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See Jane Run Women's Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Pleasanton, California
United States
See Jane Run
Total Time = 1h 46m 36s
Overall Rank = 601/709
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 107/132
Pre-race routine:

So, this race sucked. A lot. I kind of don't even want to write up this race report because I don't even want to think about it. But it'd bug me if I didn't write it up (just like it would've bugged me if I'd DNF'd this race, which I seriously considered, many times).

Anyway. Slept fine the night before, maybe six hours. Had a peanut butter sandwich on the drive there. Shizu and I got there a little over an hour before the scheduled start. It was pretty packed by then and we had to scoot some bikes around to make space (people were *really* spread out, so I didn't feel guilty). Cynthia found us right away and body-marked us both. Then it was a quick stop to the bathrooms and down to the water.
Event warmup:

I swam for about five or 10 minutes. Important to note: I felt just fine in the water. No freak out, felt nice and comfy and strong. The first wave went off, for beginners and folks who think they might take a really long time, both in the water and on the course. They're given a 15 minute head start on the race. When I heard them call the next wave I headed over to the start line. That's when I saw that a woman had been pulled out by lifeguards -- there were medical folks surrounding her and someone was giving her oxygen. It looked pretty bad to me (they were using a bag to pump oxygen into her lungs, so it's not like she just needed some extra air) and they took her away in an ambulance. I don't know what happened to her, but I'm guessing she's OK since I never heard about a death at the race.

That delayed the rest of the waves quite a bit and people were starting to get pretty fidgety and anxious, either because they were annoyed or just freaked out. My start was probably delayed about 45 minutes.
  • 19m 12s
  • 400 yards
  • 04m 48s / 100 yards

I seeded myself in the back right corner, as I usually do. My problems started with the first couple of strokes when I realized I'd forgotten to put in my ear plugs. I'd taken them out when the race start was delayed so I could hear the announcements and I'd never put them back in. OK, it was still shallow enough that I could stand so I put them in and started up again. That's when things got weird.

I'm swimming, feeling OK, and I notice that my timing chip feels loose on my ankle. It'd been plenty tight when I put it on, but somehow I must've bumped it or who knows what while I was waiting. The problem is that now the water is deep enough that I can't touch the bottom, and I can't tread water and reach down to adjust the strap. I tried to pull it off and just hold it in my hand during the swim, but I couldn't get a good grip on it. Fine, I'll just deal. Ha! I have no clue why, but for some reason that strap sent me into a nauseating panic. Every time I even thought about it I freaked out. It was totally bizarre. I couldn't swim *at all*. Couldn't put my face in the water, couldn't do any kind of stroke. I'd never experienced anything like it before.

But it's only 400 yards so I figured whatever, I can fight my way through the water for that distance. Most of my "swim" involved me facing backwards and doing some weird kick/push motion with my arms and legs. Pathetic. But it worked OK -- sucky, but manageable -- until about the halfway point. That was when I started getting really tired and thinking about how it was deep water and I could actually drown out there. I thought about quitting. At this point the next wave was already catching up to me and I could see the leaders heading right for me. More freaking out. I moved over to the side but kept "swimming."

By the 300-yard mark I was wheezing. I started feeling like I wasn't going to be able to finish, even if I wanted to (which I didn't, by the way). I grabbed onto a lifeguard just to catch my breath. I think I wanted him to hear my rough breathing and insist that I quit, but instead he told me I was almost there (which was true -- I was probably only 50-75 yards from the finish). I really wanted to quit. But I finally let go and started moving forward again. After only 20 yards I had to grab onto a buoy and another lifeguard asked if I was OK. Um, no, but I gave her a thumbs up and moved on. I ended up pretty much dragging myself forward on the buoy lines or whatever they are, which, yes, is totally cheating but I just wanted to hell out of there.
What would you do differently?:

I don't even know. I've panicked in the water before, but I've always been able to get through it and calm myself down. That just was not happening. Every time I thought about the stupid timing chip I'd start hyperventilating. It'd be easy to blame what happened on my lack of training -- and I'm sure that played a role -- but I really don't think that was the main problem. I had less training for this same race last year, and I finished just fine (slow, but fine).
Transition 1
  • 04m 31s

As soon as my feet hit the bottom of the lake I decided I was quitting this race. I was still wheezing and I knew there was no way I could "race" the bike and run the way I was feeling, so what's the point? Especially since I've got a marathon to train for. I trudged into T1 and over to my bike, throwing down my cap and goggles and pretty close to tears. Then for some reason I thought about the race T-shirt, and how I'd feel like a total loser if I got the shirt and didn't finish the race.

