3:30am - wake up. Eat bagel, drink cup of coffee and mix energy drink. 4:00am - get in the car, drive 80 miles. 5:17am - arrive at VTA Ohlone-Chynoweth light rail station to catch train to race venue 5:27am: - walk 30m to train platform with transition bag and bike 5:45am - after re-reading race info, continue to wait for train Participants who park at the VTA Ohlone-Chynoweth light rail station: will be required to take a 2 minute tram ride to Lake Almaden. Bikes will accompany your short ride. VTA has confirmed that there will be extra trains running to offer adequate and timely transportation to and from Lake Almaden. 5:55am - 20 other triathletes looking at each other on the platform, all waiting for train to Lake Almaden. 6:00am - 1 train comes, all triathletes and bike on board for the 2 min ride! I'm thinking that I have 60 mins to still get my race numbers and settle my transition area. 6:10am - hit the end of the line, people looking around - no water in sight. The driver steps out and looks at everyone - says 'we leave again in 10 mins'. Someone thoughtfully says: 'where's the lake' and the driver says - 'it's about a 1/2 mile from the parking lot you got in at'. I think, "#&*^%*(@*&^$(@#*$)@U#" 6:20am - plan B (basically, plan A but much faster), I open my transition bag and start to get my stuff ready. Powder my shoes, put on the body glide, etc... train starts moving. 6:30am - train back where we started. The driver comes out and tells us how to get to the lake. "take a right and then a left" - point in a direction. Everyone acknowledges and agrees to ride to the park. 6:40am - um, took a right and a left, rode about 2 - 3 miles. No lake. Stop and ask directions. Panic ensues. 6:40:15am - find man who says he knows where race venue is. Half the group bolts and goes back. I choose to go with the group who listened to directions. I didn't hear them because I took a nature break while they were getting directions. 6:45:16am - riding hard to follow directions. We get to a stop light and people look around. Apparently there is some disagreement, did he say 'Right on Coleman or Whitman?". Stress hitting high level. Plan C engaged (a very very fast Plan A essentially) 6:45:18am - group splits again, I follow a girl named Becky, riding in flip-flops. I ride with Becky because I figure that in a stressful situation where people are panicing that a woman is going to listen to directions. She was also the only woman in the group. It was her idea to ask directions too. 6:45:19am - now sprinting and following Becky 6:50am - no lake 6:55am - registration closes in 5 mins. Don't even see lake. Begin to think of jokes and how to make something positive out of the situation. Nothing. 6:57am - I see it - WATER AHEAD! and an 'Event Parking' sign! Turn into parking lot. Find out it's a pond and parking for a christian high school graduation. 6:58am - stop at gas station, get directions to lake. It's about 3 miles away. 7:05am - pass Starbucks, miss race start and close of registration. Enjoy ride now with Becky who has now done 12 miles on the bike in flip flops. Give up. Rode 15 miles in running shoes on my clipless pedals. 7:24am - find lake, see first guys hitting the bike. feel terrible. Get my registration moves to the Folsom Lake Tri in a few weeks. Feel terrible. 7:30am - leave lake, ride to parking lot where the car is exactly 1/2 mile away. A simple right and left turn - the exact opposite of what the train driver told us. 9:00am - home, go to park with Sada and Piper and start my 1 week - mid season break.
I should thank everyone who either calls, e-mails, texts or asks me how my race has gone. It helps keep the pressure on and keeps me focused on getting a good result.