Monday, June 11, 2012
After deep but short sleep, its time. The alarm found both me and my sister waiting in anticipation. I had laid out my clothes the night before. So I sling them on, my sister applied my tattoo numbers, we brush teeth and hit the door.
The transition area is a hive of activity. Some good advice the night before said I only needed to arrive one hour before. So we didn't dawdle setting up my stall.
Remember I said mornings were cold? I'm wearing 2 shirts.
We hit the catering for a light breakfast. There are some that can do this type of race on just coffee, but I've found that a little something makes AM exercise a lot more pleasant for me. Half a bagel with PB and Apple Butter, a handful of grapes and some more water and I'm ready to go.
About 20 minutes before the gun, I put on my wetsuit. I was able to have one practice session on my own. The trick is to peeling it *on* to me.
The Race Director gathered us for some final words and reviewed the course one last time.
I am wearing a black wetsuit and a yellow swim cap. Can you see me?
(That was irony.)
Then its down to the water for the start! The paved walkway is hard on my feet. I hear the Ironman's words in my head “walk, dont run to the transition after swim.” Its not going to be a problem!
I position myself in the middle of the pack. I dont want to get run over or feel like I'm being left behind. The first wave, all men, plunge in and 3 minutes later we go!
The water is not that cold. I would call it “fresh.” The adrenalin of the moment makes me swim at first with my head out of the water. Then I realized what I was doing, and start doing my proper freestyle/ crawl like in practice. But what I didnt anticipate was the mild anxiety attack that I had facing down into the black waters. I flipped onto my back and backstroke, catching my breath. I take about 3.5 seconds to make my peace with backstroking the course and make my way around the 2 buoys into shore. As I am headed into shore on the last leg, I felt the last of my anxiety leave me. I can do this!
Up the hill to the transition area. My stall is one in from the rail so my sister can support & photograph me peeling off the wetsuit and putting on my clothes. The day is overcast and it has spat a few drops of rain, but I choose sunglasses anyway. Helmet, trot to the door and exit. I'm off on my bike.
Up next: The tough get going .. up a hill.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Triathlon (1 of 5): Prologue
To say I was nervous before this weekend was an understatement. Unsettled, anxious, jumpy, frayed are also words that spring to mind.
I made a list and checked it twice. I spent 2 days packing. Worried about what to do and what to eat, I tapered and carbo-loaded, neither with tremendous success. I was going to only do a 2 day taper, but crap weather all week made it difficult to even get out for any type of exercise. After a full week of inactivity, I broke down on Friday morning and ran around the block twice (only 0.6 miles, but there is a mondo hill) which was enough to take the edge off. When did I turn into an exercise junkie?
Finally realized: This is like Opening Night Jitters. My family are all gigantic Theatre Nerds. We've all been to multiple shows, my sister has a degree in Music: Vocal Performance, my father was in a community theater group when I was younger, I directed plays in college...you get the pictures. So I know what Opening Night feels like. Once I understood it was the same emotion, I was actually able to harness the energy and channel in a productive manner. I will not be ruled by Stage Fright.
This was my packing list:
Swim: Wetsuit, swimsuit, Goggles
Bike: Bike, Helmet, Shorts, Tshirt, bike bottle, socks, sneakers
Run: Hmm. No special equip, here
Etc: Big towel*, Small towel*, Dishpan, Big waterbottle, gatorade, racing belt, Bra, camera, parking pass, Chair for my sister/support team, hairbands.
My sister/ support team decided to stay locally the night before, so I also need personal items: toiletries, pjs, etc.
*Optimist, she's such a hoopy frood, she always knows where her towel is.
What I should have brought: Sweatshirt. Mornings are cold.
It doesnt sound like much, but I had 2 additional lists, following the Tri was a Saturday night birthday party at a relative's house so I need additional clothing for myself and Child. Logistics and planning were key for getting through this weekend.
Friday night was the Athlete's Dinner and Meeting. The event is much smaller and lower key than anticipated. I mindfully consume lasagna, vegetables and salad.
The Race Director welcomed all the triathletes (about 60 of us there) and asked for a show of hands for 1st timers. About half the crowd, which makes me feel better. He reviews the course and we toddle off to go look at the transition area and the lake. I dipped a toe in, it doesnt feel too bad.
I love this man; he was carefully removing all goose poop from the beach.
I dont mean to scare you, but I will. That orange pillow was our starting point. See the little blotch WAAAY in the distance? That's 250 meters. It *looks* really far, but as you read in the next chapter, is not as far as you think.
We got back to the B&B by 8:30 and relax with some drinks on the patio. Seltzer for me, beer for sister. Bed by 9:30 and lights out at 10. The alarm is set for 5.
I *could* still chicken out...
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I am the #1 finisher for the HITS Hunter Mtn Sprint Triathlon in the Athena 39 and under!
Does it count if there was nobody else in the category?!
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
I was going to title this "High Carbing and Feeling Gross" but that is a sad title dont you think? This one is much more optimistic.
Normally, I keep to a higher protein diet with lower carb numbers than the tracker says. (Its constantly yelling at me.) It just seems to work better for me. However given my pending date with Hunter Mountain and what I have been reading about carbo loading, it seems to make sense to beef up the carbs at this time.
This morning: waffles with cottage cheese & blueberry, tabbouleh made with barley for lunch (I may never go back to bulgher wheat) an icecream with the child after mini-golf, and some barley & beans for dinner. After I entered all the food I realized: I was a vegetarian today. Ok, my protein is low and my fat is wicked high from the icecream, but I didnt eat any meat.
