As a training day for IronMan Santa Rosa 70.3, I decided to enter the Ice Breaker Triathlon. I wanted to see just how cold the water would be and get a little Open Water practice. My goal for this race was to “race but not race” I wanted to push my aerobic capacity, but not get anaerobic. My plan was to save my legs for the 3.5 hour bike ride I needed to execute the next day. I showed up at Granite Bay Beach about 90 minutes before race time. It was another wet week in the Sacramento region. I ws informed that the bike course was to be shortened to 10 miles. The distances for this race were now as follows: Swim 1/2 Mile Bike 10 Miles Run 4 Miles.
Prior to the start of the race I spent some time getting reacquainted with my wetsuit and transition setup. I was debating on what to use for the swim. I was told that the water temperature was 52 degrees and I could see lots of debris in the lake. I decided to wear my gloves and neoprene cap. I passed on the booties since the swim was so short.
Swim: I entered the water 5 minutes prior to my wave going off. I wanted to get acclimated to the freezing water temperature and try to get my face over the shock. I immediately realized that not wearing my booties was a tactical error. I couldn’t feel my feet because they were so numb. In addition to being numb, there was lots of tree branches and a rough path back to T1. Once my wave went off, it was my goal to take the swim slowly at first to try and get some comfort from the cold. After a few minutes I was able to keep my face in the water without a problem. My feet on the other hand felt weird. I was able to lay down a time of 16:48 which was an average of 1:47 per 100. This was slightly faster than the 1:55 that I was averaging in my pool swims. All in all I was pretty happy with this swim. It gave me an opportunity to swim Open Water prior to Santa Rosa and practice my sighting.
T1 was a pretty slow effort for me. The hike up the hill from the lake was pretty painful on my feet, so I decided to take my time. When I got back to my bike, I spent a good amount of time drying off because it was in the 40’s and I didn’t want to freeze on the ride. I actually threw a winter cycling jersey on over my Tri Kit to keep warm. At this point my feet were still numb, and I was off to the Bike course in 5:29
Bike: My goal for the bike was to put down a harder effort since the course was so short. I averaged a low Z4 HR and was able to average 212 watts. Both of these were well within my goals. This little course probably wasn’t really setup or beneficial to use my TT bike. There were lots of curves and i couldn’t be aero as much as I would’ve liked. My total time was 32:23 and I averaged 18.9 mph. I still couldn’t feel my feet on the entire bike course.
T2 I didn’t fly through T2. I wanted to see if I could get some blood flowing back into my feet before putting on my running shoes and gathering my gear. My goal was to run with my water bottles and everything that I would carry in Santa Rosa. I made it on to the run course in 1:44
Run: I must start off by saying that I was not a fan of this run course. The course weaved us back and fourth on single track trails. I didn’t feel like the course was safe. There were many areas that were flooded and muddy with no traction. I almost went to the ground a couple of times. The goal for this run was to put down a low Z3 HR effort and run a similar pace that I’ll be shooting for in Santa Rosa. about 1 mile into the run I was finally able to feel my toes again so that was good. I completed the run in 37:13 which averaged out to be 9:46 per mile, and my fastest mile was the last one at 9:16
My total time for the race was 1:33:37 and I took second in my division. Not bad for a training day
Starting out 2017 to be my first real Tri Season, IceBreaker is only the second triathlon I have done. I was excited to get a shorter distance in before Santa Rosa HIM in May. I thought I was definitely trained and fit for the day. Oh boy did it go quite different for me.
This is not my strong suit to begin with and truly was looking to just get on with it to get to the bike and run. Now the words Ice Breaker should have been my first clue. I have not swam any open water since last September and I knew it was gonna be cold. Countdown comes and I run into the chilled water and start my stroke. After I raise my head for my first breath I feel like I cannot breathe…this was not part of the plan. I always knew I could do breath-stroke if I got tired but even that was a struggle.. starting to panic I thought what am I going to do. So I flipped to my back, kicked my legs and asked Jeff in the safety kayak if I was moving at all. He said you are clipping along great. So although I did make multiple attempts to try a freestyle stroke I ended up doing all 912 glorious meters on my back! Not being able to see where I was going I added on additional meters to my swim 😜. So happy to see the shore I was out much later than expected.
