Ever since I did this race in 2013 with my beach cruiser, I’ve wanted to do this race again with a real road bike! So, a couple weekends ago I did 🙂 Read to find out how this race cation went!
This year not only did I have a road bike to race with, but a friend as well! We made a racecation out of it, staying in a local hotel in Capitola. Since I like to “race in style”, instead of having a stylish beach cruiser to ride, I decided to race in full blown sparkle…head to toe! I did wear triathlon shorts and an exercise tank underneath though to reduce the possibility of chafing 🙂
And since this is a Mermaid Series, I of course decided to wear a sparkly outfit that resembled Ariel! My friend said I’ve done too many Disney races….but hey, at least I got lots of compliments during the race!!! I dubbed myself the official mermaid motivator, since many people said the sparkles made them smile (which is what I was hoping for!).
Packet Pick-up and Transition Set-up
This year, my friend and I picked up packets the day before at Whole Foods, which was very quick and easy. Last year I picked my packet up before the race, which was also very speedy 🙂 The next morning, we left the hotel around 6:30 and walked our stuff to the transition zone to set up. This year they had fewer areas labeled for each age group, so there was more freedom in where we could park our bikes.
We then headed back to the hotel so I could finish getting ready (aka fully blinged out) and to avoid standing in the cold 🙂 This was a nice treat compared to last year since I had to just wait. About 1hr before the race, we went to the start line to warm up and take pics 🙂
1.5mi Run + T1 Time: 16:10
My friend and I planned to start together, but I told her to go for it since I was just going to go at my pace and have fun in my sparkly outfit 🙂 The first quarter mile was pretty much straight up hill, getting to the top, turning around to go back down the hill, running along the beach, up another hill, and into the transition zone. I went a bit faster than my long distance pace since I didn’t want to push it too much before the bike portion. I read that the course had changed and that there would be a hill about half way through. Once I got to the transition zone, I spun my number around, swapped my running shoes for my bike shoes, put on my helmet and gloves and was off running to exit the transition zone to mount my bike.
12mi Bike Ride +T2 Time: 48:54
So the majority of the bike course was fairly straightforward, light hills, some tight turns, but it seemed that the “hill” wouldn’t be too hard. Well THAT was a bad assumption because even on the lowest gear, I went SO SLOW up the hill!! Plus the hill was in the shade from redwoods on both sides and on a not well maintained road (reminded me of my Tri for Fun Series Races, only up a huge hill). And once I got to the top for the turnaround, I went fast, but I had to avoid eating asphalt since I could have easily hit a road crack wrong or an unseen road hazard on the shaded road. Scary!!!!! It was a morale killer on the way back since I felt like I started out so strong and then fell short on the hill. Even if I had done more biking, I have NO access to hills, so I would have still had a hard time either way. Once I got to the transition zone, I transferred back to my run gear to finish the race.
2.5mi run to the finish. Time: 25:45
The run is pretty much the same as the first leg, only the turnaround is farther along Cliff Drive. My legs were fatiguing after running up the hill and near the top I saw my friend heading back already! I weakly cheered her on since I was already pooped and still had like another 1.5mi to go. Slowly but surely I made my way around the course, across the sand and through the finisher’s chute! After the race, we got some delicious food provided by Whole Foods: yogurt, granola, fruit, banana bread and coconut water. They also offered pancakes, but I wasn’t hungry enough to eat those on top of the huge yogurt container.
Post Race Fun
After we ate Whole Foods food, foam rolled (oh yea there was a foam rolling and The Stick station at the post race expo!), and showered, we walked to a nearby cafe to get some lunch. Then it was off to the spa to have some beauty treatments! My friend got a massage and a facial, I just got a facial, but we both got the special tea service after both of us finished.
The next morning, we headed off to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium (courtesy of some free tickets I got!). We loved checking out all the creatures under the sea (it really floats my marine bio boat!), especially the tentacles exhibit! If you get the chance to go, you should!!!
Have a great weekend!