Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The 2007 TriNW rankings are in. This is kind of meaningless but whatever, I did well so I'm happy.

Jess's 2007 Rankings

Best Overall Triathlete Rankings (combination of your best performances in a sprint, olympic, and half-iron triathlon)
5th Overall Woman
2nd 25-29 Woman

Olympic Distance Ranking
2nd Overall Woman
1st 25-29 Woman

Half Iron Ranking
1st Overall Woman
1st 25-29 Woman

Pretty cool I guess

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Living the dream (or how i threw myself a pity party)

I fell down while i was running yesterday.

- My knees are two giant scabby swollen bruises.
- My elbow is bruised and covered in road rash
- My stomach is all cut up and bruised.
- I had leaves in my shorts

whine whine whine. please feel sorry for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Black Diamond Photos

Thank you so much to Tammy for taking all these pictures of me!

obviously saying something very important about electrical tape

in transition, setting up or being a chatty bitch


and because we all love to see jess in pain, here are a bunch of run pictures

obviously saying something very important to monique about triathlons

Sunday, September 23, 2007

black diamond half ironman

yesterday was the black diamond half ironman. i was not terribly nervous about this race, i think i was more just ready to have fun and for the season to be over so i can start getting ready for next season.

i drove down to enumclaw morning of the race and for the first time in my 4 years of racing black diamond, got there early enough to get a much coveted spot in the parking lot. go me!

so i get there and pick up my packet and take my sweet time getting all set up in transition. i chatted with some ladies and by the time i was finally set up i still had over an hour to my start. crap. i guess there are some disadvantages to getting there really really early. so i went back to the car and listened to some black sabbath and almost fell asleep. whoops.

anyway, 8:30 rolls around and i wander back to transition and start getting into my wetsuit.


9:05 and we're off in the water. this was a rough swim. The water itself wasn't rough but the people were. I had a lot more body contact than i've had all season and i never felt like i really could have an open line in the water for more than about a minute or two. on the plus side, it wasn't as cold as it has been in the past. i mean, don't get me wrong, it was freaking really cold but not TOO bad.

The swim is a two loop diamond shaped swim. by the first 1/4 of the swim, I was passing dudes who had started 4 minutes ahead of us. My swim felt solid but not fast.

SWIM: 36:02


T1 was pretty uneventful. running up from the lake, i had to kind of "excuse me" to a bunch of people who were more trotting than running but everyone was cool and moved aside. I got a little tangled up with my wetsuit and my neoprene chip strap but managed to get untangled and get off on my bike fairly quickly

T1: 2:41


The bike was fun. i really love this course. i have raced the black diamond olympic distance race every year since 2004 and have always loved this bike. the half course this year was simply a double loop of the olympic course with an additional small loop added in the middle to make it an even 56 miles.

i definitely held off a little on the bike just because i could feel some twinges of light cramping in my calves and because i didn't want to make my run harder than it was already going to be.

looking at the results it looks like i picked off a few women in transition and a few more in the first few miles of the bike. i think i was also passed by three women on the bike. i hate being passed but i had to keep reminding myself that i needed to just chill and race my own race or i would regret it later.

all in all the bike was fairly uneventful. my nutrition was good although i probably could have taken in some more fluids. i believe i managed to put down a good 700 calories along with 6 thermolytes which is great. the only problem was that by the end of it, my stomach was starting to feel kind of ... not right. this problem will rear its ugly head during my run.

