did not finish
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Potential captions for this photo:
"That's not a bandage -- he's actually giving me a manicure."
"Yes! An excuse to upgrade to Ultegras!"
"I swear, the sag wagon is a really great place to meet people!"
As you can see, Sunday's Metro Triathlon did not turn out as planned. First of all, it wasn't a triathlon at all. At about 7:30 on Saturday morning, I got an e-mail from the race director saying they were canceling the swim because "water conditions do not meet the requirements needed to allow swimming by the State of California's Department of Health standards." (Later discussion with Katie, who grew up in San Jose, revealed this is code for "too much goose poo.")
So all of my hard work and swim training pretty much amounted to nothing. My Olympic distance triathlon morphed into a duathlon -- 1 mile run, 40K ride, 10K run. I've been doing brick workouts that are tougher than this. Without the swim, this event was kind of a letdown.
Yet I still made the trek down to San Jose, largely because I'm a cheap-ass who hates wasting money on an entry fee.
(Thank you to Layla for this photo of Thai and me and for being our head cheerleader! Thank you also to Katie, Alisyn and Matt for being there! And for the wonderfully gross post-race conversations about bodily functions. You know I have the maturity level of a 10-year-old boy.)
A few things we noticed at the starting line: A guy wearing his bike helmet for the run. (Does this actually save time? Or did he just forget? We couldn't stop wondering.) The announcer trying to get the female competitors to dance. (Kind of creepy and sexist.) A lot of people with really good abs. (I wanted to drop and start doing hundreds immediately.)
Run 1: A flat loop around the lake, which by the way, did happen to have quite a few geese in it. I wasn't wearing my Garmin, so I had no idea how fast I was going, but apparently I finished in 7:45. (I suspect the course was short -- I can believe a time in the 8-minute range, but this was a little too fast.)
T1: No issues. I ran in, changed shoes, put my helmet on and wheeled the bike out in 1:23.
Bike: Where do I begin? Everything felt off! My knees hurt, I couldn't get my hands positioned right, my shoulders ached -- I just kept fidgeting and playing with my form. And let's not forget about the headwind for the first 11 miles. I think I got passed by a million people. (Is there nothing more annoying then getting passed by someone who yells "Good job!" and then jets off?) I also almost got hit by a water bottle that another cyclist accidentally dropped. And I saw a woman completely down on the ground. (According to this blogger, she went up over her handlebars.) It freaked me out and I slowed, but there was already a crowd around her, so I kept going.
Once I hit the first turnaround point and got out of the headwind, I started to feel more hopeful. I picked up the pace and managed to pass a few people. Then I started the climb (the only significant hill) on Bailey Road, about 15 miles in, and felt even better -- I have a sick love of hills. I passed a few more people and made it to the top.
And then I saw an aid station and a volunteer handing out water bottles. I hesitated to grab one (since I already had my own water), but went for it anyway, which turned out to be a huge mistake. I got the bottle, but when I tried to switch it to my left hand to drink out of it (I am lame and have difficulty doing anything with my right hand on my bike), I lost control and crashed. Who crashes while trying to use a water bottle?! So incredibly stupid. (Why am I the clumsiest cyclist ever? Did you know that once, in the middle of a 25-mile fundraising ride, I fell at a stop sign and I wasn't even clipped in? I swear, I should ride in a sumo suit.)
I got up and tried to put my chain back on, but it was stuck. And then I noticed there was blood everywhere. And then I noticed my right shifter was crooked. And then I walked up to the aid station and asked them to call a sag wagon. And that was it for me -- my first-ever DNF.
My poor bike, all covered in blood. (If you look closely, you can see the bloody pedal too.)
Thankfully, it doesn't seem like the damage is too bad. The bike shop called today, and it looks like they can save the shifter (though I'll need a new hood), and the parts of the pedal that are broken should be replaceable. As long as nothing is wrong with the fork, Bibi the Bianchi should be just fine. (That's right -- her name is Bibi. I don't know why. I just like it.)
As for me, my right hand has the worst damage.
I can't grip anything very tightly (for example, I have to use my left hand to shift my car into reverse) and the fatty part under my thumb is really swollen, but I can type and write and this morning I pushed a dresser across the room (that was interesting, but I managed to do it). I also have bruising and road rash on my right lower hip and a bruise on my calf that sort of resembles a golf ball. And my right deltoid is incredibly sore. But nothing is broken.
I won't lie, though: The mental part of a DNF is not fun. I know it happens to everyone (even the hot guy in the sag wagon -- his DNF was because he couldn't change his tire), but I still can't help feeling like a bit of a loser. (Yes, I did call my parents crying and asked them if they still loved me even though I couldn't finish the race. Shh. Don't tell anyone.)
Thankfully, Layla strongly urged me to join everyone for mimosas and pancakes afterward. And we sat in the sun and talked about one of my favorite subjects: Poo. (Yay!)
And then I went to Maru Ichi Noodle House in Mountain View and had a bowl of kuro ramen (therefore adding a check mark to my list).
It was impossible to feel sad after this!