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Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint - TriathlonMini Sprint

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Santa Barbara, California
United States
68F / 20C
Total Time = 1h 34m 37s
Overall Rank = 367/370
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 59/60
Pre-race routine:

My routine started early yesterday. We packed up the Westy and headed up to Santa Barbara. My husband dropped me off at the race site to get my packet. Of course, it has been 12 years since I lived in Santa Barbara, so I misjudged distance BIG TIME and had to walk almost a mile to the bath house where the expo was going on. No biggy. Since the long-course race was in full swing, I kept turning around as I walked to see if I could see Gail (gailg) or Chris (ChrisM) as they were coming in. It was funny because as I was walking along the race course, an older man looked at me and said "I guess we should be out there doing this too". In a joking manner I said "Speak for yourself. I'm racing tomorrow!" He smiled.

I finally got to the bath house. The expo was really great. There was music blaring and the announcer was a riot. I got my shirt, goody bag, packet, etc. I also bought a visor. I've been looking for one and they sold a great Headsweats one that said "Santa Barbara Triathlon" and had a dolphin on it. Cool!

I then heard them announce that Chris had crossed the finish line, so I went over to say hi. I poked around the exhibits, and then went outside to get picked up by my family.

We drove up to Isla Vista, which is a small area next to UCSB that I lived in for several years. We got lunch at Javan's then went to Freebirds to pick up dinner for later. We drove up to El Capitan Campground, which is about 10 minutes north of UCSB and got our campsite. We got lucky and had a huge site with tons of space for the kids to run around and shade and ocean view for us!

I kind of felt exhausted and crappy, so I went in and took a much needed nap in the Westy. After, I spent some time adjusting the speed laces, or whatever they're called on my new running shoes. I also took the bike for a quick spin to make sure that all systems were go. After my ride and I went and sat with my husband and the kids and talked about my ride. I was commenting on the fact that I hadn't dropped my chain and was hoping I wouldn't since I had dropped it twice during the Newport race. My daughter looked at me earnestly and said "Why don't you put your chain in your pocket. Then you won't drop it." TOO CUTE! HILARIOUS!!!

Then I was frustrated. Apparently walking for 30 minutes and turning around a bunch of times while doing it, caused me to get a blister on the bottom of each foot. Are you kidding me? The night before a race? I was so mad and they hurt. I spent a little time getting the fluid out of them so they wouldn't hopefully not hurt too much during the race.

I went to the camp store with the kids to let them get dessert. We had Freebirds burritos for dinner, followed by cookies and a campfire. I got to bed by ten, but my sleep was the usual pre-race tossing and turning.

I felt guilty when my alarm clock went off at 5am in the campground, but what do ya do? Hopefully no one else heard it. I got ready while my husband packed up, and we were soon heading down the 101 in the dark. I ate my usual pre-race breakfast en route. The skies were clear as could be at El Capitan, but as we drove through Goleta we saw the fog ahead and it was like a big black cloud that we drove into. Nice.

We parked in the lot and I rode to the transition area while my husband and kids dozed back off in the Westy. I got to the transition area right as Dana (newbiedana) got there. I found a spot that wasn't great, but at least near a big palm tree which would help with sighting. I set everything up and had fun talking to many of the other women. There was a whole different vibe in the transition area with this being an all women race. I looked out at the swim and couldn't believe how teeny it was! I was so excited as was everyone else. Then we saw that they still had one more buoy to put out. Oops. It was a little longer but still looked good.

I got bodymarked and hit the portajohns one time of many! :) I scoped out the entrances and exits then went to stretch. While stretching I met a nice woman named Dawn from LA Tri Club. I got into my wetsuit and began heading down to the beach.
Event warmup:

As I was walking out the water my blister really started to hurt in the sand. Ouch. The left was fine, but the right had opened up and was presumably taking on sand. Nice. The water looked flat as can be and I stood there contemplating getting in. I put on my first cap, and it split, but not so much that I couldn't wear it. Then Gail (gailg) came down to wish us luck. It was nice to see her and talk to her before the race. She warned me that the seemingly flat water had some good chop near the buoys that wasn't apparent from shore. Good to know.