Ok now that I had that hideous swim behind me I went into T1 getting ready to start my most comfortable part which was the bike. I don’t have a TT Bike but love my Liv road bike from Folsom Bike so was looking forward to making up some ground here. The ride was good but have to admit a bit too short. I did get my head back on straight and was ready to keep going.
After a super fast T2 transition I was out to do my run. I have to say i forgot most TBF races are trail and this was no different. I prefer the hard asphalt to run so really did not train for the hills and uneven ground. After submerging my right foot in one of the many puddles I just wanted to get to the finish. When I crossed the line with more in the tank I knew I could have performed better.
After the race I felt a bit defeated since my day went completely different than I had set in my mind and a little disappointed in myself for not pushing a little harder. I was standing with my teammate Bryan Wertzer who is also my good friend after he had a podium 2nd place. Standing there I hear them call my name over the speaker.. I poked at my husband and said did they call my name. They say it again and I think maybe I got a sportsmanship award – I did do the whole thing with a smile after all. I got 2nd place in my Age Group. So even though it was a wild day I was on the podium for the first time in my life.
In reflection I am glad I did have some struggles so that I could learn from them and be even more prepared for Santa Rosa……
Welcome to the 4th edition of Oceanside 70.3. Second edition Folsom Bike Triathlon team. We did the red eye drive to lovely Oceanside to miss all the crazy LA traffic. Good choice as we pulled into town in about 7.5hrs. Did a 7 hours snooze and was ready for our Thursday. To start of we did a killer breakfast. Anyone ever have Honey Bunches of Oats French Toast. Well you have not lived until you have.
Fast forward love this venue. We checked in and I had the best check race packet. So good vibes. We love Oceanside so we checked out the strip and then took a long walk in the harbor on the rocks to see the new outline of the course. Gorgeous late afternoon. Mentally prepping the turns and trying no to think about how cold the Ocean water would be race morning. All the chatter was about the new rolling start, how would that play out with such a large field. Instead of swimming to 100+ meters to the line you would self-seed and off you go.
Fast forward bikes checked in on Friday afternoon and anticipation of Saturday morning. We walked from our hotel to the harbor—about 1.5miles. It was brisk out about 48. However I have to remember a few years back it was 29 at the start of my Ironman Lake Tahoe…so 48 is like balmy.
Scott and I had some nice bike positioning being AWA Silver and AWA Gold. I can see my competition that also ranked in Gold…let’s say they were not very friendly. It’s time to head to the swim start and we both go together. A kiss and hug and I drop to the 40-45 min group and Scott advances to the 30-35 min.
Get the water bottle and load the inside of my suit with water to seal it up. It took about: 20 minutes to get finally to the start and once you hit that pier it is swim time. Water was 62 and it was actually warm compared to the air. I felt good and got into a rhythm. But contact and then around the turn around sun.
Swim time 47:26—I can do better. 31/62 AG
Long transition to the bike. Start pulling down the LS wetsuit and focus on not wasting time. 6+ min transition, I have to do better.
I know this bike course and now I have awesome Sram Etap thank you Folsom Bike and I am ready to tackle the bike course. I know this course having raced the last 3 years. Just have to be careful around mile 40 you do not speed past 25 Mph or you face DQ. I was overly cautious as my Garmin setting missed MPH! Yes stupid is on my forehead! So I really hit the brakes. The last 10 miles of the course are fast but also windy. I was focused on under 3 hours as that has been my norm…pushing hard. However 3:04:18 was the time. 10/ 62. AG
I knew I had to use the bathroom so I scurried to get shoes, hat and off I went into the bathroom and out. About a 7 min transition. Not good. So run like I stole something. The first bright spot was seeing teammate Brian Skehan. Great to have the mutual encouragement. I’m running and feeling good. This is probably one of the prettiest runs along the ocean for several miles. Finally about mile 3 I see Scott. That brightens my day seeing him happy and running. My goal, no stopping and just get stronger. I ran happy. I saw my good friends the Burgesses who moved to San Diego a few months back cheering me on! How cool they came to watch and see their 1st triathlon! This is a two-loop course and based on my 1st loop I was in good shape to be under 2 hours and stay under 6 hours, as I had never done more than 5:54 here. So I pushed and felt I was tracking to be under 6. Home stretch and fighting the time. I gave it my all and crossed the line super spent and sun drenched! Thank goodness Scott was waiting at the finish! I ran a 1:56:44. But that was not good enough. Final time 6:01:42. Racing my new AG was not certain how that would play out. Top 5 are podium.
