Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 - From the Other Side

About 2,400 triathletes raced at Ironman Oceanside 70.3 today.
I was not one of them.
But I was there.
And I think I got up earlier than a lot of the athletes.
My alarm clock went off at 1:45 a.m. because I was scheduled to be in T1 at 4:15 a.m. and I had a drive in front of me.
I had some company. I was joined by one of my athletes, who also spent the morning volunteering.
We got to Oceanside with enough time to spare for a short stop at Denny's.
Some bacon and eggs and I was ready to brave the cold.
It was about 45 degrees and DARK.
After donning our bright orange volunteer t-shirts and our yellow California Triathlon hats, we were ready.
Our first job was to check that the athletes going into T1 with their bikes had their numbers on their bikes AND were wearing the blue wristband.
I was lucky to get to see SunRype Teammate Kim Ford, as she came through the chute to go into T1 along with the masses of other triathletes.
Finally the sun started to rise and the athletes were sent off in waves for their 1.2 mile swim.
Photo: I've been here since 4:15 and I'm not even racing
We had a pretty good view of the action from the bike out chute.
Me (on left) and Shirley (on right)
It was still cold and I was bundled up.
 Funny how when I am racing I can easily be out in 45 degree weather in just my tri-kit and be okay, but if I am not racing and just standing around, I feel as if I am FREEZING!!!!
After all the athletes navigated their 1.2 mile swim, they ran into T1 (transition 1) and quickly as possible grabbed their bikes and helmets and whatever else they needed and ran through the bike out chute.
Our job was to make sure they did not mount their bikes until they got to the MOUNT line and to make sure they had their bib on.
The pros came flying through first - all of them had their bike shoes pre-attached to their pedals. They ran through the chute and once past the mount line they hopped on their bikes and put their feet in their shoes and pedaled off. They made it look easy.
While there were a lot of non-pro triathletes who also had the flying mount down, LOTS did not.
I'll give many a break and blame their clumsiness on the cold. Many were shivering and shaking and having a hard time controlling their bikes. A couple threw their legs over their seat and inadvertently kicked their bottle off their back bottle cage. A couple of guys had their feet slip off their shoes and then they (OUCH!) hit the bar. Several complained their feet hurt. No wonder. Running barefoot on pavement when your feet are cold and numb HURTS!!!
A lot of racers opted to put their shoes on in transition and run through the chute to the mount line.
I got a close up look at all of this, as I was standing right next to the "Mount Line" waving my arms and pointing to the line and yelling at people to move all the way up to the line to get on their bikes.
Picture thanks to California Triathlon photographer.
Yep, there I am in the pink running shoes pointing to the line and yelling, "Here's the Mount Line." Some people still tried to get on their bikes before the line, some stopped right on the line and some would stop right past the line right in the middle of the chute.
Another California Triathlon photograph.
This is NOT the start line, this is the Mount Line. If you look carefully, you can see my hand, almost covered in my pink sweatshirt all the way to the left of the picture, pointing to the white line on the road.
A lot of athletes ran through the line and pulled over to the side to clip into their pedals and pedals off.
I saw three people that could have been disqualified - two of them did not have their helmet on and instead had the helmet hanging on their bike handlebars.
I stopped both of them and told them to put their helmets on.
Another had his helmet on, but not clipped under his chin. I yelled at him as he ran by with his bike.
Athletes run their bike to the mount line before getting on.
Athletes have passed the white mount line and are riding their bikes down the chute and out onto the bike course.
At times the chute was crowded and athletes would try to push their bikes past other athletes trying to get on their bikes. I was kicked once, by a guy throwing his leg over his seat to get on, and had my foot run over three times. 
 Some athletes actually fell over.
Shirley runs to help up some fallen cyclists.
 We caught a couple of riders who did not have their bibs on and hurried and gave them a replacement bid.
After ALL 2,400 and something riders went through the bike out chute my job was done.
(Happy to report that all the athletes made the swim time cut-off!!!)
Shirley and I had been standing on our feet for 4 1/2 hours and we were hungry. We headed to the expo and along the way we saw the pro men ride their bikes by us as they headed into T2 to start their run.
We looked at the expo and ordered a healthy salad at one of the stands. While we were waiting for our salads we saw the pro men run by. I figured we had about an hour until they finished.  We made our way to the bleachers by the finish line and people watched and enjoyed our salads.

 And the Beach!!!

 Before we knew it the first pro man was running down the finish line chute.

