A perfectly TRI-ing Weekend in Santa Barbara

First triathlon under our belt.  And boy are we glad its over!

The weather for The Santa Barbara Triathlon Sunday could not have been more beautiful.  Gorgeous and sunny – perfect temperature to spend an hour (or so) at the beach.

For our first triathlon, we figured we better take it easy and do a sprint.  Santa Barbara seemed to be an idyllic destination to combine a dirty weekend with a little good clean fun.

View of the Riviera

The Sprint Course translated to:

500 meter swim
6 mile bike
2 mile run

followed later with a…
1 hour nap


We decided to make a weekend of it, and went up on Friday checking into The Canary – such a great hotel!  Hung out with Katarina, who just started back up at SBCC.  Had a fabulous dinner Friday night at Cafe Luck and told scary murder stories. Enjoyed post

Kat enjoying a cocktail

dinner champagne with Zach, bartender extraordinaire and soon-to-be-ex employee of the Canary as he embarks on his new career in New York.  I know the Canary will miss him dearly.


Saturday, we went down to support those brave athletes doing the long course, shouting words of encouragement as they finished up the last mile of the run.  Note – if you ever happen to be near a course where people are racing, take a moment to cheer them on.  It means the world to them!

Stu at the pool

Hung out at the tri expo  – I think we are becoming expo groupies – and chatted with some very cool people, one being Kelly from Tridivas – a new favorite business – imagine – tri training and merchandise catering to women – girly women.  Kelly is gorgeous, bright, serious about training women to be triathletes – wait – tri divas – and she was doing this way before women started having any clout or numbers in the sport.  Her business includes training women and merchandise.  Think Fred Segal style – compression tights in patterns, like a cool leopard print.  Rhinestone boy briefs for women.  Seems like she’s captured a real niche, and I for one, support her vision completely.  We don’t need to look like Maria Navratilova, just because we are athletes, ladies!

Sat day spent relaxing around the Canary rooftop pool with Kat, enjoying the warm, sunny weather and eye candy at the pool.  Sat night, Stu and I tried a restaurant we’d heard about called Roy on Carrillo.  Highly recommend it.  Their shtick is that every entree is $10 – which it is – and it is fantastic.  Cool place.  Great art.  Check it out next time.

Back to the hotel early to pack and re-pack (and re-pack) our transition bags before dropping off to sleep.

Sunday AM – Race Day

Triathlon love!

Up and out by 5:30 AM.  Biked down to East Beach for the race.  First thing is to get our number marked on our arms and right hand, and our age (as of the end of Dec) on the right calf.  Then, into the transition area to get our kit laid out in those small spaces!  As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the hang of the transition area.  By definition, the transition is supposed to be when you change from one discipline to the next – where you unpeel your wetsuit and jump into your bike gear.  And then dump the bike and helmet and exchange the bike cletes for the running shoes.  It is supposed to be lightening fast.  This transition thing, for me, is a major disconnect, having been raised in a family of enthusiastic tailgaters.  Its all I can do not to bring candles, a welcome mat, a couple of folding chairs and a hibachi.  What?  No music?  Seems all very uncivilized, which is probably why my transition area looked like a bomb went off.  Just didn’t connect with the idea at all, as the snail-like time it took for me to change out of my wetsuit and into my biking gear cruelly demonstrated.

As we got on our wetsuits and filed out to the beach to wait or our group to start, I was interested to see how Stuart and I handled the nerves.  True to form, he observes, processing everything.  I, on the other hand, go inside my head, almost as though shutting down.  I maintain a calm and don’t over think the task at hand too much.  And then, of course, the conversation begins – the blathering in your head that starts taking over.  I don’t remember much of the race – at all – but I remember the swim monologue in my head.  It went something like this.

All marked up.

