Saturday, April 18, 2009

I tri-ed

So where the heck do I begin!?

Yesterday and last night
We were making mad dashes to find a wetsuit, a bike, get a number belt, pack my stuff, read all the USAT rules one more time, get a water bottle on the bike which we stayed up until 12am last night trying to friggin get it on, doing mock transitions in my bedroom. It was all I could do given the time and circumstances.

Wake up - race day
I woke up at 4am and left for around 4:30. Got there around 5:30am. Parking was easy and they had us right next to transition. It was colder here at my house than over there at Lake Mead! I was so grateful for that! The women's sprint distance was scheduled to take off @ 6:47am.

Transition set up was relatively easy. Thank goodness for the mock drills last night. The only negative to transition was how tight everyone was. I put the number sticker on my bike, grabbed my PB sandwiches, filled up the 1 water bottle I started drinking (I brought 4! lol) and picked up my timing chip.

Here's all I had for set up:
shin sleeves
number belt
1 hammer gel pack
headband & extra hairties
pink skull bandana to put on my bike so I could find it
1 water bottle to wash my feet after the swim
1 refill water bottle
1 handheld running water bottle
(not shown - one water bottle on my bike)
I ended up not using the body glide

I wore Zoot tri shorts, a Reebok T-back shirt and a Shock Absorber sports bra.

The Swim
I headed down to the water before putting on my wetsuit just to put my feet in and take in everything around me that was going on and about to happen. Went back to transition and started getting my wetsuit on for about 6:30am. The nerves were really starting to hit me. Once the male sprinters were heading out, most of the women were all in place to go. We were all there trying to figure out what bouys we were suppose to swim to. As people asked me if I trained for this, I quickly explained I was suppose to be the runner of a team that bailed on me at the last minute. As soon as I said that, most everyone was all "oh my, I heard about you". I had a mini panic attack. I think moreso just a good needed cry after all the emotions I went through in the past couple days and now my nerves. It felt good to get it out. Another girl, I wish I had gotten her name, she took me in the water and taught me how to prep, get water on me face, get the water flowing in your wetsuit, etc. Thank you miss lady, whoever you are! I was ready to go! I stayed in the back though, as I knew I'd be a slower one and figured I'd save myself the kicks and hits of faster passers.


In most of the sports I've practiced in the past months, it usually holds true that going out is harder than coming in. For me personally it's been that way. The swim, however, that does NOT ring true! Going out was pretty easy as you have a lot of energy. As you see the end nearing, it seems to take forever! At one point, I was trying to figure out if I was just treading water but thought I was swimming. Your arm and leg pushes just don't have the same umph behind them and you don't get very far with each push anymore. Oh and the whole "swim on your back if you're tired" thing - yeah right. Everytime I went on my back, the water went up over my face and I swalled more water that way. Not to mention, you can't see where you're going so you end up going way out to the side and wasting time coming back or you risk the chance of crossing bouys. I drank more lake water than regular water and was throwing up nastiness in my mouth until the run.

I was one of the last ones out of the water, but I didn't give a rat's booty - I WAS OUT!! That was all that I could think about. I starting ripping off my wetsuit immediately. ONE DOWN!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO

The Bike
Got to transition, it went like clockwork. Threw the wetsuit down, sat down, tried my best to dry off my feet and get dressed from the legs down. I didn't feel as jelly or disoriented as most people say they do after the swim. But I think that's because of how slow I swam.

The bike out was hard, uphill in fact. That sucked and I decided to hoof it on foot with the bike until the top of the hill. From there I jumped on and cycled as hard as I could but also kept in mind that I still had to run 3 miles after this. I didn't want to push too hard and give up in the run, which would have been sad for me since that's my strong area. Going to the first turn around was very hard. I walked almost every hill. BUT that meant that once I turned around, it was going to be mostly downhill! I screamed with joy so loud when I hit that first turnaround. I was cruising so fast on the way back I scared myself a little. I held those handlebars so tight lol

Then they tease you a little bit.. you go PAST the race area and up another long hill for another turnaround. I again had to walk most of it. This time when I got off I clipped the seat with my foot, bent my knee sidways and broke the chain. I fixed the chain super quick, but from then on my knee hurt for the rest of the bike. I begged of the photographer not to take any pictures of my walking. She made me a deal and said she'd do it once I hit the turn around and was cruising back. FINALLY, the last turn around. I could have friggin cried! This was it, a couple miles downhill back to transition and I was on my run!!! I just couldn't wait to get my feet hitting the ground again.

