This is a race that I have done several times, however I had not planned it on my race calendar. Early Saturday morning, Scott and I decided to test out the water at Lake Natoma, the swim venue for this event. Lake Natoma has been especially chilly due to snow run off, so I better try out the water before I pay money to race. It surprised me that the water really was not that bad. Around 60-62 degrees. Face did not freeze so that is a good sign. So we drove up later that day to register for the event. I have some comparison times having raced this course so I had those in the back of my mind. It is another opportunity to practice my training and represent FolsomBikeTriathlon team. This race had always been the Tri Club championship. So it brings an elevated competitive field. There is both collegiate and tri clubs, STC, EMJ, SVTC, Freeplay and many others.
Race morning we arrived early so to secure a good bike rack position. The air temp felt nice, maybe a little crisp. We unloaded our gear and organized the transition area. Plenty of time to get into the wet suit. I felt kind of nervous for some reason. I think it was more thinking about the chilly water. There were several distances at this event besides the Olympic such as the short course, paddleboard and an aquathon. The temps for the day looked to be high 80’s, so in preparation I froze a water bottle thinking I may need it for the run.
Swim: 32:30 1:53/100yds
Co-ed wave start of 40 yrs. and over. It is a deep-water start, so you had no choice but to be treading water until the start. Quickly our wave started and we were off. The awesome part of the swim today was that the rowing lane lines were still in place making it very easy to stay straight. Even though I was being passed I felt good. Made the 1st turn buoy and could sight the second. I continued to push and made the final turn and headed to the shore. No major issues. Was hoping for a respectable time. I went a little long with my yardage according to my Garmin. Transition 2:53
Bike: 1:16:28 19.8mph
Quickly, I headed to my bike rack. I ripped off my wetsuit and I already had my Folsom Bike top on. I got my act together and I knew I needed to quickly get out of transition. I mounted the bike and headed out toward the CSUS center. We had a hill with the over crossing and then began the climb towards Prairie City and then towards Intel. This is a deceiving road as there is some steepness and then there is some flat. I headed towards the Hwy 50 underpass towards Latrobe Rd. It winds and rolls and momentum is building. I did pass several riders and was back and forth with a male rider. Kind of chase and be chased. The ride proceeded on Grantline Rd and the pavement was pretty smooth. I was in my aero’s most of the time. I saw my speed in the 19-24mph range. I felt decent and continued to fuel with GU Chomps, Vespa and Skratch. The course weaved thru a business park before heading toward Sunrise and the entrance to the canal to get us back to the CSUS. The canal portion is flat and fast. A moderate up on the bike trail to get back to the south side of the trail and to the run transition. Transition 1:19
Run: 49:48 7:58min mile
Quickly transitioned, carrying my race belt, cap and water bottle as I crossed the transition mat. Having no idea where I was in the race for the AG podium. No one had calves marked with their age as is usually done in Triathlons. I got moving and felt great. I had my chilled bottle and sipped and I passed runner after runner on the bike trail. I encouraged everyone I passed. It was warm and there were several people walking or shuffling. I was now 2 miles in and under 16 minutes.
Now I was looking for Scott who I figured would be heading towards me on his way back to the finish. Finally we spotted one another and encouraged each other. I glanced at my Garmin, which indicated I was past mile 3 and getting ready to make the turn around. Grateful for my hand held I did not need to rely on the aid stations.
I continued to push hard as I headed to the finish line. I was now feeling a bit spent as my effort increased. Making the turn back into CSUS and I could hear the crowd lined up along the finish shoot. I crossed the line and immediately saw Scott who already finished and making sure I was ok. I needed to some shade and ducked into the paramedic tent. All was good just some post race exhaustion.
At this point I had no idea how I did other than my watch time. Awards started and still not knowing if I was in contention. Finally the time arrived for 50-54.
Final time 2:42:58 and 3rd AG. The main difference maker was my swim, which I continue to work on. Proud to represent Folsom Bike and love Riding like a Girl!
I had not planned this race on my schedule, however the tri for real series is a good tune up for tri season. There is nothing like signing up at the last minute and rushing to get everything ready. We arrived a little bit behind schedule to the famous Rancho Seco County Park. There are a few predictable parts of this race; the water will be warm, and the run will be hot and dusty. But this day there was an unusual cloud cover, kind of like June gloom. So that may bode well for all three events.
We had six Folsom Tri Team racers. This is awesome and provides a built in confidence builder. This included Brian Skehan, Joe Garrison, Cheryl Sanford, Craig Marchione & Scott Williams. The unfortunate part was that our requested bike rack was no- where to be found.
