Posted by: forgingahead | May 18, 2010

Morgan Hill Sprint Race Report

Well, I’m the proud owner of another finisher’s medal!

My goals in this race:
1. Finish
2. Not get hurt
3. Try to learn some things that I could apply to the next race.

I’d say mission accomplished.

I did finish, though I wasn’t speedy by any means.

The Swim
26 minutes – 3/4 mile
I committed the tragic mistake of not testing out my equipment. Remember that deal I got on the wetsuit? Well, it kept me nice and warm and buoyed. It also felt like I was swimming with a hand wrapped around my neck. Not fun.

I learned that I can talk myself through anything. A choking sensation in water during a race is about as un-fun a thing I can imagine yet I persevered. I did stop and tread water about 2 minutes into the swim. Unzipped the suit. Swam a bit and decided that was worse. Stopped again and zipped it back up.

I adapted a swim style to lessen the chocking sensation. Breathe every stroke. And only off the left side. For some reason that worked. Sort of.

The Bike 1:04 – 16 miles
Part of the bike course is the same as the one Bert and I did for the Livestrong ride last year so it felt pretty comfortable. The sun was still mostly behind the clouds and my swim was so slow I had a lot of the road to myself. I passed a few people – what a rush! Was passed a few times. And leapfrogged with one guy who was tentative on the downhills. Who knew I’d turn into downhill speed racer?

Rookie question – do you need to wear your race number on the bike or do the numbers on the bike and the helmet suffice?

The Run 57 minutes – 5 miles
The sun came out and I experienced some very strange cramps. In my right calf. In my butt. Not debilitating, just attention getting. What am I missing that contributes to cramps? Electrolytes? Water?

My transitions were ok. The timing for T1 got mixed up with my swim (does the wetsuit keep the timing chip from working?) so it didn’t register. My T2 was nearly 5 minutes as I tried to figure out if I could cross the finish line to get to the outhouse without messing up my time. I decided I couldn’t. Bummer.

Total time: 2:36 earned me the 28th spot out of 33 women in my age group.

Things I learned:
I can go faster. My cardio was never taxed but my muscles were.

So what is it that I’m missing in training? All advice welcome!



  1. wish i had training tips but I don’t……

    You are SO my hero!!! fantastic!

  2. Hi!
    Read your athleta chi post on Harriet…dang. that is inspiring!

    and i was supposed to do morgan hill too! but a case of plantar fasciitis got in the well.

    i hope to do san jose and then still vineman in July!


  3. Way to go, you’re my hero, too! I think I would choke in the water…you’re brave!

  4. Yeah! I’m impressed. The wet suit can be a mixed blessing, I’m told. Nonetheless, I think you were amazing!

  5. Wow! That is pretty awesome.
    I’m sorry your wetsuit didn’t work out like you wanted it too. Are you going to replace it or just swim the next one without it?

    • I may try to trim the neck a bit – I think the suit is a little tall for me and that’s why it’s riding too high up on my neck. Whatever I do I will definitely do a practice swim before my next race!

  6. Congrats Kathleen! Do you think it’s possible altering your stroke caused some cramping? Good luck trimming your wetsuit. I hope that fixes the choking problem. That sounds pretty unpleasant!

  7. AWESOME! I found you after reading about Harriett (on Athleta) and was first just going to ask you if I could ask you for a chat! Then I read this post and I thought, PERFECTION, I HAVE to email her now for sure!
    You want tips? Girl! Check out – it’s the company i started for all women, everywhere on the planet, who are involved in and share the journey of endurance sports. Triathlon, running, cycling, you name it!
    I have a few thoughts to help you (in regards to your last race experience), but I’ll save them for a personal email (mine is: – just so you know i’m not a stalker – i’m just stoked to hear about your background, and after wanting to reach out to Harriett to see if she’d consider a chat with me, I thought – WHOA! I have to chat with YOU!

    onward and upward!

  8. I’m so silly, I LOVED THE ARTICLE you wrote about Harriet and I didn’t realize it was you until I finally noticed…thank you so much! It was timely and inspirational.

  9. You are a young Harriet in training the way you persevere. I am so proud of you!



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