Stu marked up

Ready ready ready


“OK stay on the left outside the left outside.  Take your time.  Wade into the water.  Keep your position.  Should I go over this wave or dive in?  OK, I’m swimming now.  Wait, my left goggle is filled with water.  Shit, gotta stop and dump it.  Arrrrghhh!  Stuart used that new goggle clearer stuff and it didn’t work.  I cannot do this race like a cyclops – I need both eyes to be functioning!  Arrrrrghhh!  OK focus…right turn at yellow buoy and now you’re swimming in a line.  OK get to the first red buoy – thats all ya gotta do – get to the first red buoy.  Hey, who is that swimming right next to me?  Her strokes are exactly timed to mine.  Great, she’ll probably get past me and kick me.  And if she doesn’t, I’m going to have the pleasure of her on my ass the entire time.  So, cant let up cant let up.  OK, now to the second buoy – almost half way almost half way almost half way.  And not dead not dead not dead.  Quick backstroke to see how that feels, nope, not good, back to swimming.  Should be at the buoy in a couple of minutes.  Seems longer though.  Shit.  OK focus – you’ll get there.  There’s no way I could be drifting, though, right?  Am I swimming against the current?  Oh Shit!  Shit! OK I’m at the second red buoy – where is everyone else?  Did I pass anyone?  More importantly, did anyone pass me?  Now I gotta get to the yellow buoy.  OHMYGOD, the yellow buoy is sooo far away.  Shit.  I am so out of my depth here… I can’t even imagine doing the Malibu race and having to swim 3 times this distance. CANNOT  IMAGINE!   I will die.  I will not make it.  There is just no way.  Shit!  Where is that goddamned yellow buoy?”  And then, “My lonlieness is killing me.  I must confess, I do believe.  Do believe.  Yup – my mind,  clearly suffering from oxygen depravation, breaks into Britney Spears’ classic anthem, “Hit me baby one more time.”  Have no idea where that came from.  Very unsettling, really.

Have no recollection of getting out of the water.  Ran to transition and could not get wetsuit off –

My transition area – a mess!

even with glide.  Did not stop to dry feet – threw on shoes, bike jersey and tied bandana around my neck (no need to sacrifice style, after all), and off – without my number.  Shit!  Back to get number.  Random bike thoughts…

First thought – “like the bike like the bike like the bike.”  Second thought, “Ouch.  My quads are on fire.  Thank God we only have to do 6 miles, cuz there’s no way I could do 26.  No way.  NO way!”

Made time on the bike – passed Stuart coming the other direction with his hard to miss white and yellow jersey.  Note: Our Team Shut Up and TRI jerseys were quite the attention getting item of clothing.  We had several people stop us to take our pic and comment.  I admit, I felt a little dorky wearing matching jerseys, but oh well.

Stu’s transition area

Transitioning from bike to run is pretty easy for me as I don’t wear bike cletes, so its just a matter of taking off my helmet and putting the bike on the rack.  Which makes me wonder why it took me nearly a minute to do that.  But, off I went to do the last two miles.  Totally on auto pilot.  “Get thru get thru get thru.” Two miles felt forever.  There was no one running with me to chat with – another bummer about this.  So, I had to talk to myself.  No shock.  When I finally made it to the finish, I was more off-put than enthusiastic.  Certainly not as emotional as when I crossed the finish line of a marathon.  Not sure what that’s all about.

Anyway – finished the race with Stu waiting for me.  And the icing on the cake?  This race does not give out medals.  What kind of a race DOES NOT give out medals?  Arrrrrrghhhh!

Overall Time

LMF – 61 mins 1 sec
STU – 57 mins 23 sec

Swim (500 meters)

LMF – 13 mins 14 sec
SCF – 11 mins 7 sec

Transition 1 (swim to bike)

LMF – 4 mins 36 secs (yikes)
SCF – 3 mins 37 secs

Bike (6 miles)

LMF – 21 mins 43 secs
SCF – 21 mins 29 secs

Transition 2 (bike to run)

LMF – 59 secs
SCF – 1 min 55 secs

Run (2.18 miles)

LMF – 20 mins 29 secs
SCF – 19 mins 15 secs

3 comments for “A perfectly TRI-ing Weekend in Santa Barbara

  1. KoKo Fazendin
    August 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Well done!!! I am exhausted just reading your Tri-adventure. You’re fantastic!
    Myrtle (aka KoKo)

  2. Cindy
    September 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Wow, the last time I was in Santa Barbara all I did was eat some delicious tacos along with some awesome margaritas on the beach while watching people exercise. There are those who do the exercise and those who watch the exercise. Thanks for doing the hard work for me so I can continue to watch! Great job!

    (This is Koko’s sister-in-law who you see every now and then at Thanksgiving) 😉

  3. September 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

    You are sooo funny! Love it! Will be happy to do so you can watch. Well. Maybe not happy…thanks for commenting. xoxo

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