Saturday, May 07, 2011
I did it! It has been a hard week, especially since the OWS (Open Water Swim) clinic last weekend when I had a panic attack. I've worried & worried about the OWS portion of this week's tri... and I did it!!! I also worried about coming in last in my age group. Well, I was at the BOP (back of the pack), but not quite last. And, what matters more, is that I came in a little better than my goal time. Yeah!
(photo from friend's iPhone)
So, here are the details...
I woke up at 4:10 wide awake & ready to go. I got to the parking lot about 5:20 and joined my friend/personal trainer (Sara), who was doing her first triathlon, at the bike rack. I went to get my timing chip... and there was a problem. I was #707, and they did NOT have a chip for me! They called over someone in charge & she assigned me a different number & said she would go officially switch it over. (Apparently this did NOT happen as my new #1100 is listed as "unknown participant" and the time is 36 minutes off because they started that chip with the elite wave. Ugh! I'll try to fix this problem on Monday.)
We had lots of time to walk around. We had a great position on the rack - just one rack in and near the bike in/out. We walked that path a few times to make sure we knew where our bikes were racked. We also walked down to the water to look at the buoys, but they weren't up yet. Sara had several friends (she also teaches boot camp) who were there competing - either individually or in relays - so we stopped & talked with them.
As the transition area got set to close, I grabbed my banana & water (I'd already drank a protein drink) and headed towards the port-o-potties. But, as we approached them, we noticed the park bathrooms & got in line there instead. Nice!
After that little necessary trip, we headed to the water to watch the elite wave (6 athletes!) and the men start. We watched several waves (we were #10 of 15) and saw what the mass start would look like. This is an 'in water' start, but about 2/3rds of the swimmers actually got in the deep water & treaded, while the rest stayed nearer the shore where they could stand. We decided we'd be in the latter group!
(Oh... side note... I had STRUGGLED with the decision about whether or not to wear a wetsuit. They are only legal if the temp is 78 or lower. How great for us who didn't wear suits, and those who wanted to, that the water temp was 77.9!!! Legal for them and relatively 'warm' for us! No gasping & shock from the COLD like I felt even last week at 75/76!)
We moved to the start area & my husband & daughter found me! I stopped & hugged/kissed them and thanked them for coming. It was an EARLY day for a weekend!!!
I was a lot less nervous than I expected. At least until we actually got to the water & got the '3 minutes to go'. I waded in to my head and moved my arms & jumped around. I was trying to get used to the chill. It was hard to hear the speaker, but I finally realized he was counting down our last 10 seconds... and then it was time to GO!
I started swimming freestyle. It wasn't long before I was getting 'crawled over'. It's HARD swimming like this! For several minutes, I had ladies hitting my feet and it feels like they are pulling you under. It makes it hard to swim! But, I kept going. Once or twice, I gave a harder kick when I'd gotten hit several times in a row.
Finally, we were spread out enough & I was clear. I was breathing every other stroke... the entire way. That wasn't my plan, but it was all I could do! I was a LOT better at sighting the buoys than I'd been at the clinic, too. I kept going & going... it feels like a LONG time.
After awhile, the next wave caught up with me... and started climbing over me again! What a terrible feeling! I was afraid wave after wave would catch me! I was in a 'pink swimcap' group, and all I could see were yellow caps! I figured, by then, that I was the last pink swimmer. It was kind of upsetting, but I told myself to be proud... I WOULD finish!
About 100 meters from the end, I saw another pink cap near me. YEAH! I wasn't out here all alone. I pushed near the end and swam until my hand hit the ground. Then I got up, and was actually able to run a little! (Unlike the 1st tri.)
I got to my bike rack and saw Sara's bike still there. (She's also in my age group.) So, I knew I wasn't last! She came up while I was putting on my shoes. She had Lock Laces & I didn't, so she got out slightly before me.
I ran with my bike until the MOUNT line. I hopped on and struggled to pedal. It was hard to catch my breath, too. I saw Sara just up ahead. She had to pully over. I asked if she was OK... she needed to adjust her pedal. I don't wear clipless shoes & neither does she. But, she had cages & her feet weren't in them right.
She stayed behind me until about mile 7 when she passed me. I told her I'd keep her in my sight, though. And I did! My hips, especially my left, REALLY started hurting by this point. I was near tears & making faces. I tried adjusting my body and my feet, but I was in a lot of pain. Finally, at around mile 11, I thought I should just try moving faster. I did, and it worked! It relieved the pain! I was able ot pass Sara, too, and stay in front of her for the rest of the bike ride. I saw my husband & daughter near the bike finish. And, again, Sara & I finished so close together that we saw each other at transition.