1-minute difference from 6th.and +15min from 5th. My transition time was about a 3 minute factor and a potty break and too conservative on bike to be ready for a good run.
Final 7th/62nd AG. 168th/928th Gender and 995/3430 OA.
Thanks to Folsom Bike my bike mechanically was flawless!
Nutrition was dialed with Vespa and Clif gels and Gu Blocks.
Congrats Brian Skehan and Scott Williams on great races. As a result our Tri Club Division V ranked 9 of 67!
Next up IM Santa Rosa 70.3
April 1st was our fourth time racing here and second round racing for Folsom Bike. I was super stoked because this year picked up a brand new BMC TM01 from Folsom Bike and was ready to set a new P.R. We arrived 2 days early and had all our race morning gear set well in advance so we could rest up and relax before the race.
The morning started with cool temperatures at 46 degrees at 5 a.m. It was expected to warm-up, be sunny and reach the high 70’s before the end of the day, so I lathered on the sunscreen. The water temperature was a warm, 62 degrees. As we made our way up we were able to see the pro’s finish their swim and run into transition. What a thrill it was to see the determination and focus on their faces!
2017 the swim was changed to a rolling start. It was as usual with people all over and you just swim while everyone is hitting everyone. My mindset was good and I pushed through. The yellow sight buoys were nice since they were fairly close, so it was pretty easy to see where to go. The course was a narrow “horse-shoe” out-and back type route. I could tell as we moved our way out we were getting close to the mouth of the harbor as the water became choppy. On occasion a swell would rise and I would catch it in my mouth and take a hard swallow of very salty ocean water. At this point I just wanted to avoid people, which is impossible in a large race like this. Some were swimming fast over people, others swimming slow doing the backstroke and some were completely stopped. I just tried to move forward and swim around people. No luck, the bright sun just made it difficult to see, so I just swam with the crowd and stopped on occasion to see if I could figure out if I was going straight. It seemed to take forever to get the finish dock and I felt a little like a pinball going right until I hit someone and then going left until I was blocked by someone else. I found it hard to get into a rhythm and my timing was off for breathing.
As I started the ride it was congested once again with lots of people around. There were many turns and a quick steep climb before we entered Camp Pendleton. I was going a slower pace than I had hoped for but would rather not blow-up on the hills later. I tried to stay positive despite my slow swim start and concentrate on what I was doing at the moment. I was pleased to be passing people the entire ride despite not holding my numbers so I felt good about that. I was grateful the course was well marked but was still anxious to ride around other riders and the traffic. As we approached the first major hill around mile 28/29 I was excited to do it. I have been training for hills and there are a lot of them where I live in Folsom so I was pretty sure I could handle anything that was thrown at me even though I had only done a handful of outdoor rides this year. I tackled the hill well and passed many people. It was challenging, but I loved it. On the decent I tried to continue passing people and keep “pressure on the pedals”. I get a little nervous at the high speeds but tried to embrace it as I knew that I needed it to increase my average to finish in a decent time. I continued to try to ride strong but found it difficult to push myself. Just a few miles from the cycling finish while we were riding around a bumpy section behind some buildings I lost my tool box for the second time today. I was now nervous that my bike split was going to be even slower than ever.
Now it was time to get running as I had planned to hold a 7:55-8:05 minute per mile which is very doable considering I ran a 2 half marathon conservatively 2 weeks before the race, but through the next few miles I realized had better make a pit-stop rather than have an “accident”. I felt better and worked my pace back up to goal pace for a short time, then realized I needed to hold back a bit. At this point I spotted teammate Brian Skehan and Karyn Hoffman. I hit the 10K in an okay split, much slower than planned, but still okay. I continued plugging along taking minimal nutrition and tried to close the gap on my teammates. I took in the scene; all the people, we were running by ocean and I was doing an early season Half Ironman. Even though my race didn’t go as planned I was pleased to finish and have my love Karyn Hoffman to share it with. It is disappointing to perform below my potential and not have anything to show for hard training effort. I ended up with a time of 5:48:20. So not terrific, but not horrible either. I am learning and will continue to try to reach my goals. Next up Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3 May13th.