Bike: 2:46:07


T2 i kind of took my time. I didn't want to forget anything. i got my socks and shoes on and stuck some thermolytes and an extra gel in my back pocket. i also grabbed a flask with some E-Max to sip on during the run. i put my visor and race belt on as i was running out

T2: 2:03


so i'm going to tip-toe around this a little bit because i don't think anyone who reads this blog needs to know the gory details of this run.

i started off easy but feeling good. little by little though my stomach started hurting more and more. i drank a little at every aid station and sipped on my E-Max but nothing was making me feel better. then, at around mile 5, my stomach ache turned into full-blown gastrointestinal meltdown. to put it lightly, i was in and out of the woods roughly every mile. i would run for a little while feeling strong and little by little, i would have to go again. it just ... hurt.

i wasn't wearing a watch so i have no idea how much time i lost with all of my little pit stops but it was definitely a fair amount. every time i started to run at my race pace all the jostling would make me just have to go again. it sucked, it just totally sucked.

in the last mile or two of the run i got passed by two women in my age group who would end up taking 1st and 2nd in the age group. i hadn't even realized i had been winning my AG until i saw the results.

that said, i finished and i'm proud of myself for toughing it out and getting through it.

Run: 2:00:02

OVERALL: 5:26:55

In spite of everything, i have to say i'm actually quite happy with my race. i feel like i did the best with what i had and made it through it. i really wanted to break 5:20 and but for my GI problems i likely could have but that's not really something to dwell on.


I was not able to eat anything until about 10:00 because my stomach just wouldn't accept food. TR and i did though end up going to the starcrossed cyclocross race which was freaking awesome. i felt bad because i missed the JFT2 bbq due to my stomach issues but i probably would have been no good at any bbq at that point.

anyway, at starcrossed, i was wearing shorts and one of the photographers took a picture of my still bodymarked legs (because i suck at like ... washing myself properly) so here's that for your viewing pleasure.

all in all, a nice way to end the season. power over adversity ... right?

Friday, September 14, 2007


... $515 later I am officially registered for Ironman Canada 2008

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


After 4 years of racing I decided it was finally time to do Danskin. yes, I was ready.

In all honesty though I was just waiting until I was fast enough to go off in the elite wave because I was not about to spend $80 on a race just to get caught in a bunch of bottlenecks. Don't get me wrong. I love Danskin and how it changes the lives of so many women but it's just a hard race to ... well ... race.

Because Danskin is such an enormous race (over 5,000 participants including the relay team members) participants are required to pick up their packets the day before the race and also rack their bikes the day before. So, at 7:30 AM Fawn picked me and my bike up and we headed down to Qwest Field to get our packets. I'm not sure how, but we somehow ended up being first in line which was awesome. We were in and out of packet pickup and the expo in less than 15 minutes. When we left, the line looked like it went all the way to Pioneer Square.

We then headed to Triumph where I gave Fawn's bike a brief tune-up and she took it to go rack it. I headed over to rack my bike at around 1:00 and then headed back to triumph to eat some of the special mixed berry pie that I had made especially for my good buddy Tom.

After work, Tom and I went for a swim, then I went for a run, then we ate sandwiches and drank a beer at the honey hole.

I was home by 8:45 and in bed before 10:00. This was definitely a first for me.

Sunday morning I was up by 4:30 AM and the lovely Sharon Ilstrup picked me up at around 5:15. She was kind enough to drop me at transition before going to park since I had to be in the water at 6:45. I got out of the car, it was somewhere between drizzling and pouring. I didn't mind, I kind of dig racing in the rain.

About 20 minutes before my start, I am setting up my stuff and i hear a pop! my rear tire had blown. CRAAAAP! I pulled my wheel off and ran over to the nice folks at the REI tent and they dropped what they were doing and fixed my tire for me. Interesting thing was that right as I was doing this another woman came to the tent to see if they had a spare helmet. They didn't, but I did. I had decided to race with an aero helmet and also had my regular helmet with me which I loaned to her. Good karma, right?

About 10 minutes before the start I make my way down to the water. There are 16 of us going off elite and I knew about half of the ladies there. It was really nice. Right before the start I gave Teresa Nelson a big old hug and thanked her for being the person who got me interested in triathlon 4 years ago.


The swim had been cut to 3/8 of a mile so it was quick. I swam right next to Jill Fry for almost the entire thing. There were about 23984792387 kayaks in the water and I don't see very well so sighting was a totally lost cause. I just swam on someone's heels the whole time and hoped that they knew where they were going.

