Yesterday was the fourth time that I have had the opportunity to be an escapee from Alcatraz. And yesterday was the first time that I thought about having a kayak rescue me and haul my neoprene clad booty to shore. Having the race in March combined with 15mph winds made for a very COLD swim with a side of surfable waves. Nothing like busting off the rust for Cabo in 2 weeks time! I am much looking forward to warmer temps in two weeks. Beaches and margaritas beat the seal infested waters of foggy SF any day. Sorry SF, we had a good long run, but my heart lies in the heat.
I was also fortunate enough to have team mate Jené in town from San Diego. Did I mention she CRUSHED it with a podium finish as well?!! She tells me she hasn't ridden her tri bike since September and then goes out and ticks off the competition one by one with a super bike/run combo. Here she is on the podium:
TYR Swim: 1.5 miles: 35:58/1:22/100 yds
This is the time I swam last year, and there weren't no waves last year, so I am taking this as a sign of success in the pool. I boarded the boat with the AG winner and friend Laura and we had a great time on the boat and were told by a 1st timer from England that we had made a rookie move by not wearing neoprene booties. Said dude had the neoprene equivalent of a balaclava on and to say I might have been jealous was an understatement. Then Laura says, "WOW it looks rough out there...look at all the white caps!". I tried to convince her the waves we were seeing were due to the cruise ship that hash just passed by. Turns out, she was right. As soon as they said "GO, GO, GO!!!", we were off and immediately it wasn't the cold that was occupying space in my mind, it was, "holy shit it's wavy, look out for that rescue kayak surfing that wave, he may just land on me!". I went into total survival mode and automatically tried to adjust my stroke to a short choppy stroke and was breathing only to the left to try and limit the intake of salt water. I was around more people than in previous years and that gave me some comfort. Then, much sooner than I expected, I could see the exit markers and after a final burst of chop and a full coating of Bay Beard, I was out of the water and off on my 3/4 mile haul to transition.
Argon18/Gray Wheels Bike: 1:03:24/17mph
This was three minutes slower than LY, but there was definitely more wind this year and I knew that I lost some time in the beginning trying to pull on my arm warmers. I also rode a very deep front wheel and with all of the wind yesterday and my (apparently) light frame, I felt like I was being blown about the road so this led to an increase in hesitancy an a decrease in speed. I felt some good power on the hills like I could really climb, and would pass all of the fearless dudes that had passed me recently on the descents. Coming back from Golden Gate Park I saw Mark and he let me know I was still in a good position. Laura was up the road a bit as were 2 or 3 other gals. I hauled the last few miles and before I knew it, it was time to RUN!
Cytomax Run: 1:01:40/7:43/mile
Ahhh, the EFA run course, 2 miles of flat and then the fun starts. The climb to the bridge is accompanied by a set of uneven stairs and then it's through a narrow tunnel and out onto the path that will take you down to the beach where your legs will get softened up by the sand in preparation for the Sand Ladder, a set of "stairs" that take you back up to the path for the remaining 3.5 miles to the finish. And the word stairs is used loosely, round logs make up the stair and these are unevenly separated and tied together with metal rope and then covered in sand. LUNG BUSTER anyone? I may not have sprinted those, but could see another gal coming from behind and knew that thankfully about 2 hours in, I am just starting to feel good. Time to move those buns home! That worked and I was able to see 1 mile with a "6" at the beginning. Success!
I saw Mark 2 miles from the finish and knew that 2nd place was out of reach...that went to new teammie, Sarach C. I tried to hustle it home though and that was good enough for 3rd place in the AG and 5th amateur overall.
Cold water anxiety aside, this was a great way to dust off the cob webs and get a glimpse of what Cabo would be like in two weeks. I am excited with the results, and starting to get super excited for Cabo...I am a true diesel engine and while EFA is fun, my love of triathlon lies in the long distance races.
I couldn't have gotten to the start line without some amazing support from family, friends and sponsors. So thanks you Smith Optics, Argon18/Sinclair Imports, TYR, Cytosport, Gray Wheels, and nuun. All phenomenal products that get me through training and racing in the best shape possible.