Saturday, June 16, 2007

Galloping in Gallup (race report)

Today was the inaugural Gallup Adventure Sprint Triathlon in Gallup, New Mexico.
I will go ahead and say that my pre-race nausea was worse than usual, for several reasons:

1. It was at 6600 feet. Just like Show Low
2. I had "adventure" in the title. That CAN'T be good.
3. The bike course promised to be very hilly, with rubble strewn along the shoulder, outside the rumble strip, alongsid a well-traveled road. Just like Show Low.
4. The run would also be hilly. Just like - oh, you get it now.

So what I was thinking was that I was going to have Show Low PTSD and start having flashbacks on the course.

It would suck.

*I* would suck.

I would suffer.

and come in last. >Sigh.<

To add to that, when I did my hill sprints at the weekly Torture hosted by the Jimmy, I was slow and breathless. My legs wouldn't cooperate.
Then, the next day, I did a 4 mile run that was slow, oh, lordy, was it slow.

So, but, here I was. I had orders from the Jimmy to focus on nutrition, and also something about negative splits, so I decided to do that.
Nutrition breakdown:
Breakfast (5 am):
half sandwich, one serving of oatmeal, 1 fruit cup,, and 8 ounces of prepared Nuun.
Prerace (6 am): 16 ounces of some stuff by Hammer whose name I can't recall but it has 343 calories per serving.
On the bike: 16 ounces of Nuun, 2 gels. = 200 calories
One the run: full package of shot bloks, probably about 12 ounces of water = 200 calories
Total - 1289 calories. It's a start.
And it proved sufficient, I think, for this race.
The race was well organized with enthusiastic volunteers. The race director informed us that she herself had gone out and swept the course of the more dangerous debris. Hmmmm. maybe this wont' be so bad, I thought, right before I ran in for my 5th prerace pee.

The seeded swim start made me nervous, but I think I did well. For 345 yards, I did (I think) around 8:30? I don't know for sure because I forgot to push start on my watch. Up back, up back. And yes, we were given a map, in case we got lost somewhere in the pool.

T1: about 1 minute. I'm working on transitions, too.

The bike. I fitted the Rockette with her training wheels, having been warned in advance that there might be stickers, glass, et al., on the course. Her training wheels have Bontrager Hardcase racelights on them (KEVLAR, don'tcha know) as well as spinskins and all manner of thorn-proofing.
Well, in the first 50 yard I passed Cody trotting back toward transition with a flat tire. Ulp.
I had to really tell myself to slow down on the bike and not waste all my energy in the first few miles. It was 6.2 miles out and 6.2 miles back, and was almost all hills. But you know what? It wasn't so bad. I didn't get to enjoy the scenery so much because I was keeping a close eye on the course, looking out for rough patches (there were several) and trying to remember to drink my Nuun and eat my gels.
On one of the downhills, I was shifting into the big ring and my chain went up and over and onto my PEDAL. I started to hyperventilate, thinking, oh, crap, now I have to pull over and put it back on...but then I forced myself to CALM THE F%&K DOWN! I shifted back toward the small ring, and pedaled slowly, and the chain submitted.
It was slower going out than back, but even so, I focused on having a negative split.

Trip out: 33 minutes. Ouch!

Trip back: 24 minutes. Better.

T2: about 1 minute. Enough to swallow a couple of mouthfuls of that Heed stuff whose name I don't remember and then take off, forgetting my race belt.

Now, on the run, there's a bit of a climb, see.
I saw a hill coming up after the first mile, and I thought, well, that's not so bad.
It's short, at least.
But then the people head of me *turned* and THEN I saw the hill. HOLY SHMOLY! By the time I got near the top of this hill, which was easily an 8% grade or so and about a quarter mile long, I realized I was running about as fast as I could walk, so why was I wasting my energy? I walked the last 20 yards or so to the top, where there was a 2nd aid station. that's right: there were THREE AID STATIONS on a 5K? AWESOME.

The trip back down was easier, but I'd done a good job pacing and I was starting to wear down a bit. It finished on a track - not the ones you're used to working out on, but the ones that used to exist, packed sandy dirt with weeks and some muddy patches. My total run time was a dismal 35 minutes or so, but after all, there was that hill.

After the race, they fed the crowd burritoes, fruit.


  • Sweet Baboo - 1st Clydesdale, out of about 4, I think.
  • Mini-baboo - 3rdplace, 15-19 males
  • Me - 1st Athena, out of about 6, I think.
Then we went and bought some Hopi and Navajo pottery (if you are interested in such things - I'm talking to YOU Helen - this is the place to do it. They'll haggle.) I'd recommend this race. It's challenging but short, and everyone is really friendly, and they give you great food. Plus, it's a great place to do some pre-race or post-race shopping, if you like Native American jewelry and pottery and such.


  1. gosh, you're back already?

    Hey - sounds nothing like what you were initially worried about. And it sounds like you are making progress. Here's to negative splits!

  2. Wow, I'm amazed by how much you ate/drank ... maybe my biggest problem on my first one was that I only had: breakfast 2 hours ahead, 1 clif bar before, 1 gu somewhere in the middle (maybe at the start of the run), a few gulps of some icky electrolyte drink here and there - i.e. a fraction of what you had. No wonder I was so tired on the run! Congratulations for doing well!

  3. Congratulations geekgirl and to the whole family (they'll stop letting you enter the way you hog all the bling!)

  4. Thank you for the nutrition break down. I am finding myself totally in the dark in that department, but I am starting to see some light. You guys are freakin amazing. Were you superheros in a previous life? Wonder twins, Batman and Batgirl, Superman and Wonder Woman (or maybe even now)? Someone needs to be checking your house for the bright red phone with one white button on it. Congrats again on your victory:)

  5. Good results for the whole family. Way to go Wonder Woman!

  6. You and family did great. It was nice seeing you there. We didn't know to stop for shopping. Drat!!!

  7. Good job! I haven't been to Gallup since '74, but if there's good pottery shopping, I might have to put it on my itinerary next time I'm out that way.

  8. Great job to the family on the race. Thanks for the info on nutrtion. I am trying to figure that out also.

  9. GeekGirl -- you rock! (Of course the Baboos do, too.)

  10. 1st place!!! Yay :-) You're awesome! I LOVE that you do these events (and kick butt) as a whole family. Seriously, it is the coolest thing ever. And thanks, too, for the nutrition breakdown. That's helpful. I really have to try this Nuun stuff someday!

  11. Congratulations on a race well done!!
    ..any pics of the cool pottery?

  12. Great race! Great report!

  13. Good work on nutrition and nice catch on the chain!

  14. great job! stop being so negative going into races - even if you KNOW it's going to suck - k'mon, Sweetness is a head shrinker, he should have you in a better place before a race...

  15. Burritos after a race...yum!
    Congrats to you and your family for the great races you had!
    See...ShowLow was good for something now, wasn't it? :-) (Made this race seem fairly short and easy..hmmm?)
    I love aid stations! The more, the me an excuse to stop and walk (and drink!)

  16. Great race! Man your transitions are getting fast. 1st out of 6-way to go GG!

  17. I'm new here! But I've been catching up and just have to say how much I love your blog. I'm looking for fellow triathletes to follow since I've begun my tri career. (Nothing exciting to report yet, though I did have an almost cry episode on the tri that I completed this weekend).

    - Sarah


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