Tag Archives: zuma beach

Fall starts with a true tri finish

After a small blogging hiatus I’m back. I’m now done with tri season– or am I? To keep from falling into triathlon world withdrawal like I did last year around this time, I’m ready to incorporate some non-tri exercise fun and other activities into my life. But before I wander down that new road, here’s my experience of completing the Nautica Malibu Tri Classic. I finished just under my goal time of 2:15 at 2:14:17.

Overall it was a great experience for me. The best part is remembering that SEVEN years ago I woke up at an unspeakable hour to voluntEAR at this very event. I helped corral the triathletes and as a bonus I got to gawk at a certain celebrity all I wanted– Let’s just call him… Mulder.  I also remember looking at all of the racers running into the Pacific Ocean like loonies on a crazy mission and watching in bemused amazement bemazement, thinking I’d never do something like that. I couldn’t observe the bike portion from where I was volunteering but I saw runners finish the third leg, crossing the finish line in triumph.

This year I got to be on the other side of that finish line. I left my house at 3:30 AM. Just after 5:00 AM I arrived at Zuma Beach after receiving multiple phone calls warning me of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) early morning shut down— from people awake at that hour and so thoughtful about checking on my whereabouts to make sure I would arrive okay.

I arrived and made the nearly 1 mile trek to the transition area with my gear and bike where I met up with my teammates and supporters. The beach was eventually packed with people and we paused for the national anthem sung by Sheena Easton. I saw other celebrities but didn’t know who most were as I don’t watch much tv, but I did recognize Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) from NBC’s The Office. Who knew they did triathlons?

The start of the race went swimmingly thanks to the tri team practices held most weekends this summer. Wish I had a more decent swim visual to share, but the official photo I have as proof of a great post swim to transition came out with me photo-bombed out of my only swim photo by a guy’s arm. Lovely. Well, at least it was a great swim! My best official one yet at 22 minutes 37 seconds. Perfect water temperature, perfect wave conditions, and no water unexpectedly inhaled. The majority of my other photos are from my bike leg.

The photos are no longer showing up, but my favorite bike photo was likely taken near the entrance of the parking lot 1.3 miles into my 1 hour and 04 minute spin up and down the rolling hills of PCH. I may look relatively comfy here, but last year when I tried clipless pedals for the first time, just sitting on a bike with a seat higher than the handlebars was scary. My feet can’t reach the ground from the seated position. And my shoes are clipped into the bike pedals. I’m used to riding this way now so it’s more fun than scary.

Know what else is fun? A photo of me levitating across the finish line. My run was slower than normal but not unexpected as I used most of my legs’ energy reserves to power up the hills on the bike. I did the tired leg shuffle for at least the first mile, knowing I could run it faster had I slowed down on my bike, but I still finished right on my base pace of 10 min/ mile for a 4 mile run so I’m happy about my overall time.

Again, a huge thanks to all the good people who supported me this summer in this endeavor, financially, personally, and virtually. You all rock!

In the B.A.G.

I learned something new while swimming in the Pacific Ocean this weekend. Two things, actually.

1) It is possible to get seasick while swimming in the sea. Previously I thought that it only happened while in a boat. I generally don’t get seasick in boats, but I felt really nauseated while doing that swim. Water temperature was fine. Getting past the break was fine. Swimming a half mile while nauseated? Not so much.  I swam against the current yesterday for the first time this year that I can recall. I’m fairly sure it took me upwards of 45 minutes once I walked into the water to touch dry land again. I think swimmers are reasonably expected to close this distance well under 30 minutes. It’s okay though, because I did finish that swim.

2a) It’s extremely difficult to reach a goal when you can’t see it and 2b) You won’t reach your target if you don’t know where it is.

I was a little late in walking over to the sand for the group swim, and so I missed the chance to do the bottom check– the walk in to check the sandy surface under the water and to get used to the water temperature before it was time to swim. A small group of us started stressing about that and I didn’t even think to look over a couple of towers and spot the buoy in the water that we had to swim to. Needless to say I had no idea where it was once I got out far enough past the break to swim parallel to shore.

This reminds me of the Big Audacious Goal (B.A.G.) concept. The best way to attain a measurable goal is to break it down into manageable chunks and like a shark — where you must keep moving along and making progress with these things– you power through until you obliterate them.

My chunks were simple enough:

  • Ignore the disgusting ocean water taste.
  • Relax and try to not hyperventilate.
  • Swim or at least keep moving forward. I still had to break down the last one a little more into a bit of a pep talk chunk because I couldn’t see the buoy:
  • Just swim toward a house on shore in front of me and/or swim to catch up to at least one resting swimmer ahead of me.

That worked. By doing the smaller goals, eventually I spotted the yellow buoy and made a beeline swam like a fish toward it. Getting back to shore was relatively easy but I had to fight the urge to stop and rest for a while instead of hurrying to get on my bike in a simulated race situation. My T1 needs a bit of work, but with 7 ocean swims completed this summer, I’m happy to note that removing my wetsuit quickly is now my main “worry” about the tri. Not being daunted by everything, and not feeling overwhelmed about whether I can even manage to do this swim.

2011 personal goal: Run a half-marathon
Next weekend is the Disneyland Half Marathon. I am doing what I can to mentally prepare. I set a goal to go for a long run (10+ miles) this weekend. I did intervals (ran/walked) 13+ miles for the first time ever on Sunday and I felt good afterward.

Athletic Linkage

Stumbled upon this while browsing my Facebook feed. I’m posting here so I will remember to check this one out in more detail and so you can check it out too.

Black Girls Run website
Black Girls Run on Facebook

My dear LA locals,

I’ll be hopping on a plane soon to travel east for a few days, but when I return get ready for a half marathon weekend extravaganza!

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