Swim: 10:33


T1 required us to run up a boat ramp and across Lake Washington Boulevard into the transition area. The elites had a good spot not far from the swim entrance or the bike exit. I was out of my wetsuit fairly quickly and onto the bike with my fancy '08 Garneau Rocket aero helmet.

T1: 1:54


The bike was great. I don't know what it is that I love so much about riding in the rain but I just LOVE it. The bike is almost identical to Seafair except we go further onto Mercer Island since we start further north on Lake Washington Boulevard. I actually managed to pick off a few of the other elites who had beaten me out of the water and then I leap frogged with one woman for almost the entire bike.

Coming across I-90 was windy but man, that aero helmet really makes a difference in the wind. coming off of I-90 and back down to Lake Washington Boulevard was wet and a little sketchy but when I looked to my right to see the women trying to get onto I-90 it was a massive bottleneck. Almost everyone was walking their bikes. There was really no other choice. Once again, so glad I went off elite and not with my age group.

I ate a gel about 2 miles from the transition area and started to mentally prepare for my run.

Bike: 32:28 (22.9 MPH!)


Okay, so T2 was kind of a disaster. I got to the dismount area and went to get off my bike and managed to slip coming off the bike on a wooden ramp going into the transition area. I heard people asking if I was okay but I ignored them and untangled myself and got back up, picked up my bike and started running into the grassy transition area.

I made it about three steps before I fell again and lost my bike somewhere behind me. Then I did something that I'm not very proud of. I said a very very bad word and I said it as loud as I could. Sorry to all of those who witnessed this.

I grabbed my bike again and sprinted over to my rack. I got my shoes and race belt on fairly quickly and was off.

T2: 1:56


The run hurt at the start. I mean, my run always hurts but I had really beat up my legs in my two falls and both shins and my right quad were throbbing with what would become a bunch of glorious bruises by the next day.

The run is an out and back but then on the way back you go up a significant hill and around the back side of the transition area to the finish. About a mile in I heard someone calling my name and it was my buddy Jon who was volunteering at one of the intersections on the run. When I got back to my phone after the race I would find this picture on my phone with a message that said "great job!"

On the run, I was passed by Nichole Jacobson and Karin Gardner but no one else. I was fine with this considering I was hurting and really didn't feel like I could move much faster. I got to the finish feeling strong but my legs were definitely hurting.

Run: 24:23 (crappy)

7/16 Elite
10/3,496 Overall

All in all I had a really fun time doing this race but I'm not sure if I will ever do it again. I pretty much had to commit two days to doing a sprint triathlon and I just am not sure if that is something I'm willing to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ice Bath

... words cannot describe ...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Troika Race Report


At some point when I was in elementary or middle school I learned about triathlon and about both the ironman and the half ironman. Ironman seemed totally ridiculous to me so I decided that someday I would do a half ironman. I had kind of forgotten about this idea until 2004 when I started doing triathlons. Since I started racing I have continually put off doing this distance because it just seemed SO FAR but this weekend, I finally took a crack at it.

The saga begins on Thursday when I had a massage with a person who was not my regular masseuse. I know massage hurts some time but not one second of this massage was not painful … and not good pain. I woke up Friday morning with radiating pain through my neck, up over the top of my head (?!?!), and down through my shoulders and arms. I was also really really sick all day Friday. Personally, I blame this on the massage (Isn’t there some weird “pukey” nerve that you can pinch?) but it was probably just a bug. By Friday afternoon I was feeling more and more like I wasn’t going to race. This sucked. In all my years of racing I have never DNSed a race that I’m registered for and I have never had a DNF.

I got all of my things ready Friday night amid waves of nausea and managed to get about 7 hours of sleep.

