Escape from the Rock

Good Morning Race Fans,

This past Sunday I completed my first triathalon (Seattle “Escape From the Rock Triathalon: The race day was a sunny and gorgeous start at 8am and water temperature was a lovely 72 degrees. I was fortunate to have a cheering section of Lauren and Elias and Joan (who all woke up at 6 am to get me to the start in time), and Linda and Mitchell who cheered and took the pictures enclosed below.

Compared to Danskin, Escape from the rock felt like a private family event. With only 500-600 entrants it was smaller and you felt like you could actually get some breathing room. Pre-race nerves had me talking with Anthony LaMarca about leaving in an earlier wave just “to get it over with”, but Anthony convinced me to hang out for the last wave and just enjoy the passing of people.  The start was in the water and it was certainly a unique experience in getting bashed around while trying to “relax in your stroke.”  There were only a few moments of “I wish I could get more oxygen while doing this”, but all in all the swim was a quiet affair as I took a _very_ outside lane and just took the course as quickly as possible. (Of men swimming I was 146 out of 219 in my swim time).  I left the water ready to get out of the suit and get to the biking, and happy that the hard part was behind me.

The transition had a 250 yard run to get from the beach to the bikes. I got there to see a lot of people had already left, because being a slower swimmer  and leaving last left me a little behind the curve. That said, the transition to the bike was smooth, I ate my little packet of caffeinated goo and went flying up the hill to play catch up. The only distraction on the bike ride was that my GPS watch got into a bad state and ended up losing the data for the event. (*sigh* more lost data to mourn) The personal achievement on the bike was that I was able to average 19 MPH the length of the express lanes on the I-90 bridge and ended up catching a lot of people (37 out of 219 of men biking)

The last transition to the run was a quick 50 second turnaround and off to the run. This is the part that worried me the most, as I have been coddling a back injury and even though I have been doing exercises I was given explicit instructions by my Physical Therapist: “Don’t Run”. I couldn’t not do it for this event. The day before I couldn’t take a step without some twinge of back pain, but through some miracle of lack of sleep, not running, and other events, I was able to do the 2.5 mile run healthy, (tired) and whole. (I finished well placing 83 out of the 219)  I was able to average 7.9 MPH for the distance and crossed the finish line the way I wanted to, happy healthy and strong with no flats and no injuries.

The really cute thing we saw at the finish line was this cute couple crossed the line, and while she got her award, he got down on one knee and presented her a wedding ring and proposed at the finish line. We joked it was a little unfair doing it when she didn’t have the oxygen to think straight, but she smiled and said yes, and it was really a cute and lovely moment. [Makes you wiggle and we all cheered for them again 🙂

This was great, I have to give a special thanks to Lauren for running all the kid interference while I was training. Elias and Joan for waking up at 6 am and cheering me on at the break of dawn. Mitchell for taking all the glorious pictures during training and race day. Linda for getting in the water with me the first day and showing me it could be done……with a wetsuit  🙂   I ended up biking the 11 miles home after the ride as it was such a beautiful day and a small victory ride doing what I like best is always great  🙂

I recommend this Triathalon, and would gladly do it again, if I weren’t thinking about training for an olympic or 1/2 next year……if I can get this damn swimming figured out.

Obligatory statistics:

Total time: 1:22:47
Swim (1/2 mile) : 22:14
Bike (12 mile) : 37:31
Run ( 2.5 mile): 18:56
22nd out for 42 in my age group (35-40)
76th overall


Barb’s Race

DanskinettesEarlier this year, Jennifer, Brandy and Sharon made a decision to do Barb’s race on August 4, 2007 – the only Women’s only 1/2 Ironman. Barb’s race is held at the same time as the Vineman Ironman – so there’s no “time limit” – i.e. typical 1/2 Ironman triathlons have an 8 hour time limit to complete. This one didn’t.

