The great adventure starts the day before when I had to pick up my race packet in Issaquah between 2:00 and 7:00 PM on a Friday.
For those who don’t live here, trying to drive from the East Side down to the South Sound where I live at rush hour is pretty much the worst thing ever. It can take 2 ½ hours, especially on a Friday.
I was going to try to dash in and out (which as it turns out, would have been a grave mistake as everyone was hitting the roads because the weather was nice and traffic was a nightmare before 3:00 PM.) and take a back highway home.
But my wise friend Julie thought it would be a better idea to meet for Happy Hour in Issaquah. It would have been rude for me to force her to twist my arm to have a beer, so I obliged. Our friends Claire and David joined us as well. (pictures posted yesterday)
I got off work at 1:30 and made it to the packet pickup by 2:00 PM (I work about half way between where I live and Issaquah) and so did everyone else. It was a long line for ID/USAT license checking, packet pickup and body marking, bit it ran smoothly.
I then headed off to Target to get a few things on my shopping list and some cash.
Then I headed over to REI for some electrolyte solution/cubes and to visit. I noticed that there was a GNC in the same shopping center, so I grabbed a few of the 42 gram New Whey protein shots (they REALLY help recovery after a hard workout or race and at only 3 oz, they go right down even if you’re not hungry/thirsty.)
One of the managers at the store had told me earlier in the day that he was going to be grilling burgers (I had asked for recommendations for happy hour, bonus points for a good burger) for bike commuters and that if I stopped by, he’d cook me up a burger. I did, and it was good. I visited with him, Kelly and some bike commuters, and then headed over to the Brewhouse (Rogue Brewing Company) to meet Julie, Claire and David.
It was a gloriously beautiful day and we scored seats outside.
I hit the road around 6:30 PM and took Highway 18 home. It was a breeze, probably the easiest drive I’ve ever done from there.
I was home in plenty of time to fine tune my packing for the triathlon and get to bed early.
This is where things went bad.
As I was thinking about giving my poor congested allergy ridden sinuses a flush with the neti-pot, I could feel my nose running. That was odd because I was congested. The first thought that ran through my mind was, “Oh, crap, I’ve got a sinus infection from the few moments I was in that damn lake without my nose clips on.”
That’s when I saw that I had blood on my hand.
UGH! That’s (a nosebleed) what you need when you’re trying to finish race preparations and get to bed early.
The next “incident” involved my Garmin.
I KNEW I put it in my race bag. I SWEAR I put it in the bag, THAT night, I took it off the coffee table, took the cradle off of it, and PUT IT IN THE RACE BAG.
Guess what wasn’t in the race bag?
You guessed it. I dumped the contents of the bag (and every other bag/pack in the house) out no lesss than four times. I scoured every room.
I glared menacingly at the BadKitty and pleaded with the house faeries to return it.
At 10:00 PM (I had to get up at 4:20 and should have been in bed by 9:00 at the latest) I gave up.
I tore the apartment apart the next morning, and it was apparent that the Kitty and/or the house faeries weren’t giving it up.
That’s when I noticed that my bike computer was dead. (my bad night was turning in to a less than stellar morning)
Planning on taking solace in a mocha, I loaded up the espresso machine, poured the milk in my cup and YUCK!!! It plopped out like cottage cheese.
No Mocha, no place open that early to get one.
I was not amused.
I got out the door on time and arrived at the park to set up my transition area.
I thought this would be a small local event; Wrong! It was BIG!!!
It was VERY well run.
Notice that the splash guard is not on my areobottle? I was so tired from lack of sleep and no mocha that I stuffed it in my bag instead of putting back on after I filled the bottle… DOH! I wore a lot of that electrolyte drink.
When I pulled my wetsuit out of the bag, what did I find way down at the end of my sleeve?
My Garmin. At least that went right.
I wandered down to check out the lake before the mandatory pre-race briefing.
You can see the buoy for the final turn through the arch (this is where we exited the water)
My wave (the old lady wave) was 2nd to the last wave so I had lots of time on the beach to chat and do some warm up swimming. We were joking that we were having a “geezer party” down there. I had to get back in twice to get more water in my suit because I was drying out (and to answer the call of nature-if you think you’ll never pee in your wetsuit, you’re wrong-if you keep doing tris, you will)
The women in my wave here hilarious and lots of fun. We had a great time getting lined up for our wave and were joking about designating “kick free zones”.
We were a fairly small wave and we really didn’t swim over each other much. I had a challenging time passing one woman who was dolphin kicking. It got a bit crowded around the first turn (there were two) but after that, we all had plenty of space. One woman occasionally touched my leg to let me know she was there, but it didn’t bug me like the woman that kept grabbing at me last year in the Subaru triathlon.
I swam a solid crawl stroke the entire way and felt good when I got out of the water. I’m still a bit freaked out about my Oly distance tri next weekend, but I’ve already done one full mile + swim and will do two more next week.
I swam the 400 meters (& got out of the water) in 8:45 (I did 250 down in Elma on Monday in 5:26) which still puts me at being able to swim a mile in 33+ minutes.
My transition wasn’t so great; it was 3:59, of course it was a good long run from the beach to the transition area and since I was near the back of the TA, it was a good long run out with my bike, so I did transition faster than in Elma.
The bike was much more difficult than Elma because this course does have hills and I had get down in my lowest gears to get up one of them. There was also a no passing zone in the park, and of course, on the way back in when I wanted to make up time, I spent way too long behind a very slow person (I was going batshit crazy, but didn’t want to get disqualified). The other thing that really slows down the bike segment is a couple of nasty speed bumps. I heard something crack on one of them, I’m just not certain if it was my bike or my spine.
I came in at 51:05, which is a very disappointing 15.26 mph average. Of course, the big hill, the no passing zone and the speed bumps made this more challenging than other races.
My transition from bike to run was 1:54, but a lot of it was a fairly long distance into and out of the transition area so I’m not going to be too disappointed in it. I had hydrated very well and had to pee (yes again) I tried using a technique that a certain Athena triathlete many of you know told me about, but I just couldn’t pee on the grass while changing my shoes while casually chatting with the guy next to me.
I did not feel good on the run. I beat myself up pretty badly last week (this was my 2nd triathlon in 6 days with a 5K race in between) Whatever was spewing pollen just about took me out. I was actually wheezing. It was getting hot and it was a trail run which also slows things down. Oh, and I had to pee, bad.
I swear, it was the longest 5K ever, it’s like it was never going to end. We could hear the finish line but not see it. I had a bunch of people fly past me and was feeling like fail, until I realized it was the 5K and 10K race and they hadn’t just swam and biked.
The first part of the trail was freshly mowed grass (with 3-4 tall grass on the sides) and then it varied from gravel, dirt, rocks, potholes, etc… it was not a fast course, and my IT bands didn’t much care for the lateral movement. I came in at 34:32 which is an 11:06 pace. Given that I was wheezing and it was a rough trail, I guess I’ll have to take it.
I crossed the finish line at 1:40:15 which I don’t think is too bad. Hey, it’s a PR for this course and I won’t have to worry about breaking it until next year.
Of course, I got a shiny thing. (you know how much I love shiny things)
I really enjoyed this race. The narrow no passing lanes are a pain, but with the narrow winding park roads, there really isn’t a save choice. It would have been nice if someone had checked the bike route there was some sand, gravel and even some broken glass in the bike lane (I saw one guy changing a flat tire)
I’ll be back next year.