The weekend after Labor Day Derek and I traveled north to Pacific Grove, right next to Monterey, for the Triathlon at Pacific Grove. We were doing the Olympic distance relay with my aunts and uncles on Saturday, and the sprint Distance on Sunday. Friday we drove up, got all settled into our house right on Asilomar Beach and went to dinner with everyone. Chris and Pete drove down from Reno, Jim and Diane came from Fresno, and my mom, our cheerleader, came from Ripon. We had a really nice dinner at Il Veccio and drank a little too much wine! But I figured I was only doing a swim the next day so what's wrong with a little pre-race wine!
We were up and early for race morning, even though our wave went off at 9:45. Pete was super excited and wanted to get down to the race start early. We sent him on his way and had a leisurely time getting ready. Finally around 9 we arrived at the race site, and it was a gorgeous day! I found out where I needed to run after getting out of the water, squeezed my happy little butt into my wetsuit and wend down to the swim start. Holy crap, the water in Monterey Bay is cold!!! 58 degrees, and apparently that is warm. When my wave started I got right in front and held onto some feet for the first half of the lap until the kelp got too thick and I got entangled. I didn't think that swimming through kelp would be that bad until I was doing it. Overall the swim went well, a little slow but I wasn't trying for a PR and the kelp really held me up. I was the second female out of the water for the relays, and handed my chip off to Diane who was doing the bike leg, and Chris was doing the run, we started off with a 12 minute lead on the men but ultimately lost. Jim and Derek kicked the ladies butts on the bike and run! Derek can finally rub it in that he beat me at a race!
Me, Derek, Pete, and Chris watching the bike portion
The ladies relay team!
All of us on Sunday!
We hung around the until the race was over and then went to a little English Pub for dinner, which included more drinking! Apparently I don't believe in not drinking before a race and being on your feet all day! Once back to our beach house we did walk on the beach and go to bed pretty early.
I was up early and ate my breakfast of Corn Flakes, banana and peanut butter. We loaded up and road the mile to the race start. It was a gorgeous morning and was actually warm for Monterey standards. The water looked like a lake, not a ripple to be seen. Derek, Chris, Pete and I were all doing the sprint. I was able to watch Derek's swim start and finish. He started pretty close to the back and was one of the first out of the water, I have no idea how he did it! He swam an 8:15, which was good enough for 8th in his AG in the swim! Chris and I watched Pete take off, and then it was my turn.
Swim 6:29 1st AG
When the gun went off I ran my butt off and was out in front with one other girl, she was going at a great pace so I decided to follow her feet/bubbles the entire swim (thank you whoever you were). I just hoped that she was swimming straight. The swim felt really good and really the only time we slowed down was when swimming through slower swimmers. I remember thinking that she might be my only competition in the race. Until we got back to the beach and she just kind of stood up and slowly walked out of the water. I ran right by her and onto the timing mat. So even though I technically followed her on the swim I ended up with the fastest time!
I have no idea how this time is even possible because I ran all the way to my transition area, tore my wetsuit off, put my shoes/helmet on and was out of T1 before anyone else on my rack even got there. I never passed another girl in my AG on the bike either.
Bike 35.45 avg 20.9mph
The bike course winds along Ocean Ave. from Lovers Point to the start of 17 mile dive, it's a beautiful course, if you take the time to pay attention to it! I, of course, wanted to extend my lead as much as possible and put the hammer down as soon as I was on my bike. I figured I was going to be the hunted one since I was the first out of the water. Right away I had a small issue, my bike computer was not working! So I had to ride on feel, and hope I was going as fast as I thought I was. I passed a lot of people on the 2 laps and was only passed by a few men on my first lap as they were on their second. Overall I felt really strong and fast on the bike, but probably could have pushed harder. A plus is that it wasn't nearly as cold this year as it was two years ago when we did this race. That year I remember not being able to feel my hands, face, or feet halfway through the first lap. I passed Pete on his second lap about a mile from transition and I saw Chris going out on her first lap right around there too, she started a wave or two after I did. They both looked really good and were doing great! It's both of their second ever triathlons!
I was in and out fast, but I did take about 20-30 seconds longer than I would have liked because my fingers were cold and it was hard to tie my shoes!
Run 13:17 avg 6:38
Once out of transition I ran hard the entire way. It's a two loop course so it goes by really, really fast. At one point I passed an older gentleman who said that I was making the run look easy. That is always nice to hear in a race. That two miles hurt a little bit, but I feel that I could have ran it a bit faster. I wasn't totally spent at the end which leads me to believe that I could have gone harder the entire time. I ended up finishing in 1:01:19 which is 5 minutes faster than '10, but not the hour I was gunning for. I was 1st in my AG and 3rd OA female. The two girls who finished in front of me are 17, and 18, and are both possible future Olympians! If I was going to choose who I'd be beaten by, then who better than two teenagers who may be in the 2016 Olympics!
I got a sweet medal this time!
With my mom
Derek and I showing off our sweet IRT wheels!
Derek finished in 1:06:30 and 11th in his AG, a personal high for him! He did point out that he beat me in transition, but to my credit his rack was way closer to the in/out than mine was. But I'll let him have that little prize anyway. This is such a fun race and we will certainly be back next year to do it again, as will the rest of the family! We finished the day by heading out to the Highlands Inn and having lunch overlooking the water, which is always fabulous! The Highlands is one of my favorite places in the world and has such a special meaning to Derek and I. We had such a wonderful weekend and I cannot wait to do it again next year!
with my love