Well it seems odd that the first real race recap I do will be for my husband’s Half Ironman but I’m just going to start with what’s going on right now.
My husband did his first Sprint Triathlon this spring and he was then inspired to sign up for a longer distance. The only thing that surprised me was the one he chose is located in the Central Valley of California (about 3 hours from where we live) in the middle of August. Well, if you are familiar with the area you are well aware that temps in the summer are blistering and by the time he would be on the run portion it would be in the hottest time of the day. Anyway, he was undeterred, continued training and on Friday we left for the Central Valley.
We decided to avoid the Sacramento Friday afternoon traffic and we took Hwy 49 and found ourselves in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. Wow!! It was beautiful with wineries everywhere and vineyards spreading across the rolling hills. It was amazing. Really wished we had time to stop and do some wine tasting. I tried to get a good picture but we were going to fast. But I highly encourage you to check out wine tasting in Amador County. Beautiful.
We dropped off our 8 year old with some dear friends in Placerville so they could watch her for us, visited for a bit and then went to go check into the hotel. We stayed at the Larkspur Landing in Folsom and it was really a good choice. Close to the venue, easy to find, clean and reasonably priced. It had a kitchen, family room and separate bedroom. It offered breakfast and fresh cookies were always in the lobby when we went through.
Folsom has a ton of restaurants but we usually don’t like to eat at the regular chain restaurants and prefer locally owned places we asked the front desk. And that is how we found the amazing Italian restaurant Visconti’s.
It was very busy but we were able to be seated right away. The service we very good and the food was out of this world. My husband ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs and I had the Linguine con Gamberi & Asparagus.
Both were fantastic and I think we were licking the plates at the end. We also had some of the local wine from the wineries we had seen earlier. Yummy!
When we got back to the hotel there must have been kids above us because it sounded like a herd of elephants. Nothing irritates a mother of four more than to check into a hotel (CHILDLESS) for the night and then to hear that much noise. Luckily it quieted down about 30 minutes later.
We got up at 4:30, ate breakfast and headed to Nimbus Flat State Park on Lake Natoma. The transition area opened at 5:30 and he got all his stuff set up.
He wasn’t too happy with me taking pictures at this point. I told him he was giving me looks like a 12 year old boy gives his mom if she was snapping pics of him at his first middle school dance. (“Stoppp! All the other triathletes are gonna make fun of me!)
He was scheduled to start the swim at 7:08 in the third wave.
It was about 68 degrees at that time but there were clouds and I had read on Facebook that it was raining in parts of the bay area. If that rain or at least the clouds would last then I was hoping it would keep the temps relatively mild (or at least bearable).
Said a little prayer for him and for all the swimmers. It looked like one guy went out there about 50 yards, started doing the back stroke but wasn’t really going anywhere. For about 10 minutes he seemed to be in the same location. Well more waves started so
I hope that guy did OK.
My husband came out of the water in about 40 minutes which I thought was fantastic. And he was smiling so I know he was happy with the swim part.
He jumped on his bike and started for the 56 miles. I saw the route and it seemed kind of strange with a lot of turn arounds and such. He said it went back out into just rolling hills but some was through the city streets so traffic was a nightmare for the cars.
I knew he would be gone for a good 3 hours so I took the opportunity to run 8 miles along the American River Parkway which was right there in the park only I took off in the opposite direction.
I was only going to run 6 miles but once I got out there I loved it! This path is 23 miles along the American River. It had tons of people on it!! It has 82 miles of maintained trails that are used by bikes, runner/walkers and equestrians. I saw people fishing, picnic tables, restrooms, and water faucets. There is a fish hatchery there as well and an aquatic center that is used by Cal State Sacramento. The path is paved and wide for the bikers with wide shoulders for the runners.
And look at those beautiful clouds!!! They were sure helping to keep the temps low! I was hoping the bike portion was going well.
I just signed up for the California International Marathon here in Sacramento in December and I was so happy to be soaking up this great run!
After my run I quickly went back to the hotel, showered, and checked out. Then I hurried back to the park so I could see him transition from the bike to the run. When I got there I saw a bunch of people leaving that had finished the Sprint triathlon . They started after the long course and were already done. Wow.
Found a spot by the transition area, set up my chair and got out my cowbell. This part was fun to be cheering on everyone and the smiles when they heard the cheering and everyone loved my cowbell ;) I was sooo happy when he came in and ran over when he was in transition to encourage him and tell him it was still pretty mild out…..my IPhone said 72 degrees. He looked good but I knew a half marathon was still ahead.
The run was 2 laps around and when I saw him after the first lap he looked miserable. The clouds had left and boy it was getting hot! I saw him stop at the water station and drink and pour water over his head and then he kept on going! The second lap took a lot longer and he said he had to walk a bit on the second lap.
So he did it!!! His time was 6:54! I am so proud of him! I had him use the foam roller that evening and he said the next day he wasn’t even that sore. Scale of 1-10 in soreness he was only a 3. Humph…I was a 6 and I only ran 8 miles but whatever.
I asked him a million questions afterwards so I could share them with you. He said the race was really well run. Lots of water stations and support for the racers. One guy said he got 2 flats out on the course and Mike’s Bikes was there to help. The entertainment left after the sprint was done so it was pretty anti-climactic when he finished. It was a beautiful location and the weather held out for a bit and even had some raindrops.
Overall it was a great experience and he says he’s glad he did it but he might go back to just the Sprint Triathlons. (and I’m trying to talk him into running the CIM with me).