"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Race Report: Auburn Triathlon Olympic Distance - May 31, 2009

Well, it may not be flattering, but good god damn, I think that stupid suit actually made me faster.

UPDATED with official times:

Overall: 3:55:25


That is only 3 minutes off my Olympic distance PR at Pac Grove on a MUCH tougher course. But I am getting ahead of myself...


A group of us that train with Terri were all doing this race, so we headed up together on Saturday. We grabbed some lunch at the Auburn Alehouse Brewery then drove part of the bike course.

Taken by an older woman at the restaurant that was not super familiar with using a digital camera. She almost succeeded in taking a picture of herself three times before we got this one. This cracked Jane up. Obviously.

At our pre-race dinner I was openly coveting a HUGE piece of chocolate cake that was being delivered to the next table. Apparently, I was so pathetic the girl offered us some of her cake (yeah, yeah, my mother would be horrified. Whatever. Did I mention, FREE CAKE?)

Well, lucky for me this tiny, little gal was 1. Tiny and obviously not equipped to handle cake of this proportion and 2. Recovering from a broken jaw and her already tiny, little stomach was even more shrunk down and well, ... tiny. I think she cut off about a 1/10th of the cake and gave us the rest.

We were on that cake like flies on...

Race morning

The Auburn Triathlon is a point to point race with two different transitions. Which, with limited parking, is a logistical nightmare. We decided to get to T2 early to leave my car and then go down to T1 to set up there.

Best laid plans and all.

We did get there nice and early and even got rockstar parking, but Jane soon discovered that she had a problem with her tube valve and needed to change it. This was on her brand new tire, and we all know that it SUCKS ASS to change brand new tires. (I got to learn this little lesson in the pouring fucking rain at Grizzly Peaks, so I win in the sucks-ass-to-be-me contest, but right before a race is a close second)

Let's just say that the tire changing was not going well and at one point I asked Jane if it was time for me to start offering sexual favors for a tire change. Of course, because it is me, a nice guy in his mid 40's was riding by at that EXACT moment. (Again, with a would-be-horrified mother moment.)

Super classy as always.

I don't know if the look he gave me was one of disapproval or if he was weighing if he had time to change the tire for us, but it did stop him in his tracks.

We did eventually get to T1 and had plenty of time to get set up and do a warm up swim before our wave at 7:05.

Swim 1.5K (43:09)

That is 12 minutes faster than Pac Grove, but before we get all excited it is a MUCH easier swim than Pac Grove.

However, here at Run Bitch Run we celebrate ALL swim victories, real or imagined, so...


T2 (No idea)

They lump the T1, bike time, and T2 all together, so I have no idea and I did not self time, but the tri suit made this transition easy and I felt pretty fast.

Bike 40K (1:58:48)

Includes T1 and T2 times. (that makes the time for both transitions combined about 5:28!! Go me!!)

Boo yah, baby!!

It is only 14 minutes slower than Pac Grove, but MUCH harder course. 10 times harder in terms of elevation gain, as a matter of fact.

In the Auburn course there is 3,200 feet of climb in 24 miles (the course is a little short, but what it lacks in 0.8 mile of distance it makes up for in hills.) PLUS, since it is point to point, you have a net gain in elevation meaning you do not get to descend all of those 3,200 feet you climbed.

Elevation profile for Auburn Olympic Distance

For comparison, I will post the profile for the Pac Grove Bike course. This is from the internet I have not used my Garmin on that course because it is FLAT as a pancake.

This is from the MotionBased website, which is LAME. If my students turned in a graph without the axes labeled I would give it a ZERO. Total elevation gain is 385 ft. which is different from total climb, but I bet it isn't much more than that.

Even though the course is hilly and winding, it is beautiful and there was a plethora of adorable farm animals that I would have LOVED to photograph. Including, but not limited to: a miniature horse, a miniature donkey, an emu, and lots of pygmy goats, cows, and horses. Sadly, I had serious business to attend to and did not bring my camera. Rats.

One animal encounter was not so pleasant and nearly gave me a fucking heart attack. On a downhill section at about mile 20 a squirrel decided to play chicken with my bike and shot out of a bush in front of my wheel. I thought for sure I was going to hit it and braced myself to go down hard, but somehow I didn't. It took me a good 10 minutes for my heart rate to return to normal after that. I bet it took longer for the squirrel. That close call would have worked out much worse for him had it gone the other way.

T2 (no idea)

I think it was pretty fast, but I am not sure. I had to pull a shirt over my tri suit because 1. I needed to put my race number on something since I don't have a race belt and 2. there was not nearly enough pink and I need pink when I run.

Run 6.2 miles (1:13:27)

8 minutes slower than Pac Grove on a much harder, much hotter course.