I got in and the water was cold at first, but felt good quickly. I swam for ten minutes just going out and back a lot. At what I thought was 5 minutes before my start time, I got out so that my HR could return to normal. My husband and kids were there, so I went up on the beach and talked to them and got hugs and kisses. It's funny because my kids are always fascinated by the wetsuit and kept wanting to touch it!

The race ended up starting late, but I went ahead and headed up to get into position. We cheered as the first wave went off, and then gathered between the balloons for our turn. There were three nervous newbies next to me discussing their strategy. The all thought it would be good to start on the right, so that the buoy was straight out in front of them. I just mentioned that sometimes that's where it gets really crazy and they might want to start on the left so that they can go around it. They didn't seem convinced. Oh well...I tried to tell them. They'll learn about the craziness of rounding crowded buoys soon enough! I got my goggles down and the race official started counting us down...
  • 11m 25s
  • 500 yards
  • 02m 17s / 100 yards

The horn or beep or whatever it was went off and we all ran to the water. I'm never one for running fast on soft sand, so I just jogged and got in. The water had a rocky bottom in this area, so people were falling into it to swim quickly, and I followed suit. I didn't feel nervous at all and was just dealing with the crazy scrum at this point.

I kept a decent pace, I guess, heading out to the first buoy. The pack was still crowded and I started to feel the chop that Gail had warned me about. I was mostly fine, but did get a lovely nose full of water on one wave that I didn't see coming. Nice. I felt nervous a little but with so many people around their bubbles blocked my views of below, which is a good thing. Thoughts of cartilaginous fish would pass through my mind, but I never got panicky.

After the first buoy we turned right and were now heading parallel to shore. I felt good in that we weren't going any deeper, but didn't want to be alone, so I picked a woman to draft off of. I was able to follow her almost until the next buoy, but was getting a little winded. I caught my breath then caught a ride off another woman. I continued drafting off several different people all the way to the last buoy, which was nice. I did prioritize drafting, and as a result was going slower than I should have been at times and was not sighting as well as I would if I were sighting myself. But, my biggest goal was not panicking and I was willing to lose time for that.

I turned right and was now heading back to shore. The swells were pushing us toward the shore, which was nice. I lost someone to draft off of, but was less scared being alone-ish in the water since I knew I was heading back. I wanted to sprint, but couldn't. I was surprisingly winded and had to stay at a medium clip. I saw some women stand and run, but I waited until I felt sand, stood up, got my balance and started running.
What would you do differently?:

I should have spent more time this summer training in OW. I should also put my first cap on in the transition area so that if it splits, I can grab another. Otherwise, given my freaky ocean issues lately, I think I did okay. A week ago I was afraid I couldn't do this swim at all!
Transition 1
  • 10m 23s

Although this is included in my official swim time, I feel that once I'm back on dry land, my swim time has ended, so I consider the beach run to be part of transition.

I had promised myself that I would race transitions including beach runs. At Long Beach and Hermosa I walked the soft sand. This time I ran it and it was exhausting. I did see my family and waved to them.

When I got to the timing mat at the entrance to the transition area I felt like shit. I looked down and my HR was at 96% of my max from the soft sand run! Holy crap! I couldn't catch my breath. I walked to my row, but it was a long walk. I had already pulled my caps and goggles off, but was struggling to get my zipper down. I finally got it down and tried to pull my wetsuit off my shoulders and couldn't. I didn't know why. I was so winded that I was getting panicky feeling like I couldn't breathe with the wetsuit so tight around my neck. I kept fighting it and couldn't get it down, so I just pulled the neck out.

I got to my row and have never, ever felt this bad in T1. I just stood there. I didn't know what to do. Why wasn't my wetsuit coming off? I regrouped and tried again. No luck. My husband looked concerned and I told him I didn't feel well. I reached to my lower back and realized that the zipper had only gone halfway down. DUH! What a dumbass! I got my wetsuit around my waist, but was still panting and couldn't catch my breath for anything. I again just stood there for what seemed like several minutes.

