dress rehearsal

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In our pre-race talk, Coach Mark called Sunday's race a dress rehearsal for Louisville. And as with any dress rehearsal (since I was a drama dork in high school, I'm totally an expert on this subject), there were glitches.

There was also one very pungent dead deer, four dead snakes (two of which made me scream, even though they were dead) and one unidentifiable mummified dead thing with a long tail and fur.

But I digress.

Even though this race was just practice, I still feel like I should've done better. It wasn't an A race by any means, but I still wanted a sub-7 finish. I'm trying really hard now not to dwell on my performance (or lack thereof) and instead learn from my "issues" and make a plan to fix them.

The Swim: Oddly, the best part of the day. I got kicked in the head and there was lots of contact, but I didn't panic. I stayed steady, swam in straight lines (at last) and focused on long strokes. Swim time: 49:27.0. (And actual time in the water was probably less than that -- the timing mat was up a hill just outside of transition instead of immediately at the water.)

Jazz hands! (Photo by Coach T.)

T1: Even though I dropped my goggles running to transition and then slipped and fell picking them up, this was still one of my better T1s -- no fumbling with the wetsuit. T1 time: 2:49.2.

Bike: Where do I begin? At Mile 17-ish, a yellow jacket hit me in the face, bounced off my cheek and landed on my left arm, where it inserted its ass into my flesh and stung me. I shook the bug off, but the stinger stayed in my arm the entire ride. And it was not fun. Also not fun: Losing my front water bottle and having to stop on the side of the road to retrieve it even though I had taped all my bottles with Hello Kitty duct tape for extra grip.

Then there was the pain in my neck and shoulders from the aero bars. And not being able to ride as aggressively as I normally would have because I was still getting used to Minivan and shifting in aero. And I got bad stomach cramps at Mile 50 that continued through the first few miles of the run. My heart rate was all over the place -- inconsistent effort, largely due to discomfort. Bike time: 3:45:54.9. (A big fat meh.)

T2: Fine, but a little slower than normal because I felt like shit and was sort of giving up hope. T2 time: 2:26.9.

Run: The cramps were bad. Really bad. But I kept running, popped two salt tabs and sucked down a bunch of Osmo. I started feeling better around Mile 4 and ended up being able to run the entire 13.1 without walking (although I did stop at aid stations for water and fuel and used a port-a-potty once). The only other issue (very minor) was the timing chip cutting into my ankle. And I probably could've pushed harder -- I was mostly in Z2 the whole time. (One sign that I should've worked more: I managed to have a very detailed conversation with some random guy about how I had tried to pee on the bike but failed because I kept thinking about the pee getting on my rear water bottles and then what if I drank my own pee and is that sanitary or would I die. We are now Facebook friends.) Run time: 2:27:11.8. (Also meh.)

Total: 7:07:49.8 -- in a small race like this, where almost everyone seemed to be prepping for IMAZ, I was at the tail end of the pack. Not going to lie: It was (and is) really hard not to feel like a gigantic loser. Also, my arm is swollen and hot and extremely itchy.

But I'm trying to be positive. I'm looking at the problems I had during the race and coming up with ways to address them before Louisville. The to-do list includes getting my bike fit readjusted, changing my hydration system (for the third time), making hydration a priority in the days leading up to the race and carrying salt on the bike.

And so we continue onward. And I thank god I'm not allergic to bees.

Best part of triathlon: The friends who don't judge you even after a tough day.

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