I racked my bike, took off my helmet, grabbed my sunglasses & visor and 'ran' towards the run exit. I was struggling. I was thinking I could NOT run. Sara caught up with me and we walked and talked. Then we ran and couldn't talk. I could not catch my breath. We kept walking, then running, then walking. At about 1.5 miles I told her she should go out and run. I needed to walk but she looked strong. I told her I wouldn't let her out of my sight. She ran some, but we both kept running & walking. I kept her in sight and she never got too far ahead, but I just couldn't stick with her.
At about mile 2 (of 3.1) I saw 2 other ladies in our age group pass me!!! I SO wanted to run after them and catch them! I tried... I ran a little. They were slow. But, I just couldn't catch them OR Sara. At the last water station, I saw they all 3 got water & walked. So, I kept 'running.' But, it didn't do me a lot of good. I was just so tired.
At about .5 miles to go, I started talking with a male runner. All of the males go before the females start, so he was quite a bit behind. He said it'd been a hard race. I agreed! We both walked & ran some together. When I could finally see the finish line, I started to run. I wanted to walk again, but I didn't let myself. I ran through the finish!!! I did it! I finished the triathlon!!!
(post race photo by dd10)
Here are my times:
500 meter swim 17:01 (3:24 pace...vs 2:41 at 1st tri in pool)
TT1 2:50 (vs 2:21 1st tri)
15 mile bike 58:25 (15.4 mph pace...vs 13.1 mph 1st tri, but that was hillier & very windy)
TT2 1:06 (vs 1:14 1st tri)
5K run 36:45 (vs 40:17 1st tri, but that was hillier)
Biggest news: I can't believe my 5K time. That is a PR for me!!! And, I honestly walked about 1/3rd of the time! Am I really running that much faster???
My goals were:
18 min swim (did 17:01)...yeah!
2 min TT1 (did 2:50)... further from water than figured
58 min bike (did 58:25)...a little disappointed because I thought I was riding faster
2 min TT2 (did 1:14)...actually, I should have realized this would be faster
40 min run (did 36:45)...WOW! My thought is that maybe it was short, but I'll take it!
Thanks again for all of the support & encouragment!!! You all really lift me up when I'm feeling down and feeling like things are impossible. THANK YOU!!!
Friday, May 06, 2011
With my daughter away at a birthday party & my husband at work, I've had time on my hand this afternoon. That's RARE, and I'm enjoying it! So, on the eve of my sprint triathlon, I am busy planning & dreaming of races to come! Here's a basic outline of my thoughts at this point.
now - Aug - triathlon season
Sep - Dec - running season
Jan - Apr - biking season
I probably won't make all of these events, and I'll probably add some others. But, here is what I have worked out for now.
May - sprint triathlon (tomorrow!)
June - half marathon (San Diego RnR)
July - sprint triathlon (2 choices)
August - sprint triathlon (2 choices)
September - 5K (repeat of my 1st 5K last Sept!)
September - sprint triathlon (kind of looking at Olympic distance, but it is 3x the swim!)
October - two 5Ks (repeats from last year)
November - half marathon (several possibilities) & 5K
December - half marathon (2 possibilities - but would love to do the Vegas RnR!)
January - start training for MS150!!! Also, possible half marathon (Houston - lotto system)
February - MS150 training
March - MS150 training & possible half marathon
April - MS150!!!
That's my schedule at this point, and I'm really excited about it!!! I hope to add some 5Ks, 10Ks, and possibly even muddy events or "Climbs" (where you race up stairs in a building). And, who knows what my sister-in-law will come up with! (She's who I'm racing both HMs with - Tulsa in Nov & San Diego next month.)
Friday, May 06, 2011
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds.-Philippians 4:6&7
WILDFLOWERR_B posted that verse yesterday evening. I read it as I continued to be in a state of fear over Saturday's triathlon. I prayed and have since experienced peace...God's peace...about tomorrow. (Thanks, Wildflower!)
As I look at tomorrow's race, I still think I could be last in my group. I think I'll finish near 2 hours, and if I 'hit' 2 hours... well, last year that'd have put me last in my age group. I am tired of being so close to the back, and I will definitely be working on speed in the coming months! But, I WILL celebrate my achievements. It was still less than a year ago that I was sitting on the couch, not exercising at all, and weighing almost 30 pounds more. What I have accomplished is amazing! And I am thrilled! I will be proud of myself!
