middle of my ride, checked in our stuff, and mellowed out.
My wave went off at 7:42
SWIM- After shivering for about 1hr in transition, despite putting my wetsuit on for warmth, jumping into the river was heavenly. The water felt like a bath. I lined up front right to avoid the brunt of the current going out, then the plan was to swim the boueys (middle) coming back to use the current in my favor. It was really uneventful. A group of about 2-3 girls were swimming ahead but in the middle, and I was fine just swimming on my own along the edge, avoiding having to manuever slower people from the waves ahead. At the turn around, I actually stood, dolphin dove onto the feet of a girl in my wave and we cruised back in together. Sorry to the (I think) Asian dude in the white cap that I almost knocked unconscious with my elbow!
I cam out of the water right under 30min which is exactly what I wanted.
BIKE- My only complaint on this lovely bike course is that it's not closed to traffic. Lauren even came by me at around mile 35 screaming she had just been nicked by an Escalde. I felt great riding, and just rode HARD from start to finish. I don't think I could've gone any faster, so am simply very satisfied with that whole leg. One thing for future races: I've been experimenting since Honu with much higher dosages of caffeine than I've ever taken, and which I never use during training, and I think this amount needs to be lowered closer to the just coffee, gels, and maybe a couple of Zenergy tabs that I used to take. A couple of times on the bike I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest- scary!
T2- this needs to be inclduded because I made it a significant part of my race :( See the day before a girl in my wave (F 29&U) had taped a huuuge colorful heart & arrow on the grass as our wave cardboard indicator was obscured in the middle of the race because there are few girls 29&U compared to other AGs. So rather than count rows or look for Landmarks as usual, I just planned on running until I spotted the heart & arrow. Well, I get there after dismounting from the bike and my heart & arrow are gone!! CRAP! I proceeded to spend until the next century looking for my spot in transition. Lesson: never rely on heart girl.
RUN- First 4 miles were a bit of a struggle. But from mile 5, and especially once I reached the 1mile loop at the La Crema winery, I found my rythm, felt awesome, and picked up the pace home. It was a bummer that the last 5k the aid stations had no coke to give out, just water so I made it to the finish right at empty. The good thing is, my legs felt strong, so with continued nutrition, I felt I could've continued running a lot longer.
So the race was a success. I wanted to go sub 4:50, sub 4:45 on an ideal day, & I clinched 4:49. I ran a PR for a HIM in 1:35, 1st in my AG, 7th Amateur, & 19th F. Not too shabby.
Sierra proved she's on fire & that her run is not a weakness. She won overall amateur with a huge PR!! Her job between now & Kona is to just focus on making ME fast in the water & the bike as she has it all figured out for herself. On that note, I'll be heading to TX Sept 1st through 12th. I'll spend 2 days in San Antonio then the 3rd through the 10th with Sierra in Austin training our butts off in true heat & humidity, race the Austin Oly Tri Sept 6th, and stay two more nights in San Antonio before flying home.
The day after the race, still filled with adrenaline, I was keen on racing Steelhead 70.3 in two weeks. But after the looong drive back to Pasadena Monday, and an epic failure of a swim yesterday morning (1,000meters & DONE!) I decided it's best to stay put, minimize costs/travel, & race some local stuff instead.
So I'll be sprinting at Solana Beach this Sunday, then the Surf Monkey swim/run next weekend, Santa Barbara at end of August, and the Austin race in Sept.
On the drive back home, since Sierra had to fly back Sunday night to work early Monday, it was just her husband John & I, and he is the world's best tour guide/sherpa/supporter!! He took me over the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, we stopped at the Fishermna's Wharf to buy some sourdough at Boudin's, then ate the best Cioppino at Scoma's on the water- basically the best San Fran day tour a girl could ask for!! :D
Long blog, I know. Done. Time for a week of paddling, light s/b/r stuff if I feel like it, some squash, maybe rent a kayak at Carlsbad Lagoon...who knows.....
Mexican born, raised in Texas, now living in Cabo! Sports Developer, triathlete, foodie, and wine lover, with an endless thirst and appreciation for travel and other cultures. Life is perfect with family, good friends, and an ocean view.