Seven days after my big Half Ironman and it was time to race again. During the run last weekend, I decided I would skip this sprint. (Actually, I was quite sure I would skip the entire summer but I was Definately not racing this sprint only one week later...) However, as we all know, time heals all wounds and by Wednesday I was back in the game. I took Monday and Tuesday Off. I was sore, exhausted, and ticked off with myself. I analyzed last week's race with my coach, with my nutrtionist, and with myself. I raced my heart out last week...and yet I also made critical errors. A race is a race and if you make your mistakes on that Day---it's just too bad. You can't go back and change it. You can say, "if only." You must accept it in your head and heart and do your best to move on and learn from it.
So I felt sad for a few days. I kicked the dirt and growled at myself for being so unwise.
where is the moment we needed the most'
you kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
they tell me your blue skies fade to gray
they tell me your passions's gone away.....
and I don't need no carryin' on
Because you had a bad day
you're taking one down
you sing a sad song just to turn it around
you say you don't know
you tell me don't lie
you work at a smile and you go for a ride
While I felt my passion was lost during that race last week, I just had to accept it as a bad day. It was my fault. Sure, the course was a bear. It was definately the hardest course I've ever raced on. (ok...the elements were much harder in Hawaii but the hills on this course are challenged by none.) Yes, there was heat and very high humidity. But you know what? I train on hills. Big time. I knew it would be hot and we've had heat here this year. So, enough about that. I made some mistakes and raced the final leg of that race totally underfueled. That is not a chance happening. That was MY fault! It's heartbreaking to make such big errors on a race that required tons of training, all of my mental energy to prepare for, lots of time and travel for my family, and let's not forget a lot of expense as well. Sure...it's tough. But now...I'M tougher.
So as that song says, (yes, a tad corny. Forgive me. But I heard that song last week and it struck me how some of the lyrics were so fitting. I lost my verve to sing my other song during the race but this one fit this week. ) I had to work at a smile and go for a ride.
I went out for a ride last Wednesday and enjoyed myself. I didn't ride hard. I didn't ride far. I just got on the bike. And I liked it.
The next day, I ran a little. And while my quads were achey and I had zero energy, I liked that too. I realized my passion was not in fact,gone away.
So I decided to race on Sunday and prove to myself that the Magic wasn't lost either.
Here's how it went down.
Our plan was to spend Saturday at our camp so we could wake up on the lake and boat over to the race venue. I mean---when do we ever get to do that? How fun! A 30 minute boat ride to the race sounded great and the kids were excited too. We'd bring their Grandparents (their camp is on the same little island in the lake) and it would all be perfect.
But, Mother nature interferred. Saturday was supposed to be rainy with possible rain into Sunday.
We decided to stay home and bag it. Bummer.
We were productive at home and felt fine with our decision, but sad.
And then at 4:00, the sun came out. Nice forecast folks.
We questioned ourselves and waffled back and forth.
Finally....sleep at home, get up earlier, drive to the dock and boat over anyway.
So we were up at 4:30 and ready to haul the kids to the car by 5:15. But what was out the window now? FOG. Thick thick fog. Fog + Boating = Trouble (or atleast possibly a missed race because we were lost at sea...)
I tell ya...it's never easy is it? We drove over to the lake and decided to see how it looked.
Here we go.... Our party boat was loaded with bikes, gear, snack, clothes and....
kids who were a little shell shocked at 6:30 a.m. Yes, all 3 are in that picture. Grabbing that wool blanket at the last minute was a good call!! Regardless of the chilly air, it was a fun ride. The kids did like it and it was a refreshing to start the day.
We got to the venue and did our normal prerace Prep. Well....I did. Mark was racing too but he is a lot less worried about time, and warm up, and his transition area. He races occasionally and always does a great job, but he is a lot more laid back than I am. It's true. I admit it. And that is fine. I am sure that having two of me in a marriage would = spontaneous combustion.
Mark's parents were on their way (via car ) to take over at 8:00. So I had Cameron with me and he took the other two. Cam was a great sherpa and helped me carry the bike pump and helmet to transition. However, once his brothers were set loose on the jungle gym on the beach, I lost my helper.
I chatted with my friends and met a few nice ladies on the bike rack. A bunch of us had raced together at Rev3 so we exchanged, "this should be better than last week right?" comments. I just love seeing all my buddies at these events. It's one of the best parts.
I was feeling good. The soreness was gone. My head was back. I warmed up and made my way to the start.
Let's just get to the good stuff.
The waves were like this. men 30-39 first, women 30 sec later. men 40-49 3min later, my wave 30 sec after that.
Swim---It was a beach start and this went well. I just ran fast, dolphin dived a few times, and starting sprinting. I came up on the men in front of me quickly and swam through them. This was a 1/3 mile swim. Nothing but hard swimming. I had to cut through a lot of people but it went by without much ado. I just made the turns and headed for shore.
T1---I stink STINK at getting my wetsuit off. I dont' know what to do about it. It gets caught on my feet every single time. grrr.. finally...off on the bike.
