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Los Angeles Tri Express Series #2 - TriathlonSprint

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Los Angeles, California
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 18m 20s
Overall Rank = 167/168
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 9/9
Pre-race routine:

I was up at my usual 4 am after about 5 hours of pretty decent sleep. I got ready, had breakfast, stretched, then got on the road. My stomach was particularly jumpy today. This is why I shouldn’t go so long between tris. It kills the confidence.

I drove to Bonelli Park in San Dimas, and decided to drive the part of the bike course that I haven’t raced before. Based on a website I had mapped this course on, it showed a ton on climbing on this section. Turns out, the elevations I saw were the due to the actual topography of the land, but the street was leveled. I was SO relieved to see that! Yay, one less thing to worry about!

I found parking then got in line for registration. I loved the red race shirt. The goody back was actually just a gel and mini energy bar that they handed me. I have noticed that as the economy has gone down, so has the quality of race goody bags…understandably.

I got my gear and headed up the road to the transition area. I usually like to be near the bike in/out, but chose the opposite end where I could get an end spot. I set up my transition area, checked out the exits, and got body-marked. I stretched and was getting close to warm up time, so I got my swim stuff out.
Event warmup:

I got my wetsuit on and headed down to the water. I got in and was pleasantly surprised to see that contrary to the race director’s threats, they weren’t going to make us get out of the water when the first wave started. Yay! I swam several times out to the buoys and back. My arms felt great. The water was pretty warm in the high 60’s. In fact…the water was warmer than the air, so I hung out there until race time. I met and talked to several other racers. I saw that the Cal Hi (where my husband works) tri team was there, so I went over and introduced myself and talked to their coaches and athletes. Nice to see high school kids out there doing this. Good for them!

In the mean time the race got underway. I’d hang out in the water a while chatting, then swim a little to stay warmed up, then chat again. At one point a CUTE brown lab jumped in the water with us as we were warming up. It was cute until he started swimming out toward the middle of the lake and ignoring his owner. So, we had to swim over to him and help him get back to shore! It was a nice distraction.

Once the green cap group started, I knew my wave was next. I lined up one person back from the front, and in the middle. With nine months of master’s swim practice behind me, I was hoping for a great swim! The official started counting us down…
  • 05m 30s
  • 300 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

The horn went off and I was in the water fast. There was definitely a scrum for a while. In fact, there was one woman on my left that kept bumping me…and bumping me…and bumping me. I can say, I am a very straight swimmer and excellent at sighting. She must have been constantly veering right! It was annoying. We rounded the first buoy and were swimming parallel to shore. I was dying to open up and really see what kind of time I could get, but I feared going too hard and not having enough steam for the bike hills. So, I settled into a medium-fast pace.

When I got to the fourth buoy, I had finally ditched the bumping girl and was heading back to shore. I got there, stood up, popped off my cap and goggles, and headed up the beach. I looked back and was very happy to see that there were a lot more pink caps behind me still in the water than there were women ripping off their pink caps in front of me. Looked like I pulled down a solid FOP swim. I like that. There was a long haul back to T1…uphill. I caught a glimpse of my time. It was my best for a lake swim, and close to being a PR, but not quite. Found out later I was the first out of the water in my age group, so that rocks.
What would you do differently?:

I would have liked to have fully sprinted this, since it was only a 300. However, given what I had left ahead of me, I think I made a good call.
Transition 1
  • 09m

I took my time in T1 today…partly by choice and partly because I still really suck at getting my wetsuit off without it getting stuck on my heels. I don’t understand why tri wetsuits can’t have little zippers on the ankles like Guess jeans did back in the 80’s so that they’d come off easier. But I digress. I knew that I was going to hit the first hill very soon on the bike, and figured that T1 was a good time to collect myself from the swim and make sure I was ready to go. I got all my bike gear on and ran my bike to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Seriously…I need to find the magic secret to getting that damn neoprene vice off my ankles. It slows me down every time! I really should “race” T1, but I find the transition from swimming to biking more jarring than the transition from biking to running, so I take my time.
  • 57m 48s
  • 8.5 miles
  • 8.82 mile/hr

I clipped in and was now riding down along the road parallel to the parking lot and registration area. I was keeping a nice pace, mentally gearing up for the first climb. I made a right onto Via Verde and started the climb toward the Bonelli Park entrance. This can be a tough one, as I remember from the Turkey Tri. On the downside, I have done zero hill training lately. On the upside, I had an old rusty road bike with only two chain rings on the front last time I did this. Now I have my newer and much more technologically advanced super-cool white and silver kick-ass road bike! ;) I assumed I wouldn’t be able to climb it and thought I may have to walk a little.

