Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tri the Village sprint

Well. That not go so well, as H would say. But there were some mentionable parts, like the swim. I know, the swim! It's so rarely a point I like to cover. I brought my wetsuit like they told us on Facebook the day before, and once we got there the water temp was 81.5F, so speed suit it was. It may seem a bit ridiculous to use it for 500 yards, but I need every second, and every bit of confidence, that I can get.

I had warmed up by riding 4 miles over to the race and running a mile, and I topped it off with a very short warm up swim. I looked like an actual swimmer. Feeling good, I lined up near the front and quickly got away from the main group and right on a lady's feet. I weaved around a bit but stayed right with her through probably three quarters of the way back. That's quite an accomplishment for me! I came out of the water around 6-7th female. This was my first open water swim with the Garmin, and upon analysis, I found that I actually swam about 660 yards, and averaged about 1:30 per 100. This, for me, and for swimming about 3000 yards every 10 days or so, is outstanding. Sad, isn't it, that I would get so excited about it?

And that was pretty much the highlight of my race. I did have a longish transition since I had to extract myself from that tight suit and then find my helmet that somebody had knocked around. The bike went something like this, minus all the team cars:

At least it went like that in my mind. I never actually threw my bike, nor did I lie down in the grass. I might as well have, since I'm not sure I have actually ever seen that low of an average pace since I've had a bike computer (which has been for like the last decade and a half), except a couple of debacles on the Queen K. I'm not even going to write out that number. I know it's posted on the internet. 

If I could call in some asterisks for these race results? Something was up with my bike. Jeremy said my brake was obviously rubbing. Maybe a little. The real problem seemed to be that my chain could not manage to agree with my cassette, and I was constantly trying to adjust my front derailleur to stop the grinding that was going on. At least, in between the changing of gears. Good grief, the rollers. It could just be that I'm terrible at hills. For 13.5 miles we climbed somewhere around 1000ft. Ug. Just when I'd convinced myself that it was equipment failure that killed my race, somebody posted this article with a guy setting records on a bald rim, entitled Remember That Equipment Excuse You Used This Weekend? Thanks for that. 

Deflated from being passed by so many women on the bike, I tried to forget what had just happened and think about running. The rolling hills on the run are just my style. I loved them, despite walking up two short steep ones. And I had to, because that nasty cough that Hunter had? Yeah I got it 3 days before the race. There was no going even slightly anaerobic. I passed several women, and was coming up on one that looked just like me from a distance (the swinging ponytail, white top, kicking out legs), right as I was getting to the last steep hill. After that was a turn into the finish area, where we went around transition in a series of sharp turns, then to the line. The last hill left me coughing a bit, and a guy running out of T2 made me swerve, and I didn't catch her. If I'd known she was second place, then surely I could've closed those 4 seconds. The OA female had been minutes ahead of us, and even though I outran all the girls, there was no making up that much time from the bike. 

So. Now I'm definitely not swimming more than once a week, and I may stop riding altogether, since that doesn't seem to work out either. There is a fast 5k on the 4th I may suffer through, as long as I can get some running in. I have gotten closer to figuring out my hip problems, although I'm starting to be increasingly sad about what those problems may be. I'm headed back to the doctor next week for a test that will hopefully rule out where the pain is coming from. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The footnotes

Nobody gets an asterisk by their name in race results, as an old triathlete friend used to always say. Haven't we all wanted one at some point? Like Oceanside, I'm pretty sure I would've placed in the *women's overall flat-changing category. Or Heart of Dixie (ca. 2005), when a guy clipped my front wheel, and I finished all *bloody and road-rashed. Nationals in 2003? I *ate Mexican the night before. And a couple races in 2011, *pregnant. 

If I don't get a special mention for those, then I'm surely not getting an asterisk for *severely undertrained. After racing last month and then talking about training taking a back seat to the rest of life, I started looking at my logs from this past year. In just two of those weeks since July, I swam, cycled, and ran for at least 7 hours or more. Seven hours, not seventeen. One hour per day was more than I could manage. My old self, who rarely dropped below about 10 hours in the off season, would be appalled. It's not that I haven't done any workouts lasting longer than an hour, either. But something is always making me take at least one day off per week, like my 7th (?) bout of mastitis last week. And the day you start antibiotics just seems to require a day off from exercise. 

Time seems more important now than pre-Hunter. If I'm gone from my little dude more than a couple of hours, I start feeling really selfish. I know Hunter is having a blast with Daddy, but I feel like I need to get back. I get frustrated over things and people taking my precious time from me, like the orthopedic surgeon who decided to waste 2 of my hours and 40 of my dollars one day, not even getting an X-ray of my hips, much less giving me any answers. I could've been running! Or playing with my quickly growing toddler. 

It's hard to make the decision to race when I feel like such a weekend warrior. I want to say, I'm capable of more! Or, you should've seen me when I was actually riding my bike! I used to go to master's swim! But as much as I'd like it sometimes, there are no footnotes attached to the race results. The best I can hope for after a bad race is a strange absence from the race results, like that terrible marathon I did a few years ago in Phoenix that I never officially ran. Because if all races came with footnotes, I would also see some *there were only 20 women in this race, or *we had a perfect tailwind for the last 40 miles, or my favorite, *the run was short. :)

 did i run the phoenix marathon or didn't i?