Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Weekend, Two Triathlons, Two OA Podiums.... Oh, and One Macca

I was feeling pretty worn down after Kona, as you can imagine. But I knew I had to suck it up for a fun weekend on tap. A while back, I found out there were two local sprint triathlons taking place Oct. 20-21, and I knew I had to do both. I've never done back to back races, but given their distances I wasn't too worried about the load. However, after Kona mayhem, I was worried about my ability to simply put together a swim-bike-run at all haha. It probably didn't help that I've been busy as heck every day/night since being home from Hawaii, and going into Saturday's race I was, again, running off about 5hr sleep. One word: coffee!!!

My partner in crime for the weekend, Macca! Us waiting for swim start at
the Seal Beach Triathlon, sometime after the "stingray shuffle" song. Ha.
Thanks for picture, 623 Tries :)
Also, while in Kona, I found out my double-sprint challenge was going to become a lot more special. At the Clif after after party, I was hanging out with Macca and his agent, Scott, and they said Macca would be doing both the sprint tri's that I was doing, as well. While I did think that was random for him to do such low-key races, I also thought it was very cool. I have even more respect for Macca after these past couple weeks in which I've been able to see how he operates first-hand. Especially at the races this weekend, he was so cool to all the folks out there, taking pictures and having a blast. He told me he just loves having fun the small little "ma & pop" races, and it showed. He even declined a podium finish so others could get a chance to be on top.

As for me, I had fun too, but I didn't decline any podiums ;) I managed to eek out two overall podiums in two days. I got 2nd in Saturday's race, and 2nd elite/3rd overall in Sunday's race. In fact, in Sunday's race I PR'd the course by 5 minutes from my time last year, and did better in swim, bike and run - and that was in rainy conditions! Needless to say, I was pretty damn happy that I could dig deep and race hard. I think the biggest reason I did well was simply because I was excited to do a double sprint challenge, enjoy the experience and make myself suffer big time! I'm sure Lucho's coaching has helped too ;)

Race Day #1: Seal Beach Triathlon
So Saturday was the Seal Beach Triathlon. This was a new race, consisting of a 1/2-mile swim, 7-mile bike and 2-mile beach sand run. It was the first time this community has had a triathlon in 20+ years, and the race organizers did a great job hosting it. I actually was a guest speaker at one of their clinics earlier this month, and it was nice to be involved with everything.

Exiting swim at Seal Beach, and happy. Thanks for pic Scott Fairchild.
Note: New kits for me are in the works for 2013. No more old stuff haha.
The wave starts were based on predicted swim time, and I put myself in the fastest group for a good challenge. It was a beach entry with waves, and considering a longer-than-usual run in/out on sand included in time, I was pretty please with my swim. All those OWS are paying off. I still lost it on the swim, though, I think. One of my most memorable moments of the weekend happened during the swim start that I must mention. Right in front of me, Macca and a young dude, maybe 12-13 years old, were running into the water together, and I couldn't help but think how cool that was for both parties, and for the race organizers for making it happen!

Anyways, Onto the bike and we were warned beforehand that it was going to be a bit of a sketchy and slow course because it was an out-and-back on a narrow bike path. I was glad to be ahead in the race so I avoided some traffic, but it still got a little crazy. That said, there were lots of volunteers out there making sure things went smoothly.

With Macca at Race #1. Sleepy eyes :)
OK, it got crazy at the run - holy moly! I didn't really realize it was going to be DEEP, soft sand; I never run in that stuff so I was hurting. I went from a 7:00ish pace out of T2 to a 9:30-10:00ish pace haha! I found some strength, thankfully, and managed to keep my overall pace in the 8:00's, but it was one tough run and no joke. I was happy to be done, and that was just 2 miles haha. Thank goodness they had complimentary massages in the post-race expo - I took full advantage. Must say: Mad props to Josh Rigsby and the Seal Beach Tri race crew. Great job on a first-time event. I would totally recommend this race for beginners to veterans. Great swag and prizes given out too!!

Women's podium #1 for me.

So a podium in race #1 was pretty cool. The winner, Megan Monroy, is a stud short-course girl (just won LA Tri AG Overall), so I can't complain getting 2nd to her. Later that day I loaded up on Whole Foods, had a beer later on, and attended a private Lululemon "R+D Night" Party.

Post-race good times at Lululemon Newport Beach event.

