San Diego Triathlon Classic Race Recap

Hello everyone!! Hope everyone had a great weekend and guess what? I have another race recap for you from the San Diego Triathlon Classic this weekend! This season started off slow with some clumsy accidents, but glad I’m getting into the rhythm of triathlon racing. Can’t believe there are just a couple more months of the 2016 triathlon season. Then time to eat a lot of donuts and get ready for 2017 race season ;) img_1539Friday morning started off with an hour bike ride before work just to spin out my legs and to make sure my chain was properly lubed (dry chain = THE WORST). Left work early to pick up my race packet because the race was on a Saturday this time around and took Elle on a run. She ran her first mile on Friday!! We are so excited for many more miles to come.

I went into this race with very, very, very low expectations. I started off the week with a sinus infection that still hasn’t fully cleared, and didn’t know how that was going to affect my race performance. Not to mention, the bike course was pretty killer and probably the most climbing I’ve done in a race to date. My expectations were so low to the point where I didn’t even bring a Breakaway Training shirt to change into after because I figured I would go home straight after the race. Because of the low expectations, I started the race super calm, which is extremely out of character for me. img_1553Woke up Saturday morning coughing up my lungs, clogged sinuses that were keeping me from breathing, changed into my tri kit, packed up some oatmeal to eat in the car, and we were off to Liberty Station for the race! I was racing the sprint and for some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to have all 100+ women starting the swim together. From where Elle and Anthony are watching, you can see all of our hot pink swim caps bobbing together in the water. img_1559The swim… was brutal. I am definitely not a strong swimmer and those 750 meters felt like a 1000. Plus, having so many women start at the same time did not help- it resulted in a lot of salt water intake, veering off course, and losing a lot of time going back on course and trying to sight. Needless to say, after this race and a good talk with Jason… I will most definitely be needing a swim coach!! img_1564Once I was out of the water, it was time to start the extremely hilly bike course! The course goes through Cabrillo National Monument as well as the Point Loma Naval base. So many riders were hopping off their bike to push it up some of the hills. Even though the course was tough, that was probably the most fun I’ve had during the bike portion of any duathlon and triathlon. There was constant winding and turning, nice rolling hills, great descents that helped me make up some time, and for once, it was nice passing people on hills instead of them passing me! Not to mention the beautiful views of San Diego at the top of every climb. img_1571The 5K was through a lot of dirt and trail, but after climbing a small bridge, it was flat the rest of the way! This reminded me that I need to run trail a lot more often- Dirt is a lot harder to run in than pavement. To be perfectly honest, I felt like I was doing this entire race in slow motion. From being sleep deprived, sick, and delirious, I really do not know how I got from start to finish. Finished in an hr and 43 minutes with a whole lot of motivation to ride a lot more. Cycling when you’re not breaking things is kind of fun. img_1578Shout out to these two for running along side me at some points to take all the great photos above and waking up at an ungodly hour on Saturday to come watch me race. Elle told me I owe her a new toy and like 5 extra hours at the dog park this week. img_1579img_1583Had a lot of fun running into my two teammates above. Brent did the Olympic distance and finished 4th in his age group and Gunnar finished third overall in the Sprint!!! We are so grateful for the constant support from the BT coaches (Felipe, Luke, Adam, and Chris), our sponsors, and our tri community. Being part of the Orange Family is 90% why I am starting to like triathlon a lot more than just running, despite being the worst swimmer and cyclist in the world. Need a coach? Breakaway Training is the way to go! img_1598Oh, remember how I had zero expectations? I told Anthony before we were about to leave that I wanted to see what my time was. Found out I somehow placed second in my age group and top 20 in females. I guess none of us really knew how to climb that hill that day! Instead of leaving, we stayed for the award ceremony. With 12 girls in my age group this time around, it finally felt like a real podium… but where are number 1 and 3?! C’mon ladies! img_1603A really big fan of the podium medals. All in all, I felt like this is one of the best races I’ve been to in the multisport world. It was extremely well organized, had a designated parking lot for athletes that was less than a block away from the transition area, and really awesome swag- trucker hats for the win! Despite the tough course, this is definitely a race I’m coming back for.

Biggest takeaways from this race:

– BIKE BIKE BIKE BIKE AND THEN BIKE SOME MORE

– Climb some hills

– Don’t get sick and bring a jacket everywhere you go just in case

– I need a swim coach ASAP img_1607After the race, I had to head to the airport in two hours to visit my best friends in San Francisco but before we left.. these two really needed to squeeze in a power nap. Spectating is exhausting business ;)

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Chula Vista Challenge: Sprint Triathlon Recap… MY FIRST TRI!