Saturday morning Tom picked me up and we headed out to Spokane. We ate a lot of pretzels, drank a lot of water, and listened to good music … truly a bonding experience. We were in Spokane by around 1:00 and it was thankfully not absurdly hot like it had been in past years. We met up with Adam, Jenny (our awesome race support), Parker, and Jonathan and then Tom and I decided to go for a bike and run. We invited everyone else but they were busy carb-loading (drinking beer). Tom was feeling good and I was feeling like I wanted to puke but I think, at this point, it was more nerves than anything else.

After the most pointless pre-race briefing ever the dudes and I (team sausage) drove out to medical lake and went for a swim. I kicked everyone’s asses in the water because I’m so awesome.

After a lackluster attempt at driving the bike course (the map on the race site was less than enlightening as you can see) we headed back into town to pick up Jenny and eat some food.

Tom, Parker, and I all shared a hotel room and the three of us got all our gear ready and were in bed by a little after 9:00. I slept really well except for one interruption by a certain sleepwalker who tried to battle the curtains in our room with a pillow.

Sunday morning we were up by 4:15 AM. I ate a bowl of cinnamon roll oatmeal, 1/4 of a blueberry bagel with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a banana. I was having a hard time eating but managed to get at least some calories in my stomach. By 5:10 my bike, transition bags, and person were on the bus on the way to Medical Lake for the swim start.

We got to the lake, I set up in transition and about 15 minutes before my start I went for a 5 minute warm-up swim. It was go time.


The swim was a beach start. I started in the front to the left. About 30 seconds before we went off Julie Vieselmeyer wished me well and all I could say was, “Thanks! It’s my first time! I’m scared!”

The horn blew and we were off. The swim was just how I like it, totally uneventful. It was one large loop around Medical Lake marked by 6-8 buoys. I drafted off of one girl for the first half but when she started to really pick it up, I just let her go. The swim felt great. I didn’t take in much water and had very little body contact. Because of all of the people in the water, I didn’t really have to spot at all which was great.

1.2 Mile Swim: 35:09


T1 was pretty easy. I knew exactly where my bike was and I was in and out of there fast. My wetsuit came off easier than normal. The only problem I had was mounting the bike. I had just put new cleats on my shoes and they were a little tough getting in but I was clipped in within 20 seconds after crossing the pad.

T1: 2:05


The bike was great. I had heard it was “flat to rolling” but in reality it was pretty darn hilly. In other words, it was really my kind of bike course. I was picking people off one by one throughout the bike which was the way I like it. I’m still a little uncomfortable on my bike due to some fit issues (although awesome Tom Price and Tom Roseberry have both helped me a lot on this front)

I was feeling awesome until about mile 40 when I heard that awful sound “pop! pssssshhhhhhhh!” I had flatted in the rear. “CRAP!” This was the first time I have ever flatted in a race and thankfully also the first time I had brought a flat repair kit with me on the bike. I initially thought it was my front tire but it was actually my back one, making it more of a pain in the butt. I took my bottles out of my aquarack, flipped my bike and shifted into the small cog to get my wheel off. I actually got the tube in pretty quick but then I ran into problems. I realized I had no idea how to use the CO2 pump that I had brought with me. It didn’t have a trigger like my normal one and I had no f$*#ing clue how to use it. I was about to throw in the towel and flag down a truck when I finally figured the dumb thing out. I got probably 80 lbs of air into my tire and I was using a butyl tube rather than a latex one but I was back in business. I wasn’t wearing a watch but I would guess that I lost at least 6 minutes changing the flat, not to mention time lost having to use a butyl tube at lower pressure.

I hopped back onto my bike and took off. I tried not to push it too hard, it wasn’t worth it to try and make up for lost time.

I got into town feeling pretty okay. I was actually a little surprised when I got there, kind of like “oh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! Yay!”

One little post script about the bike, my nutrition was my saving grace. I did three scoops of GU2O, 7 servings of E-Max, and 6 Thermolytes or roughly 650 calories and 900 mg of sodium.