Bike-14 miles with several decent hills. I felt good!! One thing about last week's race, I am stronger for sure. Yes, racing tears apart your muscles and leaves you begging for mercy. But it also increases your fitness in ways nothing else can. I hit this course hard. 14 miles? Piece of cake....My HR was soaring and I was working for every second of the ride. My legs responded and a few times I had excellent surges on the flatter areas. I worked very hard at not recovering much on the downhills...I just kept pushing. I rode most of the ride with some men. We commented at the end that we just couldn't shake one another. Before I knew it...it was over.
T2-I raced through this one fairly well....lots of great cheering as I made my way to the course.
Run-5k - I definately felt tired as I started running. I just put my head down and worked on turning my legs over quickly. I knew I was ahead of the women so I turned my sights on a few men ahead of me. I could see a few of my friends on the road ahead so I just focused on their backs and worked on making the writing on their shirts visible before I finished. It seemed to take a long time to get to mile 1. At that point, I turned on my watch. Mile 2- 6:37 I was feeling good and in control of my pace. This route was an out and back with a lollipop. On the way back I saw a few friends and my husband. He was right there and looking strong.
I was pushing hard for the final mile. I knew my buddy Mike was within the 3:30 I needed to close in order to catch him. I could see my friends Bob and Steve right ahead.
The whole time I was racing, all I was thinking about was my fire inside. Did I have it? I had a mission yesterday. To prove to myself that I could still fight to the end. That's all I wanted. To push hard and run to my ability all the way through.
The final mile was slightly downhill. Because of that, my watch read 5:40. I was sure that was wrong but everyone at the end said it did measure to a full mile. I'll take it. If am a little off I still know it was a fast mile and for that I'm psyched. I did pass Steve at the end and he gave me an encouraging slap on the hand. Bob was too fast though and I could not cathc him.
run split 19:49
1st place!! I'm really psyched with this. I had a blast.
I was 9th overall with the men. My swim time was 4th/392 in the entire field of men and women. This is always fun to see. bike 18th and run 9th overall men and women
My friends all did a super job out there too.
Bob won his age group and Steve was 2nd.
Tim, Mike and Matt went 1-2-3 in their age group.
My friend Kelsey took 2nd overall.
Abby, Rob and Jeff all won their age groups.
and my husband, Mark was 37th overall with a 1:17. He finished with a 20:16 run and later told me he had a broken rib!? (injury from earlier in the week but he didn't want me to knwo before the race. gee..think maybe I would have suggested Not racing?)
But now---for the Big Races of the day!!! MY KIDS!
Nick geared up for his big FUN RUN!!!!! Just the cutest thing ever. He toed the line where he stretch his legs over and over and over...too funny. He ran his little heart out down the road and through the finisher's chute. Happy as always. He told us later, "I thought I was going to win but then people went by me!" Yeah Nick...that's what happens!
Tri-Maine gave them the full Tri treatment. They had body marking, caps, chips, and race numbers. They felt very official and were appropriately nervous and excited. Tommy was less than thrilled with his pink cap I must say. ( gotta love the ears sticking out and the hawaiian shorts )
His wave was up first. We had his transition on the beach with a towel, slip on shoes and his shirt (required beccause his # was pinned to it. We'll get them a race belt for next time.)
The swim was about 150 yards or so in a small lagoon near the beach. They started at one end and swam to us. Tommy led for most of the swim but towards the end, veered off course and came out of the water in 3rd.
here he is making his speedy exit to T1. You can see his flashy shorts whizz by....
He had a great Transition and luckily at the last minute remembered to peel his cap and goggles off. He left the beach in First! Go Tommy. Now the 1/2 mile run.
He ran off down the road and came back far ahead of the pack! First place Tommy! Way to go! He got his pirate medal, some snacks, and was ready to sign up for another race!!
Cameron's race was next and I feel horribly, but I don't have pictures of the swim! Too much running around I guess. He swam well but was clearly shaken up. His swim was longer and he was with more people. There was a cluster of kids and they were whacking arms with each other. I knew this would bother him. He persevered and got to the beach! He was also with 11-13 yr olds because he'll be 11 during this year. The kids in front were clearly older and they were excellent swimmers! It was fun to watch all these kids engaged in a such a healthy activity! I'll skip my little rant about the health of our children these days but let me just say YAY to all the parents who are out there getting their kids MOVING! It's so important.
Back to Cameron...
we had some discussion about Transition and in the end, he wanted socks and he wanted to tie his shoes. Ok. We rolled the socks into little balls and he did that very well. It's Not easy when you're wet and you're 10! He ultimately decided to just stuff his feet into his sneakers on top of the laces and give it a whirl. He did a great job getting himself all set to run a mile... GO CAM!
Cameron's becoming a great runner. The kids all do track twice/ week so they are used to some distances now. He picked people off one by one and finished with the 2nd fastest run-- 7:51 for a mile! Pretty great after a stressful Swim!!!
I'm SO PROUD Of all the kids!!!!! They told me they had a lot of fun and definately want to do the Full Youth Triathlon next weekend. But today, Nicholas told me, "we have to work on our open water swimming Mommy."