sprint triathlon and the Las Campanas Compadres super sprint triathlon (read here), I wanted to do another one because a) I had such a blast, b) I wanted to try a tri with an open water swim, and c) I wanted to build up to a tri with my favorite running distances. Thus, I set my sights on the City of Lakes Triathlon: an Olympic distance with a lake swim only a couple hours away from home.
For strength training, I've been going to a core class at the wellness center, as well as continuing MMA/Jeet Kune Do (though I backed off on that).
Santa Rosa is over two hours away, so I took my Friday off to drive down there, pick up my race packet, and check out the course.
The Olympic swim leg was two loops of this beautiful little lake (the sprint was just one loop):
The water was clear, I saw wee fish, and I heard it was pretty shallow the whole way. I was not worried.
|PIECE OF CAKE, RIGHT??|
|Definitely easier than anything in Los Alamos.|
I drove most of the running route, which was fairly confusing--we repeated the stretch along Reilly road twice (or four times, depending on how you count): up, down, up, down. "Keep track and make sure you do the right amount!!" One of my transition buddies forgot to do it twice and had to repeat it after the final little out-and-back. :)
|So much flatter than any six miles I can find here.|
We ended at the beautiful Blue Hole. The tradition is to jump in after the race. I was super excited for this, especially as it was supposed to be sunny and in the 80s.
My longstanding pre-race tradition is to set everything out, repack, and eat pasta. Santa Rosa's restaurant selections were, as far as I could ascertain: New Mexican, greasy diner, and pizza. I decided to go with pizza and breadsticks, and regretted not packing more food along with the bagels and bananas I brought for breakfast. Ah well, live and learn to not expect a simple Italian restaurant everywhere you go! I spent the evening knitting a baby blanket for my forthcoming niece and watching BBC America's marathon of Star Trek: TNG. So basically, it was amazing.
|I love our race shirt!|
|Trusty steed Scotty is all ready to go!|
Race morning dawned bright and early and I jumped up excited and determined. I downed some terrible hotel coffee, ate my own bagel and banana with some hotel peanut butter, packed my transition bag, loaded Scotty, and headed to transition, where it poured.
|The only time I've worn this schnazzy bike rain jacket.|
|Everyone: "COVER YOUR SHOES AND SEAT!!"|
Despite the rain and chilly conditions, the lake was 79F: thus, it was not wetsuit legal after all. I had only practiced open water swimming in a wetsuit, though, and wanted the extra buoyancy. As the penalty for wearing one was only "you can't place in your age group," and not disqualification, I (and a bunch of others) decided to wear it anyway. Placing in my age group is definitely not a possibility at this point! A couple ladies near my transition spot put theirs on, too, so we bonded over needing our security blankets.
|Official race photo of squeezing myself into my wetsuit.|
|Lookin' like a weird bug, ready to swim!|
I knew that warming up a bit would help me settle into the swim faster, so I did a couple of short laps in the little lagoon set aside for us. The water was certainly warm, but I just felt comfortable in it. Not too hot. I felt great. Relaxed. Ready.
My wave (women 31-34 + another age group of women [I'm 30, but USAT rules and my birthday combine so that I always race a year ahead]) was called, and we trudged into the waist-deep lake. The bottom was squishy, and there was much whining. I still felt great. Relaxed. Ready.
Soon, there was a countdown…and we were OFF!
City of Lakes Triathlon: SWIM.
City of Lakes Triathlon: BIKE.
City of Lakes Triathlon: BIKE.