This wasn't a case of knowing I'd be proud of myself if I pushed through and finished -- this was me knowing I'd feel like shit if I just quit.

So after just standing there for a really long time I finally put on my shoes and got my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out on the swim.
  • 40m 53s
  • 11 miles
  • 16.14 mile/hr

Eh. I knew I couldn't race this so I just was aiming to finish. I wanted to quit after about the first mile, but it's not like it's easy to quit on the bike. It seemed to take forever but this bike wasn't too bad. I was still wheezing a little and I couldn't push it at all, but I could ride and I was passing people. This course still amazes me the way it manages to seem almost all downhill except for a very short (but brutal) climb toward the end.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out on the swim.
Transition 2
  • 03m 3s

I don't even remember this transition. I think I had some trouble getting my feet in my shoes?
What would you do differently?:

Who knows. Not freak out on the swim.
  • 38m 59s
  • 3 miles
  • 12m 59s  min/mile

Yeah, I felt like shit. I was still wheezing and I was hot and I don't even know. I don't think I've run this slow in my life. But I did manage to run pretty much all of it, except for a couple steep hills that almost everyone walked. But there was nothing I could do to make myself go faster. Plus, for some reason my mind kept going back to that damned timing chip (which I'd tightened in T1) and again, every time I thought about it I felt panicky and sick. Crazy.
What would you do differently?:

Not freak out on the swim.
Post race
Warm down:

I found Shizu at the finish line (she had a great race!) and explained to her why I was so far behind. She thought I'd had a flat on the bike. Ha. I wish. I really wanted to leave right then but I wanted to say goodbye to Cynthia first. I'm glad I found her because I got to meet her adorable kids and husband and that was a real treat. It's always so nice to see Cynthia!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Freaking out on the swim.

Event comments:

This is a great race with excellent support, and it's very beginner-friendly. They handled the emergency rescue very well, and the delayed start was very understandable under the circumstances. I didn't stick around post-race this year, but last year it was a lot of fun and a great atmosphere.

That said, there were a few problems, notably on the bike course. There was one major intersection where there was no traffic control so bikers had to stop and wait at the lights. This kind of sucks, but whatever. The problem was that in one direction they didn't have any volunteers right at the intersection telling bikers to wait at red lights. With all of the cones around it looked like we were on a protected course -- and I saw a few bikers run the red light -- but that wasn't the case. It was potentially a very dangerous situation and they really needed a volunteer or two managing that light.

I have mixed feelings on the water station on the run. It was almost two miles into the course, which ordinarily would be fine, but it was super hot out there and people were really struggling. I know last year they had a water stop at the very start of the run and that was much better placed.

Last updated: 2009-09-19 12:00 AM
00:19:12 | 400 yards | 04m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/132
Overall: 707/709
Performance: Bad
Course: Simple rectangle.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:31
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:40:53 | 11 miles | 16.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/132
Overall: 519/709
Performance: Below average
Course: One big loop with a short out and back. The course still comes up short by maybe a mile.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:03
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:38:59 | 03 miles | 12m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/132
Overall: 480/709
Performance: Bad
Course: Winding course mostly on dirt trails.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2009-10-02 7:30 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: See Jane Run Women's Triathlon

2009-10-02 8:42 PM
in reply to: #2439990

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Extreme Veteran
San Francisco CA
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Women's Triathlon
Nice job pushing through a tough race! I was in the second to last wave and I totally agree about the aid station on the run - by the time I got there I felt like I was going to pass out from lack of liquids. It got hot really quickly!
2009-10-02 8:48 PM
in reply to: #2439990

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Women's Triathlon

That was seious HTF and U to get through that race.  SOunds like you did what you could to keep things in your level of control.  Good job.

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