Friday, August 6, 2010

Jack’s Generic Triathlon. 2010

Sunday was my return to triathlon after a two month break from racing. I was so frustrated with my performance at the CapTex Tri on Memorial Day that I vowed to stay away until I felt truly ready to race again. (You may ask, “Carol, where is your CapTex  Tri race report?” To that I say, the dog ate it). The best thing that came out of that race was what Ginny Rolich told me: “It's the races that you want to quit but don’t, that are your real successes.”

So what did I learn from CapTex?

Pre-race: I hydrated like a – well, I hydrated big time. The whole week leading up to the race, I increased my water intake to drinking 5-6 water bottles worth of water (at least 2 of them with nuun).

Race Prep: I practiced transition and had my race bag packed before dinner on Saturday night. Dinner was light, lean and consumed before 8pm.

Swim: We’ve been practicing bilateral breathing during workouts and I put it to use. No surprise- it works! I got into a really good rhythm: stroke stroke breathe, stroke stroke breathe, stroke breathe sight. My time was a full 10 seconds faster per hundred than my last swim at the Ski Ranch at the Rookie!

In order to stay cool, I stripped my tri top off and slipped my running singlet over my jogbra. This was a HUGE help. I’m not comfortable in just my trisuit for the run so I usually wear my singlet over it but that gets HOT. This time- although I was hot, I was never at risk for over heating. Maybe someday I’ll feel secure enough in just a trisuit but until then, I’m doing the top-swap!

Bike: The bike felt good but ultimately proved to be my slowest MPH. I remember there was one point when I was really moving with a good cadence and I couldn’t suppress a “woohoo!” Although I felt pretty solid, a fair portion of the bike course is incredibly bumpy which makes for a slow ride and tired legs.

On my way down the hill I saw a sight that none of us ever wants to see- medics on course. I could see a bike propped up but two police cars, an ambulance and a civilian car blocked my vision. I know it sounds cheesy, but I had a really weird feeling. I couldn’t see who was down or even how many people were involved but given how close our tri community is, I had a feeling I knew someone involved.

Run: Ah the run. My old nemesis. At CapTex it defeated me and I ended up walking most of the way- but not today. Today I was determined not to walk. I would jog, I would shuffle, I would trot- but I would not walk. Along my run I crossed paths with many friends and we gave each other cheers. In fact, just about everyone I made eye contact with returned my thumbs up or encouragement.
A few minutes into the run, I saw Jen Ritchie coming back towards me. “It was Stacey!” she shouted. “Stacey crashed.” I was stunned. My friend Stacey is has been a training buddy for two years. She’s a cheerful, positive bundle of energy who just completed her first 70.3 (half Ironman) earlier this year. She is currently training for her first marathon and now she’s on her way to a hospital. Knowing there was nothing I could do at this point, I kept on and decided to catch up with Jen once I was done.

Soon I realized that I was at the turnaround point and my legs were still cruising along. So yeah, I took a few walk steps in order to get some water down but other than that- I did it! I ran the whole thing!

I came into the finish and saw fellow RLE Brand Ambassador Buffy cheering me on at the end. I gave it just a little extra across the sand and it was over.  I was very pleased with my run but anxious to find out about Stacey. I soon learned that she was taken to a local hospital and several of our friends were either there with her working to help get her car and gear back to her house.

Buffy and I gulped down our burgers (hers veggie, mine cow) and beers and decided to call it a day. I checked in on Stacey’s status and learned that although she had broken her collarbone and suffered a fair amount of road rash, she was handling it well.

So all in all, a good day for me but with a little more road rash than any of us would like to see. I’ve been in touch with Stacey and she’s managing very very well. None of us are surprised to know she’ll be back at it in a few weeks. That’s just how Rogues roll.

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