I finally collected myself enough to pull it down my legs and struggled to get it off my heels. At this point Dana ran past me to get to her rack. I knew her wave had gone off five minutes after mine, which is when I realized that I had spent an inordinate amount of time in T1 and was still nowhere near ready. I managed to get my shirt on. I struggled forever with getting sand off my feet and getting socks and bike shoes on. In the meantime, I saw Dana running out to the mount line. I was still somewhere in lalaland wondering what my problem was. I finally got the rest of my gear on and again just stood there a minute. I still felt winded and goofy. I finally waved to my family and started running with my bike. But, it hurt like crazy. The blister on the right foot had filled with sand and was abrading the hell out of me with each step. I was sort of limping. This ought to make for a fun run later. Oh well. I realized that I still had a LONG way to go to the mount line, so I walked the rest.
What would you do differently?:

Walk the sand and not let my HR get so out of control.
  • 32m 25s
  • 6 miles
  • 11.11 mile/hr

I clipped in at the mount line and was on my way. Immediately I saw something that made me sad. On the left is the Radisson hotel. In 1995 when I was a junior my dad and family came up to Santa Barbara to visit me and stayed there. They had a room overlooking the pool. One afternoon my dad took my little brother to the pool and he ended up falling asleep. This was very out of character for my energetic, athletic dad. It raised an eyebrow or two for my grandma and I, but we tried not to worry. Turned out he had cancer at that time and we didn't know it. It was the first inkling I had that anything was wrong. As I rode by I could see the pool and the room and it just unexpectedly took me back to a time I didn't really want to think about.

Okay, now happy thoughts. I then got a whiff of coffee and bacon. Always torture on a race course when I'm sucking down Gu and Gatorade! ;)

So I started getting up to speed on Cabrillo. My legs were a little off so I backed off to warm up a little. Plus, I quickly felt winded again. The sky was overcast and foggy, which made for a very comfortable ride. We curved around near the zoo and estuary then hung a right past the cemetery (creepy). Then I saw Dana fixing a flat. I slowed to see if she needed anything. She didn't but was upset (rightfully so) about getting a flat 1 mile into a course that was only 6 miles long. I reassured her that she'd be passing me soon enough.

There was a false flat at this point and I could feel the gradual uphill. I turned right and was now heading up the only hill of the course. It wasn't too bad. I got to the top and was now heading down along Channel Drive. I was hitting about 27 mph on the downhill and realized that there were two posts at the bottom of the hill, several feet apart, that I'd have to go between. What the hell? I didn't slow down, but made sure I held my line and hoped for the best! :) I was able to keep a fast clip along Channel and pass several people. There was also a nice view with the beach on one side and the Four Seasons Biltmore on the other.

I hung the left at Olive Mill Road and another right at Danielson (which totally makes me think of the Karate Kid. "Danielson...look eye...always look eye!") :) Through a series of rights and lefts I was now near the freeway and there was a gradual downhill that I was able to hit some good speeds on and pass more people. I had to slow way down to make the hairpin turnaround. On the way back there were now some parent and child teams passing me. Okay, parents...please, please, please...if you're going to let your kids race, teach them the rules of the road. So frustrating to have kids riding all over the place, not staying to their right, or passing on the right altogether. It's a nice idea to have an event like this, but when I'm going over 20 mph I don't want to worry about an 11 year old swerving in front of me. Call me crazy.

As I made the turn back onto Olive Mill Road, Dana with her newly pumped up tire passed me! Go Dana!

On Channel Drive I got a lot of speed and went up the hill easily. I then realized there was a second hill. Oops. My bad. I barely made it to the top and was sucking wind like nobody's business. I thought I was at the top but made a right hand turn and there was a gradual uphill still. I knew I was done and couldn't do it. My legs were done and my lungs had checked out back at T1. I did the unthinkable for a race this short, and seemingly easy, and got off the bike. I was so freaking winded I couldn't even walk. I just stood there trying to catch my breath. I walked it to the top and then again stood there trying to catch my breath before getting back on. My sub 30 minute goal just went out of the window, but now I was more concerned with my breathing being so erratic.