Thanks Folsom Bike for all the support for 2017
Swim 00:43:53 Bike 02:46:55 Run 02:03:27
I returned for the 4th year in a row to race in beautiful oceanside California. I couldn’t ask for more fantastic weather and awesome volunteers to make this a special place to race.
Swim– Past years ironman corralled every athlete by age group for start times. This year they changed things up a bit and experimented “ the roll out” by expected swim finish. I seeded my self with the 30-35 min group, but i didn’t expect to finish with that time frame at all. This strategy payed off for me in a few ways, one, i did swim faster knowing I’m with faster swimmers and, secondly i pretty much swam freely without to many athletes swimming over me and knocking me off my groove. My sighting was dead on, for the first time ever. My swim went as planned and even better as expected. I did PR on the swim for this race.
Swim time 43min.
Went as planned, nothing really to report other than its a long transition to the bikes. Took a tad longer than i wanted but i was happy with it.
Bike– The bike course hasn’t changed from when I first started racing here four years ago. Its fast and slightly down hill for the first 15-20 miles until you enter camp Pedleton. once you enter the base the bike becomes more challenging with rolling hills and eventually climbing a couple decent hills that can be challenging, if you don’t train for them. I felt really good on the bike, but not as strong as i raced a few years ago. The second decent climb, a female racer was in distress with a mechanical issue. I asked if she needed some help and she said yes, I pulled over to help. It took me a few minutes to resolve her issue and I went on my merry way. I quickly sped off, pedaling as fast as I could to make up some time lost, but I was careful not to blow out the legs. Mile 45 on the bike course can be a bit tricky depending on the year. Last 10-15 miles can be very windy with winds coming off the ocean. This area acts likes a funnel right into the base. Luckily, this year the winds did not surface and it was easy riding into T2. I missed my target of riding in the 2hr 40 range, which I’m plenty capable of doing. Not my strongest bike performance but ill take it.
Bike time 2hrs:57
Went as planned, but it’s a long one back into T-2 where the run gear is placed. Once I found my location on the rack, I needed to pay attention to a blister I had from a previous race, two weeks ago, slapped a pre cut piece of mole skin on, and off I went.
Run-This year i spent a lot of time working on my run. My run has suffered the last two years with the lack of mental toughness and overall run fitness. I felt pretty confidant that no issues would arise that would slow me down. The first 8 miles I ran strong without any issues, however at mile 9 I needed to make a pit stop for hunger pains that a few oranges helped resolve this. I felt strong on the run this year, compared to last races. I was happy with my outcome, however I did fall short of my run goal, of 1hr 51 min. Run time 1:56
In conclusion- I set a pretty ambitious goal to finish around 5hr 30min this year. I fell short by 20 min. I now know where the weak points are, ill defiantly be focusing on those before the next race in may. Oceanside is defiantly a great place to race, volunteers are awesome and you get to see some pretty cool military equipment while passing through the base. I want to thank Folsom bike for allowing me to wear the logo once again.
Over all time 5:51
Good Day race fans!!! Well, here’s another race report from a regular AG triathlete.
The morning was wonderful at a cool 63 degrees and everyone is happy and mellow. I got my favorite spot in transition. LOL, yes I’m one of those, I like to be on the end of the rack so I can spread out.
Let the games begin!! Got into the water for a pre warm up swim, test the water release race anxiety. “Two min”, Bill announces. I got to the front of the group for the swim start, and they’re off! I was swimming stroke for stroke with someone and feeling pretty good. We were leading and getting into position, couldn’t hold her though, she started slipping away. That’s ok I thought, I still need to bike and run. I got out of the swim 16:24 rank 4 in AG. I’m feeling good, ready to bike.