I kept spinning, and spinning, and spinning…man I love that third chain ring…spinning, and spinning…and made it to the top! Woo hoo! I was very excited. I left the park and rode across the freeway overpass. I made a right on San Dimas Blvd. This was a huge, giant, long downhill. I hit 20+ mph, but started feathering the breaks. Fast downhills kind of scare me. Last time I race Bonelli I hit 38 mph on one downhill. At the time it was exhilarating. Later I realized I was one rut or one errant pebble away from a gnarly bike crash. So, this time, I played it safe. Plus, they had not closed San Dimas Blvd. to traffic (boo!) so I didn’t relish going super fast with cars going by either.

At the bottom of the hill, I followed the right hand turn under the 57 freeway. I finally got a semi-flat area where I could get some Gatorade and a gel. On this section of San Dimas Blvd., there was a gradual uphill the whole way, but nothing too daunting. At one point I heard rushing water, looked over and could see Raging Waters! Wow, that brought back memories of going there when I was younger! Oh how nice it would be to be lazily floating in an inner tube that down rivery-rafty thing they have there! I swear for a minute I even contemplated going there after the race. It’s not like I can’t wear a tri suit on a water slide! ;)

Eventually I made the right turn onto Puddingstone Drive, into a quiet little neighborhood. I followed the road around a while to where it intersects Raging Waters Drive, and the next climb began. I remembered from last time that this climb was shorter, but much steeper than the others. The good news is that this time there wasn’t the hairpin turn from this time that Turkey Tri included. As I spun up the hill, one of the Cal Hi kids was walking her bike. I yelled some words of encouragement to her. Much to my surprise, I climbed the second hill with less difficulty than the first. YAY!

Now I was on Puddingstone Drive with small rollers at best. Time for more Gatorade. Time to switch my bottles. Time to look around and enjoy the day. I was over halfway through the bike course and having a blast. I did start to feel a little achy in my lower back. Bleh. A few times I stood up out of the saddle and tried to stretch it out.

I continued on past Brackett airport and made the right hand turn onto Fairplex Dr. I had planned on really hammering this part of the course, but I knew I had a final climb to do, and still had 3 miles to run, so I just enjoyed a nice, but not crazy pace. Time for a quick left and right…past the fairgrounds and past Kenny’s street. As I continued up Fairplex I noticed that there were these huge bushes of flowers growing all along the side of the road. They smelled amazing. I love to race and go as fast as I can, but I also love to quite literally (and figuratively) smell the flowers! 

I made the right onto Via Verde. Seriously…someone needs to repave this road. It is horrible! I didn’t care as much on the old bike, but this one has super thin tires so I really had to watch for ruts. I rode past the horse stables and started the third and final climb. To my surprise, I again spun to the top, by the hot tub entrance, and knew the worst was behind me! I had about a mile of easy terrain left! Woo hoo!

Now I was on the big screaming downhill that I hit 38 on last time. I took it easy and didn’t go above 25. Not worth it. As I was getting toward the end I could see the early waves of runners now out on the course. I also hit a less steep, but fast downhill that I was willing to open up on and go 30+ mph. FUN! I made the right turn into the parking lot to lots of cheering spectators and rode back to the dismount line! Good times!
What would you do differently?:

First of all…do more bike training. Honestly I love it, but like swimming and running more, so when push comes to shove, cycling is first to get thrown out of my training schedule. Second…and I say this after every hilly race and never follow through…I NEED to train hills more. I don’t like them, plus there aren’t any great places around me except Signal Hill, which isn’t so great. Also, I really could have pushed it on the flats, but thought it better to go conservative. If I go back for the June race, or return next year, I’ll have enough confidence for the hills, to really push it on the flats.
Transition 2
  • 04m

I ran into T2 and racked my bike. This was the first race where I decided to wear a cycling jersey for the ride, but switch out to a tech shirt for the run. Usually I wear the tech shirt for both, but preferred the jersey and only lost a few seconds switching them out. I got on the rest of my running gear, and headed out!
What would you do differently?:

I could save time by not switching shirts, but I live to race in what is comfortable. I also had to make a pit stop, but oh well…nature calls!
  • 58m 43s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 18m 56s  min/mile

I headed out of T2 and down the hill near the swim exit. I jogged along and the sun was now out, but it wasn’t hot. I broke a major rule of triathlon…nothing new on race day! I had picked up a new tech shirt this week while out shopping and never trained in it, but wanted to wear it! Turned out it was great and I want to go back and buy a few more to have on hand! Very comfy and cool!

