The Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim is a longstanding staple of the Southern California open water swimming scene. My best friend Lizz (who got me in to triathlon to begin with) has competed very successfully for the past few years and she suggested I fly down to race with her this year. Great idea!
The race is from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach – two miles open water. 1300 people were registered for this! Three waves of grand prix start (line up, run into the water to start). 72 degree, clear water. A 9am start time. Freaking sweet.
The Russian River is an amazing place. The past two winters, while California struggled in a long drought, rainstorms upstream turned Guerneville (former home of the swim start for the Vineman) and Monte Rio into Atlantis – that is, they were momentarily underwater. These towns are used to the river overflowing its banks, however, and are resilient. Monte Rio was quiet as ever (though overrun by a bunch of triathletes) as I prepped for my second Olympic distance race.
Quick note: anything ‘rock’ related was fair game for jokes this weekend. Detour on 101? Rock Road. Instagram topic? Dwayne Johnson. Looming geological feature which Mom and I spent hours reading about on Wikipedia? Morro Rock (it is actually super cool). Really – all we talked about this weekend was ‘rock’ in all its forms. Except when Mom (aka the super-sherpa) found a Great Blue Heron and was very sad she missed a picture and then was super-ecstatic when he was there a few minutes later.
Date: November 9, 2015 | Location: Morro Bay, CA
Weather: Cool, clear skies, 60-70 degrees (except for the 58 degree water)
Race: Sprint | Age Group: 20-29
Results: Division – 2/14; Overall – 36; Women – 7/44
What happens when UC Berkeley’s Triathlon Club hosts an intercollegiate-but-also-open-to-the-public draft-legal, ITU rules race?
Well, a team from OTC decided it would be super fun to compete in the mixed team relay (it was super fun!) and try our hand against a bunch of college kids (this was not as fun!). The four of us arrived plenty early for the event to discover that we were really the only ones not directly connected to the Cal Triathlon team. Whoops. The Bearathlon was a great event!
The mixed team relay event is a really cool way to race. If you geek out over triathlon like some of us do, you can watch sweet videos recapping the elite races.
Every athlete races a full, but mini, triathlon. The order is typically woman/man/woman/man. At the Bearathlon, scheduling actually made more sense to have the first male leg go first, so that messed with our plans a little bit. I was originally going to lead off, because my swim is strong enough that I probably (hopefully) wouldn’t fall too far behind in the mile run. With our plan out the window, we entered the race just hoping to have fun and go as fast as we could.
Sprint triathlons are just that – you’re moving pretty fast for a fairly long period of time but not so long that you’re not, you know, sprinting. This was a super sprint. I could NOT stand up straight during the run, because I was trying to move fast and my body was not ready for it!
Cal put on a great little triathlon. I saw a friend (who won his event, easily) I used to coach with, which was a nice treat, and met Kaori, the Race Director for Morro Bay. I had no traffic issues, and since the race was so short there was no need for support on the course. It was super fun, priced very well, and a great experience!
I have been really distracted since the Sandman. I was working on a run foundation all last week, hitting a solid two-mile loop for five days, but this week has been negligible at best. I swam hard on Sunday, and haven’t done much of anything else (active, at least) since. I have been diving deep into other exciting things, but unfortunately that precluded my race preparation.
What does this mean? This weekend: all Oakland, all the time.
Swim night! My favorite. Got to write the workout for the group – here it is:
250 Swim (bilateral breathing freestyle)
200 Drill / Free by lap (odds catch-up, evens swim; still bilateral breathing)
100 Kick (choice – board, no board, stomach or back)
50 Choice (down and back to get ready for main set) Main Set 2x through the Main Set – take a minute or two between rounds
1×300 (swam as 4×75 continuous [no breaks], build each 75 to 80/85% speed and start over)
1×200 (hold race pace [your race pace for your distance])
1×100 (sprint laps 1 and 4; easy in the middle)
200 Warm Down
This can easily be adjusted to be a longer workout. The main set is currently 1200 yards. Wanna hit 3k? Go 4 times through the main set – boom, 3200 yards.
I felt great tonight, which was a relief after not feeling awesome all weekend.
I went to a classic theater in Oakland a few weeks ago to watch Jaws on the big screen. Great idea for an open water swimmer.
It was 2 days after I had registered for the Sandman Triathlon in Aptos, California (August 2).
And you know what was discovered the day before that? Fifteen great white shark pups hanging out around the Cement Ship – the focal point of the Sandman swim. You hear pups, and you may think, aw, cute, babies.
THESE BABIES ARE 7-8 FEET LONG.
Don’t get me wrong – I love sharks. What a truly awesome animal. But I don’t really want to swim through a herd of baby great whites during this triathlon.