Chelanman Race Report

19 07 2009

The race this morning was awesome.

I woke up early enough to cuddle with Zephan before  my alarm went off at 6:00 am. After packing up the RV, getting dressed and eating a power bar, we were off to the start of the race. On the drive I had a shot of espresso and a bottle of water. We arrived a little before the crowds and found a flat, shady spot to use as our home for the day.

A little before 7:00, I went to set up my transition area. I thought I would have plenty of time to warm up, but I heard incorrectly that transition would close at 7:15 so I rushed to get in just a few minutes of running and set up my little spot. Of course, the announcement that transition was closing at 7:15 was wrong, so I ended up with an extra 30 minutes to pace around. I did a little stretching and studied the people around me. Although my start time was not until 8:40, I had to be at the swim start at 8:05.

When the first wave of men left the beach, I had a shot of mocha flavored Gu and a little more water and then kissed the boys goodbye. The next half hour passed quickly and soon I was in the water.

Although I am not a strong swimmer, the course was easy and close to shore so I did my best to position myself at the front of my wave, close to the inside corner. I followed a few women who looked like strong swimmers and ended up ahead of most of my wave. The water was choppy and I did my best to keep swimming. I managed to stay ahead of most people and when I ran into transition, peeling off my wetsuit and goggles, I was well ahead of most of my wave. I pulled on my helmet and glasses, wiggled out of the wetsuit and struggled to get my socks and shoes on my feet. And then I ran my bike up the hill and out of transition.

Still feeling woozy from the water, I had a hard time clipping into my pedals and was passed by a few people. It took me about three miles to find my legs on the bike, but eventually I began to feel pretty strong and I passed a lot of people. There were only two women in my age group who passed me – and in both cases I chased them down. Any fear I had about riding on the road, descending, going fast, whatever, was gone. I pushed hard and passed dozens of other riders, most of whom had started in the swim wave that left 20 minutes earlier than mine.

I cruised in and out of transition, but as I started to run my legs felt like jelly. In the three days before the race, my left knee had been really bothering me. I had been icing it and taking ibuprofen to keep the swelling down. I was hoping that as I began to run, my knee would feel strong. It took nearly a mile for me to find my legs as a runner and then I was able to pick up the pace. The two women who I had been racing with on the bike passed me on the run – and left me in the dust. After an awesome bike, I was a little frustrated to see them fly by me and to literally have nothing left to chase them down. But I continued to run as fast as I could and finally made up a little time in the last mile.

There was a hill up to the finish and then a short hill down to the line. I could see Mark with the boys cheering at the top of the hill, so I gave it everything I had. Oh the bliss of finally running down into the shade and heading for the food table where I pratically inhaled a few glasses of water, apples and a bagel.

Later, I found out that my overall time was 1 hour, 20 minutes and 40 seconds. I think this will put in in third place for my age group and fourth place overall for the shorter distance sprint triathlon (400 meter swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run).  This was a few minutes faster than I was hoping to go. I’m so excited to see the months of training pay off. I’m excited to get the rest of the results as soon as they are online.

The rest of the day was fun. Asher did his own Splash and Dash triathlon, swimming 50 meters, biking 1500 meters and running 300 meters. He did awesome. He was fast and his attitude was great. Once he committed to his race, he did it. I am so proud of him.

Overall, racing for the first time has only made me want to get raster and race more. In other words, I’m hooked! Over the next few days I’ll rest and reevaluate my training plan for the rest of the season. I am planning on two more sprint races in August and September, but I know I’ll be doing more over the next few years.



2 responses

23 07 2009

Way to go, Sara! So cool!

28 07 2009

This is Jason Sara – congratulations! Sounds like a great race. Jason

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