Sunday, April 10, 2016

HITS Olympic Tri–Troy

April 10th, 2016 – Lake Berryessa, CA
Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K – Run 10K

2:25:53 (27:05 – 2:44 – 1:11:26 – 1:29 – 43:09)




FCA TEAMMATES – Troy Outman, Peter Huber, Carl Haken
Other Teammates – Dave Campbell, Stefano Carletti

Berryessa Lake looks beautiful.  I love camping, but not in the rain because everything can get muddy.  But we learn some tips from our friends Susanne & Caryn and rearrange the fly and tarp on our tent and now everything stays dry and I had a great night’s sleep last night.

Yesterday we supported Robin, Caryn & Susanne.  I felt so bad because I told Robin to go without another layer and she ended up being cold – for 6 hrs during the bike!  That’s my most dreaded racing condition, being cold.  But they toughed out the elements and today is my turn.

It’s clear this morning as Troy Outman and I warm up and set up our transitions.  There’s 1500 athletes in the Olympic and Sprint races.  Our good friend, Dave Campbell is here.  He’s had a bad back lately and hopefully will be able to race ok.  Another FCA Teammate, Carl Haken, that we met yesterday is here.  And we meet another FCA Teammate, Peter Huber, in transition this morning.  We gather, along with Teammates from yesterday and have a great prayer to get our races started.

WP_20160410_07_38_38_ProIt’s an Olympic distance but I’m still intimidated.  Training has been less than it should.  Yesterday I was feeling tired.  Wonder if my achilles will hurt.  And just knowing that every race requires full effort which means it’s not going to be comfortable.  But I’m comforted knowing that the Lord has always been with me during races and has given me strength, joy and protection so many times that I know it’s going to be a great experience!

A little warm-up in the water.  Even at 66 deg it’s a shock for me getting in.  But it’ll be nice after we get going.

Go! Adrenaline going.  I sprint out fast.  Great start, up with the front line.. maybe too fast?  As they pass me I try to find a draft but doesn’t work.  I notice a swimmer struggling to tread water and reach for the lifeguard surfboard.  I feel bad for the anxiety he must be feeling but he gets to the board.  Hopefully he’ll be able to continue.  Around the first buoy and trying to get into a groove.  Feet up, smooth stroke, calm the breathing, site the bouys.  Heading back to the start for loop 2 things are going well.  Water is clear. Watch says about 12.. min.  Good.

I try to wave to Robin and the girls as I round the buoy for lap 2.  I’m really having fun now.  I’m feeling comfortable.  I’m doing a “big stroke, glide, and then fast strokes” routine which feels easier.  Temperature is great.  Sighting good.  I thank the Lord for being able to have fun in the middle of a race.  There’s a lot of congestion getting through the slower swimmers but I do a pretty good job of navigating without hitting them.  Breaststroke, backstroke, I’m impressed with their steadiness despite other swimmers going by all around them.  I know it would be nerve-wracking.  They’re awesome!

V__6AECThe final stretch takes forever.  Watching my watch and hoping for a great time.  Finally I touch ground and come up running the best I can.  WP_20160410_07_39_55_ProVery happy with my swim.  I  hear cheers from my friends and family.  I’m so blessed.  Up the ramp in my suit… keeping it on to keep warmth for the ride.  It’s raining now.

My clothes were protected from the rain in my bag but organized well.  Shirt, jacket,  socks, helmet, glasses.. long transition but ready to go.  I will be comfortable with my jacket.. still wishing I would have let Robin wear hers.. I’ll remember next time how much a long swim chills you.

Everything feels good.  Hard to see with the rain on dark glasses.  Lots of riders with the sprint field still out here.  Using Robin’s front race wheel from yesterday that flatted.  She said it was a pinch flat so I just made sure to pump it up more to prevent that.  Another lesson learned.  Rear wheel is training wheel because didn’t have time to change out 11sp to 10sp.

The course is rolling hills, out-n-back 2 times.  The Every-Man-Jack team is out in force and I see them flying back.  I watch as my average speed climbs up.  It’s only 20mph now but hope for 23 or 24 possibly.  Again, after my breathing is calming and I get into a groove.. I’m really having fun out here!  Thanks, Lord.  I fly down the hills around the corners and try to keep speed up for the climbs.  At the turn and coming back.  I see my Teammates, Troy Outman and then Peter Huber.  Troy is all smiles and also looks like he’s having a lot of fun.

A young guy with no triathlon gear, just a T-shirt, regular road bike and unshaved legs, is catching back up to me repeatedly.  I’m trying to keep up with another racer (Paul) who is very aero.  We both notice this “kid” passing us repeatedly and start encouraging him.  I tell him how strong he is and he’s doing awesome. 

On the 2nd loop, I see Troy again, still smiling, and I know the hills better, and the turn-around. All goes smoothly.  The kid (Harrison) is still keeping up!  I’m using all the “tricks” I know to power up the hills while staying aero and takes the corners as fast as possible.  And still this “kid” catches up and powers ahead.  He doesn’t have glasses and wipes his eyes with his T-shirt when he needs to.  I think, “Maybe he’s a relay racer and therefore can use all his energy on the bike”…

WP_20160410_09_23_31_Pro__highresI get ahead of Paul, race across the bridge in the rain still, but Paul passes me before the entrance to the park.  I coast in,  have a great dismout, into T2..

goes quickly and I’m out.. legs feeling great!

WP_20160410_09_27_36_Pro__highresI feel terrific the 1st 1/2 mile.  Friends cheering.  My family at the park entrance.  Thanks, Lord, again feeling blessed to have support and thankful that the Lord sees fit to give me a good race despite not being completely ready for it.  Out on the road, over the beautiful bridge, with the lake glimmering in the light rain, we start up the gradual hills.  It’s Up then down to the turn-around and then back. WP_20160410_08_55_00_Pro That “kid” Harrison is running strong!  Not a relay, just an overall strong athlete.  My left hamstring starts hurting.  My achilles is ok.  I’m trying to catch Harrison and keep Paul behind me.  I have to ease up for the hamstring.  I’m not disappointed, I know it could go away any time now, just trusting God and doing the best I can at the moment.  Sure enough it sometimes gets better, and other times really smarts.  The downhill is the worst but I keep pushing what I can.  I stop quick to fix my laces.  Both knots below the lace-locks came undone.  I also stop for a “break”.  But I come back strong, make the turn and now ready to power back up the hill.  I think of the top as the finish.  I want to be completely spent at the summit.  3 guys have passed me, but now I’m catching 2 of them.  I see Troy Outman go the other way.  He’s doing well.  I see another Auburn friend, Stefano, coming the other way.

At the summit, whew!  Thank you Lord.  I put my hands up momentarily.  Feel so humbly thankful for God helping me push and endure discomfort.  All down hill to the finish!  A guy with a beard who passed me is still out there.  I’m really flying now but not catching him.  “You never know what might happen” I tell myself.  I do catch another guy that had been ahead most of the run.  Coming into the park, my family and Teammates are cheering.  V__873CAnna says, “push hard to the finish”. I hear someone else say, “It’s going to be close!”.  Maybe someones’s coming up on me.  I push even harder.  And through the finish!

V__DF58Thank you, Lord, it was a fun race that I was able to give my all in.  And I feel good after the finish.  Thank you for energy and an awesome supportive family.




Troy Outman had the same run time as me and came in soon after.  Peter had flat tires but still came in later having enjoyed the race.  Dave Campbell also had a good time despite back pain on the bike. Good times Smile


.  and before transition.