Jan Frodeno wins Accenture IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside. Photo: Nils Nilsen.
Jan Frodeno came in first, beating Andy Potts by about 3 minutes. Sebastian Kienle came in third about a minute after Potts.
We didn't stay to watch the women - but  Heather Wurtele came in first; Heather Jackson, second; and Meredith Kessler, third.
We gathered our things and walked the run course back toward the car. The day was getting warm and the volunteers on the run course were handing out sponges.
Walking along the Strand in Oceanside, we could see the runners AND the cyclists.

 It was a beautiful day!!!
One of the best parts was when Shirley said she wanted to compete in this event next year!!!!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Goodbye Team Aquaphor

Aquaphor officials announced this week that they would not be sponsoring an ActiveAmbassador team this year.
They have been sponsoring a team for the past eight years and I have been blessed to be on it for the past two.
I didn't hold out much hope of being on the team again this year, but I did have some hope.
My first year on an ActiveAmbassador team was for Odwalla. They had great bars and drinks and the tri-kits were colorful. It was my first experience on a big team. During that year on the Odwalla team, I came across a couple of other Odwalla athletes at events, but pretty much I didn't know who was on the team.
For the most part, I felt as if I was a lone Odwalla Ambassador.


Only Odwalla teammate at this triathlon.
My second year as an ActiveAmbassador, I was chosen for the Aquaphor Team. The team was well-organized and the kits fit great. The product was awesome and lots of people wanted samples.
The best part about the team was the other athletes.
The team had a facebook page and all of the athletes on the team were supportive and informative.

 Great gear, great product and great teammates.

I met Aquaphor teammates at lots of events. Sue (on the right) and I are still FB friends!!

Carol rocks! And even though she isn't on Aquaphor, we are still "TRI" friends.

I handed out LOTS and LOTS of Aquaphor Samples.

I represented Aquaphor at numerous events.

My Aquaphor team even had a "secret" Santa gift exchange at Christmas.

Thank you "secret" Santa.
Last year, I was blessed to be on both Aquaphor and SunRype.
I would wear Aquaphor for one event and SunRype for the next event.
At the end of last year I received an email saying that this year I could NOT be on two ActiveAmbassador teams.
When SunRype offered me a spot on their team again this year, I took it.
I love the SunRype products and I love their mindset - be positive and be healthy.
I knew taking SunRype's offer probably meant I would NOT be on the Aquaphor team, but I still had a little hope that maybe, just maybe, I could be on both teams, again.
Sad to say, that not only will I NOT be on both teams, there will no longer even be an Aquaphor team.
I will still be using all the Aquaphor products, though.
The lip repair is my favorite.
But the original ointment will always be in my bag to put on BEFORE I put on my tri-suit or my wetsuit.
Aquaphor may not have a team, but I will always use Aquaphor.....and I will continue to have my Aquaphor friends.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Yeah, I know that's kind of weird title for a blog, but it seems to fit.
Sometimes when I am in teaching in the classroom, I'll tell students, "We are going to ketchup, so don't give me any mustard."
Okay, so you may not think it is that funny, but kids in kindergarten through third grade think it's worth a chuckle. And kids in fourth through sixth grade, chuckle because they think I'm dorky.
My point is, I am writing to CATCH-UP.
This past Saturday, my athlete, Orietta, and I participated in the Pasadena Triathlon. I had another athlete sign up months ago when the race was still cheap. It turns out the athlete couldn't make race day because of a vacation, but was able to transfer her entry to Orietta. Orietta is training for the Wildflower Long Course, but a FREE reverse sprint triathlon is a good way to work on some speed and get in a nice workout....and have some FUN!!!!
And learn a lesson.
When we got to Pasadena, Orietta realized she had her gym "spin" shoes in her bag, and NOT her bike road shoes. The cleats on her "spin" shoes did not match the pedals on her bike.
She was going to have to ride her bike with her running shoes and try to manage pedaling on a small piece of medal.
Her pedals look something like the ones above. Her shoes did NOT have the red cleat on them. They had this cleat.
NOT a match.
Orietta placed second in her age group division. She was 1:17 behind first place.
Whether riding in her running shoes AND not being clipped into her bike made a difference, we can only guess.
But my guess would be - YES - it made a difference.
Lesson learned? Always go through your race bag and make sure you have all the proper equipment.
Orietta and I in transition before race.
I spent the rest of Saturday working in my yard and cleaning my house.....and my bike.
Sunday, I tried to take my daughter and another resident at the board and care where she lives to the Loma Linda Inclusion 5k. It was the first year for the 5k walk/run and is meant to show that even with disabilities, people can be athletes and be included.
My daughter and the gentleman, who told me he ran track in high school years back, both have a disability.
But even with their disabilities, they could walk/run the 3.1 miles.
Only on this day it was NOT possible.
My daughter and I were ready for the event, but the gentleman we were taking with us was not used to taking his medication AND getting up in the morning.
He did get up AND he did take his medication, but by the time we were parked and saw the start line, the guy was a noodle.
My daughter and I looked at each other and we knew we were not running - not even walking - anywhere with him.
We took him home.
Then I ran about 4 miles.
I needed to get some strength training in, so I turned all four of my compost bins.
These aren't my bins, but you get the idea that I had to use a pitchfork and some muscle to turn the load over. When done, the top layer ends up being on the bottom and the bottom and middle are mixed together on the top.
I was hot, sweaty, stinky and felt great!
The weekend ended on a great note.
I loaded my car full of triathlon friends and we drove to Redlands for the California Triathlon chapter kickoff party.
One of the people who drove with me won a canister of sports drink and I won a pink running hat. I "raffled" it off to one of my "tri" friends on the drive home.
We don't have a California Triathlon Chapter in Riverside.
Put April 27 on the calendar because it may be the start of something.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bike, Run, Eat, Relax....Tandem?