Unfortunetly, while I'd like to celebrate this, I feel really bloated and disgusting. I dont know if its the carbs or the richness from the icecream or an aftereffect of yesterday's lunch Denny's run: I had the Cheese burger Flatbread and blew my calories out of the water - almost blogged about it too, but I decided my SP friends dont need another self-flogging blog.
Tomorrow, more tabbouleh, more beans but perhaps eggs for breakfast instead. Thursday is PASTA!
Friday, June 01, 2012
Or, My Adventure Getting a Wetsuit
or How I Spent $40 for a 1.5 hour 1-1 Coaching Session with a real Ironman and got this wetsuit for free!
-Hi. I'm going to be doing your triathlon on June 9th and I read on your website that the pond is 60 something degrees. Do I need a wet suit?
- Well, its not required, but we recommend it and most people wear them.
So began my search for a wetsuit. I dont own one, I dont know anyone who owns one. Purchasing seemed silly since this is a specialized activity. I'm not taking up scuba diving here. Fortunetly I found Catskill Mountain Outfitters in Kingston NY.
- Hi, this is going to sound a bit odd, but I'm doing my very first triathlon in 2 weeks. They recommended a wet suit. But here's my problem: I've never worn one before. I have no idea what I'm doing here. Normal rentals are Friday to Sunday, which is fine for most people.
- I've done 11 Ironmans and I can tell you a wetsuit is really useful for bouyancy. It will make you faster in the water. We have a little pond here on the property. Why dont you make an appointment, come up and we'll get you in one to try it out.
Yesterday, I drove an hour to meet with Donald Roth aka The Ironman.
Getting there was a comedy of errors. I packed a bunch of toys for Child so he would be entertained. I grabbed his bathing suit & a towel in case he decided to get in the water. I grabbed water. I loaded my bike onto the rack in case I was able to practice my transition. But in the packing - I forgot MY bathing suit. We got 15 minutes away and I had to turn around in order to go get it. And I still forgot my goggles.
Its a good thing we had GPS, because the store was in the middle of NOWHERE. It was a converted barn in the middle of a Manufactured Housing development. 15 minutes from Destination, Child Falls Asleep. This turned out to be a good thing. I just opened the windows and let him snooze while we did some preliminary fitting.
Putting on a wetsuit is like trying to put the sausage back into a casing. Its supposed to be tight like a second skin. By the time I got it halfway up my knees, the sweat was rolling of my head. I think it should be a cardio event all on its own. Ironman decided that this is the right fit. "Stop trying to put it on here and lets take it down to the pond, you should have an easier time once its wet."
Ironman turns out to be on "guy terms" with the 14 yr old neighbor who hitches a ride to the pond. Child wakes up as I'm pulling out of the driveway. (Good, he missed the boring stuff and will play in the water)
So I start pulling the thing on, and even with assistance from the Body Glide, I'm still trying to stuff myself back into the Sausage Casing. Ironman is assuring me that I;m doing really well for my first time. When I get it up to my thighs, we end up going to the water to scoop water into the suit and "float" it into place.
The good news, once you get it on, its surprisingly comfortable (except for the neck). The bad news, it took an hour.
Lesson #1 from the Ironman, getting on the wetsuit. This is one of the reasons you get to the area 2 hours before your wave time.
So now the Ironman says he wants to see me swim. Off I head to the end of the pond. I was surprisingly buoyant - about the same lift you get from a single pool noodle, but all over my body instead of in one place. But it changes how your arms feel on the rotation. We had talked a little about my training (solo) on the phone. So he gives me a few hand position pointers. How to sight so you swim in a straight line. How to draft on someone so you dont have to sight.
Lesson #2 If you get into a pond with an Ironman, listen and be prepared to work. You will NOT come out unscathed.
All in, we did about 3 loops of the pond, which he estimated was about 600 meters. I was exhausted at the end. He swore to me that I did much better than expected, but I was still a little embarrassed that I can do 800 m in the pool, but in open water, I was really struggling.
But thanks to the wetsuit, I know I won't drown!
Finally we are out of the pond and he gives me some pointers on transitions (no practice, just food for thought) - The hardest part is racing against yourself and not other people. My goals are different from other peoples. Then he tried to talk me into doing a mini SOS (Survival of the Schwangunks - an Ironman-Class Event). Yeah, not going to happen (this year).
Lesson #3 Ironmen have a sense of humor.
Neighbor boy kept Child entertained. Child was the last one out of the pond. Getting myself out of the wetsuit turned out to be easier than getting it on. Just turn it inside out.
We get back to the shop. Ironman has made arrangements for me to borrow the wetsuit (at no extra cost!) from NOW until after the event. So awesome. I'll be able to get at least 1, hopefully 2 sessions of open water in the Hudson River before the event to practice all of the things I learned.
Furthermore, Catskill Mountain Multisport is doing Race Support for my Triathlon, so he's going to look for me and introduce me to some real athletes closer to home who can help with the camaraderie aspect that he felt was really lacking in my training. ("You need other girls to talk to.") He'll have my Bib number and rack location.
Lesson #4, Angels look like Ironmen.
Child and I ended up going out to dinner at the Kingston Waterfront and I felt totally justified in my glass of wine and dessert flan. Well half, Child ate the other. Today is normally Brick Day, but I was so exhausted, I took a 20 minute walk, was still tired, so I took a nap the rest of the time instead. I also spent the first half of the day being a bottomless pit into which I could not shove enough food. Although whether this was due to the calorie burn from "Keeping Up with the Ironman" or hunger hormones that dont know when to turn off because you're tired. I did feel better after my nap.
I brought my camera to take pictures of all this, but in the excitement, I totally forgot. Sorry, you'll have to picture it SHRINKINGLULU style.
So if you need any Triathlon stuff, please order it from Catskill Mountain. Nice people who know what they are selling.
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