56 Mile Bike: 2:50:08


T2 was awesome. The volunteers were so great. One guy caught my bike and I gave him my helmet, glasses, and shoes. It was so great. Then a lady was right there with my run stuff. I threw on socks (first time I’ve raced with socks … this was a good idea), shoes, race belt, visor and grabbed my nutrition.

T2: 1:04

The run was hard from the start. It was starting to get pretty hot out and I definitely did the shuffle for the first bit. I actually very clearly remember saying “You have got to be f*%$ing kidding!!!” when I saw the mile 1 sign because it felt like I had been out there for an hour.

Little by little the miles started to come easier and easier. It was getting pretty hot out and there wasn’t a lot of wind or shade on the course. I grabbed iced sponges at every aid station and stuck one down the front of my shirt and one on the back of my neck. Those really helped to cool me off. At around mile 5 I started getting really hot and seeing spots. Not good. I was carrying a flask with a mixture of E-Max, GU20, and Water. A little swig of that got me going again. At around mile 7 I ate my one packet of carb boom which was a godsent. From there on out I started walking the aid stations just so I could suck down a whole cup of water. I didn’t touch the Heed that they had at the stations since I don’t particularly like it and I didn’t want to try something new.

The last half of the run was actually really great. I was passing people which is nothing short of amazing. I even re-passed a girl at mile 12 who had passed me at around mile 4. I felt bad, she looked like she was really hurting, but oh well, one more place for me!

The finish was awesome. I couldn’t help but give a little kick for the last .1 miles. My goal time had been 5:30:00 which I figured I would have missed due to my flat so you can imagine my surprise when I crossed the line and saw that I had still beaten my goal by nearly 5 minutes! With a flat! It was awesome!

13.1 mile run: 1:57:17

Overall: 5:25:43
14/94 Women
4/11 Age Group

I had so much fun at this race that I am going to do another one in September! And not get a flat!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Life Goals


1. graduate law school
2. race a half ironman

race report to follow

Friday, July 13, 2007


the NYC triathlon is in 9 days


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Whoops! (Firecracker 5000 Race Report)

So I decided to do this race like ... 12 hours before the start. Firecracker is a 5k run at 11:55 PM on July 3rd. I'm usually in bed by 11:00.

I have never done an evening race before so I had no idea what to expect.

Mistake 1: I drank tons of water all day

Before the race I went over to my friend Tina's house and made her some dinner. I made pasta with marinated veggies and garlic asparagus. And then she gave me soy ice cream with peaches.

Mistake 2: I tried not to eat too much but ... I ate too much.

Mistake 3: I had two small glasses of wine and even though I finished my second glass before 8:00, this was probably (definitely) a dumb idea.

Mistake 4: I drank a cup of coffee. I quit drinking coffee 3 weeks ago so I don't know what made me think this would be a good idea.

I get down to the race, register and my buddies Jon, Sherrard, and myself go for a 20ish minute warm-up run.

At the start I felt crummy but I figured it would pass but then ... disaster struck. I had to pee. This slowed me down significantly. At first I just slowed to a jog in hopes that, like, I wouldn't have to pee any more (???) but that didn't work so I ran for another mile being totally slow and uncomfortable. Finally, I realized that I had slowed down significantly and just said "screw it!" and ducked into a parking lot and peed between two cars ... classy. I checked my watch when I went off course and again when I started running again and I had lost about a minute and change ... whatever.

I finished the last mile in about 7:05 which wasn't bad considering.

My final chip time was 23:59 so I probably ran about 22:50 not including the pee break. Also, Sherrard was wearing a Garmin and apparently the run was 3.2 and not 3.1 which made me feel a little better about having such a sluggish time. Also, I totally believe this since my 23:59 still managed to land me 7th place out of 101 in my age group and (I think) 32nd overall.

So, midnight running is definitely not for me but this was a fun experience and being able to go out to a bar immediately following a race was kind of cool!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pacific Crest Race Report

This last weekend I raced Pacific Crest Olympic Distance Triathlon. This was a big weekend of firsts for me.

