The race was yesterday....
The last time I logged a swim workout was May 31st. The last time I was on my bike (not the Spin bike) was June 11th. Combine that with being about 25 pounds heavier. You might think it would have been a miserable experience. But I had a GLORIOUS TIME!!!
I had to borrow a tri kit since none of mine fit. The race was wetsuit legal. Ordinarily I wouldn't even consider wearing a wetsuit but I'm going to be doing the swim portion of IM70.3 Augusta next weekend. It's a wetsuit legal, point to point, downstream swim. I have to borrow a wetsuit for that one since mine doesn't fit so I figured I would try out a borrowed one for this swim but instead I wore some "lava pants" I bought for training. They are wetsuit shorts and they are AWESOME!!
Getting ready for this race on Friday was pretty comical. All of my triathlon stuff was spread out all over the place since I haven't done a sprint in 3 (4?) years and haven't done a triathlon since IMChoo in 2015. I couldn't even find my cycling glasses. I almost forgot my goggles. It was like I was doing it for the first time!!
My birthday was Thursday. Usually we celebrate by going to dinner but I decided I really wanted to have a non-food related thing so we went to the Escape Pod Friday night (SO MUCH FUN-I HIGHLY recommend that place!). On the way there a friend of mine sent me a text wishing me well for the race Saturday and she sent this video:
Let me tell you I SOBBED and SOBBED just before we got to the Escape Pod for my birthday celebration! But it was a really good, cleansing sob. It was just what I needed to let go of all the anxiety that was building up as I was getting my stuff ready.
When I signed up for this race I put a link on my FaceBook page. This race registration site (runsignup) has a thing where if someone signs up using your link you get money off your registration. Well a couple of people signed up from my link. One of these friends was going to be doing her first open water swim triathlon! As race day was getting closer I was starting to think maybe I had made a mistake signing up for it. I even contemplated not going. But then my friend asked me if I wanted to ride over with her. She has a vehicle big enough for 2 bikes and gear, and my house was close to being on her way from her house to the race site. I said yes knowing that would mean I couldn't back out.
|classic pre-race pose|
She showed up at 5:15am and we headed off. I'm sure I was just as nervous as she was but we kept telling each other it was going to be a lot of fun.
|My new "race day/workout" hair.|
We got checked in and set up and then I walked through transition a few times. Dwayne showed up to spectate which really helped to calm my nerves. I got to tell SEVERAL first timers to just stay relaxed...which was really me saying that to myself.
An athlete I coach was there to do this race. She has come so far and is really doing well. It felt very weird to know she was going to SMOKE me on the course...sad and happy all at the same time. In the past when I would race I would pick competitors who I knew were right about my ability level (usually a little better) who I would "target" to race. I remember the last time I did this race I was less than a minute away from winning a frog in a box. I was really torn up about how close I was and how little things that happened through the day kept me from being on the podium. I knew there was NO CHANCE of even coming close this year and I had been telling myself leading up to race day to let go of competing completely.
Letting of of picking a person to race doesn't mean letting go of trying to do my best. It's part of who I am. But my goal was to honor my body and to give all I had the ability to give for this race on this day.
|white swim cap is me|
When I got out of the water Dwayne was there taking pictures. I instantly starting thinking about the bike and all the nerves I had just finally let go of on the swim came rushing back.
|*huh, I was "jogging" back to T1!|
For the first few minutes on the bike I wondered why I was there but then I reminded myself--I LOVE triathlon!! And then I saw my friend on the side of the road. I asked if she was okay. When she said she didn't know I stopped to help. She had dropped a chain. I got it back on for her, made sure she was back on and going and then I headed out. I guess if I was a REALLY good friend I would have stayed with her, but I didn't. I had planned on making a video of the whole bike portion of the race. I had my GoPro attached to my bike and had planned on turning it on when I was in T1. I forgot until about 2 miles in. The bike was fairly uneventful. I got passed early on by several people and I passed a few people. I went slow at times and fast at times. (My fast times were riding down hill with a tailwind, but whatever!) Coming back into the park I saw a guy who was running with his bike. I asked if he was okay and he said he had popped a tire! He had to run about 3/4 of a mile with his bike in socked feet! In the final stretch of the bike I found myself wishing I could ride longer. My legs were tired and I had concerns about the run, but I really wanted to spend more time on the bike.
