Friday, June 22, 2007

Thanks Jim....

I lost a friend this week. Jim McCann, President of the Triathlon Club of San Diego (TCSD) passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday.

I don't remember exactly when I met Jim, but it was probably sometime in late 2004, early 2005 when I was becoming more active in TCSD. I recall how he remembered my name right off the bat, and as a new transplant to San Diego, made me feel welcome and important in this huge group of people.

A few things that I'll always remember about Jim...
  • He took the time to get to know everyone he met on a personal level. He knew that since I was a Michigan alum, there would be nobody better to sell me my new bike than Mike Drury (a frickin' Buckeye)...yes he had a good sense of humor like that.

  • Other than running TCSD and his wetsuit rental business, he really could've capitalized on his "matchmaking" services if he wanted to. He was always looking out for new or single members in the club and trying to set them up with other new or single members. It wasn't random though, he really went to great thought about who he set people up with. At every event, he was always introducing people to eachother whether for dates or for friendship.

  • Jim was great at getting people to "volunteer" for things. I don't know how he did it so easily, but one day you're talking to Jim, the next day you're coordinating a big TCSD event, or running his wetsuit booth. I was actually telling him last week that I needed to take lessons from him! His influencing skills could get me far in the Corporate world.

  • Speaking of the corporate world, Jim was all about starting your own business. I can't even count how many silly conversations we had that included him telling me to leave the Corporate lifestyle (i.e. stop traveling to Bakersfield!!!) and come up with a marketable idea so I could work for myself.

  • Jim was an extremely giving person. Whether it was giving advice on triathlon stuff, giving you contacts to help you get to the next step on your endeavors, or giving you a discount on a wetsuit, giving to others made Jim happy.

This past Saturday night, Jim and his wife Dee Dee invited the entire Tri Club to their house for a bbq (yes, all 1700 people). Yes, crazy!!! Luckily for their neighbors, not all 1700 showed up, but I was one of the lucky ones that did. I'm not a very philosophical person (I'm not even sure if I spelled that right), and unless it includes numbers (you know, the engineer thing), I don't really try to overanalyze things either, but in retrospect, you almost have to think that that gathering happened for a reason. He had one last opportunity to spend time with so many people that he cared about and that cared about him.

That night, Jim gave me a tour of their house and we ended up on their rooftop balcony overlooking the coast, their pool, and the party below. I joked that if I lived there, I would be naked the entire time because of the secluded nature of their yard (No hideous bike short tan lines!). We also chatted about how awesome it was to get a group of people together like this for food and fun. That was Jim. You could talk to him about everything and anything, but mostly it was about enjoying life and living life to its fullest....which he did.

So, back to the title of this blog. I want to thank Jim.

Thanks for making a midwesterner feel at home out here in California. Thank you for inspiring so many of us to do things we never thought we could, and encouraging us to embrace this "triathlon" lifestyle. And thank you for building and being part of this family we call TCSD.

We'll miss you...

A couple of articles on Jim's life:

Triathlete Magazine

Competitor Magazine

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 2007 Aquathlon

June 7, 2007

Time for the second aquathlon of the TCSD Summer Aquathlon Series. Same place (La Jolla Shores), same distance (1000 m ocean swim, 3 mile beach run). Today the sun was out, and the tide was low(er). Great conditions for a race.


***According to my watch. May be updated once offical results are posted.
Swim: 17:38
T1: 0:38
Run: 24:37

Total: 42:53

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Encinitas - The Race That Wasn't

May 20, 2007

A day that will go down in infamy....for me at least.

The Encinitas Triathlon is fairly new in town, only 2 years running (however I think it was re-incarnated from a race held years ago). I didn't have a chance to do it last year as I was competing in a half ironman down in Baja that weekend, so I was chompin' at the bit to do it this year. The race was a 750 m swim, a 20k bike, and a 5 k run. Pretty easy distances. Another exciting thing about this race is that my boyfriend Pat's wave was to start 4 minutes after mine, which makes for an "almost" equalizer. He would've probably passed me and kicked my butt early in the run.

Anyway, back to the race....

This is where it starts and ends. The swim was a square course from the beach: head out from the beach to the first buoy, turn right and head north, turn right and head back to the beach. My wave was the third to go, after the Pros and the 24 and under men. The pros started 10 minutes or so before my wave. We could tell right away, even from the race's top swimmers, that the swim was not going to be easy. Big waves, big current. Before the 2nd wave went off, Greg Welch and Paula Newby-Fraser were telling us to aim north as the current was pulling south.

Well, my wave and I headed north. I guess just not far enough north. After 7 minutes, I was only half-way to the first buoy and in the thick of the waves and the current. A large wave came and took about 10 of us 50 m towards shore, and the current carried us about 100 m south of the buoy. Oh, this was going to be fun. Some people were calling it quits at this point. I found another woman in my wave and said, "Let's Do This!" That lasted about 30 seconds before I realized that I was never going to be able to swim against the current. I headed back to shore, and then ran north along the beach with a couple others from my wave to re-enter the swim course again. At this point, more than 10 minutes had passed. I decided to go for it again. Unfortunately, when I got out there, it was more of the same, and my body was already exhausted from fighting the waves before. I did what I never thought I would do. I called it quits, my first DNF. :( I decided to hop on my bike because I still wanted to get a workout in. I did the 12 mile race course and then headed back to the race finish to watch Pat finish (he had a great race and a stellar run by the way, even after the tough swim).
So, lessons learned.
1. I need to take some open water swim lessons and learn how to handle large surf.
2. A DNF is not the end of the world. Yes, I was sad not to finish, but I knew I gave it my all. An experience like this just makes me more determined to kick that race's ass next year.

Here are some pictures that a friend took on race day...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

May 2007 Tri Club Aquathlon

May 17, 2007

One of the great benefits of being a member of TCSD are the free races. Each summer, the tri club hosts a series of 6 Aquathlons (1000 m swim, 3 mile run) at La Jolla shores. Over the past couple years, my bike has become my strong point in triathlon, so I get to use these races as an opportunity to get completely demolished by the 150+ strong field. Since I'm a "glass half full" type of girl, I guess I should look at it as an opportunity to make my swim and my run stronger.

The highlights of these races are

1. 150 + people starting the swim in front of the Marine Room (really nice restaurant). It's pretty funny to see the faces of vacationers and San Diego's elite as we run into the water. WTF?!?!?

2. The food after the race. Pretty amazing. Pizza, pasta, and Elizabeth Daubner's amazing desserts.

This month's race went well for the first race of the year. The run was a bit tough, as it was high tide and we had to run through sandy water up against the sea wall. Great workout for the calf muscles!

May 2007 Aquathlon Results:
Swim: 18:03
T1: 0:47
Run: 25:58
Total 44:48

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Spring Sprint Triathlon 2007

May 6, 2007

This was my 3rd year doing the Spring Sprint Triathlon. It consists of a 1/4 mile swim, 9 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. It's a short and fun race, but still difficult because you are in sprint mode the entire time.

It was fun to once again be competing against some of my friends. Its great how we make each other push harder in a race. In this case, my biggest rival was Becky Sandbeck. She got out of the water before I did (not surprising, she swims for her job training Shamu....really, she trains Shamu!). I passed her on the 2nd loop of the bike, and then she passed me at the 1/2 mile mark on the run....and then finished 2 minutes ahead of me. Looks like I need to work on my run!

It turned out to be a great race though. I continue to improve my time year over year. Here's how things turned out:

Swim: 9:01
T1: 2:00
Bike: 26:58
T2: 1:00
Run: 24:16
Total: 1:03:15
8/44 (W25-29)