After hearing the training schedule, I realized that I didn’t have enough time to train for a full 1/2 Ironman this year, but that if anyone needed me to do the bike leg of a relay, I could do that. I also offered our hearty friends to drive their bikes down to the wine country as an excuse for a road trip. I planned on taking my bike and going for a ride around there anyway.

The Sunday before the race, Joan (who is training for a marathon) decided that since she could already swim a mile AND she had to do a 12 mile run that weekend anyway, that she’d do those two legs of the relay if I was willing to do the bike. How can I say no to a supported 58 mile bike ride?!?!? We signed up on Monday, having not trained a lick specifically for this particular race.

Photos are here

Joan and I left around 6:30 pm on Thursday. We stopped for a quick bite to eat at Whole Foods and was on our way. We also saw 2 deer (including one with a huge rack) eating on the side of the road. We arrived for our first stop at Joan’s mom’s house in Hillsboro for the night. We were back on the road at 6am and arrived some 12 hours later at Windsor, CA, having taken the twisty windy scenic route through Clearlake CA (which also managed to avoid a Friday night traffic accident near Novato). The drive was beautiful and amusing, as always.

We missed the pre-race meeting, but had no trouble meeting up with Jennifer, Brandy and Sharon and getting our registration packets. Then we checked into our hotel in Santa Rosa, unloaded the bikes again, then went to dinner (mmm pasta). We made an early night of it so we could wake up at 5:15 am…

Even though we KNEW what time we’d be waking up, 5:15 comes REALLY early. We dragged ourselves out of bed, dressed, loaded up the bikes and followed Sharon and Brandy’s car first to the Starbuck’s then to T1 (first transition site) in Guernville, CA.

Here’s a general image of the whole race.

I didn’t realized that the full Vineman started as early as 6:30 am. By the time we got there, there were many people in the water. While I was setting up our transition area the first full marathoner came out of the water and had transitioned and was running down the carpet to the bike start. His time for 2.4 miles of swimming? 45 minutes. Unreal.

Barb’s race swimmers were started at 8:15 (for the < 40 women, including Jennifer and Brandy) and 8:20 for the second wave (> 50 and “Athena”), including Sharon. Joan started in the last (Relay only) wave at 8:30.

I waited for a while watching the swimmers come out of the water, then I went to my transition area. I saw Jennifer come out of the water first, then Brandy. Joan came out next and we transitioned – they have our time listed as 0:45:34 for the transition, but I think that was her swim time. I was off on my bike. Joan took some pictures of Sharon coming out of the water and transitioning to her bike, then took the key (I fortunately remembered to give her) and headed back to the car.

Joan spent the time with James (Siggy) having a nice long lunch while I was sweating it out on the course. I saw Brandy and then Jennifer on the route (and Jennifer’s touring entourage of husband and 3 kids)… I managed to talk to a couple of people on the route – a few of the women were really pretty evenly paced with me. I lost one “ride buddy” when I stopped to fill my water bottle at mile 28 (she later found me when the race was done). I did do my fair share of passing people – including a couple of guys.

I sent a text message to Joan at mile 40, I was ahead of what I thought I’d make (I was thinking 4 hours with stops), then hit the “hill” – a 6-11% grade up Chalk Hill Road… I saw a couple of people walking up, but I slogged it up the hill. It wasn’t as bad as I thought (not as long, but steeper), but I was tiring by the time I got there.

One minor sub goal I made – I beat the first Ironman into T2 🙂 🙂 🙂 Since I couldn’t listen to my tune on the bike (no personal audio devices allowed, even with the speakers), I was doing calculations in my head – like how fast it would take the best Ironman to make the 112 mile bike course. I figured I’d be passed around mile 50, but wasn’t sure. I asked one of the volunteers near that point on the route and she said an Ironman HAD come by… but she was WRONG. LOL! I got to T2 at around 12:40, the first ironman made it in around 1pm.

