Last weekend I had the opportunity to head up to Eugene, OR for a race put on by Rolf Prima Wheels. I was excited to head up and check out where my wheels are built, hang out with everyone who works there and meet a few other athletes that ride Rolf Prima as well.
I made it there by noon on Friday after my flight got delayed by 3 hours out of SFO. I made the best of this delay and instead of sitting around in the airport doing nothing I ventured back to my parked car, changed my clothes (in the car) and went for run. I stumbled upon a path that heads north from the airport along the bay so it was actually pretty enjoyable since I was expecting to be running by big warehouses and airplane hangars vs. the ocean. I arrived, ate and put my bike together and then got to do a swim in a beautiful outdoor pool close to the office.
|This is where the wheels are built! RP has 10 employees and hand makes every set that goes out the door.|
|My first pro panel. We got some good questions about nutrition, pacing, goggles and more.|
|My first time riding a disc. I like!|
I got in for a longer warm up since I went into the race without really resting for it. Tired arms for me means I need to make them "numb" before trying to go fast. This is a trick from my swimming days---I just beat them into submission and then they don't hurt as much. Anyway, the water was fairly comfortable (ie, not freezing) and I felt pretty good before the start. I put in a hard effort on the swim and Kate hopped on my feet for a ride. I actually did not notice her until she accidentally hit my toes and I will admit, after I knew she was there I upped the pace, or at least tried to up it, so as to have a gap into T1 since I know she is a strong biker.
I made my way out onto the bike about :10 ahead of her with a fast transition and then I had a better mount than the disaster at Rev3 Portland although I still want to improve. I feel like I have lost my flying mount mojo so I think I need to do about 5-10 flying mounts per week to improve and make it more fluid.
I put in a solid effort on the bike but did not totally kill myself so I would recover quickly from the race and get right back to training. Kate came around me a couple miles into the bike and I thought it would be good practice for me to ride 10 meters behind her for the race. I have a tendency to just let people go so I wanted to challenge myself to stay with her as practice. The pace felt manageable and I was having fun on the ride. However, I dropped my water bottle at about mile 9 and went back to pick it up because 1) it was the only one and I had, and 2) they told us littering on course means disqualification and even if it did not I wanted to set a good example and respect the roads and neighborhoods on the course. This did mean that I lost about some time to Kate so I decided to up the pace and catch back up to her and then ease off the gas. This was actually kind of fun and I had a good time trying to catch back up to her. We ended up going back and forth with a few age group men and made it back to transition at virtually the same time.
I left got out of the T2 just ahead of her and allowed myself to ease into the run. Kate came up to my shoulder about 1/2 mile into the race and we ran next to each other until about mile 4.5. As we were running next to one another at a pretty good pace I was tempted to ask her if she just wanted to maintain the pace and run it in together. I figured we were there for a race, but more importantly, it was to show newer triathletes how much fun it can be and get them excited about racing. I did not say anything though because I was afraid she would think I was not that tough...I mean who asks DURING a RACE if you just want to tie?!!?! I also thought, and this is no joke, that she is a tough racer who has stumbled across finish lines because she pushed so hard AND is Australian--I mean, they are tougher than North Americans for sure! So, basically, I did not want to come off as a North American weeny racer. I kept my mouth shut and figured it was going to be a race to the line. I started to notice she was breathing hard so I upped the pace after the last aide station and was able to get a gap. I pretended I was in one of the ITU style races where they all run together and then people inevitably start to fall off toward the end. I wanted to be the last one standing! I put in a pretty good effort the last 1500m and finished :11 ahead of Kate. It was a great day of racing with her. I had so much fun. Interestingly, she had the same thoughts as I did about running it in together but did not want to come off as I wimp like me so kept her mouth shut, too funny!
|Tree lined finish chute. The entire run looked like this.|
|My prize. Perfect for Andy...I brought it home in my bike case since he did not make the trip.|
The rest of the time in Eugene was filled with a BBQ at Brian's house (the RP owner) and getting to know my gracious hosts, Morgan and Lisa. Morgan even took me out for a beautiful 30 mile ride before I flew out on Sunday morning.
After arriving home I got caught up on sleep, ran my normal errands and then got back into to training on Tuesday. I was also asked to do a radio show in Yountville last night. The hosts wanted to incorporate some sports talk into their weekly show since the Olympics is in full swing. I was a guest along with the managers of the local running store in Napa. It was great fun. I did get a bit nervous though! I did not want to get stumped for words and start saying too many "ums" or "ya' knows." Once we got chatting I felt a bit better but I was definitely fidgeting with my wedding ring a little bit while I talked. Good practice...interviews are tough. My mom and dad were able to listen online and said I did not sound too bad.
|Chatting on the radio amongst the wine bottles, so Napa...|
Here is a link for the podcast if you are so inclined. I am on during the first 15 minutes of the show.
The website is http://slowlivingradio.com/. The shows are on every Tuesday from 6-7 Pacific time. I might start to listen a bit. There are some pretty interesting people here in the valley and I like to learn more about the place I call home.
Next up is training while trying to figure out how to watch Olympics on TV and the internet. It definitely takes some planning!