As far as the swim, I think God led me to an online blog last night. I didn't even save it! But, the author was talking about her first triathlon in 2009 (I think). She mentioned that the water temperature was only 71 and she did not have a wetsuit on. She said it was cold to start with and she had trouble finding a rhthym, but eventually did and completed the swim just fine.
I'm expecting our water to be slightly warmer - maybe 73? (It was 71 yesterday and 72 today - and we're supposed to have a high of 87 today and low of 62 tonight.) And I have been visualizing the swim that I DID complete. I was quite comfortable after I got going that last time! And, I KNOW I can do it again.
I will try not to worry (or even think!) about coming in last in my age group. If I do, I'll be disappointed, but mainly I'll be THRILLED that I completed that swim! It is a HUGE mental hurdle for me!
I REALLY appreciate all of the comments on my "I'm Scared" post yesterday. You are all so supportive and SP is an amazing support system. THANK YOU!!!
Aspen29 left this as part of her message: "I see self doubt and see you get frustrated with yourself (like on your group bike ride or your open water swim) but them you end out totally killing it." This is so true! In the past, I haven't even tried things that I wasn't sure about! Now, I get scared, but I get out there and do it anyway...and I SUCCEED! I feel so strong! Sometimes I even feel like SuperWoman!
So, this is another step to overcoming my fears... and to helping me believe in myself. I can't wait to give you all the report tomorrow!!! Again, your prayers & comments mean so much to me!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I am trying to do some positive mental talk, but I'm just SCARED!!!
My sprint triathlon is in 2 days... with my first open water swim. I did the 1st timers clinic on Sunday, had a panic attack, tried again & succeeded. But, the water was COLD! The first 5-10 minutes were really cold & hard to breathe. But, then it warmed up ok.
Well, we've had a 'chilly' week & the water temp has gone down from 75/76 to 72! And, we'll be swimming at 7:30 am, not 10:00 am. And, it won't be just a few people going in the water at a time, there will be 68 in my wave!
I'm so scared! I'm actually sick to my stomach today. (Even having some diarrhea - which is how my nerves show!) I'm afraid it'll be too cold & I won't be able to catch my breath! I'm afraid others will swim over me (like when I did my pool tri) and I'll struggle to stay afloat. I'm afraid I'll have to hang out at the canoe... and not finish.
Right now, I'd almost call it quits. But, I WON'T!!! I AM STRONG. (right?) And, I CAN do it!!!
So, words of encouragement are greatly appreciated! (I know it is too late to get a wetsuit now, so I don't think that's an option.) Prayers are incredibly appreciated, too! I need to calm down and focus on the training I've done & the fact that I WAS able to swim those 500 meters on Sunday. I CAN do this!!!
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
I know I have 2 big events coming up - sprint tri #2 on Saturday (gulp!) and half marathon #2 4 weeks later. But, I'm already trying to decide...what next???
You see, I'm not sure what I want to focus on.
...Should I start focusing on biking? There is a 2 day, 150 mile ride this fall I'd LOVE to do... but finiding the time for that kind of riding would be hard. And, doing it around the neighborhood would be boring.
...Should I focus on running speed? And, if so, what distance? I want to be able to run a mile in under 10 mins (instead of 12+)! I want to run a 5K a lot faster than my 37+ PR I have right now. And, I'd love to be able to comfortably run a half marathon in under 2:30.
...Should I start building up for a marathon this fall? My daughter will be attending a private school this fall (instead of homeschooling), so I'll have a lot of time. It would be a wonderful accomplishment!
...Should I compete in some more spring triathlons this summer? If so, I'd really like to get some swimming lessons - possibly one on one. I don't feel like my class (which is now over) helped me with my technique much. And, if I continued with tris, I'd want to work on speed for both the bike & run portions.
...Should I try some more trail running & try a trail bike ride? There is a local group that competes in Xterra triathlons that I've been talking to. The workouts are close by and they would even loan me a bike.
...Should I start working out at CrossFit? I will actually be trying this next week and, from what I've seen online, would love to do that 2-3 times per week and actually compete some day! I just LOVE the excitement & energy & STRENGTH of CrossFit!!!
As you can see, I'm all over the place! And, right now, I'm not sure what I'll be doing after June 5th. But, maybe this month's sprint triathlon & next month's half marathon will give me some enlightenment. I know I'll never get really good at any of these sports if I just continue to dabble in all of them. But, then again, I'm enjoying testing the various sports and seeing what I enjoy doing. So far, unfortunately, it seems to be all of them!
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