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Apologies for the belated post! Better late than never, right?

The overview: Vineman Monte Rio was perhaps the perfect Olympic triathlon (Jesse sold it accurately) in every capacity. The weather in Monte Rio started off cool and overcast, and the course was mostly in the shade. The 1500m swim was shallow, pleasant, and fair; the 25-mile bike was flat to rolling on mostly well-paved roads through wine country to the coast; and the run was a breeze – a flat out-and-back 10K. I’d love to do this race again when I actually train for a triathlon. I had biked a whopping single time in the last year leading up to this race; after Jesse broke his foot, I knew my hopes of biking outside with him were dashed and that I’d have to wing this race.

Jesse dousing me with suncreen before the race. No second degree burns this time!

Jesse dousing me with sunscreen before the race. No second degree burns this time!

The Swim

Keith, Jesse, and I (literally) tested the waters the day before the race, enjoying a short swim in the Russian River. I LOVED the way my sleeveless wetsuit felt; my arms could move much easier and I felt less constricted across my chest and stomach.

However, on the day of the race, I felt panicked again, like I had at Wildflower. I couldn’t get into a good rhythm with people crawling over me and hitting me. One major plus is that the river is super shallow: at some points during the .9 mile swim, you were forced to get up and walk. Having the ability to stand made me feel more secure, and I started to get in a rhythm when the crowd dispersed a bit. I would swim and then stop swimming, so I ended up finishing slower than I normally would have, around 35 minutes.

The Bike

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’m terrified of biking, but strangely enough, this leg was easily my favorite part of the race. Without needing to start and stop (and risk falling over) or compete with cars, I loved rolling along the countryside and checking out the scenery. I managed to average about 16 mph, which I consider to be A-OK for biking once before this event.

The Run

I literally could not feel my feet for the first two miles of the run, and I felt like I was moving at a walking pace. The run was very gradually rolling but felt flat the entire course. I was pretty tired and in need of fuel by this point and simply tried to trudge ahead. I averaged about 9:45 miles for the 10K and was so relieved to be done.

I look a little off in this photo, but we're triumphant at the finish line nonetheless.

I look a little off in this photo, but we’re triumphant at the finish line nonetheless.


  • I need to swim in the open water more. Jesse and I live two blocks away from Aquatic Park, so I really have no excuse (minus needing to buy a wetsuit). This would help me get used to the sensation, which is vastly different from pool swimming, and sighting.
  • I need to bike more, obviously. I’m considering making 2016 the year of the half Ironman, a distance I will actually need to train for to complete.
  • I need to do brick runs (running after a bike ride). These workouts are crucial for building tolerance to running off of the bike.

Immediately following Vineman Monte Rio, I swore off triathlons forever (I can be a little dramatic about my athletic future following races), but after watching Escape from Alcatraz on Sunday, I had serious FOMO and have added this race to my bucket list.

I won’t be triathlon training for quite some time: this week marks week one (out of 16 weeks) of training for the Berlin marathon. I’ll be sure to post week one’s update next week!