This weekend I ventured into the relm of Olympic distance triathlon. Double the distance of the sprint I did two weeks ago. To say I was nervous is an bit of an understatement. It seems on my road back to being a triathlete I have lost some of the confidence I had before the dreaded Adrenal Fatigue. I go into each event wondering….will I have it in me?
Now this is my third time doing Lake to Lake so I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew the swim seems hella long, and the bike course has some kick butt hills. The run is nice a flat and I was hoping I could pull it off. I actually wondered if I would be able to cycle up some of the bigger hills on the bike course..with visions of having to walk.
I got up early on Sat and headed to the race with my friend Stacey. I had the best time in transition chatting with friends and making new ones. Race time came and down to the water I went. I warmed up for a bit and then it was our turn (as the announcer put it “time for the old folks”).
I must say the swim went great. For some reason, and I don’t want to tempt the swim gods here, but I have never had one of those crowded thrashy, mosh-pit type of swims in all the triathlons I’ve ever done. I always seems to find my “piece of heaven” in all the mess and swim without a crowd around me. And I’m not swimming off course either
As I rounded the last buoy and headed back to shore I started to tell my self that my time on the swim would be 45 minutes. I think I was doing this so I wouldn’t be disappointed if it actually was that long. I was setting myself up so I wouldn’t be thinking what I failure I was…..and was I delighted when I looked down at my watch as I came out of the water and saw 31! I was stoked! “Not bad time” I said to myself.
Then it was onto the bike. I was starving as I got out of transition and decided I needed to begin to fuel immediately. I had a peanut butter clif bar which I promptly ate within the first few miles of the bike. I knew I needed to get calories on board and the sooner I did eat the better chance I had of it not bothering me later on. (I was right about this).
I rode and rode and rode and rode. The course is 30+miles and mostly climbing.
As I approached the ”monster climb” I thought, ”self, just get on up it and take your time. NO need to go anaerobic!” And that is just what I did. I cruised up it, keeping my heart rate at a decent level and pedaled on pass a few folks to boot! And, I didn’t even come close to having to walk!!!! I knew there was one more “big” hill and when I approached it, I felt confident and strong! Again, I just cruised right up it!
And then it was time for the descending dream! I love descending. For some reason I get all Mario Andretti and start acting like some kinda race car driver. I LOVE banking the turns and getting all tucked and using my body to dance the corners. What I lack in climbing I definitely make up for in the descent.
I rolled back into transition after an hour and 40 something minutes (my slowest time on this bike course) and headed out for the run. I was feeling strong, well hydrated and well nourished. The run was fun and I never once struggled or wondered if I could make it. I ran at a comfortably hard pace and finished my race within the time I had “allowed” myself.
The day was a good one for me! I raced well, accomplished everything in a better time than I thought I might, and had a blast doing it! Having raced Olympic distance it’s helped boost my confidence. I am starting to believe in myself again and in my athletic abilities. Next up is Barbs Race Long Course (half ironman). That will be my next confidence booster besides the next 2 weekends of 5+ hours each of riding in the mountains
Oh yeah… and did I mention that after the race and some food, I got back home and went out for a 2 hr bike ride?? Yeah…it’s comin back…that Ironman fitness! YeeeHawww!