The Run
Again, probably because I walked the bike section a few times, I didn't feel the gooey jelly legs that everyone talks about from the bike to run. I did feel it ON the bike though, when I tried standing on the bike to push up a hill. Transition from bike to run was very easy for me. I wasn't changing shoes, so I just had to rack the bike and grab my Nathan handheld water bottle, take off my helmet and grab my headband. I popped the Hammer gel pack in my mouth - honestly that was gross lol It was banana and I thought I grabbed berry. Definitely a wierd feeling to think one taste and then feel another going in your mouth.

The begining of the run was ridiculous! All sand and rocks. I was praying it wasn't like this all the way through. It ended up being harder dirt ground for the main run part but there were lots of rocks. This was a challenging run physically. I'm a low-to-the-ground foot runner. I can go fast without picking my feet up too high. Well...while on a rocky dirt road it was pretty much impossible to run that way. My legs wouldn't get UP because they were definitely tired from the bike portion. So I sadly admit that I walked a lot of my run. This disappointed me as this was my strong sport and I feel like I just couldn't get a rhythm going. I was so scared I'd twist my ankle and then that would be it. I'd be out of the race right before the end. So, I figured since I know my walking speed has picked up, it wasn't that bad and I ran when I could.

The Finish
THERE WAS A FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say more?

This was a mental challenge more than anything. You have to be able to tell yourself to keep going, keep trying, don't get discouraged, and don't try to impress anyone. Physically I knew I could do it, but mentally I was scared as heck. Would I do it again? Well if you asked me during the race and immediately afterwards, I would have told you NO WAY. I was mentally challenged and just so relieved it was over with. Now if ask me my answer is OF COURSE I WILL!

Unfortunately I had to pull out of the 10k Lovell run because I can't miss another soccer game. I coach Rick's team and it's Christian's first season, and I had to give up both their first games today for the triathlon. I don't want racing to become something they remember taking their mom away, but rather something that made their mom a better mom.

Am I crazy? I feel like heading out for a run....
Oh and for good old times sake, I ate some peanut butter cup Ben and Jerry's.

overall place: 235
division place: 27/27 (last lol, it's all good)
sex place: 109/114
swim: 26:43
T1: 5:00 (this honestly doesn't sound right, i can't believe I was there for 5 minutes!?)
Bike: 1:21:42
T2: 1:47
Run: 44:55 (wow, my longest run EVER... a bit diappointing)
TOTAL TIME: 2:40:04
OK well, now I have to do another one just so I can improve my time! lol


robison52 said...

Congrats on a tough but successful race! I'm proud of you as you made lemonade from your ex-teammates bummer lemons.

Sorry to hear you can't make the Lovell 10k, you would be the only person there I would somewhat know (I'll be running the 50k)

I like your new profile photo!!!

pregodego said...

And surprisingly the lemonade turned out to be SO sweet eventhough their lemons were so sour! :o)

Ron said...

great job girl! Way to go!

Michele said...

Congrats!!! I'm sooo proud of you. It takes a lot of will power to finish these things but feels sooo great when you cross that finish line. Reading your entry made me feel like I was there again doing it for the first time. (Kinda makes me wanna do another, lol).

Your medal looks fantastic ad so do you! So, how do you feel afterwards are you sore at all? When I did mine, I guess I didn't train that hard because I literally could walk for two days; however, it was soo worth it as I did it for a cause and raised $2,500.

Well, again Great Job Super Mom!

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Hey there!
I was excited to read your note on Loved the comment "oh I've heard about you..." !!

I'm glad you went for it, even though your relay fell through. You'll always remember this experience!! I'm so glad you finished. Love your medal pic too!


pregodego said...

Michelle that is awesome how much you raised!! I only have 2 weeks until Iron Girl, but I hope to raise a good amount of money. At least $500.

Thanks so much for the congrats everyone!!! It feels awesome to know how much support there is out there!

Mississippi Love said...

Congratulations! But, most of all...THANK YOU!!! I enjoyed reading your entry with your fun writing stlye and positive outlook. I will be doing my first event (tri-sprint) in a few weeks and I am beyond nervous. Thanks for sharing your experiences. This is not only a physical event but a mental challenge. Now, I feel a little more prepared. Thank you so, so much.