Saturday, June 12, 2010

Triathlon, We Need to Talk (aka Race Report: 2010 CF Tri #1)

Dear Triathlon,
We need to talk. I'm sure you've sensed that things have not been the same between us for some time now. As you may recall, I was hesitant to get involved with you last year, but once I got a taste I couldn't get enough. We started spending more time together, and it almost cost me my relationship with running. I came to my senses just in time to give it a real go with running, and we were very happy. But you just couldn't take a hint and lured me back into the pool.
Even though I was still spending plenty of time with running, he turned on the charm for fear of losing me to you again, and I couldn't leave. I still thought I could make it work with both of you, but today's encounter made me realize that my heart truly lies with running, and I'll never feel the same way about you. I loved the times we've had together, and I never would have realized how much I love running if it weren't for you, but I think it's time that I stop seeing other races and commit to running.
I hope we can still be friends and hang out from time to time for fun, but that's all we'll ever be. I know you'll find someone who can truly appreciate it you.

So I as you can see, things did not go as planned today. However, I'm oddly at peace with it. I met only one of my goals, I finished and had fun, but a comedy of errors netted me the slowest time ever and an epiphany :) Official results are not in yet, so I'll update this post with that info later. So let's take it from the top.

in transition I woke up before the alarm, and got the last of our gear together (mostly hydration since we packed our transition bags last night). Jason secured the bikes to the back of dad's truck, and we were on our way before 6 a.m. Comedy of errors #1 happened on the ride there as the exit we needed to take was closed for construction (or we missed the detour sign) and we had to make an illegal u-turn or go 20+ miles out of our way. We made it there in plenty of time, found parking, got our packets, and set up transition before heading to the beach.

I thought I was being silly thinking it would take me 15 minutes to "swim" a 1/4 mile, but in fact it took me almost 18! It was a beach start, with at least 50 yards of running in the water before we could swim. Once I finally started something that resembled not drowning, my garmin wrist strap (without the watch) started coming loose (#2). I was already far enough that I could not touch the bottom, so I had to somehow tread water while trying to fasten it. I quickly gave up that idea and shoved it in my bra. For the rest of the swim I worried it would float away and be lost forever. I managed to hang on to it, but my concern grew when my top unzipped (#3). It's really difficult to zip up your top and not drown. My "swim" stroke was all over the place. I tried breast stroke, something akin to side stroke, backstroke/float, doggy paddle, and freestyle but only breathing on the left side. I am just happy that I kept moving forward and did not need an assist from the kayaks or hang on to a buoy.

neat and compact transition area (unlike my neighbor) I took my sweet time getting to transition while putting on my garmin wrist strap. When I got there, I realized that I forgot to unbuckle my cycling shoes (#4). I got all my gear on and headed to the mount line. I tried to mount too soon (#5), but they didn't care since there was no one else around. Of course, I could not clip-in (#6) and the start is on a fraking hill! ugh!

I start riding up the hill with only one foot clipped in. Yeah, that worked as well as you would imagined (which means not at all) and I almost fell off my bike (#7). I  managed to recover in time to unclip and get upright before hitting the ground. So now I am off my bike straddling it as I walk up the few feet left on the hill (#8). As I try to mount my bike again, my gu (which was taped to the bike) falls on the ground (#9). The nice volunteer handed it to me and I was on my way, but my confidence is already shattered due to this stellar start.

I managed to clip in on both feet just before the first turn up ANOTHER hill. Frak me! I already knew I was not going to meet my time goal for the race, let alone on the bike. I had a hard time getting my heart rate down, catching my breath, and my arms hurt for some reason (oh yeah my "swim"). I gave it my best shot and was averaging around 14 mph for a bit, even passing people for a while, but then the hills began and my speed plummeted.

