Sunday, June 6, 2010

Olympic Distance...check! (Spinach-Walnut Pesto)

When I completed the Beaver Freezer Sprint Triathlon, I was so happy that the Blue Lake Tri would be held in June. The Beaver Freezer was cloudy and cold and the roads were wet. Apparently in Oregon, monsoons still happen in June.

The pre race dinner:

Spinach-Walnut Pesto Pasta, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, and BBQed Pork Chops.

Spinach-Walnut Pesto Pasta:

4 Large handfuls of baby spinach
1 cup walnuts
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
4 cloves of garlic
salt to taste

Stick everything in a food processor and blend away into smooth. Toss with cooked pasta.

I made the Curried Butternut Squash Soup from below sans the honey. It was easy and delicious. I highly recommend it. DB grilled the pork. My mom just seasoned them with my favorite Kirkland Organic No-Salt seasoning and some salt (ha).

The Swim:(1.5K)
I would consider swimming my strongest portion of triathlons. I have the strongest background in it and I'm a pretty slow biker and running isn't my biggest favorite thing to do. The problem with today is that I have never really swam in a lake before. Many people say that before your first lake swim, it's important to practice in a lake beforehand. Many people say the reasoning behind this is that in a triathlon lake swim, there is a lot of splashing, kicking, and it's hard to see. Well this is a lot of what water polo is. I have a background in water polo. I have no problem will people trying to drown me in water and splashing or getting kicked in the face. (no, that was not an invite to kick me in the face). The one part of lake swimming I did not take into consideration was the temperature of the water. The water was under 65 degrees today. This is COLD! Not to mention that it was pouring down rain the entire time. After the first minute of the swim I couldn't stick my head under the water because I couldn't breathe. I typically do a 5 stroke breath pattern in the pool. I couldn't even breathe every stroke. I began to breast stroke with my head out of the water. I thought about head up freestyle, but seeing that I had a mile to go, that wasn't going to work. DB and I expected that I would be in about the middle of my swim heat. I was nearly dead last at this point with one girl right next to me. After what seemed forever and after I began to panic because I realized it would take me a damn hour to finish the swim a guy from the wave behind me passed me. I decided that that was it. I forced my head in the water and started to swim head down for 2 strokes then head up for 2 strokes. After I passed the turnaround buoy, I realized that I could do this! I began picking up my speed and continued to swim head down and lifting my head every 5 strokes to make sure I was going the right way. And guess what?! I starting passing other women in my wave. Finally I could see the get out point and picked up my speed again until I got there. I was soooooooooo happy to get out of that water.

The Bike: (40K)
The bike portion was really good. My legs felt good and I made sure to monitor my fluid intake. The only down side was that the entire ride was soaking! It was pouring down rain the entire time and the road was flooded half the time. I literally thought I'd have to dismount at one point because the water looked really deep. There were a lot of people with flats and even one guy just laying in a ditch. It looked like he fell but his feet were still stuck in his pedals so he was stuck laying down. Thankfully there were a lot of support vans and motorcycles to help those folks out. The first 12 miles flew by. My goal was to keep my pace up and I was reassured that I would do it since I felt better than I did at the 12 mi point of the Beaver Freezer. At the point that the bikes entered the park, the course narrowed from a 2 lane road into a 5 foot wide steep hill with a super muddy mat on top of it for "traction". I thought this was the dismount area so I clipped out of one of my pedals. Unfortunately it was not and I couldn't clip back in fast enough. My speed to too slow and I ended up having to half walk/pedal my way up the little hill. Well I nearly tipped over. I was on the far left of the mat for this reason. Some uber-hardcore-looking guy tried to sneak by me on the left (WTF!?) at the same time I nearly tipped to the left. So I ran into him. I felt really bad so I yelled that I was sorry but he just acted all pissed. Honestly buddy, you could see that I was about to fall and you could have gone to the other side. Hate the game, not the player. The actual dismount went well and I couldn't decide if I wanted to change my shorts or not (from bike to run) so my T2 time was extra long. I ended up sticking running shorts on since my bike shorts were soaked.

The Run (10K)
The run started slow. Unlike the Beaver Freezer I could feel my legs after getting off the bike. I had about 6- 50 y/o women and men pass me on the. I swear they take drugs. They are amazing! The first water station I drank to much water too fast and well... the water just decided to come right back up. ew. My goal for this race was to finish and try to run the entire run. I only ran at the aid stations so that I could drink water and those were only for 10 feet at a time. I am going to count that as running the entire time. Finally after what seemed like FOREVER I could see the finish. I started to tear up. I ran through the muddy muck and finished! As I waited for DB to meet up with me I thought I was going to burst into tears. I didn't becuase I had already embarrassed myself enough for the day.

I surprisingly felt amazing after I finished. Far better than I did after the Beaver Freezer which was less than half the distance. I didn't bother changing or toweling off becuase everything was drenched and muddy. I could hardly pickup my bag because it was so heavy with wet clothes and gear.

Before the bike and run portion of the tri I ate a pouch of glucose gel. One from Powerade and one from Hammer. They were both orange flavored. The Powerade went down a lot easier but they both have comparable tastes. I didn't notice a perk in my energy but I didn't was not fatigued during the legs and I didn't cramp anytime either. I felt strong. I also wasn't famished after I finished. I don't know how I placed because results haven't posted yet. I'd just like to finish not last in my division after that swim. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

It was around 5am. I look beautiful!

This is before the swim. I was already soaking from the rain.

Aw, the wonderful bulges wearing your bike shorts under a wetsuit can create.
Me: ready to panic.

Getting ready to start the bike leg.

After I successfully dismounted from the bike.
Notice the standing water. It was like that everywhere.
The start of a very muddy run.
Yay, I'm holding back tears. Again, notice all the water/mud.

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