Coming up to the dismount line I started reminding myself how to clip out and telling myself which way to lean so I didn't fall over! When I got off the bike my pelvic area was ON FIRE!!! I felt like I could barely walk and all of the nerves I had let go of on the bike came rushing back as I starting thinking about the run.
Side note....back in 2014 when I was doing the Grand Slam, during/after Dizzy 50 I started having on-again/off-again pain in my pubic area. I can't fully describe it except that it HURTS. It doesn't seem to be muscular. My daughter researched and thinks it might be pudendal neuralgia which really seems to fit. I went to the doctor last week about it (before she looked it up) because it was flaring back up. He referred me to a spinal doctor but I haven't gone yet. The pain mercifully went away leading up to the race but when I got off the bike it was the worst I've ever experienced. And yet, I was happy. I was about to get to go "run" and I only had one more thing to do to finish my triathlon!!
I had one of the longest transitions I've ever had (okay...maybe not, it was 1:50...I'm thinking I've taken longer than that before...). I couldn't find my speed laces so I actually had to TIE my shoes!! GASP! When I got them on and grabbed up my race belt and turned to run out of transition I COULD not run. It hurt so bad to just walk I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish.
And then I remembered my own words...JUST RELAX. Breathe. Walk. When I got outside of transition I stopped and tried to stretch. But stretching never seems to help at all (increasing the chance it's that nerve). So I just starting walking (VERY SLOWLY). I told myself I certainly wasn't going to quit, so I needed to MOVE toward the finish. After about 3 minutes I tried to jog but that made it hurt worse so I walked some more. The more I walked the less it hurt so I was able to finally start jogging a little bit. My heart rate and breathing never really got too far out of hand (especially for a race) but my pelvic area and my legs were my limiters. That made me INCREDIBLY happy!! I saw a lot of people I know and got to tell a ton of people "GREAT JOB"!! My athlete was running VERY strong and looking exceptionally good!
There was a guy who had passed me in the final mile of the bike who I played leap frog with on the run. (Not literal leap frog, but he'd pass me and then I'd pass him.) He was a fun guy. He was high-fiving people and cracking jokes. Super nice guy. When we finally made it to the turn around we both cheered!! On the way back I saw my friend and was so relieved to find out she didn't have any more bike troubles. I told her I knew she was going to catch me and pass me but I wasn't going to make it easy for her! (I can't not compete...) The nice guy was ahead of me and I was losing ground to him.
I passed a guy at some point and he told me he was going to try to stay with me as we jogged along. We came to a little down hill so I told him, "I'm going to stretch out my legs a little on this downhill -controlled fall and then I'm going to walk at that turn up ahead". He said okay and stayed right with me. We walked a bit and then jogged a bit. And then I said "Okay, we are going to run to the aide station and then we can walk again for a bit"...and it hit me...I didn't know this person. He's not my athlete. I'm not coaching him!! I apologized profusely and told him I just can't help myself! He laughed and said it was more than fine that it gave him goals. So we ran, then we walked and then we caught the other guy. I told him he should join us. We started running again and passed a guy walking so I told him to join the band of brothers, which he did!!
|at the finish|
|my run/finish line buddy|
My finish line friend came up and gave me a big hug. I found out his name is Kendall and we got a picture together.
It turned out my athlete won second in her age group but I missed the award ceremony when she got her frog :(.
My pelvic area feels better today so that's REALLY VERY GOOD. I'll be going to the spine doctor next week. I'm not sore anywhere and I feel exceptionally good today!!
I think the video was right...HERE COMES THE COMEBACK!!!!
Thanks for stopping and sticking around!!!