T1 had my Fav salted watermelon Gu Roctane (thank you Folsom Bike for carrying the latest and greatest in nutrition). Word of advice, never forget to hit the button on your Garmin!!!! I didn’t realize it till I was over the last speed bump heading out the park on the bike. I felt good on the bike except I had a song stuck in my head that some people were singing “Age of Aquarius”, I really don’t know the words, only what they sang and it was on repeat. So, the bike which was a 1:19:4 (6) in AG. It was a psychedelic blur.
T2 2:40 what was I doing? lol, I think I was on a lunch break.
Run- 44:13(4) in AG. . It was nice running weather at 66 degrees and sunny. I love the run portion of the Rancho races. Rolling hills, coach Karyn says hills are our friend, today, I was actually believing that statement.
Finish! Yay! I love coming across the line 2:20:22 4th place in A.G. Awesome! Podium for Folsom Bike!
We selected this event almost a year ago and I had not planned to be coming off of a full IM event 3 weeks earlier. Nor had I realized this would be my 12th Full Ironman since 2009. I always had heard this was a beautiful and challenging course. Last years extreme heat was more of an exception so I was not overly concerned.
We arrived a few days early and were the houseguests of our IM Athlete Services friends. Despite a very long travel day of delays we felt right at home once we arrived and were greeted by 3 super cool dogs. We got dialed in with a great bike shop Vertical Earth and they quickly made some adjustments that were compliments of the sloppy TSA. Did our check in and got a nice feel of the start, finish and transition areas.
Then it was time to get wet. The lake looked awesome and several athletes were getting some yards in. Having heard the water temp was 71-72 degrees I was starting to rethink my full wetsuit. However, with a 6am start I felt I would be more comfortable in long sleeves. The water was super clear and fresh, as it reminded me a lot of Lake Tahoe or Donner and it was amazingly, silky smooth. I did about 1100 yards and my time seemed pretty fast. That gave me a boost of confidence.
We drove the 2-loop bike course and then the reality check occurred. It was stated to be 7,000ft of climbing. Nothing though seemed to steep, nothing like our Beatty Hill. However there were some long climbs but that also meant there would be some long down hills. The roads seemed okay and a good segment was on a 4-lane highway, which would have two lanes for the event.
Transition bags were gathered and dropped on Saturday along with the bikes. Eyed the swim course, which was a two-loop swim and it required you to exit and re enter. Saturday afternoon was the pre race pizza, which is the fuel that has worked, so not time to deviate. Do what works, right?
3:30 alarm came quick. Our friends dialed us in with great logistics for parking race morning reducing some stress. This was the earliest start for an IM race I have had at 6am. All buoys were in and the outline of the swim looked pretty clear. Buoys were located on the left and that is my breathing side!
Swim: I lined up with the 1:16-1:30 start group. Being self seeded you really don’t know how it will play out. However I know that anything faster may be trouble with getting swallowed up. Scott had already lined up with a group ahead. So as I waited with my friend Heather, trying to stay relaxed. Dusk turned to dawn and the cannon fired and the race was on! It took about 10 minutes to get in; having not warmed up I was off dolphin diving in. Trying to stay straight kept eyes down and followed feet. But you need to hope those feet are going straight. It was a choppy start. Bodies, boats and currents were ever present and I was trying to avoid mouthfuls of water. It seemed like I was moving but really had to pull to get over the waves. Made the 1st turn which felt wide and lost site of the 200 meter buoy with the waves. Got aligned and then made that second turn to count down 8 buoys. It seemed like forever to get back to the start and I could see the black arch, hear the announcer, but I was not yet there. Finally got out and ran about 15 yards and dove back in without looking at my watch. Not sure if that was purposeful or being very focused. Much less crowded upon re-entry. More chop and just worked to stay straight keeping tight to the buoy line. Made the 1st turn lap 2 and then the second. Again the last 400 meters seemed forever, getting whacked to the head from a big guy who actually stopped and apologized. WTH? Determined to get done I landed on shore.
Time 1:28:44. 32nd AG/53
Transition included changing into my Folsom Bike Tri shorts and managing my time. Volunteers were great, stripping my wet suit and helping with my T1 needs. I’m ready and time to fly.
