Sunday, July 24, 2016

TBF Tri For Real Triathlon #3 (Troy)


July 24, 2016 – Rancho Seco Park, CA


Swim 1.5km – Bike 40km – Run 10km


2:26:49 (27:17 – 1:11:42 – 47:50)




Anna Soares (FCA), Ariel Soares (FCA), Connie Wilson (FCA)

Always excited to go to this race because it means watching our daughters do the Tri-For-Kids!

As for me, I’m under-trained, which is becoming a trend this season.  But I need opportunities and motivation to train so today will be a forced, hard training day.

We arrive in the shadow of the reactors, otherwise known as Rancho Seco Park.  We’re glad we didn’t camp like in previous years because you can tell it was a rowdy night in the campgrounds.

TBF Triathlons 160724 2016-07-24 002We all get set up in transitions.  I’m proud of our girls who are very organized and ready to race.  Although lacking in the training department, I am proud that I’ve fixed another problem… race preparation.  I’ve got my shoes on my bike, towel on the ground, the right goggles, and spray for my wetsuit.  I’m in the water 30 min ahead of time!  Well, that was so I can be with the girls as they get ready.  Their race starts first and they swim great and I see them both off on the bike before I need to start my race.

The “Under-40” group takes off. It’s very small.  My “Over-40” group is bigger. Go!

I know I need to pace myself so no sprinting at the beginning.  I do try to get on a few feet but they slowly pull away from me.  The water is very warm in my 5mil wetsuit so I let water into the neck area to cool myself off.  This Aqua-man wetsuit from Patty Stokes of Wetsuit Rental has been awesome for the past 3 years!  But today I need more than a fast suit… I’m falling back.  But I’m really trying hard to keep good form, good direction, and stead pace.  It’s a long back stretch but we finally turn for the 300 yd finish leg.  A guy on my left making for good competition.  I’m determined to beat him to shore.  Every once and a while I get a surge of energy, but then followed by fatigue.  Considering my training, I’m really happy to come in at 27:17, only a couple minutes off my usual pace.

WP_20160724_08_29_13_ProI scramble up and kick-off my wetsuit great!  Anna is finished with her race and likes my kicks, “Way to go, Dad!”.  Even though the picture of me looks like I’m walking to transition, I feel like I’m running pretty fast.  Helmet on and off I go.  A great mount and now rolling quickly.

Even out of shape, it feels good to be on the bike.  I try to relax into a deep aero position and spin as effeciently as possible.  I enjoy the view of the lake as I cross the bridge.  Out on the road, the wind is behind us and all is good.  I’m drinking a lot after getting a bit dehydrated in the swim.  I catch up to an older rider and try to pass but he surges so I have to go back and try again.  This time I get by with a big effort and tell him, “Good job.”  He says, “not really, just not feeling it today”.  I get to the turn-around, around 12th place and try to get pysched up to go back into the wind.  I’m feeling tired but determined to not let the wind get to me.

Starting back, the older guy passes me saying, “I don’t know where I got it, but I’m feeling a boost of energy!”  I tell him good job again.  And then I also start to feel a burst of energy.  Like I haven’t been using my glutes enough.  I kick them in and start to motor better.  I pass him back and he says, “I thought I’d see you again.”  “All of sudden I’m feeling better now” I say.  The rest of way goes great.  I’m moving better than the first 1/2 and hope I can break 1:30 for the swim and bike.

I’m glad to see the nuclear reactors but they’re so big I know the finish is still a ways off.  I also look forward to the smoother road, which also means we’re close to the park road.  Finally I turn onto the road.  I push the slight hill even though I realize I won’t get the goal.  But it’s been a good bike, better than expected, and the return time was the same as going out.  Anna & Ariel are cheering for me on the way in. Bike 1:09:40 (About 7 min slower than normal).

Transition goes great.  Shoe didn’t fall off.  And I know where to run.  So far, despite being slower, race execution has been perfect.

The cheers at the start are great.  I see Robin off in the distance.  Anna & Ariel have run to meet me before I head out onto the fireroads.  Now I hit the dusty roads.  It feels like 100 degrees.  Practically seeing heat waves ahead of me.  This is the hardest first mile I’ve felt all year.  But I know I can get through it, and looking to God and staying positive makes it so much more enjoyable.  I see no one ahead.  It’s bleak.  I unzip my top.  It’s really hot.  When I started I overheard someone say, “they’ll be dropping like flies”.  I don’t know what it was about but it makes me think that there will at least be some walking out here.

Mile 1. Aid station!  Teammate, Cliff Appleby, is there and asks how I’m doing.  I say “I’m hot!” I jokingly think how he knows CPR & First Aid so if I collapsed in the heat, I’d be safe.  Ha!  I eat a Hammer Gel and take water.  Now up ahead I see a runner.  I start running better.  I have a goal.  I see another runner coming back towards me even though the course doesn’t come back this way.  I yell, “Go the other way!” and get him back to the turn he missed.  I pass the guy I saw earlier and encourage him.

Mile 2. I pass another guy struggling with cramps and starting to walk.  I encourage him.  And then another guy.  It’s a downhill so feeling good.  But after the turn, I have to dig deep.  I’m catching people and want to keep it up.

Mile 3. I catch another.  At the top we turn and head onto the trails.  I raise my arms to God, just happy that I can run.  And the trails offer some shade.  The legs are really tired but I have a feeling if I keep up the push, I’ll catch someone else towards the end.

Mile 4.  So glad to get more water and another gel.  I see a guy ahead and slowly am gaining on him.  The dry grass all around seems to radiate it’s dryness into me.  I keep pushing, thinking about God and all He provides in our daily lives.  The guy ahead starts to walk.  I tell him to look at the 5mi aid-station in the distance, “We’re going to get there.  “Cold water waiting” I tell him hoping it’ll lift his spirits.  I can’t wait to get there myself.

Mile 5.  I see Cliff again, take 1 water and 1 sports drink.  He also pours some on me.  That really helps!  I think about track workouts.. just a 1600 on the track left!  And there’s another guy ahead.  I think I can catch him.  It sure helps to have these little goals.  Thanks, Lord.  I do catch him and now can see the grassy park ahead. 

Mile 6. Around the corner and I’m home free.  A great feeling.  Robin, Anna & Ariel are at the finish.  And I’m done.  Slower, but smarter :)  Run 47:50 (about 6 min slower than last time).

I needed that.