Per Elizabeth’s thread on how much fluid she drank on STP, and because it was so )(#@*&$ hot, I made a special effort to drink at least one full bottle between stops (mile 13, 28, 40). The first bottle was plain water, 2nd was Accelerade, 3rd was SmartWater (what they were handing out) and 4th was Gatorade which I didn’t finish, but I was drinking more water. I got to the point where I’d take a at least sip or two every 10 minutes. I also ate 1.5 bananas and a small cliff bar. I know I drank at least 4 x 24 ounces – maybe a 5th… I got a little wonky after Chalk Hill. I saw a lot of people having problems because they weren’t drinking enough and offered one of my untouched bottles of Smartwater to one woman – she refused, but saw me later in the transition area and said I was her “carrot” (I was just in front of her for a while)… she thanked me.

Here’s a link to my GPS data
. Unfortunately my GPS must have missed some of the data in the trees because the official distance is 58 mile route. I did it officially in 3:28:42 – averaging approximately 16.5 mph, while keeping my heart rate around 155.

Lauren after bikingAt T2, Joan was waiting for me under the relay tent, and walked over to the Transition rack with me. She took 2 pictures, I swapped the timing chip and she was off and away. I stayed around in the transition area to take pictures of Sharon (who came in a bit after me) then Brandy, then Jennifer. Jennifer had gotten a flat RIGHT before the end of the ride, but rode the bike in and slipped and fell on the turn into the
transition area. 🙁 She didn’t look so happy right after, but then the endorphines must have kicked back in after she transitioned, and she was on her way for the run.

I found the car and changed my shoes, then sat around and pictures of the runners as they came around their loops (it was an 8 mile loop then a 4 mile loop for the 1/2 marathon). It was REALLY hot – high 80s through the whole run. Even still everyone finished! I was so incredibly happy for everyone.

Note, the run times have to be wrong in these. I know Joan’s time yesterday was listed as 2:48:??. They also have our Swim/Transition1 time mixed together. The total times are correct.

1310 Boyles, Joan/Bricker, Lauren
Total: 7:06:27.9
Swim ( — )
T1 ( 0:45:34.6 )
Bike ( 3:28:42.7 )
T2 ( 0:03:35.5 )
Run ( 0:00:15.6 )

1042 Simis, Brandy
Total 8:47:49.8
Swim ( 0:54:14.8 )
T1 ( 0:05:37.0 )
Bike ( 3:48:44.8 )
T2 ( 0:04:19.6 )
Run ( 0:00:23.7 )

1113 Cruz, Jennifer
Total time: 8:18:27.5
Swim ( 0:52:05.2 )
T1 ( 0:04:26.8 )
Bike ( 3:59:13.9 )
T2 ( 0:04:38.0 )
Run ( 0:00:18.2 )

1232 Signorelli, Sharon
Total time: 7:45:14.4
Swim ( — )
T1 ( 1:03:24.4 )
Bike ( 3:44:35.0 )
T2 ( 0:04:40.4 )
Run ( 0:00:18.3 )

I have to say the Vineman race was VERY well supported AND supportive (so many people encouraging us on the route!!!) The only negative was not enough port-a-potties to support the athletes’ pre-race jitters…. What I heard was that the 70.3 1/2 iron wasn’t so supportive in terms of the athletes – because it was a qualifier a lot of the athletes get very very pushy. I could definitely see doing a full 1/2 ironman *some year*, but for now I’m totally happy with doing the bike portions of a relay.

Cowpoke cafeJoan and I left at around 6:30 am yesterday and re-traced our steps through the mountains to I-5 (rather than taking the route through Novato and Vallejo). We stopped in at the Cowpoke Cafe for breakfast – a tiny place in Middletown, CA… very cow kitchy! And very very very filled with regulars. We did few other stops except in Redding (for Jamba Juice) and in Jantzen Beach (Portland OR) for some brew-pub food. We made it back to my house around 10pm – only to find that Joan’s car tire was flat! At least she was here (tired, but here) and had AAA to come fix it (they were around the corner). We’re both pretty tired today, but it was so worth it.

Pastry Powered at the Danskin Triathlon!

