I re-branded my website after having Kenzy, calling it “Triathlete Mom.” LOL, I guess I thought I would be a big time triathlete/mom/influencer by this point, except that I didn’t do any triathlons OR write more than 2 blogs a year…so no big sponsors sending me gear these days. I am so very excited to write that I actually did TWO triathlons in June. It took me until August to tell you this, but it happened & I’m here to report all about it.
I have done several duathlons & road races since having Kenzy, so it’s not like I’ve been totally out of that world. But there is something about a triathlon that puts it in a different category. When I found out the L.A. triathlon (which moved over to Torrance for years) was making its return to the city–I had to sign up! It’s my favorite race because it is truly a big city course. Luckily I had someone from work sign up, so we held each other slightly accountable for some kind of training. Also I signed up for the shortest SPRINT version, so while I didn’t really train in a hardcore way I knew I would survive.
SO here’s the race report: LA Triathlon, June 2019
Ugh. The ocean swim. It’s a beast I haven’t tackled in years because I have such a hate/hate relationship with it. The waves, the darkness of the water, the cold, the stress of other swimmers kicking you and getting in your way–it’s a tough sell, especially to someone that doesn’t swim laps on the regular. But it’s part of the deal. And there is something so uniquely amazing about jumping out of the ocean & straight onto a bike that I can’t explain.
I prepared for this by swimming about once a week in my tiny duplex pool. I thought about going to our neighborhood Olympic-sized community pool, but I couldn’t get it together. I did make it into the ocean twice before the race. I got a new wet suit that I couldn’t zip up by myself. I was as ready as I was going to be.
The morning of the race is quite nice because my co-worker is there, so I have someone to talk to a bit & distract myself from any anxiety or fear & also to help with that dead time between getting all your stuff set up to…waiting…and waiting…for your wave. I positioned myself towards the back knowing I had no intention of a speedy swim.
I jumped in & made it past the waves fairly quickly. I immediately realized this was all I had prepared for. “If only I get through the waves, I’ll be fine.” Instead, the panic set in as I realized we had so much farther to go. I looked around at the other swimmers who seemed to be thinking the same thing. I mean, I was not even moving at this point. I was just floating around thinking, “Man this is rough.” My co-worker informed me I could grab onto a buoy to rest, so this was the first thing I looked for. I grabbed on & caught my breath. Eventually I calmed down enough to swim 7 strokes at a time before looking up again. Past the next buoy someone was holding onto a lifeguard’s surfboard (also legal as long as they don’t move you forward), so I grabbed on, too. I had never done this before, but I felt no guilt. All I was thinking about was this being over.
The waves brought me back to shore eventually, feeling slightly out of it & quite dead from both my panic and the actual swimming. SOOOO happy to be alive & to be able hop onto my bike.
I am still fast on the bike. Even though I don’t train as much as I’d like, as long as there aren’t too many hills speed is not too tough for me. I thought it was 12 miles, though, so when 12 miles came & went I thought I was on the wrong route. I researched the race distance afterwards & turns out it’s closer to 15 miles. OOPS! Always research the course in advance. I promise it will come in handy on race day!
The run downtown was ALL HILL, but I did know this in advance so I didn’t go fast. I felt no urge at all to be speedy. It was a little weird, but I embraced it. There have been many runs where I have a cramp or am in pain in some way. This was not one of them. I must have just been so tired that my motivation for speed was just completely lacking. I was really enjoying myself, though. I didn’t even sprint on the way in, which is usually my favorite way to end.
My time was nothing spectacular for me, it definitely didn’t have me placing in the top 5 like I used to back in my better-trained days. But something about it helped me finally get the motivation I’ve been missing. The fact that I was so terrible on the swim actually got me to re-join the community pool & sign up for another triathlon only a few weeks away. I guess failure is a bigger motivator for me than success, although in the future I’m totally OK with success being my motivator. It sounds much less painful.
The race itself was beautifully executed. It takes so much man-power & organizational skills to be able to do a point to point race in the middle of one of the biggest cities–plus they had the best swag bag around. I can’t wait to do this one again next year!! I highly recommend if you are in L.A. & thinking about doing a triathlon–add this one to your list! It’s not the easiest (longer bike and swim than most triathlons, hilly run), but it is truly one-of-a-kind.
I’ll report on my sudden obsession with triathlon & my OTHER triathlon (Hermosa Beach) soon, I promise! Now send me some free shoes someone (Nike?, Adidas?, etc)