Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beer Makes Me Faster

Well, that's probably not true, but I've drank more beers in the last six days than I have this whole year so far and I've seen an improvement in my swim, bike and run times during training the last several days. I even did the Encinitas Triathlon kind of worn down from major lack of sleep and the going out, and I did alright - podiumed in my AG (2nd). I guess in that case the adrenaline rush of racing allows you to push beyond fatigue - well at least for a short sprint race. And in the spirit of beer drinking, I won a Encinitas Sports Festival beer mug that says "I'm Really Fast." I suppose beer can work into the equation, as long as I don't get a beer belly. (Flashbacks of SDSU coming to mind!)

Each occasion during which I've drank lately has been well worth the indulgence because despite how focused I am on personal goals like improving in tri, being a good student, etc., it's all about balance and enjoying good times with good people. And that's exactly what I've done. Although I did put off studying for two major finals I had Tuesday and my scores might reflect that I chose a weekend in San Diego over hitting the books. But I had good grades going into finals so it's cool...

Letting loose a little also gives me something to laugh about while working out. Like today, during my 35-mile bike, I was laughing out loud while replaying last night over in my head: country-line dancing at OC Tavern in San Clemente immediately after our Anatomy and Physiology final. There's a lot wrong with this scenario. A) I don't like country music. B) I can't dance very well, let alone country-style. C) My friends had no idea what they were doing either. But I dressed the part - cowgirl boots (my sister's), jeans, a westerny shirt, and thankfully some of the good guy dancers took me out on the floor and had me doing the two-step and were twirling me around in every direction. I also learned a square-dance routine called "good times." Coming from a non-country girl, it was actually very fun, and I would totally do it again. Not to mention, it was quite a workout! I was sweating like crazy. I wonder if I can log that as training hours hahaha....

Anyways, back to the Enicintas Triathlon. It was a super fun race in a place that feels like home away from home. One day. I did some counting, and this was my 9th triathlon ever and I think my 15th race ever since I started this multisport lifestyle in 2007.

ENCINITAS Race Report:

Woke up at a hotel in Oceanside at 4 a.m. (stayed with my best friend from college who was there for work). On the road by about 4:45, transition set up by 5:30, an hour + to kill. Sweet. All the while, it was drizzling hard. This was my first "wet" race.

I did a pre-race swim and made a mental note to watch out for all the ditches in the sand - no more sprained ankles please. I was the 3rd wave (I love being spoiled by going off early and getting to avoid course traffic!), and as soon as I got going my swim plan was blown. Instead of getting a set on the way in, where I would have attempted to body surf, we got a set on the way out just like I didn't want; I dove under about 3-4 waves and lost time doing so. Kind of lost my breath too. Bummer. But finally found a rhythm and was talking sh*t to the sharks in my head (there was a sighting at Moonlight Beach a couple weeks ago). That was fun and pumped me up. Got out at 13 minutes, hit the mat at 14 min, and ran up that damn, long, steep ramp to transition.

I was doing windshield-wipers on my Rudys with my fingers a lot. But even though the ground was slick, I didn't hold back. I'm getting more confident every day on my bike and I hit some pretty high speeds (for me) going down PCH. Right now, cycling is my strength so I hammered hard. Since it was a sprint, I wanted it to hurt. I did notice my Cateye said the course was over 13 miles (not the planned 12.4), and I averaged just about 21 mph. Usually, during the bike I'm focused on passing girls who beat me in the swim, but not in this race. I was pretty much on my own the whole time, so I didn't really know where I stood. I figured whoever was ahead of me smoked me on the swim and I had no chance.

Once again, the goal was to hurt and not hold back. I exited transition just behind this 14-year-old girl and tried to stay on her feet, but she was too fast - and probably 80 lbs. Ha. So I just pictured myself doing a track workout and set my pace by the way a feel during that. It worked alright, and I ran just over a 7 min.-pace for the 5k. I'm satisfied. I also was wearing sunglasses and a hat, which I realized were totally unnecessary given the cloudy, damp conditions. Guess I don't have to do the same thing in every race.

I crossed the finish line at 1:17 for the 820-yd swim, 12.4 (13+)-mile bike and 5k - 2nd age group! The girl who beat me did it in 1:10. Wow! I really wanted to meet her, but she didn't stick around for awards. No bueno, I should have grabbed her beer mug. After everything wrapped up, I jumped on the Felt and rode south to climb Torrey Pines then into La Jolla then turned around. Good ol' Torrey - a must! Right? Then showered up and hit the bar for beer, grub and Lakers. Good times. I slept very well that night.



  1. i agree!!!

    it's good to have balance for sure and have fun... always.

  2. Congratulations on a race well done. I really think balance is key. You have to enjoy all of what life offers.

  3. Ha! Love it! Balance is so the key :) If my job is to be a triathlete - thats one thing. But until that happens - I don't mind racing a bit hung over!! You rock that line dance!!

  4. Ahhh, I toast your race with an Alaskan Summer Ale! Good on ya'! Every good race you have gives me hope for next year!

  5. Ah, golden nectar.
    And speed.
    Nice race.

  6. Nice work! Your bike split is impressive. And trust me, don't listen to what anybody says to the contrary, Beer is the Pinnacle of recovery drinks!

  7. i totally agree with you on balance!!!!

    and yes, beer has been proven to make me faster too ( - who'd a thought?

  8. Great race report and congrats on the podium finish!