1. It was the first time that I've done back-to-back races on subsequent weekends
2. It was the first time that I've camped the night before a race
3. It was the first point-to-point race that I've done with two separate transition areas.

We left earlyish on Saturday morning from Tacoma. It was four girls (myself, Emily, Fawn, and Tracy), three bicycles, one extra wheelset, 1 metric shit ton of camping gear, and 1 hyundai accent. It actually took three of us to even close the trunk so needless to say things were a little ... cramped.

We made our way down to Sun River, OR arriving around 2:30ish or maybe 3:00 (It's amazing how time has no meaning when traveling with 4 women and their luggage in a tiny car). One funny aside, at a gas station in Sisters, OR one woman was kind enough to point out to Tracy that we should have taken a minivan or an SUV. Too bad we hadn't thought of that before we left Tacoma. Thank you brilliant lady for your insightful advice, unfortunately it was too little too late.

Anyway, we get down to the athletes village and pick up our race packets and I ask three different volunteers how to get to T1 to rack our bikes. No one knows. They all tell us to look at the map but of the three maps in the race packet, not one shows T1 in relation to the athletes village.

We start driving around and find T2 and finally another racer tells us generally how to get to T1. We go to T1, take a look at the lake (breathtaking) and do a cursory racking of our bikes and T1 setup. We head back to the village and T2 and set up T2 and head into Bend for a killer mcmenamin's meal and beer.

At this point it's getting dark and we still have yet to locate our campsite and I am f---ing cranky and wanting to just get a hotel for the night. After about an hour or more (I'm not sure how long ... once again, time had no meaning) we manage to stumble upon our campground, no thanks to any signage. It's probably around 11:00 at this point and we just choose a campground and set our stuff up.

I barely slept. I know I wasn't awake all night but I know I woke up several times throughout the night and I was already awake at 4:30 when my alarm went off. Fawn, Emily, and myself get up and make some oatmeal and are eating until we realize that I have to be in Sun River in like 45 minutes (we're about an hour away) to make my bus from T2 to T2 ... yeah, not going to happen. We made a valiant attempt but then just decided to have Tracy, who was not racing, drive us to T1 and then meet us at the finish.

More havoc ensues but we manage to make it to T1 with plenty of time to spare. Thank goodness we racked our bikes the night before because T1 was CROWDED.

Now the good stuff, the actual race report.

4 minutes before the start I do a little 20 stroke out and back just to get a feel for the water. As we're waiting to go (all men and women under 30 and all relay swimmers) I am just chatting with some girl and I hear "GO!". "okay cool, here we go I guess."

I had been pretty apprehensive about the swim since it was a co-ed start. I know I'm a strong swimmer but co-ed starts always make me nervous. I have to say, this was the MOST civil swim start I have ever had. I took it a little wide but really, there was no congestion and I had almost no body contact. At one point, around the second turn, I was passing some dude swimming freestyle when he decided to do a big breastroke kick right into my ribs ... thanks dude. It didn't hurt but seriously people, stop doing breastroke kicks.

I came out of the water feeling good and knowing I was at the front of the pack for my wave. On the shore I thought the swim looked pretty long and I'm almost certain now it was. Swim: 26:27 (1:36/100m)

T1 was uneventful. I got out of my suit and bagged my stuff pretty quickly. I had to stop on my run out to get a rock out of my shoe because I'm an idiot and forgot to actually wipe my feet on my towel. My transition time was actually comparatively very fast. I'm happy with this. T1: 2:37

The bike was as beautiful as the swim. I only got passed by two dudes and no ladies the entire time. I was definitely working but I was loving it. It was 25.2 miles with a very slight (400-500 ft.) elevation loss. It was flat to rolling the whole way. I was a little nervous only because I know I'm stronger in the hills but man, I just felt great. Bike: 1:06:36 (22.52 mph)