The course was 2 extra miles from last year. That doesn't seem like a lot, but those 2 miles had ALL the hills. Frak me! I went nuts on all the downhills not touching the breaks (max speed of 30 mph) to try to make up some time, but I might as well have walked up the hills because I was riding THAT slow. But I was determined to finish this thing without getting off my bike once -- and I succeeded -- mainly because I didn't want to trying to clip-in again. So forget 15-16 mph, I was lucky to average 13+ mph. I finished 10.4 miles in 47 minutes @ 13.3 mph.

catch! The bike dismount went well. As I was walking to rack my bike, I thought I'd multi-task and move my garmin from the bike to my wrist, and I dropped it on the ground! (#10). Grabbed it and finally get it to snap in place after a few tries. I finally made it to my spot, racked my bike and switched shoes. Of course, I had trouble getting on my running shoes (#11) but I did the best I could, grabbed my water bottle, hat and race belt, and began walking towards the run course while trying to fasten on the race belt which was proving more difficult than anticipated because my hands were full with the damn water bottle (#12). As I grab for my second gu, I too dropped that on the ground (#13), but I swallowed it and chased it with water and was on my way before long.

I tried running, but I didn't have it in me, so seeing an upcoming hill was excuse enough for me to walk and ease into it. I practically walked the entire first mile and then some. I alternated small bouts of running with walking until the first turn around, then I got my second wind and started running slowly. I ran most of the 2nd half of the race with the occasional walk break. I saw Jason just after mile 2 and took the opportunity to get rid of my water bottle.  I had less than a mile to go, so I tried to run most of it, then sprint to the finish. Garmin says that my "run" took 41:26.

I saw the clock read just after 2 hours, so I knew I at least finished in under 2 hours (my worse case scenario goal) since I was in a later wave. I was glad to finish, and I knew at that moment that I was done with triathlons (at least for this season). I was not upset at all; I was relieved and at peace. I gave it one last shot and it confirmed that running is the only one for me. I had already registered for the 3 race package, but I'm going to try to switch them to 5Ks instead. That way I can run and still come support and take pics of Jason.

So that's the story of how me and triathlon broke up. I may see him occasional someday, but we just have bad timing right now. If it's meant to be, we'll find each other again someday :)

Official Results by Gender (out of 168 females)

  • overall place: 153
  • overall time: 1:54:01
  • swim place:  157   
  • swim time: 17:32  
  • t1 place: 131
  • t1 time:  4:08
  • bike place:  145   
  • bike time: 48:03  
  • bike speed: 12.5 (based on 10m, but I biked 10.4)
  • overall place after bike:  151 
  • t2 place:  137
  • t2 time:  2:47  
  • run place: 143
  • run time:   41:32 
  • run pace: 13:23 
  • ag place: dfl (out of 20) 


Lauren said...

I'm sorry it didn't go how you thought but I'm happy you got "something" from it :D

klbarrus said...

Funny story, and I'm glad you at least had a fun time. I have another friend who backed away from tri to concentrate on ultra running... I confess the simplified schedule (fewer hassles juggling workouts) and ease of travel is appealing. Hm... :)

The Green Girl said...

Oh, Kitzzy, I'm sorry you had such a rough today.

This reminds me so much of my relationship with yoga. ::hugs::

Kitzzy said...

@Lauren, yeah you gotta make lemonade when life hands you lemons ;)

@Kyle, exactly. It's hard to get motivated to train for 3 sports well. It was easier last year because of the novelty of trying something new and I was doing it with friends, but this year I was training alone and after the marathon I just wanted to keep running. So I'm going to listen to my heart and go with that for now.

@Mary, thanks, but it's ok. I had a good run this am so I'm in good spirits. Did you write yoga a break up letter? Maybe that's were I got the idea for this post. lol Who knows.

Robin said...

Dear Tri Man,

She's just not that into you....

Kitzzy, what a crazy morning for you! OMGosh!! Glad it's over and you're at peace w/ your decision. Wow! Way to hang in there and get the darn thing DONE!

Kitzzy said...

LOL Robin! Yeah, I wanted to quit so many times, but that would have made me feel worse. Triathlons are just a test of will, and I passed lol Now to get cozy with running ;)

Anne said...

Great recap!! Good for you for getting through this...glad you managed to find the rainbow :)

Kitzzy said...

Thanks Anne! Finding the rainbow ... that's a great way to put it!

Kevin said...

@Kitzy - That is a funny post. That was not an easy sprint and you sounded a little unprepared. You will have another date with Mr Triathlon. Maybe you just need a longer race. They are not as fast paced and hectic.


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