Monday, November 7, 2011

And just like that, tri season is over!

Had I written this yesterday, I think it would've had a much different tone. But after having a chance to reflect and to also get some sleep, I am seeing things in a better light. But before I get too far into this, let me talk a little about Team Try Weakly, the 4th place coed relay team!

Dorina Garcia, Keith Chalfant & Luke Seliger signed up for OilMan as a relay team a few months back. When they signed up, Keith had only been riding a bike for maybe two months, Dorina had been out of the swimming game for 20 years and Luke while having oodles of natural ability, doesn't really train. They were all game to give this a go though. I really didn't expect them to place so high in the coed division....not because I didn't believe in them but because if you're signing up for these types of distances, chances are you are HARD CORE. When I saw they grabbed 4th place I was SOOOO excited. Dorina had the 8th best swim in her division and did that WITHOUT a wetsuit. So proud of her! Keith posted the 7th fastest bike in the division which is a big accomplishment given he's been riding such a short time and is still puffing on the cancer sticks. :) Luke didn't disappoint with a 3rd place run in his division coming in just over 1hr 51min. If this kid trains and learns how to pace himself, he is going to bring that time down significantly. You guys rocked and I'm so proud of each of you!!!!

On to my race. Yes, I had high hopes to PR this distance yesterday and have trained for it and was mentally ready to do it. Unfortunately, a PR wasn't in the cards for me as I missed it by around 3.5 minutes. My swim was a fair amount slower than last year but I felt like I did my very best so I can't be upset. As much as I complained about potentially being in the last wave, I have decided that is far better than having the young guys in the wave behind you & getting swam over. Those boys make some serious waves. I thought a friggin' boat was next to me and looked over to find a couple of guys paddling away. Good lord! The swim was uneventful until we approached the beach. We had to walk a pretty good distance to exit the swim. I stayed horizontal until my knuckles dragged on the mud. The run to transition was a bit of a hike and was a little "hilly". Not too bad. I ran the whole way so was proud of myself!

The bike was challenging to say the least. Once again we were greeted with high winds but we expected that. The chip seal on the road was worse than I expected. I kept praying the folks at Bike Lane did a good job putting my bike together b/c I was convinced it was going to shake apart. The plus was my arms got a FAB workout trying to keep that bike steady. I was following coaches orders to a T the whole ride. Easy gears up the hills and taking full advantage of speed on the downhills. I was feeling ok, not great, but not bad. Around mile 30, I really wasn't feeling well and thought maybe I was going too hard. I backed off but still didn't feel great so took a sip of IM Perform. Within 5 minutes, it was coming back up. I didn't even have to stop to throw up either! I figured that was the end of it so 15min later took in some more IM Perform. Up it came as well. Hmmm. This continued every 15 minutes the remainder of the ride. Ridiculous. I got called out by a dude behind me on Johnson Rd. He asked me if I puked on him, I said yes and apologized. He then let me know he was impressed I did it while riding and gave me a thumbs up. Note to self: dudes dig chicks who can puke & ride. Around mile 45 I started to really worry about my run. I know you should only focus on the event you're in but it was hard not to think about how in the world I was going to start the run not feeling well and likely dehydrated. I had made up my mind right then that I would pull into transition and turn in my chip. I had nothing to prove and nothing to be ashamed of. As I pulled back into the resort, I was feeling spent. My core hurt from throwing up and I was shaky. My day was about to end and I couldn't have been more happy. But then I saw Dorina, Keith & his girls and Emily's BF (Daniel). They were cheering so loud. I got off my bike and walked into transition. I decided to just take my time getting ready. Without even thinking about it, I put on my running shoes and race number and took off. Oh, I should mention that my bike was 10 minutes faster than last year in what were far worse conditions for me. I was pretty proud of that.

So headed out on the run, my legs felt really strong. Ok, at least I had that going for me. I took in some Gatorade from my hydration belt and it came up almost instantly. Are you kidding me? Even though I knew what would happen when I took in fluids I kept trying. I figured something would get absorbed and at least I would get a little benefit. BTW, I can't run and puke at the same time. That's just gross. At this point, I was starting to feel pretty dizzy and I knew this was 100% because of the lack of hydration. I dumped water on my head at every aid station and when I felt dizzy, I slowed way down. I tried to keep the walking to a minimum but there were times that's just what I had to do. I told myself that I gave it my best and it was time to find a medic tent and get off this course. As I started the 2nd lap, I asked a volunteer where the tent was? They didn't know. Seriously? He said he thought it was around the corner (near the pool?). I jogged a bit and started to feel crappy again. I bent over at the corner and spit some stuff up. Two really nice guys came by and dumped their water on my head and wrists. They told me to sit down and wait for someone to come help me. I ran. By mile 7, I was absolutely regretting starting the run. I took in some water and miraculously, it stayed down. I decided to take a gel since I didn't keep any others down. It stayed down! Oh my gosh. By this point, I only had a little over a lap to go and I decided to stick it out. I came this far. For the rest of the run, I was able to keep fluids down and could feel myself getting better. With 2 miles left, Luke asked if I wanted him to run with me but I told him no b/c I was ok and could get it done. I needed to do this on my own. I knew I was very close to my finish time from last year but was just grateful I was going to finish. The last 2 miles felt the longest although they were my fastest. I pushed for the finish line and was done. Thank God!

I was so happy that I hung in there even though I absolutely wanted to quit on each and every lap. I did prove to myself that I can stand up to the mental challenges (again). I started to cry a little when I was talking to Ana mainly b/c I felt like I let her down. I think I started to cry a bit too b/c my body was just so tired at that point.

Waking up this morning, I am really proud of myself. I know you can't PR every race (even though I always want to). I know without a doubt that I will keep getting stronger and I just need to be patient and continue working hard. I am SO looking forward to having a whole season with Ana and seeing what I can do. I feel like I've had a continuous tri season since June 2010 and I'm ready for a little bit of a break!

So there you have it. Another 70.3 is in the books and I'm stronger for it! I hope all who raced this weekend achieved their goals! :)

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