Bike: It was already warm and I was sprayed with sun block to avoid the burn. Crowds were all over. Sends chills down my neck! Cheers and screams! Got in areos and off for the 1st 20, which was along the lakeshore. It was gorgeous and serene. Need to focus and stay away from trouble. Got a good cadence and was about 18.5 mph. Made the turn and headed back to town. Closed to car traffic it was great to stay in drops, had some early climbing but not gets out of saddle climbs. Back to town and hearing the crowds I am motivated. Had my friend Jim on the sideline who got my picture and noticed the thumbs up! Ride Happy, Ride Like a Girl! Left town and now headed to the Idaho plateau. All seemed good. Climbing, sweating, downhills, uphills and staying around 18+ mph. Race leaders are already speeding back down. Craze! A couple no pass zones and then freedom. I pushed saw Scott and I was happy as he was to see me. I made the turn around at about 40 miles and headed back to town. Some screaming downs hills in which I was 37-38mph. Back to town and ready for lap two. I was still strong, and about 3:10 ish into the 56 mile point. I was thinking about 6:30 or faster finish, I proceeded, but it was a tale of two loops. The second was compared to sinking in quick sand. The winds were 20-25 mph that is no joke when your climbs were 8-10%. My fitness should be able to endure that but I was slowly reduced down to an average 15.5, not good. I was passed by a gal f in a Green Bay WI tri kit. Seriously there are no hills in GB. I was mentally breaking. Heat was getting to me and I made the turn around hoping that the downhill would get me back to at least 18 mph avg. While peddling hard I almost got taken out by a RWB athlete, who made a bad move to stop dead in his tracks. 30 miles to go and press forward still could be under 7 hours if I could maintain. Did I say 7 hours? That was not the plan but all I could do is manage what I had. Raced back in town and crowds disbursed, was I that late? I am bummed. I passed a lot in my AG and hoped that I was in the mix for top 5 but no idea. Got to transition and they took my bike and I headed to a long transition to get my run gear.
7:05:56 bike—terribly disappointing. 16th AG/53
Run: Stay positive, despite some cramps I need to muster out this run. Not so fast, my GPS watch died again, second race in a row…so discouraged. But who needs a watch, I just need to run. The run was rollers and a little short hills. Flat along the lakeshore at the golf course. It was 3 loops and mentally that is always tough. I then started getting passed by my AG…. not good. I had smileys on my calves so I did get some guy chatter and that helped. I finally saw Scott for the 1st time…. a got a hug and kiss. He was hurting some. The thought of let’s finish together would mean 7 min miles to catch him and he would be walking. Not happening. Made my turn around and back thru some fun neighborhoods of the rich and famous. Great support.
Lap 2 is underway and a lot like lap one but slower. Just stay focused…number 12 finish is in reach and you have 6 hours. No problem. It seemed forever but I saw Scott again and it was comforting. The sky once sunny was now covered in a big dark cloud and it smelled smokey. A big fire had erupted and it seemed close. Some ash sprinkled down. Wow, is this IMLT Pt 2? No one said anything but AQI was changing. Keep running. It was relief the sun was covered and now it was past 12hours…so much for that. I still had 10 + miles. And my thought of a podium had diminished and now it was about finish. Back to town a 2nd loop completed and I heard a guy say Dairy Queen closes at 9pm I still have 2 hours. So I knew it was around 7pm and 13 hours in…let’s get this done. I made the turn around and hung with some local SF young guys…then I passed them. Less than 4 miles to go. Run walk repeat. Then Mile 24 and I said let’s run. And what felt like an 8 min pace, and hearing in the distance you are an IM kept me moving. The spectators, volunteers really kept me moving. Mile 25 placard and I got to get this done and Scott has been waiting. Running hard, and passing a couple in the last mile and the finish shoot was mine, some hand slapping and a big smile and hearing my name. I thought to myself you have come a long way, hating swimming, and doing your 1st IM in 2009 with friends to 7 years later and sharing this journey with my soul mate and my 12 th finish. Crossing that line and standing upright and then the exhaustion.
Run 5:22:26 14th AG/53
Final time 14:12:56 14th/53 AG
The silver lining was having FolsomBikeTriathlon Team getting 3rd place in Tri Club Division V that had many in group!
Thank you Folsom Bike for the support and Proud to Ride Like a Girl!