Friday, July 31, 2009

Not for the faint of heart...

(after the race)

It all started a few months ago when I decided it would be a great idea for Kai and I to do a triathlon together. We have exercised together since we’ve been married almost 9 years now, but have never done an event together, so it seemed like a great idea. We asked Jason and Andrea to do it with us. They thought it sounded like fun too, so we registered and began training. The training wasn’t too bad, but it was the swimming I was most worried about. We practiced in the Drayson pool and trained for ¾ of a mile instead of ½ mile, since the swim would be in the ocean with the currents and waves.

We got up at 3 a.m., I fed Kasen, we got ready, ate breakfast, and got our tri bags ready. Brit and Shaunielle came at 3:15 to take over Kasen duty and Jason and Andrea came at 3:30. We headed down to Crystal Cove. We arrived before 5, set up our gear in the transition area, and tried to get rid of the pre-race jitters. We could hear the waves crashing from the transition area way up on the bluff. People around us started talking about how they were going to disqualify themselves and only do the bike and run because the waves were so big and the current so strong. We decided to go and take a peek at the wave condition. It was true, they were huge, and continuous. The officials had told us they were hoping the waves would die down before the race since they had been as high as 20 feet in the days leading up to the race, but if they didn’t they would have to cancel the swim portion and do a run, bike, run event. We waited and waited, and finally the beach patrol decided that the waves were too dangerous to do an ocean swim and declared it a run, bike, run.

We positioned ourselves on the beach to start in our different waves. The guys and the girls all started at different times. But eventually it was our turn and the horn sounded. We were off! We ran along the beach and up the extremely steep ramp to the transition area. The transition time was so fun. I’ve never done a triathlon before, so the whole transition thing was new to me. We took off our running shoes, threw on our bike shoes, helmet, and grabbed our refreshments and bikes, and ran to the next timing pad to start biking.

The course was beautiful—no GORGEOUS! The bike route was along the rolling hills of the Pacific Coast. We looked down from the bluffs we were traversing to see the crashing waves below us (glad we weren’t fighting them) and blue skies above us. After the 12 mile bike route we transitioned back to running (changed shoes, took off the bike helmet and threw on our hats and took off toward the running timing pad. The run was amazing! We were right down on the beach along the historic cottages and rocky outcroppings. I almost wanted to stop during the run just to take it all in, but we kept pushing ourselves. Finally we rounded the last corner and were cheered on for the last 1/3 of a mile to the finish line. I love how people who have no idea who you are, cheer you on and scream their lungs out for you as you cross the finish line. I almost stopped and hugged them--

What I will do again
---Use a road bike. We all went so much faster than when we had used our mountain bikes. Thanks to our great friends who came through with road bikes for all four of us!
---Go with a great friend/team. It was so much fun to do the whole thing with friends. The guys were in a different wave than us, so Andrea and I did it together. I have run a race pretty much alone before and it was SO boring. This time I had so much fun. As Jason put it before the race: “Is this one of those relationship things?” Translation: we didn’t care so much about finishing first as we did about finishing together. Definitely worth it!

What I won’t do again
---Forget a breast pump. Before the race even started, I felt the need to have Kasen or a breast pump near. By the time it was over, I was VERY uncomfortable and by the time we got home, I was in pain.
---Assume Kasen still takes a bottle after weeks of not needing to. He refused the bottle even though it was pumped milk. He wouldn’t take anything until we got home around noon—9 hours of nothing! Poor thing!
---Drink “5 Hour Energy” before the race. I felt SO weird all day!
---Not learn how to change a bike tire.

What I will remember most
---Weird moaning lady—She moaned the entire portion of the bike route. We happened to keep pace with her just by sheer misfortune. She moaned the entire time we were biking. As we passed her, or she passed us, not sure which, she commented that she did that for the guys. What a weirdo! Nonetheless, it was still a memorable moment from the race.
---The beautiful beach run. We ran down along the historic cottages and then right down on the sand passing rocks, ocean surf, and white water. It was so gorgeous! That part of the race seemed like it was over so fast. I could have run so much farther on that breathtaking section of race.
---The synergy of all the racers. There were some that were obviously competing for a spot in the World Championship—which this race was a qualifier for, but for the most part, everyone was so nice and fun to be around.
---10-12 foot crashing waves
---The finish line and all the people cheering JUST for us!! (kidding of course)

The pictures are in reverse order:

After the race

Transitioning from running to biking
Before the race--the guys' wave
The big breakers that made it so we couldn't do the swim portion
Before the race

Gearing up...
5 a.m. and ready to go!


  1. how fun! bummer you didn't get to do the swimming part. That would have been my favorite part!

    I can't believe you forgot your breast pump. I would have been manually expressing for sure! I'm in pain after 5 hours... I can't imagine going for 9.

  2. SO NEAT to see/hear all about your race, and that you're ready to do it again!!

  3. Congrats on finishing your first run, bike, die (that's what Todd and his dad used to call them...there used to be biathlons but are very hard to find now!!)

    Road bike is a MUST for that type of racing!! And every girl should know how to change a tire!!

    (and I feel for you as far as "needing" Kasen....yup...remember being absolutely MISERABLE at a wedding (actually ended up in tears by the time we got home....OUCH!!)

  4. I am so glad that you had such a great time! I just can't believe that you forgot your pump...I can only imagine the PAIN you were in!