My guy and I had a lot of togetherness time this past weekend.
We left family (aka kids younger and older than 18, mother-in-law, work) at home and headed to Oceanside.
I had won a 2-night stay at the Courtyard Marriott. It is inland about 3 miles, but I am not going to complain because it cost 30 cents.
Yes, $0.30.
That's what they charged me for tax.
I won the stay as part of being Grand Prize winner of the Bike the Coast, Taste the Coast contest last year. Since I was already signed up for the event and had all my reservations, they were nice enough to let me roll everything over to this year's November event - except for the room. I had to use it by April 15. The deadline sounds as if it was for their tax purposes.
Anyway, I am always up for an excuse to go to the beach for the weekend, especially if it is alone with my guy.
We got in Friday afternoon and walked to the end of the pier. The Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast, spanning 1,941 feet in length.
We ate at Ruby's at the end of the pier and watched dolphins while we ate.
That's pretty much the end of the my story until the end of my story. Until then I'll let pictures tell the story.
Friday evening dinner at Rudy's at the end of the pier.
Endurance House in Oceanside - Robert gets fit for a new pair of running shoes. He had to wear a purple "test" pair on the treadmill.
I want new running shoes, too.
Trent Sakamoto, general manager at Endurance House, was nice enough to let Robert and I stay after closing hours to buy our new shoes, and sunglasses, and socks and running bra....and did I forget anything?
Saturday morning breakfast at Breakfast Club Diner.
Writing on the bathroom wall at breakfast.
Fortified with bacon and eggs, we are ready to ride the San Luis Rey River Trail.
We stopped at the Skate Park along the trail to get more water from "Dad" the Hot Dog man. He assured me his hot dog was made in the USA. I still didn't buy one.
We biked about 30 miles.
Then ran 3 miles in the sand.
We were hungry after that so we went to the Longboard Café for lunch. Robert had the beer. I didn't, since I have given up alcohol for Lent.
More writing on a bathroom wall...different restaurant, different bathroom.
Eat, bike, run, eat.....relax!
Gorgeous day at the beach!!!
An hour later, still a gorgeous day at the beach!!!!

This is the only picture from our hotel room.
We did get cleaned up for our reservation at 333 Pacific.
I already posted our meal on facebook, but here is
 our dessert......
Sorry, I didn't take the picture before we ate the homemade chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream in homemade cone cups, but I didn't want it to melt.

Daylight Savings Time began. It didn't get light until about 7 Sunday morning.

We started our morning at 101 Café.
More bacon and eggs.
Breakfast is served.
Then headed to the pier.
Don't worry, be happy greeted me on the steps down to The Strand.
I was happy, and I was trying not to worry, but part of my Grand Prize winnings was two coupons for free rentals at Wheel Fun Rentals and I was worried we would end up renting something I said I would NEVER ride with Robert.
Our choices for rentals included cruiser bikes, surreys, deuce coupes....all rideable without my padded bike shorts or my bike shoes with cleats.
Hard to believe, but, I ended up on the back of a tandem with Robert.
Before we took off I asked the rental guy if they offered marriage counseling for AFTER the ride. He said riding a tandem was marriage therapy because we would have to work together. I guess he didn't know that when Robert said he was turning left, he really meant right.
I only had to smack him in the back once.

 It was nice just pedaling along, taking pictures and not worrying about the steering....for an hour.
On the way home from our weekend at the beach, I drove the car.