This past Sunday, three of our own Pastry Powered T(o)uring Machines participated in the Danskin Triathlon. Fellow Pastry Paul was there to help document it. Here are some pictures and results; I’ll let Julie, Megan, and Kate tell their own story.

Julie, Megan, and Katy:


OK, everyone into the pool!


Check out that awesome jersey!


Julie, you’re almost done!


Final results for Team Pastry:

Overall Rank Class Rank Swim Swim Rank Trans1 Bike Bike Rank MPH Trans2 Run Run Rank Pace Final
Overall Rank Class Rank Swim Swim Rank Trans1 Bike Bike Rank MPH Trans2 Run Run Rank Pace Final
Overall Rank Class Rank Swim Swim Rank Trans1 Bike Bike Rank MPH Trans2 Run Run Rank Pace Final

Lake Stevens Triathlon

So this morning, at the crack of 4:45, I got up, loaded my bike onto the top of our Prius (quite a sight to see), and drove up to Lake Stevens. Crossing Route 2 from Everett to Lake Stevens was kind of an earie sight – the fog was holding really low over the river valley giving it a spooky as dawn was hitting. As I approached Route 2, I started to notice other cars with bikes in or on them… and soon we were a line of athletes making their way to the north side of Lake Stevens.

Our goal? To survive the Lake Stevens International distance triathlon in this opressive heat.

111_1182.JPG111_1183.JPG111_1180.JPGHelen was the organizer of this whole thing and the swimmer of our group, I was the biker, and John was the runner under our team name “Roamin’ for Naomi.” Joan did the whole thing herself!

Go Joan!

After I parked the car and went to the transition area, I noted that this was a competetive playing field. Most of the people there were 20 or early 30 somethings. They were buff (for the most part). This competition was a qualifier for a tri in Florida… One of the competitors was a 75 (tomorrow’s her 76th birthday) nun: Sister Madonna: She looked not a day over 50. I.Kid.You.Not.

111_1179.JPGAnyway, my poor creaky little 11-year-old Specialized Allez looked pretty rickety in comparison to some of the up to $5000+ bikes I saw racked up. I was jealous. I knew it was a hilly course from driving it on Friday. My goal was to finish in close to 2 hours, under 2 hours (14mph av), and I’d be happy with anything under that.

111_1184.JPG111_1195.JPGWe won first place in our division (Mixed international distance relay)!!!!!!

Helen swam .6 miles in 24:17, I biked 28 really FREEKING hilly miles in 1:42 (average speed 16.3mph). Check out the elevation profile!
John did the run in 55:51 – really damn good considering how hot it was by 9:30 when he took off. We got actual winners plaques to prove it!

We finished the whole thing in 3:03:53 – (we missed being the top finishers of all relays, including the all woman team who kicked serious bootie by 37 seconds). Here are the official results
I treated myself to a 15 minute massage after that. And yes Scott, it was REALLY good. You did the right thing on STP 😉

My mom asked me on the way home from the tri why I’m doing all this. I just told her it’s like our bike jerseys say: we live to eat, we bike to eat more. Seriously. I had 5 cookies right after the tri and I really really really didn’t care. They tasted REALLY good.

So the only negative was after I did that I had to play softball (my team didn’t have enough women without me)… in 97 degree heat. They have this rule in our league that if you pitch 4 straight balls to a guy and a girl follows, the guy goes to 2nd and the girl gets the option of an automatic walk or to hit. Normally I’d choose to hit. This time I chose to walk (because at this point I was practically falling asleep.). So first the ump looks at me and says “Did you pay for this league?” and I said “yes”, so he tells me I should get my money’s worth and hit. I told him no thank you. So then some A-hole on the other team calls me a CHICKEN from their dugout. I turned, (still with my body markings on my arm and legs) to their dugout and said at the top of my lungs “LET’S SEE HOW CHICKEN YOU ARE WHEN YOU’RE PLAYING AFTER YOU’VE DONE A 28 MILE BIKE RACE IN THE MORNING” And I walked to first.