Today was the Columbia Triathlon. This is an Olympic (International) distance race, which in this case means, 1500m swim, 40K bike, 10k run. I had struggled in the last month of training due to illness and a schedule from the warm place. But through the advice and encouragement of RP in Wi and AC (awesome coach, from now until September. :-), I somehow managed to muster.
This was a head game. I felt really lonely today so getting my head out of the “I wish I had someone to zip my wetsuit” talk took all the way from prep to halfway through the swim. But eventually, I managed to get my head in the game and to work. I don’t feel like I left anything in the tank. It’s all somewhere around Centennial Lake.
After rain all night, the t was muddy and wet, but nonetheless, I tried to set up my area to prevent further flooding. I got there early so I took lots of time setting up but was so cold, I put my wetsuit on 45 minutes before the race. I saw the pros come into t1 which was cool, they swim so fast. Then I tried to find a place to chill out before my wave. I found a few friends which helped to calm the last minute nerves. Got a final hug from AC. The lake was not cold as I anticipated. The muck was a bit gross, so I was glad to swim out near the first buoy. We took off and I started off on the trek. I really struggled here to find a rhythm. Just after the turn at the end of the lake, I felt really uncomfortable and almost lost my breakfast. The water never opened up. I could not get out of my head. Then I encountered the “flapper”. Oh good God, she was a good swimmer but I think she lost a lot of energy with her incessant flapping of feet. It was so loud I kept trying to avoid her, but alas, we were similar pace. Finally I broke away for a bit, still struggling with rhythm. At the last, the final buoy and I ended up fighting it out with flapper for the last few meters (it was a mental thing).
T1 was generally fine. A small snafu with the wetsuit and everything I owned was drenched but I found my way up through the mud to the the bike mount. Deep breath….
Just onto Rt. 108 I realized that I totally forgot to reattach my computer, meaning I would have only my perceived rate of exertion to tell me about speed, distance, and cadence. damn. Plus, the ground was incredibly wet and full of puddles from the torrent. No sunglasses either, due to fog. But pedal away…I started off kind of slow just to get my breathing under control. I felt surprisingly confident on the first descent despite the fact that the roads were super wet and puddly. I just kept pedaling despite the exorbitant number of people passing my fat a** up and down the hills. I reached the I felt strong as I took the one flat section fast (for me). Then it was up and down the back hills. (I didn’t lose my chain MM!!) I felt really strong reaching the top of Greenbridge and after the turn on Linthicum, I started to push. Through my favorite section on FQ, then up the corn hill and headed back to the park. I had some cramps in my feet/calves I think from the cold, and my tush was absolutely on fire, but alas….I finished in 1:38, which was amazing for me. Almost 16 mph which is slow for most of the world but for me….I was practically speeding.
T2 was fine. No major rush. However, I did find my special tootsie roll in my shoe lace!!! YEA!!! Special Tootsie Roll. So I popped it in the trap and headed out for the run.
Oh, pain and agony. The hills. There is no way to explain how much of a B this course is to the “un-runned”. The park is hilly enough but then you go out to the ‘hood and its horrific. I am amazed at how fast some of the racers run this course. I plugged away, not really paying attention to my splits, rather just trying to maintain a consistent effort. Upon leaving the hills and seeing the cheer squad, I felt a surge to get through the last 2mi and pushed. I talked a girl up the “gatorade hill” and then basically talked her through the last mile and pushed her up the final hill before I took off for the dh finish. It was a slow run by my standards, but given the day 55 minutes will do.
Total time: 3:09, 43rd/86th W30-34. Way to be 50%
I was greeted at the finish by AC. She made me feel so special. Everything from the hips down hurt and I wasn’t ready to be happy about the finish. After a fattening lunch and a warm bath, I felt like I could reflect with a positive attitude.
This is just the “warm up” everyone said. Today is not about CT, it is about IM. Ok, but I still wanted to do ok here. I think I learned a lot about what I need as far as support goes and I learned that I need a heck of a lot more work with every element. That’s what I need to do for the next one, plan, prepare, and work HARDER.
So, if I can successfully complete this, as I did today….can i???
Finish 130 miles in 2 days next weekend for Hole in the Wall Gang? Plus finish raising $1000…
Finish the Musselman Half-Ironman distance (70.3) in July
Maintain focus for four months so I can complete IM Wi?
I believe so, but it is more than belief.
For now, I rest.