T2 was just as it should be, fast and uneventful. I already had my shoes off when I got to my running stuff so I just threw on my running shoes, race belt, and visor and I was off. T2: 1:26

The run ... well ... the run hurt like hell for the first 2 miles. Like, I considered walking. I was pacing a woman who I belive was Daphne Slife (if I'm wrong, sorry) for the first 3ish miles. We leapfrogged at first but then I just followed her for a while. Thank you so much to her for helping my through those first few miles. I passed her just after mile 3 and then something amazing happened. I was passing EVERYONE. I think I got passed by one guy and one gal (Lis Wilson who ran brilliantly). I finished feeling strong but glad to have it over with. Also, I heard from another racer that the run was actually more like 6.4 miles but, whatever. Run: 49:33 (7:58/mile)

Total time: 2:26:39

So here's the amazing part. I took 3rd f---ing place overall and won my age group by almost a full 2 minutes! I couldn't believe it. I felt like I had had a good race but not THAT good.

Oh, and the other amazing part, aside from a cool medal, I got a pint glass and a free beer! Man, if I could win beer at every race I would work even harder.

All in all, an apparently great race for me.

Now, on a slightly more somber note, as I was sitting at the finish waiting for Emily and Fawn to finish, a gentleman named Gerald Balaban crossed the finish line looking strong in a bit over 3 hours. As I watched, he walked up to the volunteers to have his chip removed from his ankle, paused and then collapsed face first onto the ground. I initially thought he was having a seizure (I'm epileptic so I was thinking maybe I could help) but it became quickly apparent that he was not breathing and that he had no pulse. Medics quickly began CPR as his friends, family, and much of the community looked on. After several minutes the medics announced that they had a pulse and everyone cheered although his breathing was quite labored and he was not awake.

racecenter discussed the incident here

I am trying to contact his family and see if there is anything that they need. Please keep Mr. Balaban in your thoughts as he works his way through his recovery.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pacific Crest

On kind of a whim, I registered for the olympic distance race at pacific crest this weekend down in Sun River, Oregon. I'm going with my pal Fawn (it's her first race) and Fawn's friend Emily and I believe Emily's sister. We are going to camp the night before the race which will be a first for me but luckily my dad loaned me his thermarest.

The bike course is different than it's been in the past, (I guess due to some construction) and it looks like the run was 5.8 miles last year as opposed to 6.2 which would be ... nice for me. Also, this will be the first time that I have raced on back-to-back weekends so I'm not expecting any greatness from myself but that is not to say that I won't give it my all. I was looking at the bike splits from last year and the top splits were a little slower than I would have expected so either the course was long or it was really windy. (please don't let it be windy) Also, the bike has been 28 miles in the past which is, of course, great for me, but is only 25 this year. The website says it's fairly flat. Yeah, I've heard that before.


The run looks like it's all on paved paths and is also supposedly flat.


Another interesting thing is that the bike is point-to-point which I've never done before. I'm a little nervous about how it's going to work but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Also, I got a massage yesterday ... thank goodness.

That's my pre-race report. I'm probably going off the grid for most of the weekend so I'll post a real race report on Tuesday (we are spending Monday on the Oregon coast surfing and laying in the sun!)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cascades Edge Triathlon

I woke up at around 5:45 and was out of bed by 6:00 for this race. I stayed at a friend Ben's house in Seattle so I wouldn't have to get a hotel or deal with the ferries in the morning. As usual, I spent 30 minutes second-guessing myself and convincing myself that I could, in fact, swim roughly a mile, ride my bike for 25 miles and run a 10k. It's strange, no matter how many times I race, I always have to have this internal argument with myself.

After dragging Ben out the door (he had been out until 3:00 the previous night/morning) we were on our way at around 6:55 (I had wanted to leave by 6:30). Luckily, in 4 years of racing at Nolte State Park, this was the first time I didn't get totally lost getting there. Also, because I'm a card-carrying USAT member, I was able to cut to the front of the 14 mile long packet pickup line.

