Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Long Beach Triathlon Race Recap!

I did it!  I finished my first triathlon!!  Because this was my first tri, this is a lengthy recap and I am posting a TON of pictures.  Enjoy!

On Sunday, September 16, I became a triathlete by swimming, biking, and running the Long Beach Triathlon.  I did it with two of my best friends and my younger bro, and my dad, hubby, and friends’ hubbys came out to be our cheerleaders and photographers!  Btw, it was all our first tri!

The day before Lisa, my bro, and I cruised down to the expo to pick up our packets.  The expo was tiny with only four vendors, so we were in and out in no time.
At the LB Tri expo
When I got home, I laid everything out to make sure I had what I needed for my early wake-up call the next morning.

Race day I woke up at 3:30am.  The night before I laid everything out the way I wanted to lay it out at my transition area (TA going forward), and had it ready to go in the morning.

After making some eggs (I knew I wasn’t going to eat for a few hours) and taking care of business (gotta do it before a race!) I picked Lisa then my brother.  We parked and arrived at the TA by 5:30am and to our benefit we were some of the first people there.  We got prime spots and set up our items.  Around 6, my other friend K arrived with a couple of her friends and they set up next to us.  We were all ready to go way before the TA closed at 6:45am, with ample time to pee before heading down to the water.  Here are some pics of us at our transition spot:
Me and my baby bro
Me and Lisa
Lisa, baby bro, me, Koko
We headed down to the water around 6:30am to dive in and get acclimated before my brother’s wave, Wave 1, took off at 7am.  Side note:  it was the most spectacular morning…it was foggy, cool, and the moon was lingering over the Long Beach skyline as the sun rose.  Here is a picture and this is not enhanced:
Sunrise over Long Beach
The water felt so good when we dove in and no wetsuit was necessary, although a majority of people were wearing them (I hear they make you very buoyant).  Sam lined up and he took off with the Elites and Males under 29 promptly at 7.  Lisa, Koko, and I were in Wave 5 which didn’t take off until 7:12.  I was told by some pros that if you’re a weak swimmer (ME!) stay back and to the left.  That means I’d be further out in the ocean and swim an extra lot of yards, but I’d be out of the chaos and have “safe passage.”  So I left my friends who are very strong swimmers, and found a nice spot on the left and towards the back of my wave.  At 7:12am we were off!  I leaped into the ocean and began swimming and holy moly was the water choppy!  A week prior I swam the course and it was like a lake:  calm and glassy.  This week was the complete opposite.  The ocean was so choppy, but I kept chugging along alternating between freestyle and breast stroke.  I stayed away from the crowd and had zero issues.  The 800meter swim that previously took me 15 minutes, took me 24 minutes on race day.  It was still exciting and fun.

Once I made it to shore, I ran the 400m through dry sand to the TA.  My friend's bf hollered my name as I was running out of the water so I turned towards him and he snapped this photo:

I ran into Lisa there who was gearing up for the bike leg.  I poured a jug of water over me to wash the salt water off (thank you to my brother for the brilliant idea!), dried my feet and put my shoes on.  Lisa and I rode out together and stayed with each other the entire 11 mile bike ride.
T1: Swim to bike (Lisa and I are in center in the distance) 
Riding out {& up a hill} together, and smiling ear to ear

Still smiling :)
It was unsually foggy and misty.  I was wearing sunglasses and kept wiping them because I couldn't see.  Here is a picture that shows the fog well:

Finally I took my sunglasses off and tucked them in my sports bra.  I was soaked from the mist and my bike and helmet were drenched, but the dampness kept us nice and cool.  After tackling a few {large} hills/bridges on what was expected to be a flat bike ride, Lisa and hit the TA area for Transition 2.

After taking off my helmet and sipping some water, I headed out for the run.  We ran along a beach, a path I am very familiar with, then out and back through Shoreline Village (which happens to be where the Hope Steps & A Cure Walk was in April for MDS, for my mom).  I smiled the entire.

I wasn’t tired at all, in fact I felt invigorrated.  I never was out of breath, but from the swim + bike before (and my lack of training, let alone a brick workout) my legs were dead.   I kept asking Mom for strength to keep me running.  I wasn’t going to stop no matter how dead my legs felt…and I didn’t stop.  My legs were fading fast, but as I got closer to the finish, I heard someone shout “Go Magster, yea you got this girl!!  Yeaa!!” and I saw my Dad cheering me on and waving his arms like crazy.  He was with my brother who had finished {a while ago} and together they gave me the extra motivation and strength for me to finsih STRONG.  I know I am a slow runner, but I always have to finish strong.  So I high fived my Dad and bro, and took off in a full fledged sprint.  I heard random people say, “Damn look at her go!” and I felt so encouraged.
Me rounding the corner to the finish!  Accidental Gatorade ad?

I dashed through the finish line, then literally slid to a stop when a lady flailed her arms at me and said “stop stop I need your chip.”  My hubby and Lisa’s hubby were at the finish line and they said I looked like a cartoon character sliding.  I don’t understand why they make you stop right there.  Give us some distance to slow down and catch our breath.  Oh well. 

After crossing the finish and getting my chip clipped off my angle, I gave my hubby a giant hug and kiss, and hugged Lisa who had already finished, and her hubby.  My Dad and bro walked over from where they were standing and I gave them a huge bear hug.  We stood around talking for a while and taking pictures (see below), before heading to a local joint for the most delicious veggie omelet with a side of bacon I’d ever had.  Oh, and a mimosa :)
We are triathletes!!!

My family :)  Daddy, hubby, and baby bro
My extended family :)  Love these guys! 

Thanks for coming out and cheering me on baby!!!  I love you!

I love this girl!! Friends since 1994  :)
Btw, she finished THIRD IN HER DIVISION!  I'm so proud of her!
YUM!!!  Post race veggie omelet...DELISH!
It was an unbelievably fun race, and I feel comfortable saying that I can see myelf getting addicted to tris.  Next time I will make sure to train though.  But next on my plate is the LA Marathon for MDS in memory of my Mom on March 17, 2013, and I am being sponsored by the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome International Foundation.  But more on that to come later.

Here are my finals stats, and may I just add, I achieved every single one of my goals, including finishing in under two hours!

Overall Time = 1:57:45
Swim (800m) = 24:08
T1 = 4:12
Bike (11 miles) = 50:09 (13.2 mph)
T2 = 1:40
Run (5k) = 37:38 (12:33 pace)

I am so stoked about the entire triathlon experience.  I will definitely be doing another one, and I can't wait!!


  1. Great recap! I can just hear you retelling the story... you sound so happy and excited about it all. I'm so happy for you! What a foggy morning, indeed! And congrats on hitting all your goals!