Swim: 35:02 3rd/5 AG. 97th place OA
The swim start was in 4 main waves. There is a lot of room to find your space and not have anyone really crawl over you.
Swim: Got in the water and it was really nice. Had about 3 minutes before Bill did his low-keyed count down and we were off. The swim is a .92mile. There are about 5 buoys and a couple can easily get lost in the sun. So as we started the clouds started to disperse. I found I got into a rhythm and was following a couple gals. It helps me keep my head down and site less often. I felt good as I made the first turn buoy. The next couple buoys became a little more challenging to see, as the sun was now getting bright. Made the final turn and it seems like forever to do probably 600 yds. I stayed the course and actually felt I was going to have a decent time. It was ok but I still need improvement.
Since this race is not chipped time the transition is added into your bike time. Ripped off my suit, got my Folsom Bike Jersey, bike shoes and helmet on and ran with my bike to the transition line.
Bike: 1:19:08 with transition: 1st/5th AG 55th OA
This is a 24.9 mile ride. The road is open so you do need to be really careful. They have done some paving so about half the course is fairly smooth. All I had in my mind is that I have some catching up to do and I better get moving. I felt the first few miles seemed pretty slow. I then saw my prey and got focused. Catch and drop repeat. Got aero and got moving. Got to the turnaround and I had already passed a lot of people. The winds starting picking up and I felt like I was slowing down. All I was looking for was the 3 towers and the left turn back into the park. Ate some Gu Chomps and 1 gel. Made sure I was hydrated. The ride into the park seems like forever. I knew if I wanted to podium I needed to stay focused. I got back to the dismount line and Scott was there cheering me on. He did the Aquabike and was already finished. I could hear him say hurry up.
Run: 48:46 with transition: 1st/5th AG 39th OA. 121 Racers.
I moved quickly out of transition onto the course. I felt good. I felt light on my feet. I started to make the passes and as I did I told the other runners good job. I could see some women ahead of me and I continued to push. What I like about this run is the terrain, fire road and single track trail and a little paved road. Some rollers too.
Saw Joe, and Brian as they were already heading back. They looked good and our Folsom Bike Kits stood out! I made the turn around and had a few guys with me. I know they did not want to be chicked but they liked my pace. I saw Craig on the fire road just as I got to the single track. With about a mile to the finish I saw Cheryl and cheered each other on. Looking at my watch I was hoping to stay in the 2:38-2:39 range. Fell a little short as I headed into that last stretch back to the finish line. 2:42:56.
This was good enough for the AG WIN and 6th Female OA. I am proud to represent FolsomBikeTriathlon on the podium. I am proud of our team members racing and representing our FolsomBikeTriathlon team well!
Swim: TBF Racing releases swimmers by Age group in a variety waves. As my swim wave entered the water, the water temp was little on the cold side, but bearable. The water was bit choppy race morning at Folsom Lake. We were off and I quickly settled into my swim, getting comfortable and remaining calm after a hard fought battle of positioning. My swim was smooth, and sighting was good. Second half of the swim was a little tricky coming back because of the choppy water conditions. My swim time was 33:09.
T1 Swim to Run: After a long run from the swim exit to the bike racks, I collected my thoughts, took a deep breath and readied myself for the bike. T1 transition time was 2:42.
Bike: I felt really good jumping on the bike. I know this course from previous years so I knew where to hammer down and where to ease up. This year was a bit tricky with rain showers that started as I jumped on the bike. As a result I proceeded very cautiously, in efforts to avoid injury or a bike wreck. As a result, I managed to finish the bike course without incident and that was success to me, for some precarious conditions.
Bike Time was 1:17.38.
T2 Bike to Run: About as expected leaving T2 in 1:20
Run: I felt really strong coming off the bike and more confidant than I did from Oceanside 70.3. I have trained on this course a few times and I know the run course very well. The run course is not easy, with several hills, and several technical sections. Once I got my heart rate down, I became comfortable with my pace that I could maintain throughout. Lucky for me that this year was cool and overcast with intermittent showers throughout the run. In prior years it has been pretty hot! My run was pretty easy up until mile 4.5 when I hit “ Cardiac hill”, a short and steep hill that really gets your heart thumping. I ran half way up and then I had to walk to the top, knowing that once I crested that hill I had a mile 1.5 miles to go, mainly flat and easy.
Run time 53:20
I enjoy this race because it’s close to home and the course is fun and challenging. This year the weather slowed me down on the bike, but helped me out on the run. I’m thrilled I PR’d this year taking 13 minutes off my time and a podium. I was 4th place in my age group. I was excited to be able represent Folsom bike Triathlon team on the podium. Overall time 2:47.