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!

Solana Beach Duathlon Race Recap

Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekends?? I hope you spent a lot of it swimming, biking, and running! Remember how I told you last week I was really nervous for the Solana Beach Duathlon? Well turns out it wasn’t so bad and I’m so happy cause it’s been forever since I’ve done a race, let alone a race recap!IMG_0949Let’s rewind to Saturday night and the foods that attributed to Sunday’s race day success. Anthony and I went out for Italian food with a couple of our friends. Decided to play it safe and stick with pizza with sausage and bell peppers. Not pictured: the three loaves of complementary bread they brought to our table. I definitely accomplished all of my carbo-loading goals. IMG_0950Normally I wouldn’t eat dessert the night before a race but a trip to Hammond’s for ice cream flights was too good to pass up. Plus, everyone knows ice cream and donuts are my biggest weaknesses so it’s really everyone else’s fault for suggesting it. Not my lack of self control or anything… Four flight flavors were: birthday cake, blueberry cheesecake, cinnamon swirl, and butter pecan. Two of my friends got PB Oreo and I’m still kicking myself for not adding that flavor to my ice cream flight. IMG_0970Boom. Race day. I was kind of freaking out about the bike portion of the race since I’m still not very good at shifting on my TT bike and don’t even get me started on how much I struggle with making right hand turns. A bunch of my friends and teammates have done this race before so as I was racking up my bike, they gave me a course overview and told me what to expect for the turns and where to pick up speed on the run. I headed to the start for the duathlon and for the first time in my 4 years of racing, the race did not start on time! We were set to start at 6:50am but because the street patrols were late, we started almost at 7am. There is a first time for everything. IMG_0969One of my girlfriends who lives in Solana Beach texted me the night before telling me she was going to come watch me race! She is the reason I am on Breakaway Training (her bf is one of the coaches and a pro triathlete), my advisor at UCSD, and since I’ve graduated, one of my sweetest and most supportive friends. I didn’t expect to see her until the finish line but there she was, waiting at the start of the duathlon before I even got to the start. Now that is friendship! IMG_0968After catching up with Kristen for sometime at the start, we were off! Since we started the race late, I felt like I lost some of my warm-up and the first quarter of a mile of the duathlon mile run did not feel so great. My hat was falling off, my quads were tight, and oh yeah, did you know San Diego gets humid nowadays?! Then somehow, half way through, my body decided to wake up, remembered it was in a race, and I finished the first mile with a 6:24 min/mile. IMG_0967Note to self: take out your sunglasses before the transition, not during. Spent a little more time in struggle city than I would like getting my bike, helmet, shoes, and sunglasses on before heading out to the mounting area to start the bike leg! The goal of the bike part was just to build confidence. My coach and I talked about pushing the run beyond my comfort zone but staying safe when it came to the bike. That meant getting passed A LOT but also building my confidence in racing on a bike again! After two scenic loops from Solana to Encinitas along the 101 highway, I finished the 9 mile bike leg in 33 minutes and it was time to bring it home with the final 5K!IMG_0972The second transition to the run was a lot smoother than the first. By the time I started the 5K, the humidity had really started to set in but the overcast made a world of difference. For all of you that know me (or follow my blog), heat and I are mortal enemies (this is going to make my triathlon in 2 weeks super fun). I would take humidity and overcast over humidity and heat any day. I know, I’m the worst Floridian ever. One thing I started to do more during hard runs and races is looking at my pace on my Garmin. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before but it has helped me make huge improvements in my training when I know there are certain numbers I want to hit. I told myself I was not allowed to go over 7:30 minute miles during the 5K and finished the last duathlon leg in 22:18. IMG_0956My cheering squad at races just got even better with a puppy to greet me at the end! Elle’s first race and I think she’s going to like this sport considering every triathlete brought their dog to the race. Finished in 1:05:08, which is a 5 minute PR from my last (and first) duathlon in October. Once I start making improvements in my cycling, I think duathlons and I can become great friends! IMG_0971Just some of the coolest coworkers ever at the race. Both Carlos and Jason did the triathlon and braved the open water ocean swim that I had zero interest in. IMG_0954Finished 8th female overall and 1st in my age group. I promise there was another girl in my age group but I guess she didn’t want to stick around for the awards? IMG_0962IMG_0966I have some of the best friends and support systems in this sport! Ever since I joined Breakaway Training, I constantly have friends who challenge me and make me a better athlete everyday. Not to mention friends like Jason and Kristen who give the best pre and post-race pep talks. Can’t imagine what I would do without this community.

Thank you Breakaway Training, Coach Felipe, and all of my orange family teammates! It was awesome to hear people cheering and yelling your name, high-fiving people on the 2 loop run course, and wishing each other luck once you saw them on the course. Special thanks to Jon for his thumbs up when I felt like my legs were going to fall off in the last loop of the run. IMG_0959I think it’s safe to say the dogs had a great time at this race too. IMG_0965And of course, the perfect recovery involves a huge chocolate donut.