Doing a race report after going AWOL seems kinda moot, but I’m gonna do it anyway.
First, a half assed explanation. I had to take a break from blogging. That simple. Then when i took my break I realized how much I didn’t miss it. It was a relief to not have to read people’s blogs talked about shit that I didn’t really care about. Sorry, if that’s rude, but that’s the truth. (I realize that my blog fits that description for a lot of people which is totally cool with me. Don’t read it. To each his own. It wont hurt my feelings.) I did start reading some blogs that I missed after a while, but sometimes it’s too complicated to comment on my iPhone so I just didn’t do it. Deep down I think I didn’t want to blog because of the whole, “if someone comment’s on my blog I feel obligated to comment on theirs” when really I don’t need another blog to read. Plus since I started half-iron training I had to start finding triathlon blogs to read to gather information and motivation so my interests in blogs changed.
All this was a half-assed long winded way of saying: I cut down my readership by about 75%. I’m only reading/following 1/3 of what I was before. That may chance at some point, but for now that’s what I can handle.
Onto the race report --
This race took place on August 15, but my husband and I had planned a vacation and literally left our house the next day at 4:30 am so I am just now getting around to the race report. hopefully I didn’t forget too much.
The water temp was 72* which was surprisingly warm since we’ve had such a cold rotten summer, but it was perfect for a morning swim. I think my AG was the third to last wave and I didn’t get nervous at all until I saw some of my running peeps and coach that came out to support me. It was such a nice surprise seeing familiar faces! Finally it was time to enter the water. My goal for the water was to go out easy and comfortable. I was thinking around 40 minutes would be a good time for me. I swam to the outside to avoid having to punch somebody in the face for pulling on my feet and dragging me under. I didn’t want to sacrifice having bad swim for a better time (which over the course of the day wouldn’t have meant shit anyways).
The swim was very uneventful. I probably swam about 100 meters long when I realized how far away I was from the buoy when it was finally in my sights, but whatever. After the turnaround the next wave was on our asses (which was 40-45 men) and I picked it up a little just to avoid being caught up in their cluster fuck. Plus we were swimming away from the sun and it felt easier to swim straight.
I was even able to pee WHILE SWIMMING which was a huge deal for me. I’ve never been able to actually do it mid stroke – it’s always at the end of the pool or while treading water.
Swim - 40:06/1:54 pace
T1 - 4:21
All through training the bike has been my biggest source of contention. 90% of my rides were done solo and/or in shitty cold, foggy, wet weather. Seriously 90%, I can count on one hand the rides when I had company (which I desperately wanted/needed for the bike) and/or decent weather (anything ABOVE 60). I had lots of problems with comfort and nutrition and basic conditioning throughout my training.
One of my biggest concerns was how hilly this course was. I was really worried about it.
Everything was all good for the first five miles. I was feeling great. Getting passed by a shit ton of people, but I knew that was going to happen and I wasn’t racing against them so I really didn’t give it much thought. It was a two loop course and just wanted to take it easy until the real hills started around mile 10. There was a moderate climb around mile 5 and had to give a hard effort. I got a major stomach cramp half way up the hill. I had been practicing my nutrition diligently on all my training rides and had settled on cytomax and fig newman's. They worked great for me until race day. The cramp was with me the whole bike. THE WHOLE FUCKING BIKE.
I had to back off my nutrition which I knew was not a good idea, but I couldn’t continue to eat and drink with the pain. i was pleading for the cramp to go away trying to sit up, bend over, push in my side with my fingers, everything I could think of. It was always worse when I had to climb up large hills. My nutrition totally suffered for it, which means my whole race suffered for it. I even got off my bike at a water station on the second loop and just stretched it out and drank a bottle of water. I was trying to force down some cytomax to keep some calories and sugar in me but it was really slowing me down. I was getting passed by females on road bikes that had no business passing me.
I couldn’t wait to get onto the run.
Finally bike was over.
I am so NOT happy with this time. Although I wanted to come in under 4 hours, I now realize had it not been for those cramps I would have exceeded my expectations. It turned out that I passed a lot of people on the hills. A LOT. Some of them with ease. I surprised myself with either my climbing abilities or how poor theirs were. Not sure.
The flip side is for every person I passed on the hill, I got passed by twice as many on the descents and flats. I have a lot to work on and I’m glad I was able to see my weaknesses.
Getting off the bike felt good, but I knew I had a lot to make up in terms of nutrition. Plus it was literally in the 90’s. I know a lot of you guys eat 90* weather for breakfast, but not us! There are like 5 or 6 DAYS of the year that the temps get above 90. It’s a runner’s wet dream up here.
IT WAS FUCKING HOT. The run course was two loops of a figure 8. The first four miles of the run I was a mess. A hot mess.
I took a gel and salt tablet right away and waited for the gel to work it’s way into my body. The first part of the loop was ugly, sparse, and no shade. Gross.
Thankfully the waterstops were beyond unbelievable. They had cold hoses to water us down and ice. Oh sweet ice. It was fantastic and I was beyond grateful for that. The hose was so cold it took my breath away but I never wanted to leave it. What struck me was that nobody was running through these waterstops. Including the people who were on their second loop and on their way to the finish line.
Finally I felt the gel work and then I was able to take another one and I was starting to feel decent again. I stopped sweating which I knew was no good, but I was taking in as much water as I could. I was pouring ice down my bra and then eating it.
Gross, maybe. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I thought it was a genius idea.
This was by far the worse run of my life.
In terms of time and pain.
My IT band was killing me and I knew I was going to pay for this run for a few weeks but what are you gonna do. You can’t quit when your 6+ hours into it. I ran (I use the term ‘ran’ loosely here) with a girl who was from Canada and she made me feel better by telling me she usually finishes half’s in about 6:20 and we were going on 7 hours. Misery really does love company.
When I was on the bike I couldn’t wait to get on to the run. When I was on the run I wished I was back on the bike.
2:40:30/12:16 ave pace
It was THE WORST run of my life.
It was brutal and I loved every painful minute of it.
Afterward my swimming coach told me, “Sometimes our worst races are the most memorable”. So true. I will never forget that run.
Total - 7:29:56
After the race I had the biggest runners high ever. I relished in the pain and victory. It was pretty awesome. My freinds asked me how I felt and the best way to describe it was, “I feel high.” And I really did.
And I guess I drank enough water on the run course after all because I peed my pants right there in the finishers area. I turned to my husband and asked, “can you tell I’m peeing right now?” and his face turned bright red as he looked away and said, “yes.” I poured a bottle of water over my self to disguise the stream but frankly I couldn’t have cared less.
On the way home the temperature in my car read between 94* – 98*
I love that mother nature dished out shitty weather throughout the whole summer and then bitch slapped me with a race day in the 90’s. What a bitch!
This race will be remembered forever. In a good way.
Special shout out to my girls: Missy, Amy, and KK. Thank you for your encouragement and advice over my relentless emails and nervous breakdowns. I thought of you guys throughout and you helped lift me out of the low moments! A thousand THANK-YOUS!!!