Race Day #2: Newport Beach Triathlon
This was my third time doing this race, and I've won my AG twice. I got some wise advice to sign up elite because that person said not only do I have the ability in such a crowd, but because I'd avoid a lot of traffic on the bike in particular (a two-loop out-and-back course that can get crazy). So this was actually my first-ever elite race, and I'm glad I managed to prove worthy of being in that division with landing on the overall podium. (One AG'er beat the 1st place elite and me.)

Thinking: "Oh dang there are a lot of boys around me."

The swim start was something! There were about 40 in my wave, and only two girls, including myself. I was a little afraid to get banged up by dudes, but not really that afraid. I lined up behind the front row and just enjoyed a sweet draft for most the swim, and had a big swim PR of 12:57 for a 1/2 mile. I've never been so happy with a swim in all of my races. Also because I felt strong, confident and in control. I held a good line and was able to push it. Unfortunately, you have to run a crapload before you hit the mat to start T1 so my official time will be 15:00 (last year it was 17:00), but whatever, I know that I am finally improving!
Readyyyy.... (many more boys to the left about to work
their way in, too)
Go! Where's Macca for the draft?! Haha.

Onto the bike and it was wet and rainy with puddles and all. Thankfully there was essentially no traffic and I was all on my own for the first lap. Man, I really need to get better so I can stick with this elite stuff, it's nice ;) I finished the first lap in 21:xx, and was very surprised because last year it was close to 24:xx. My power was easily in the 190-250w range, so I knew I wasn't going overboard, and I just held the pace. Lap #2 was a little more trafficy as more people were on the course, but I manged to pass people effectively and hold pace. I did see quite a bit of drafting going on, and even yelled to one girl after watching her for 3-5min hanging on  a wheel, saying, "Hey, you might want to think about stopping that drafting." And she did. She knew she was being bad. Anyways, off the bike in 42:00 flat, with a ~21.5 mph avg and feeling like a rockstar!!!

Finishing the run. Face of pain. Note wet conditions.
Then the run. I won't lie I was feeling a little bonky and wishing I had brought a gel or something on the course. I had nada. Oh well. Only 3 miles. Dig deep. I saw Macca fairly soon in and we exchanged kind words (he's been seeing a lot of me this weekend, haha), and after that something really sad/scary happened... I saw ambulances, and then a big guy on a stretcher who looked like he was in bad condition - something happened to him on the swim. The emergency crew/police MADE ME STOP as they rolled him into the ambulance, and would not let me run by - even with ample room to do so. That made me realize the dire nature of the situation. Of course there was a part of me that was a bit upset about having to stop because I was doing so well; however, I got over that right away because the man was clearly in bad shape and needed help. I felt just awful for him. I later found out, he did pass away that morning. Not something I like to think about, but it is something that's becoming a big problem in our sport.

But back to the run. About 30 seconds or so later after being stopped, I was able to get on my way, and soon after grabbed a cup of gatorade at the one aid station, thank goodness - relief! Then one big hill to run up, turnaround, down the hill and home stretch. Finished the run in 20:02, but it was short, only about 2.85 miles, so my avg pace was about 7:00 or something. (On their results it said I avg'd 6:41 pace psshhh.)

Women's OA podium #2 for the weekend, on a roll!
I love my new Kona-special Zoot visor!
Originally, I thought I was 2nd OA, but then a speedy (and apparently well-known AG'er) knocked me to third. No prob. In fact, had this been last year, I would have totally won overall with my time of 1:18:xx! It was a major PR on the course and a major surprise that I could do that, so I was one cloud nine. Not to mention, my very good friend from high school, Marcai, did her first triathlon at this race too, and I've been helping her prepare. Good news- she killed it getting 2nd in 25-29 AG!!! Holy crap! Being there to watch her fall in love with the sport was so so so special!!! She's hooked, of course.

The Finish
So that's it! I made it through my "double sprint triathlon challenge," which involved a party of two: Macca and I. It is definitely a weekend for the memory books because who knows if that will ever happen again. Time for a brew....
Sorry, but gotta post one more with the man post-Newport.
Cheers to double sprint weekends!


  1. HI Tawnee...recently started listening to you podcasts (loved the Jordan Rapp interview), but I didn't realize till I saw the results from the Seal Beach Tri that you were the only person that passed me on the run! I was the short bald tattooed guy you blew by right before the turnaround. I managed to keep you in my sights the rest of the way back as some motivation to suck it up! I agree...that run was no joke. Congrats on the great races!

  2. was sooo temped to bring my bike out for that race; too bad i didnt kno u were racing ahead of time and i woulda of!! till nxt time ....