I finally clipped back in and was relived to know it was all downhill from here. I felt dehydrated and had sucked down all my Gatorade. I wished I had more and wished I'd better hydrated in the days leading up to the race...but I hadn't. Cabrillo was uneventful on the way back and the smell of bacon was still taunting me. I clipped out and ran into T2.
What would you do differently?:

I'm still racing on the rusty clunker. I REALLY need to buy my new bike already. I also need to train hills. I hate doing it so I always blow it off, but then I get into races and feel like a dork when I have to walk my bike. However, I was not the only one walking my bike, which made me feel better. Misery loves company.
Transition 2
  • 05m 16s

I ran my bike into T2 clippity cloppitying along in my bike shoes. I got to my rack and was pissed. Some people had just thrown their bikes back, not where they had been before and knocked my stuff over. My recovery drink had opened and I had pink shit all over some of my stuff. Nice. Oh well...have a race to do. My family was there to cheer me on again. I was fairly quick about getting into my run gear, though my T2 time was longer due to being so far from both the bike in and run out. I jogged, and jogged, and it felt like a long time until I finally hit the timing mat to officially start the run.
What would you do differently?:

The bike thing was an accident, I'm sure. Yes, I wish people were more careful racking their bike, but I didn't need to get upset over some spilled Endurox. Big deal.
  • 35m 9s
  • 2 miles
  • 17m 35s  min/mile

I could tell right away that I didn't feel right on the run. Two days ago my run felt amazing, but not today. My legs were fine, but if I went at a speed any greater than a warm up speed, I got crazy winded again and had to drop back down. I hoped it would pass.

The run course was nice because it was flat as a pancake, still cool and misty out, and along East Beach. I was enjoying the views despite my body not particularly doing what I'd hoped it would. I still felt super thirsty and hoped a water station would happen soon. I saw a lot of runners coming back and there was a lot of cheers and support. I saw Dana who had already done the turnaround.

I passed the parking lot and our Westy. I was so wishing I'd left a water bottle sitting on the bumper! ;) I also passed the van covered in stuff. There is a guy whose van is literally covered in stuff. I don't know how to explain it. Every square inch, except the windows, is covered in pictures of figurines of some kind. I's crazy! I had fun looking at it as I ran (read jogged) by.

I had a great view of Stearn's Wharf and had fun remembering the summer I worked at a t-shirt shop out there. What a blast!

I finally got to the much needed water station and the turnaround. I had gone a pretty slow mile, but not as slow as I would have thought, given how I felt.

The run back was mostly uneventful. At one point I saw a racer coming toward me who was walking and had cerebral palsy. Things like that in life make you stop and think. My legs may be big, but they work the way they're supposed to and I don't ever want to take that for granted. This motivated me to speed up for a while. Then my lungs fell apart and I was back to being slow. :)

I finally passed the transition area and the were two weird places where we had to run briefly in sand. Random. I smiled for the camera and heard the announcer announcing my name. Apparently he made a joke about my tribute to Johnny Cash, the man in black, because I was all in black. I didn't hear that, but I saw my husband, kids and Dana all cheering for me. I high fived them and the announcer commented on that and that I was from LA Tri Club. I crossed the finish line and felt great, despite a tough race!
What would you do differently?:

I wish I had more stamina, but I didn't. I never walked, so I think I did as well as can be expected.
Post race
Warm down:

I made a bee-line for the water table and just guzzled, cup after cup. My family found me. I went back and packed up my transition stuff, talking to several other women in the process. The expo was still in full swing and I was excited to hear them playing a Peter Tosh song! :) We now had to walk to mile or so back to the Westy, which kind of sucked right after the race.

We decided to head into Carpinteria to get breakfast, but every place had a wait, and we just weren't up for it. We went in to McDonald's figuring it was fast and right in front of us at the time. While we were in line, another line opened up and an older man moved over there as he'd been waiting a while to order. A younger guy walked up and yelled at him for cutting. The older man said there was one line. The young guy raised his voice and said that that wasn't how lines worked at McDonald's. The older man started ordering while the younger guy got louder and yelled at the cashier asking for what their line policy was. My husband told the young guy to take it easy. Then the guy got mad at my husband and told him to butt out. My husband explained about how the older guy had been waiting, but the younger guy was now so loud everyone was watching and he was making a scene. The two of them went back and forth a while. The younger guy eventually got his food, but not after verbally assaulting the employee that helped him. What's up with that? All this commotion over waiting an extra 2 minutes for a crappy burger? C'mon!

I then proceeded to spill hot coffee on myself. Ow. As I was cleaning up a nice woman asked if I had raced that morning. I said yes. She said she was the volunteer who had taken off my timing chip! Too funny!