I got all set up in transition. I was right across from Tammy which was nice, since chatting with someone I know before the race generally calms me down a bit. Due to the 198 mile long packet pickup line, the race got off to a little bit of a late start but I believe I was in the water by around 9:30.

My swim was actually really good. I started in the front just left of the middle of the pack. I was right behind one woman who I believe was Amy Spence and I just kind of followed her feet the whole time and sighted a lot less than normal. by the second buoy I was passing some dudes who had started 5 minutes ahead of us. I never had any breathing issues and I just kind of cruised like I was in the pool for the whole swim. I'm not sure about my pace (It will probably look slow since the course was long) but as far as how I felt, it was one of the best swims I have ever had.

My transition was pretty smooth. I had my wetsuit down around my hips by the time I got to my bike and it came off pretty easily after that. It was raining at this point and my shoes had some water in them but ... oh well. I slipped them on and I was off. I spent pretty much the entire bike leapfrogging with Monique Lance, Amy Spence, and some dude who we kept passing then he would pass us back and die again. While I liked having Monique and Amy there to push me, I was a little nervous that we were going to get dinged for drafting (even though we of course, weren't). The bike was COLD. It was sprinkling the whole time and it was pretty windy in some spots. By about mile 18 (I think) I noticed that I was barely able to push my shifter down with my right hand. I pretty much would have to push it down with the heel of my hand just to shift. With 5 miles to go I needed to eat a GU and I could barely get my trash in my back pocket ... shit. Coming into transition I tried to get my shoes off while I was still on my bike and I couldn't even grip the velcro straps ... shit. Two people crashed right in front of me trying to dismount but I managed to get in around them.

I get into transition and there are a few people sitting around kind of moaning, totally unable to make their hands and feet work to put their shoes on. I got my bike shoes off fairly easily but my hands wouldn't work to get my running shoes on. I ended up just standing and kind of shoving my frozen feet into my shoes. Luckily I had left my running shoes sitting upside-down so they were pretty dry and I had coated the heel with body glide and filled them with baby powder. My transition was definitely longer than normal but I managed to get out on the trail probably in just over a minute.

The run is normally an out and back with the last 1.4ish miles around the lake. Due to some problem or another they decided to just have us do 4 loops around the lake rather than do the out and back. Because of this I was told that the run was 5.7 miles rather than 6.2. This was kind of cool because I love the lake trail but kind of not because on the first lap, every time I'd hit a big hill or a giant puddle I was like "cool, I get to do this 3 more times." That aside, I actually had a great run. I just kind of cruised. On the first lap I actually PASSED PEOPLE which I never do (and yes they were in my race and not part of a relay). The other really cool part was that NO ONE PASSED ME (except for some dudes and they don't count)! The only really sucky thing about the run was that my left foot went numb for about the last 15 minutes. I'm not sure why this happened because at this point my feet were not cold. I'm worried that it had to do with my trochanteric bursitis but I wasn't really having pain in my trochanter. I guess I will just have to see if it happens again.

Anyway, I ended up finishing 5th overall and 2nd in my age group with an overall time of 2:24:41. Less than a minute (59 seconds to be exact) behind Jill and a little over 5 minutes behind Tracy who was the overall winner. I'm really quite happy with this result even though I don't have my splits yet. My run was f---ing hard but it felt good which is what I've been wanting. My time wasn't WAY slower than Tracy's like it usually is (last time I raced her in an olympic distance she was nearly 14 minutes faster than me) and I felt like I was smart on the bike rather than just hammering like I usually do.

Here are some photos taken by Michael and Ben

you can see I did manage to get my shoes undone but was unable to grip the heel to actually pull my feet out. Also, there was a big spill right in front of me which is likely what I'm looking at.


*edited to add splits ... the swim was DEFINITELY long

Swim: 26:16 (11th woman out of the water)
T1: 2:33
Bike: 1:09:37 (2nd fastest female bike split ... jill was 1st)
T2: 1:59 (oops)