Good morning friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend swimming, biking, running, and spending time with friends and family. The day is finally here… I CAN FINALLY CALL MYSELF A TRIATHLETE! It has been a long time coming with a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, but happy to bring you all my first triathlon race recap. Spoiler alert: I am pretty hooked. IMG_1167Saturday morning started with a course preview with Jason. Before we started our ride, I got hopelessly lost three times until I found our meeting spot, and we also ran into another triathlete wearing some pretty cool pajamas…

Seeing the course ahead of time definitely made me more excited to race on Sunday. I knew what to expect and what to avoid (lots of cracked roads and potholes). On our way back, Jason had to get in some speed work, so we split up. I had one job only: to turn left onto a street to get back to where we parked. Turns out I missed that street, ended up on another bike path headed to National City, and if not a text from Jason checking to see if I was alive, could have taken a lot longer to get back. Oh, the joys of learning how to cycle!IMG_1178We got our race packets, and I rushed home to get ready for my first bridal shower!! One of my teammates, Talia, is getting married in 3 weeks and we were so excited to celebrate with all of her family and girlfriends. It was awesome seeing everyone out of spandex and running clothes. The BT girls clean up nice :) I attribute a lot of my Sunday racing to all the great food at the shower and advice from these kickass women!! IMG_1188Rest of Saturday was filled with Elle cuddle time and dog park fun. IMG_1185Plus carbo loading with the roommates. Pesto pasta- you really hit the spot. IMG_1190The big day! I was kind of freaking out the day before because I had heard some rumors that the race would not be wetsuit legal. I really like having that extra protection and buoyancy from the wetsuit and didn’t know what to expect with swimming in just my tri kit. Jackie gave me a lot of advice the night before on how to navigate the waters and my coach said that the salt water should add more than enough buoyancy to survive 500 yards. Despite their reassuring words, I was pretty stoked when I arrived Sunday morning and HALLELUJAH! It was wetsuit legal! Thank you water, for being 76 degrees instead of 78! By the way. I feel like I look like a Teletubbie in the above picture.

I got caught up with talking to Anthony and Elle before the start and didn’t realize all the orange swim caps (the wave I was suppose to start with) had all headed out to the starting buoy that was about 100 yards out. Got a little bit of a sprint in before the race started and when I arrived, the woman had already started counting down from 10 and BOOM. We were off! I had my goggles knocked out of my head the first 2 minutes into the swim and after that I worked pretty hard to just keep to myself. My only fear was that my Nemo fin (what I call my bad arm) would get knocked my someone in the water and would make the rest of the swim more painful than it needed to be. Swim goal: to not be the last orange cap out of the water. Goal accomplished! IMG_1223Out of the water embarrassingly slow but tried not to think too much about it since swimming has still been tough since I broke my collarbone. I quickly got out of my wetsuit, got my bike gear together, and it was time to start the bike leg! The first part of the course consisted of extremely narrow bike lanes that I was not prepared for. A bunch of speedy cyclists were yelling and trying to get past anyone that was in the way. I told myself to breathe and prayed the course would widen up. People who put the cones together: I have some complaints! Once we got onto the main road, I was able to breathe again and settled into a pretty good rhythm to crank out the rest of the 14 mile bike ride. It was pretty great seeing other friends and teammates on the course- thanks Tony for the shoutout and encouragement while you were working on the Half Aquabike.
IMG_122214 miles later and started the run leg with my helmet on my head. Thank you kind volunteer for chasing me down so I didn’t look dumb the last 5K. I was finally in my happy place: onto the run and having both feet planted firmly on the ground. I didn’t know how the length of the bike course was going to affect my running since the last duathlon I did, the bike course was a lot shorter. I started counting my “kills” and seeing how many people I could pass on my run, a habit I picked up after doing SoCal Ragnar 2 years ago. I cheered on Bernardo as he started the second lap in the international triathlon run, and focused on making sure I didn’t get passed by anyone. I felt like a turtle moving through peanut butter for the majority of the 5K. Heat and I do not get along. Towards the mile 2 marker, I noticed a girl that looked like she could be doing the sprint triathlon too and from the back, it looked like we could also be in the same age group. Even though it was hot and my legs were on fire, I had to get closer to see. Slowly, started gaining on her and yup. 20 years old was clearly written on her left calve and I made it my goal to catch up to her, if not pass her for that podium spot. Caught up to her the last quarter mile in the race and it was a hardcore sprint to the end, but she passed me the last 5 seconds with a nice elbow to the face. We hugged it out at the finish and just like that, my first triathlon is in the books! 1 hour and 34 minutes- DONE! IMG_1191Some cute faces I was excited to see after the race! IMG_1212I was pretty convinced the girl that passed me in the finisher chute booted me out of a podium spot in my age group but was happily surprised when Jason called me to the results table to see that I squeezed myself into third place for my first triathlon! All three of us finished with 5-6 seconds between all of our times so it was definitely a close one. Maybe one day, I’ll be on the podium where all three spots are filled? IMG_1211Special thanks and shout outs to the original tri family :) So thankful for all the Karavidas for supporting me at various races and for being there for my first tri! Happy that Striker and Elle also have each other now so they aren’t bored out of their minds during a race. Jason killed the international duathlon with a first place overall finish, despite a hot and long day! Thanks for letting me bug you everyday at work about triathlon related things. I’ll try aero bars eventually.