One of my favorite things about racing Bonelli is running there. It’s so pretty! The first part just wrapped around the lake. Very nice and peaceful. This end of the lake has a lot of families picnicking and enjoying their Sunday. My left planar fascia was not behaving, so I took it easy. After about half mile, it seemed to ease up and feel a lot better.

There weren’t any mile markers, although there were volunteers with water and where I expected the mile marker to be, based on my time. I got some water than turned left for the only out-and-back part of this course. This is where the sprint course joined up with the Oly course, so there not only sprint runners, but Oly runners going the other way. There were a lot of great people out on the course. Lots of smiles and words of encouragement. Seriously…triathletes are just such a great group of people.

As I neared the turnaround there was a HUGE group there that part of a low-rider car club. Literally there were hundreds of people, and they had a huge BBQ. Running by we could all see and smell the chicken, carne asada, beans, and rice…what torture! :)

I hit the turn around and headed back toward the ade station. I grabbed some water then saw the “1 mile left” sign. Everyone was happy to see that! I of course then saw the “beware of rattlesnakes” sign. Too funny. There’s some incentive to run faster! ;)

That last mile seemed longer…in fact either my pace slowed way down, or they lied about the distance. Either way. My legs started stiffening up, so that could have been part of the problem. Really, this last mile was the toughest part of the race. My legs were starting to check out, but I just kept chugging along. I knew I was getting close and could now hear the cheers at the finish line. I rounded the last corner and came in to the finish line while announced my name. I was thrilled. Triathlon #10 was complete!
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I had fun. It was a beautiful day. It was a slow run for me, but that’s cool. I just love being out there and doing it!
Post race
Warm down:

For whatever reason, I got really hungry during the last mile of the run. I realized it had been about 6 hours since breakfast, so I went straight from the finish line to the food table. Whatever volunteer decided to make PB&J sandwiches is a genius! It tasted amazing! Half of one and half a banana…and I was good to go. I walked for a while since my legs had tightened up. I felt tired quickly, so I headed back to the transition area. I packed up my gear and walked my bike back to the Westy. On the way home, I stopped for my much needed post-race coffee, than grabbed some lunch at Fantastic Café to take home. I ended the day with a nice massage! Ahhhh…

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The usual…inconsistent training. As always, I’ll say I’ll work on it and as always, I will let work and family stuff get in the way! 

Event comments:

This was a great race and part of a great series. Bonelli Park is beautiful and there was a mellow feel to this race. I will definitely be back to do this race/series again!

Last updated: 2010-05-03 12:00 AM
00:05:30 | 300 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/9
Overall: 99/168
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleevelsss Zoot
Course: 50 yards out, 200 yards parallel to the shore, 50 yards back
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:57:48 | 08.5 miles | 8.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/9
Overall: 168/168
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Loop around Bonelli Park, including a little jog out onto San Dimas Blvd.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 04:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:58:43 | 03.1 miles | 18m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/9
Overall: 168/168
Performance: Below average
Not sure since there were clear mile markers
Course: Mostly a loop in the park, with one little out and back section half way through
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-05-21 10:56 PM

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: Los Angeles Tri Express Series #2

2010-05-21 11:17 PM
in reply to: #2875265

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Northridge, California
Subject: RE: Los Angeles Tri Express Series #2
Congrats, Jocelyn!  Hope to see you on the course in the near future!
2010-05-24 7:14 AM
in reply to: #2875265

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Subject: RE: Los Angeles Tri Express Series #2

Nice race! The bike and run course sound beautiful.

2010-05-26 12:18 PM
in reply to: #2875265

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Los Angeles Tri Express Series #2
Nice job on the race Joc!  Sounds like you had a good time...the whole point right?  :0)  HOpefully I'll see you soon!

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