We ate and drove home. I had to deal with my nasty blister full of sand, which wasn't pleasant. I had to debride the thing then wash all the sand out. I then just soaked in the hot tub a while hoping that would help. Best of all...I had a great massage!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My weight, as always, is an issue. I've been very careless about what I've been eating and need to be more careful. Also, my inconsistent training is what I believe lead to me feeling so winded today. I need to get back to base training and really work hard. I did this race as a tune-up for the LA Tri and am now scared that I won't have the stamina for that much longer race. Finally, I wasn't hydrated enough going into this and need to be better about that.

Event comments:

Great local race. It was well run and well organized. The course was nice and always well marked. The post race expo was one of the better ones I've seen. Definitely a race I'd do again!

Last updated: 2008-08-03 12:00 AM
00:11:25 | 500 yards | 02m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 24/60
Overall: 154/370
Performance: Average
Suit: Zoot Two Sleeveless
Course: out 100 yards, parallel to shore 300 yards, back 100 yards
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 10:23
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:32:25 | 06 miles | 11.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 57/60
Overall: 352/370
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: out and back along Santa Barbara streets not closed to traffic; few hills, mostly false flats
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:16
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:35:09 | 02 miles | 17m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 59/60
Overall: 364/370
Performance: Below average
mile 1 - 16:47; mile 2 - 18:22
Course: flat out and back on East Beach Bike Path
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-08-25 11:06 AM

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint

2008-08-25 7:48 PM
in reply to: #1625710

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Santa Monica, CA
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint

I think you did a great race, especially considering the blisters!  Your swim time was fantastic, you can certainly be proud of that!  I'm so sorry about the blisters!  I had them BAD at my first race this season, got them during the run.  At the med booth after, they put these really cool blister specific bandaids on, and they stayed on for 10 days, even thru showers and swimming.  And they healed em really good.  You can find em in the bandaid section at Rite Aid, or whereever.

I love the sass you gave the guy on Saturday when he suggested that you should be "out there too!"  Ha, "speak for yourself!"  haha!

I too really love the all female vibe in transition, as well as at the start line.  Very warm feeling of acceptance and commradarie.  (Or however you spell it!)

And like you, running in the sand just absolutely killed me.  I felt like I couldn't breathe for the rest of the race.  I came to a dead stop about 10 feet from the first transition mat, in the sand, cuz I thought I was going to keel over!  And that carried right over to my ride...I was gasping so hard, I felt like I looked like a big mouth bass out of water, gaping, wide open mouth, gasping and gasping!  The flat was actually helpful in that I got my lungs under control while dealing with it!!!  So anyway, you weren't alone in your lung misery!!!

Loved the Johnny Cash comment...that was funny.  And you looked great in your new shirt.  Sorry I didn't stick around to hang out, but I had to check out of my hotel room and wanted to get some time in the hottub before they kicked me out.

Lucky you:  massage sounds good!

Good race.  Ya learn something new with each one, don'tcha? 

2008-08-26 11:49 AM
in reply to: #1625710

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Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint

Nice job, my friend!  Getting winded just means you were pushing it, and that's great.  As for the silly guy who said you should be racing, it happened to me, too, as I was leaving the beach to see you guys on the bike, and the guy was REALLY surprised when I said I'd raced the day before.  Triathletes come in all shapes and sizes!

Next up, LA! 

2008-08-26 3:09 PM
in reply to: #1625710

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint
Great RR - you'll do fine at LA Tri.  Awesome job with this race.. you got it done.   Excellent.  
2008-08-27 4:20 PM
in reply to: #1625710

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Santa Barbara Triathlon - Women Only Sprint

Awesome job out there Jocelyn

I agree with Gail, being winded just means your pushing the pace harder. I would also think that a new bike is definitely in order.

I read race reports from SB every year and really want to do this one someday. Racing on the Riviera just sounds like so much fun. A friend of mine actually got married in the East Beach Bath House and then boarded his sailboat after the reception (At Brophy's) and sailed away for 2 weeks out on Santa Cruz Island.

Too bad you could not get into Esau's in Carp. Eating there after Carp has become a bit of a Tradition.

Glad to hear you got to hook up with some of the other cool kids doing the race. (And I am sure they were very happy to see you there)

Good On Ya

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