I really could not do any of this without the best coach in the world, Felipe. Even though this is my first tri, I’ve noticed major improvements in my fitness and mental strength since I started training under his guidance and with our team. Not only does he tailor my workouts to work on my weaknesses and strengthen my strengths, he is there for every physical, mental, emotional rollercoaster we all have for him! Seriously. Need a coach? I guess I’ll share- check out Breakaway Training! IMG_1206I think Elle had a great time at the race too. She got an award for digging the most holes at the beach. It was really impressive to hear all about it from Anthony. And of course, what would I do with the greatest boyfriend in the world? Thanks for supporting me on this journey and telling it like it is- CAN’T WAIT TIL OUR FIRST TRIATHLON TOGETHER! IMG_1220Celebrated the best way I knew how: food and beer. Starting with trying Tacos El Gordo for the first time post race since we are not down in Chula Vista.. ever. IMG_1227To burgers and beer for dinner. IMG_1229Followed by more beer. Don’t worry. Salads and kale start again today! Also, this IPA and Coffee Stout from Rip Current Brewery in North Park are both delicious!

Carlsbad 5000 Race Recap- Back to Back Weekend Races!

Good morning and happy Monday! It’s the first day back at school for me and also sadly, the last first day of school for me as I start my last quarter!! It is crazy to think about how time flies, but I enjoyed my last day of spring break the best way I know how: at a race! I decided to do the Carlsbad 5000 pretty spur of the moment and one of my friends was volunteering that day, so it made it easy to get there and back. It was an amazing race and I took home a 5K PR! IMG_3436One of my few races without Anthony aka my support crew, so that meant having to figure out how to take selfies to get in the cool start line as well as wearing a trash bag as a jacket for easy disposable reasons. IMG_3439My coach was running the Carlsbad 5000. This was his seventh year running it and each year, he sets a new PR on this course. He copied my outfit but it’s okay, since he leads and trains me to most of my victories!

I accidentally ran in the wrong age group that morning. I didn’t realize the 5K was split into waves by age group and ran with the Master’s 40+ Men……. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it earlier and I emailed Competitor to see if they can move my time over to the right age group, but boy did I feel silly!! I kept wondering why I didn’t see Jason on the course or at the finish line, not realizing he was coming for the RIGHT age group. Woops.

Regardless, the course was beautiful and fast. I love the city of Carlsbad and I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time there in the past. It’s a few cities away in San Diego and after almost 4 years of living here, I am just starting to realize just how big it is and you can drive up to an hour and a half from one end of the city to another, depending on traffic. So running there was such a happy and refreshing change of pace. My legs and lungs felt really good the first two miles with a 7:06 average pace. My goal that day was to break 23 minutes and I figured 23:00 would make me happy enough. Surely, at mile 2 and a half, I started to fall apart. I forgot why I enjoyed longer distances more and to this day, the pacing in a 5K throws me off. However, I finished in a time better than I dreamed of: 22:36! A minute faster than my past 5K time a little over 6 months ago! I was beyond thrilled. 10th in my female age group too… once they move over my time and all :) IMG_3442I had 13.1 miles on the schedule that day, so after the race and hanging around a bit, I went to finish the rest of the 10 miles. Seriously, go run somewhere new. It is so good for the soul. I did a few miles along the Pacific Coast Highway, then swung back into town to see if I could see Jason during his run. He wanted to sub-18 this time around on the course. IMG_3446Just in the knick of time, as he’s getting to 2.5 miles! IMG_3449My favorite way and time to drink beer: at a beer garden post race and post long run. IMG_3452So thankful that my sisters were med tent volunteers. Both of them are alum and it’s been way too long since I’ve seen them or hung out with them. After my run, it was jumping between talking and catching up with them, hanging out with Jason and one of his teammates, and snagging free things at the Expo! IMG_3454And the moment I’ve been waiting for: watching the elite women race at the Carlsbad 5000! There were three women in particular I wanted to see, Stephanie Rothstein, Deena Kastor, and Juliet Bottoroff. I was so sad when I missed Stephanie in another wave but seeing the rest of these awesome ladies was so inspiring! IMG_3456Looking great, in that hot pink, Deena! IMG_3461Then the elite men. Hey there, Ben Bruce! It’s crazy to see all of these athletes I follow and admire, just a few feet away from me. They have some pretty intense pre-race traditions too, like dumping bottles of water on their heads to keep cool. IMG_3465Caught a photo with Juliet! She is a recent elite athlete with B.A.A. and their training team is out in San Diego. Not to mention one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, even though I talked to her for less than 5 minutes. Sometimes, you can just tell! IMG_3468This is Genzebe Dibaba. She won the Carlsbad 5000 for elite females and was 2 seconds short of breaking the world record for the 5K!!! Second fastest 5K time in history!IMG_3476After all the elites ran, my friends and I were so hungry so we walked to Pizza Port, which was a major sponsor of the race. In the middle of eating, I almost choked because Dibaba and Lawi (the winner of the male elites) came through the door. I couldn’t believe my eyes and they were walking to right where I was sitting!! Thankfully my friend knew more than anything I wanted a photo with them and had her camera ready.

I could not think of a better way to spend my last day of spring break and probably my last spring break ever! So happy to have ran, PRed, and met so many amazing people yesterday!