Thursday, April 9, 2015

Marin Splash and Dash

One day a coupon for this little race showed up in my email box. Hmm, Marin Splash and Dash... That sounds like fun and would be a good warm-up race to the Moraga Tri. Famous. Last. Words.

When I signed up for this race I didn't pay much attention to the fact that it was a 1pm start. When I realized it was a 1pm start, I thought "Oh cool, I don't have to get up BFE". Then, a few days before the race I realized the family could come. All seemed like great ideas until the family was loaded into the car, the kids were asking me a billion questions when I really just wanted to zone out and traffic on a Saturday at 11am to San Rafael was a nightmare.

Thankfully we arrived with plenty of time as the runners from the half marathon had vacated and the vendors started to leaving. This was a little sad... I guess our numbers weren't large enough to warrant staying for our event. Except for Jolyn, they stayed! Our friend Heather Petri is a rep for them so the kids were super excited to see her! It was also great to see Mary Sue and Christina; two other friends who would also be splashing and dashing.

Swimming with friends 

This was a very low key event, which was great for my very low key attitude towards racing. My mind set was to just have fun. the 500 meter swim would be a great test of where my swim ability was at so early in the season. I've been running, so the 5k should be fine; it would more be a matter of how much was left in my tank after swimming in the bay.

Trying to swim in father than my swim buddy
I was disappointed to not be able to warm up, but even more disappointed to learn we were starting from the beach rather than the deep water start I had expected.  I was quickly reminded why that sucks. Diving into cold water is a shock to the body, it has a tendency to cause hyperventilating. At the very least it causes your heart to beat faster making your cardiovascular system work harder than necessary. This adding to the fact that I had not used my wet-suit in two years left me feeling like a mess in the water. I had to breathe every two strokes, not my favorite, especially with a shoulder issue. I prefer to breathe bilaterally, every three  strokes. I don't think there was one moment of the swim that I enjoyed. I was dropped by what seemed like 3/4 of the field pretty quickly. I knew there were swimmers behind me but I felt mostly alone, with no one to draft off of. The next buoy seemed so far away and my suit was killing me. I wanted to unzip it so I could get more neck mobility, I also felt like I couldn't get a full kick with it. I fought a mental battle with myself the entire swim. I wondered if I could just tell them I was done after the swim, I felt like I was using so much energy that there would be nothing left for a run. For what was supposed to be a fun event, I was feeling none of it. Clearing the final buoy seemed like a huge achievement but there was still so much further to go. By this point I had one guy who was swimming with me. For what it's worth, as much as I was struggling he was struggling more. Every time I looked at him he was swimming with his ahead above water. We swam side by side until we finally reached the beach and exited the water.

Don't judge! 

I had no idea how I was going to go run a 5k, but I was pretty stoked to be out of the water. I didn't care, I walked to my transition area and sat down to take my wet-suit off. I struggled getting my suit off over my timing chip; another reason to love racing without a wet-suit. I gabbed my stuff and headed out on the run. I was miserable and felt bad because Scott and the kids were cheering me on and I couldn't even muster a smile for them. The other unknown about this race was that I thought the run course was flat. Ha! That must be the kids race that takes place here in November, because this course was for sure not flat! I walked the entire giant hill out of the parking lot and did my best to suck down a gel. Many thanks to the very kind park ranger at the guard gate who took my sticky gel garbage when I asked if there was a garbage can on the way out of the park. I ran the flats and
downhill and became slightly depressed when I saw that I would have to go back uphill to get back into the park. It did feel good to pass one guy on the run course, it slightly made up for the two Crossfit women that passed me with gigantic biceps. Seriously, if I'd have enough energy to compliment them on their arms I would have. The final uphill was so terrible. I walked it and kept an eye on the guy behind me to make sure he wouldn't catch me, he was walking too. When I re-entered the park it was all downhill and dirt trail. I was confident I would not get passed at this point. I was so excited, my focus was to just run and feel good about crossing the finish line. The view was beautiful and I finally felt good knowing the end was near. The kids and Scott missed me crossing the finish line because they were flying kites, oh well.

Big smile to be done

As miserable as I felt through out most of the race, I sure felt good when I was done. When I looked back and saw my swim time it was actually right around what I had estimated. Even though it felt horrible it was a pretty solid swim for open water in a wet-suit. I don't have an official time from the race except for the swim time, and I completely forgot to hit my watch through transition and into my run. I'm good with having just a swim time, that's what I really needed to gauge in preparation for the Moraga Tri.

This was a great small event. It's hosted by Sustainable Sports Foundation that does some great things. They had solar panels there running their equipment and when we crossed the finish line instead of a disposable bottle of water we were handed a very nice aluminum bottle filled with water. I would do this race again next year if they have it again.

All in all, lots of opportunities for things to work on in the next couple of weeks leading up to the Moraga Tri.

Thank you to SunRype and for supporting me on this journey.

With Heather who helped a nine year old swim the 500. 

1 comment:

  1. That was a tough event. But lots of good practice for Moraga - oh, the hills!