Auburn Run Profile

Again for comparison, the Pac Grove profile from not-worth-a-shit motion based website, but at least you can see that the course is flat.

Seriously, Motion Based, I am begging you? In who's world are graphs like this useful or acceptable?

I was ok with my run. As usual I felt pretty happy and cheerful on the run, but I was hoping for a little faster.

At one point on the run, one of the half iron triathletes passed me (let's be honest. LOTS of the half iron people passed me despite the fact that their bike was over twice as long as mine, but at least they were all hard core.) Anyhoo, back to the runner, he was GORGEOUS and not wearing a shirt. My response was "Day-um!" as he ran by. He responded by waving and saying "Thanks, love the pink!" (I don't know what is wrong with me, maybe I need my hormones checked)

The Finish

As I ran to the finish I was seriously hoping I would be under 4 hours. Before the race, knowing the terrain I would have never thought I could have even been under 4 and a half, but some calculations on the bike made me think I could possibly be sub 4. AS I ran to the finish the clock read 4:00:20 I thought, shit. Oh well. Still way better than I expected, but after checking the results I remembered that the woman's wave started 5 minutes after then men and I had really finished in 3:55: 25 I was thrilled!

Unfortunately, they ran out of medals.

No, I am not fucking kidding.

Now, there are two things that are ridiculously important to me on these things: 1. I like to know the numbers and 2. I like the medals.

But, no medal for me.

What pisses me off is that they were doing late registrations like mad at the expo, and I am sure that they only ordered medals for the pre-registered people. So, me and everyone after me (seriously, the woman that finished right before me got the last International distance medal) get fucked over.

I emailed the race director. Hopefully, he will make it right. I will let you know.

Post race. Note: Jane was the only one fast enough to garner a medal.

Sugoi tri-suit

I wore it and honestly there were things I really liked about it and some things I was not crazy about. I will write a more detailed review later, but the one stand out compliment I have for the suit is a biggie for me

The chamois was comfortable for the whole ride. As a matter of fact, I didn't even think about it.

Yep, THAT comfortable.

I have NEVER said that about a tri short or tri suit chamois. I am EXTREMELY picky about chamois (how the hell do you pluralize "chamois"?) and live by the motto "If the girl parts ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy."

But this little tri suit chamois gets a vote of approval that four pairs of real bike shorts in my only-wear-under-extreme-laundry-emergency pile could not attain.

FYI: For you non-cycling types the chamois is the pad that you sit on in bike shorts. Tri suits and tri shorts usually have a bullshit panty liner looking thing that serves no purpose, but to make the shorts more expensive.


Anonymous said...

You had me at "HUGE piece of chocolate cake." Gawd, that looks delicious!!

Dang girl - you did AWESOME!! You inspire me so much to stay consisitent with my training! I still feel like a loser for bagging on Big Sir. You have made huge improvements, and persevere on the toughest courses EVA!!

HOLY CRAP, that bike looks hard...no decents?? Way to go!

I can totally relate to your run. At Soma, there were lots of runners with me...until the 2nd loop...they were a whole 6.2 miles ahead of me. Way to keep a fun attitude, and you probably made that shirtless dude's day ;-)

So glad to hear the trisuit was comfy!!

Anonymous said...

umm...yea, I meant Big Sur, not Big Sir. LOL!

Jo Lynn said...

Good job on yet another race. I can't believe how many events you do. You're amazing.

"Dayum"? That's what I'm talkin' about!!!!

Lou said...

Haha! I need to adopt your attitude and start celebrating my imagined victories. In fact this:

... here at Run Bitch Run we celebrate ALL swim victories, real or imagined, so...

may become my mantra.

Congrats on your race!

Also, as a side note... MM and I went out to dinner with another couple on Friday night. Two incredibly good looking guys walked past the table and without thinking, a very audible "HELL-OH" slipped out of my mouth.

Aka Alice said...

OMFG RBR...You completely crack me up...I got too many things to comment on.
1. Love that you managed to bogart choc cake from a tiny girl.
2. Changing new tires does suck ass..I thought of you when I was changing two tires last weekend and thought...well at least it isn't raining here.
3. Love that you are trainin' the young 'uns right so that maybe someday Motion-Based can give up a decent graph (you're right, they suck, but I've got a Mac and have few choices...)
4. That squirrel had an angel on it's shoulder--fo sho.
5. Boo yah to shirtless dudes running past DAYUM!
6. If the girl parts ain't happy...AMEN sistah

Medal or not, you rock girl!

Southbaygirl said...

Boo-Yah Fucking eh!!!! You rock! But no medal-that sucks ASS!!

Lindsay said...

