Monday, August 2, 2010

It's really just about showing up.

Race day:
I woke up at 5:15am which is about normal for me... what isn't normal is staying up until almost 11pm the night before to watch Dodgeball and get myself fired up. I already had everything packed and ready to go, so at least the actual getting out of the house process was pretty harmless. I got dressed, loaded my gear and headed out to Blue Lake. I must say that the lack of traffic on a Saturday morning is so freaking nice. I actually got to drive the speed limit and didn't get cut-off by any jerks and didn't feel the need to scream any obsenities at all. Haha. I ate my little pre-race breakfast in the car (a peanut butter and honey sandwich prepared by my sister) and downed a bottle of water/nuun and sang some Queen trying to stay relaxed.

Pre Race:
Got to the lake and parked by 6:45am. Walked over to pick up my race packet and OMG... it's mosquito central!! Dumb me brought sunscreen (which I didn't need AT ALL) but didn't even think about bringing some bug spray. I got attacked. Pre-race I would say I got at least 10 ginormous squito bites. Apparently there was some sort of mix up when the 'data entry' person entered all of my information into the computer (they put me down as a 48 year old who wears a size medium... hahaha). I finally got it sorted out thanks to a friend who works for AA Sports and got the appropriate packet with the correct information. So, I walked back to my car, unloaded my bike and grabbed my transition bag. Walking towards transition, I spotted my sweet friend Bekah! Yay! I was super excited to see her since she was the only person I knew racing that day. Gave her a quick hug and headed to get body marked so I could actually chat a little with Beks later. After that whole black sharpie marking thing, I racked my bike and set up my transition area. The girl next to me had a balloon to mark where her bike was. Um. Is it seriously that hard to remember that your bike is racked on the very last bike rack right next to the run start?? Seriously lady. Anyway, I was all ready and walked over to chat with Bekah who asked me to help her get her wetsuit on. No problem. Got her in... and took off my warm clothes and headed out to the lake. Ummmm. Holy bath water! The water was soooo warm and I was really glad I had decided to forego the wetsuit. It was a little too warm for me. I am a super hot swimmer so the colder the better. Hopped in for a little warmup just in time for them to call everyone out of the water for pre-race announcements.

Good lord. I should have trained. I've been battling swimmers shoulder for months and really the only thing that seems to help it is NOT swimming. Ugh. I'll be honest. I really struggled during the swim. My most favorite part of triathlons and I really f-ed it up. I'm pretty sure the kayaker thought I was gonna drown cause he kept paddling over near me. Haha. I did pass people in the wave in front of me, but for me... the swim was my biggest disappointment. I looked at my time later and actually added a LOT of time to my swim. For me this is a giant FAIL!

I got out of the water feeling pretty good. Looking at my time, I know why. Nice leisurely swim is helpful for quick transitions cause you'll have plenty of energy to run up to transition. Haha. Since I didn't wear a wetsuit, all I had to do was put my shoes and bike helmet on and go.

Flat and fast. Marine drive really is flat. It really is fast. It really sucks when the wind is blowing in your face. I felt pretty good during the bike. I setlled into a nice race-pace and just did it. I remembered how hard the bike portion is for me mentally. I don't know what it is, but put me on a bike in a race and I start getting all debbie downer and feel like giving up. Of course I'd never actually give up cause I'm just not that kind of girl, but it seriously messes with my head. One of the best distractions for me is all of the other racers who don't have any race etiquette... cause I start getting super irritated. Ummm... what part of don't pass on the right is so hard to understand. I had several thoughts of just stiff arming the girls who did that and watching them tumble down the hill and into the river. Haha. So... overall the bike portion was pretty good. Just about the same time as last year. Yay!

Alright. Another peeve of mine is the ladies who ride up to the dismount area and then take FOREVER to get off their bike. I'm trying to get around you... hellooooooo. Other people. Haha. Anywho... this was by far the easiest transition ever. All I did was take off my bike helmet and put on a running hat and I was off. Easy peasy. Oh, and I saw my friend MaryJane who gave me a couple cheers, took my picture and gave me a little good luck high five. It's always nice to see a friendly face on the course!

So, I suck at running. Really. It's something I've come to terms with. Running at my size just isn't that easy. But here's the deal... I'm getting better at it. Faster even. I started off walking for 5 minutes. I'm glad I did, cause once I got out of transition and onto the flat paved portion I started running... and kept running. I saw another one of the instructors from LA Fitness. He was out cheering for some friends and gave me a few encouraging words before yelling 'move your ass girlfriend'... which really got me going. Surprise surprise! I ran the first mile and a half and once I got to the turn-around, grabbed some water and walked for a few minutes. Then I was off running again. I don't know what came over me, but my legs felt pretty good and so I kept running. In the end, the run portion ended up being the best for me. So weird. So not normal. I took over 10 minutes off my run time. I don't know how that's possible, but it happened.

So... there you have it. The race I didn't prepare for. It did show me a lot about myself though. I am still capable. I am still strong. I'm getting faster at some thngs. I need to work on others. But, I had such little expectations of myself for this race I am really really happy with my results. And hey, I was out there and I finished. Really, with no training, I should expect nothing else of myself!

Congrats to all of the first timers, to the repeat timers and to Bekah (who I am lucky to have as a friend).

And now I train. I have officially decided to do the Oly at Black Diamond. I may die.. or die trying, but I'm gonna do it. I looked at the times from the course for last year and know that I will most likely be last by a lot... but who cares. I'm gonna show up and finish cause that's what I do.

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