|This may have been the only time I smiled during the run...Or was that a grimace?|
Well, lookee here! I got another race to report. Of course, now I'm about two weeks behind in my posting, but you all know how I am...
I know I've said that this year, I'm going to call it like I see it about racing. If I wake up and feel like it, I'll race and if I wake up and feel like crap or I'm just not into it, I won't. Which means, the sprint triathlon I did on June 4th was only my 3rd race of the year.
I was tired when I woke up, but it was 4 in the morning, so that wasn't all that unusual. I figured I'd give doing the triathlon a go, since I was sick last year and couldn't race. Even though I had only did any swimming twice this whole year.
The race went down like this:
Swim - There was some problem with draining the lake and so it was lower than normal. Which meant getting in and out of it was trickier. There wasn't any nice sand to help with the run in or out of the lake. Instead there was gooey mud that felt like quicksand with every step.
I tromped into the water and tried to do the crawl in the water. Something was wrong. I could barely breathe. Turns out, I had gained about 15 lbs since the last time I wore my wet suit and it was constricting my rib cage so much that my lungs couldn't get much air. As if an open water swim with hundreds of my "closest friends" wasn't panic inducing enough....
I figured there wasn't much I could do but try to just get through it without dying. So, I got on my back, closed my eyes and put my left hand on the rope that held the buoys that guided us on where we were to swim and used my right arm to flail about and barely push me forward. I went so damn slowly and every time I checked, I still had so far to go. By the time I made it out of the lake, I still had to run up a big sandy hill to get to the first transition.
Bike - I was so wiped, but I thought, I'm going to get on my bike next. That's my easiest, favorite part. So, I changed out of my wet suit, put my number belt on, threw on my shoes and helmet. Ate some GU and headed out on the bike. I wasn't the quickest cyclist at first, but as I finally started to recover from the swim, I picked up my pace. Toward the end of my ride, I was actually feeling pretty good. I was worried about the run, since I've been having problems with muscle cramping and tightness with the lovely perimenopause, so I was worried I would have to walk more than run.
Run - As I reached the transition for the second time, I just had to take my helmet off, drink a little water, and go. Did I mention that it was really hot out? Because it was really hot out. I tried to get myself to run in smaller increments, like, I can easily run one mile, just keep running until I get to the first mile mark. Then, okay, I made it to the first mile, now it's only a half mile until the turn-around, just go that far. Then I talked myself into "running" to the 2nd mile mark and then I only had a mile left and then a half mile left, and in high school I could run a half mile in a little over 2 minutes. (Never mind that I was at least 30 years younger, I hadn't just finished most of a triathlon and I was running on a track at the time) Two minutes was nothing, right? So, I ran the whole thing, (and the last half mile was in WAY longer 2 minutes), except for stopping for a couple of seconds to drink a swallow and then throw the rest of the cold water over my head. I made it!
It was the slowest time I've ever had for a triathlon and the run took me 6 minutes longer than the first time I ever competed in that same triathlon in 2011, but I finished it. Afterward I was talking to a guy on my bike racing team about how I got too fat to breathe in my wet suit and he told me, "Don't worry. It wasn't you getting fat, those wet suits shrink over the Winter." Riiiiiiiiiiight.
So, lessons learned in this race: Don't get fat over the Winter, spend more time swimming before the race and be proud of myself for finishing and not stopping to walk during the run.
I'll be interested to see what other race I might feel like doing this year...