12 minutes seems huge to me no matter how "easy" the swim was. the bike and run were amazing considering how insanely hard they were. but, would be unlike you to sign up for a race without a mountain in it. seriously, i don't know how you do it. tri's just seem insane. i sincerely hope you get your medal because that is super idiotic of the race organizers. you are not the only one who wants their medal after a race. i get upset when they run out of my t-shirt size!

that chocolate cake looks amazing. perhaps the poor girl just wanted you to shut up ;)

glad to hear you do (kind of) like the suit. sounds like it pulled through where it really counts. hopefully you don't come back with haunting chafage stories.

congrats on yet another amazing race! i hope one day i can have half as much endurance and muscles as you.

Calyx Meredith said...

You are on fire girl! Look at those numbers!! A PR on a course with a 3200 ft climb that you pay for and don't get to come back down? You totally rock the house - and it SUCKS that they didn't have a medal for you! (Those late reg's are the one who shouldn't get medals. Seriously - hope the RD makes it right!) Are you tapering and cherub-less yet?

Diana said...

The squirrel things reminds me of a car insurance commercial around here where 2 squirrels totally run 'chicken' and get the car to crash into whatever, you don't see it the crash you just hear it, and then the 2 squirrels do a little high 5-I totally thought of that during your story.
Sweet looking cake-good thing we don't have smell-ernet!
Great job on the race and congrats on the time! Can't wait to read all about the suit-I gotta get me something soon.

Unknown said...

Great job!! All that training is paying off.

I can't freaking believe they ran out of medals. That's just WRONG! Seriously wrong.

I'm looking forward to the full report on the tri suit.

Sarah said...

Holy smokes girlfriend!! God, I love your posts. You crack me up (and at work, where I need it!). That chocolate cake looks damn good.

But I laughed the hardest at the comment about the guy running by. That is totally something I would do. I ogle on the bike and run course like crazy and sometimes I forget a filter.

Pamela said...


Missy said...

Niceeee job! Woohoo, way to go! It was hot here so I'm sure it was hot there. Can be hard to manage that hydration. I would crush a small child for that cake, what do I care.

No medals!? WEAK, weak, if I yell louder will the race director hear me too. This isn't his first rodeo, I'm sure.

Donald said...

Great race! Definitely worth a huge piece of cake. Thanks for the cool report.

Tri-Scott said...

Love your Post! Keep it up!

Aileen said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! I doubt I would have actually FINISHED, let alone rock it like you did.

So sorry there are no emu pics. I do love a good emu pic. With a miniature horse, of course.

My girls and I are fans of our so-called 'Shirtless Boys' running club. We make a point to say hi to them whenever we pass them. No shame!

Alisa said...

Way to rock that Tri!

WTF about the medals!!!!!! What race does that?

I ran the SD Rock n Roll marathon on Sunday and saw a sign that said "Run Bitches Run" I thought of you.

ShirleyPerly said...

Holy sh*t! That's a lot of climbing in 40K (says a woman who's used to riding flat courses like the one at Pac Grove for the most part).

Well done on your race. Coming so close to a previous race time on an easier course should give you great confidence on your improvement if there was any doubt (which there should be none). And glad the Sugoi chami was comfy. That is definitely numero uno for me too.

And hope that RD gets you a medal!!

Lisa said...

Great race report! congrats on a great race. I think it really blows that they ran out of medals, ESPECIALLY if they were signing people up race weekend. Seriously... that is WRONG.

I really enjoyed reading this report. Keep 'em coming. :-)

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Way to go!! I love watching the hot guys run by too! I think that may be the best part of triathlon!

Mike G said...

Nice race report. Sounds like you put up a good time AND had a good time ;)

Chamois - I did not know about that. Learn something new every day

Aron said...

CONGRATS!!!!! awesome race :)

i would cry if they didnt give me a medal, i mean isnt that why we race?

and that hill on the last mile of the run is just plain MEAN.

Carolina John said...

nice job breaking four hours. i have the same goal for my oly this weekend. gawd, this weekend. holy shit.

truly sucks that you didn't get a medal. i'd be pissed.

Anonymous said...

Another colourful race report - well done on kicking your own ass!

JenZen said...

Great race report (as usual!!) That cake looks SOOO good right now (I'm freakin' "gnaw my arm off" famished after a long run). HILARIOUS about your Day-ummm comment. Way to rock out the pink. And WTF about them running out of medals. They did that here for a half once and it's SUCH a let down to get your medal in the mail 3 weeks later. Just not the same. That sucks.

And, btw, I tagged your blog for a "Lovely Blog Award" http://jenzenator.blogspot.com/2009/06/lovely-blog-awards.html

Thanks for keeping me smiling!

K said...

Great job on the race! I have signed up for next year, half iron distance.

Hope you do it again next year!