Blue Lake Triathlon Race Report

I just want to start out by clearing up any expectations for Saturday’s race. I met zero percent of my goals. Total PW (personal worst) for sprint tris. BUT – since it was only my 2nd sprint tri-, I guess that’s not so bad. And since it was my first sprint tri that was shortly after foot surgery instead of midway through marathon training, I guess it could’ve been worse.

Let’s review my 2009 times:

Swim: 19:27
T1: 4:21
Bike: 44:58 (16 mph avg)
T2: 2:03
Run: 31:29 (10:09 pace)
Total: 1:42:18

My expectations were that I would PR the swim (I am such a stronger swimmer now; I took lessons, I can breathe on both sides!), come in about the same on the bike, and totally be waaay slower on the run (see not in marathon shape above).

I was so nervous the night before. I packed my bag, got everything ready, and laid out my tri suit. (Thanks for the tri-ready-list Jen & Alisa!)

That night, I dreamed that I’d forgotten my bike and the tri race officials made me run the bike course moving my arms & legs in a biking parody.

I woke up at 5 the morning of the race & laid in bed until alarm #1 went off. I got up, made coffee and a smoothie (neither of which I finished) and hopped around anxiously making the architect nervous.

We loaded my bike, my 17 bottles of water, and my bag/wetsuit & headed out.  I got body marked & headed into transition.

Marked up & ready!

I got into transition & as I was setting up my stuff, I heard my name!  I looked over & saw Jen & Alisa waving at me.

After getting all set up, I went out to find the architect & we tracked down Jen & Alisa. There was a little pre-race chit-chat, and then we put on our wetsuits & headed towards the swim area.

As we got close to the 8 am start time, I knew I needed to get in the water & warm up to avoid any pesky panic attacks. Whenever the water gets above my neck level, and I feel that cold just below my face, that’s when I start to freak out, and since I was in wave 2 for the swim start, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to be panicking in front of everyone!

Getting ready to go

I am the third from the left, right up toward the front (adjusting my goggles, I think).

I got in, swam about a bit, and then made my way over to the start. I got my watch ready to go & then the horn started and we were off.

The course seemed waaaaaaaaaay longer than it had two years ago. Way longer. I swam the whole thing, only stopping to tread water once when someone swimming perpendicular to the course kicked me in the face. (I hope they got lost & ended up on the wrong side of the lake.)

I felt really strong throughout the whole swim, but it seemed to take forever! I honestly have am having a really hard time believing that it was the same distance as two years ago.

I came out of the water feeling a little wobbly, but overall good.

Finishign the swim

Swim time: 21:19 (or 1:52 slower than before….dammit).

The transition area also seemed longer than before. I know they’d had to reconfigure everything due to flooding, but although the distance from teh swim to transition seemed the same, the transition out to the bike course took forever. I dried off, put on my helmet, socks & shoes, took a gu, and headed out.

T2: 5:23 (or 1:02 slower than 2009)

The bike was hard. Really hard. I was prepared for the headwind that one always gets on Marine drive headed west, but I was not prepared for actual pain. My shoulder started hurting a LOT (and for the rest of the day, I was convinced it hurt because of the bike ride, because that’s when it started, although everyone I talked to seemed to think that it would make more sense if it hurt because of the swim, and in retrospect, I think that I must have hurt it during the swim; but didn’t really feel it until the bike?). I didn’t pass a single person on the way out.

Not one.

And I was getting passed by people on crappy old bikes who looked like they might die at any point. I just told myself that I was going to just keep going, do my best, and not worry about time. My goal was to finish.

I got to the turn-around, and realized then that the wind had been more of an effect than I’d thought. About 1.5 miles past the turn-around, I saw Alisa! She looked so strong! I was excited to see her, since in 2009, she’d seen me, but I’d missed her.

I didn’t feel any faster, though, and by that point, it didn’t even matter. I passed one person on the way back. One. Last time, I was passing people left & right. I think the combination of the heavier bike (I rode my ‘cross bike instead of my road bike, because my road bike has the bad habit of vibrating violently every time I go over 15 mph [strangely enough, my car occasionally does the same when I go over 65 mph…hmmm]) and the heavier Amy just made this harder for me.

I didn’t get very close to my 45 minute goal, and I’m a little bummed about that, but I did feel strong when I finished (minus the sore shoulder, of course).

Finishing the bike


Bike time: 48:18 (14.9 mph, i.e. 1.1 mph & 3:20 off my 2009 speed).

Again, it took forever to get back to transition & then out again – super duper long. Also, this year I changed shoes between the bike & run, and in 2009, I wore my running shoes on the bike. I took a gu & started jogging to the start line.

T2: 3:45 (1:44 slower than 2009)

I was expecting the run to be hard. Wicked hard. And it was. It felt so much slower/harder/worse than 2009. I was pretty sure I was going to have to stop & walk the whole thing. I’d turned my ankle the week before & it had been bothering me off & on, and I could feel it twinging as I got started.

Immediately after starting my run, I saw Alisa coming in on the bike (and, on her race report, if you look at her finishing the bike pic, you can see me in the background starting my run!)

Starting the run

I did walk briefly right before mile 1, and then told myself that I could totally take a break every mile if need be.  There was no need, though. After convincing my legs that yes, we were supposed to run now, I started to feel better. Not faster, but better. I saw Alisa again just before I hit mile 2 & we high-fived in passing.

My mile splits were pretty consistent ~10:30 each. Not the time I was hoping for, but after the turn around, I did start passing people. In the last mile, there were two little uphills, and that’s were I really started kicking past people. I am an uphill running queen!

I finished really strong, and although my time wasn’t what I wanted, I did finish with a smile!

Approaching the finish line

Run time: 32:25 (10:27 avg pace and only 56 seconds slower than last time – who knew the run would be the strongest?).


Overall time: 1:51:12 (8:54 slower than 2009. 🙁  BUT! still faster than 2 hours!)


ETA: The numbers

430/483 – overall
35/42 – age group
367/500– swim
465/493– bike
428/491– run

After finishing, I grabbed some water & headed back to the finish line chute to find the architect & Jen and watch Alisa finish. I found Jen, but the architect had gone off to find me. Eventually, however, we were all back to the finish line to watch Alisa cross the line.

After hanging about a bit post-race, it was time to gather our stuff & go.


Alisa & I were numbers 58 & 57 respectively, so our stuff was right next to each other in transition. We grabbed our gear & went to find our sherpas, then headed out.

The architect & I stopped at home so I could put on clothes & then we went to find food. I was so hungry. I ate an awesome cheeseburger and drank the best beer in the history of beers, and then went home. I intended to have a little down time before making cupcakes, but ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap. I never take naps, so that was weird.

I got up, showered, got dressed, and then we headed out to Jen & Zach’s housewarming party!

I think I drank about 17 million glasses of water, and look a wee bitt tired here, definitely had a good time! (Thanks for the awesome party!) (Also, check out the Iron Man & triathlon magnets on the fridge – so many awesomely athletic people in my group of friends.)

Yesterday was not nearly so busy. I skipped my planned 10 mile run due to extreme soreness in body & shoulder when I woke up at 6 am. I made hotdogs and salted some bacon, and then spent the rest of the day in that most noble of pursuits – finally having enough time to finish Dragon Age so that I can buy Dragon Age II. (Oh yeah, ambitious!)

Today, I am spending my vacation day at work for a few hours, and then I have tomorrow as a REAL vacation day! Woo! I am getting a massage tonight, a haircut tomorrow, and am planning to make up yesterday’s missed run before heading out for HH with my classmates to celebrate surviving another class.

Have a great week, everyone!

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