Saturday, May 21, 2011

St Anthony’s and Gulf Coast Triathlon Recap

There’s a unique feeling I get when I am about to approach the starting line with World Champions. Nausea?  Admiration?  Pride? Breathe!  All I think of is, “I hope I can still see them when I get out of the water!”  At St Anthony’s, I didn’t see much of them, but I hope I looked cool in my new SLS3 Fobic Speedsuit at the very least.  St Anthony’s was an eye opener that I need to refocus and get serious if I want to continue racing.  With my PhD in full swing, I severely slacked off training and was stressed out from school and it showed at St Anthony’s.  My mind was not in it.  My heart was not in it.  I lost my “digging deep” as Lori (GOTribal Ambassador put it:  You never know what can happen on any given day.  Even with the best-of-the-best at the starting line, we must race against ourselves and not let others’ keep us from giving it all we’ve got!  For some reason, I was sight-seeing at St Anthony’s Triathlon.  Who wouldn’t!  Sarah Haskins, Sara Groff, Matty Reed, Nina Craft, and on and on and on! 

My goal was to not finish last – what kind of goal is that?!?  BAD!  As I exited the water knowing how far behind I was and how long the swim to bike transition was, I didn’t feel like I wanted to continue.  I knew that was a bad reason for pulling out so I hopped on my bike and took off.  The first group of men rounded the corner like a peloton!  I wondered, what did I sign myself up for?  Although I managed a negative split on my run, the day felt like I missed a huge opportunity.  I need to sit down and really re-assess my training and racing both mentally and physically if I want to continue.  I DO want to continue. 
Heading into Gulf Coast Triathlon in a short time, I had made a plan to start attending the local high school swim training and to let my husband, Steve, beat me up on the bike.  I knew I wouldn’t be at my peak by Gulf Coast, but maybe I’d make some progress by Columbia Triathlon in Maryland later in the month.  After the first high school swim training, I thought I broke a rib.  I forgot how much abs we use to do the butterfly stroke.  My legs were wasted from trying to hold onto my husband’s wheel during a 42 mile ride.  I went into Gulf Coast Triathlon a little sore, but bearable especially for a relay.  Approaching the race start was very different then I was used to.  As a pro, I usually go off first and without a wetsuit.  This time I would be going off an hour after the first wave.  I barely warmed up and tried to not feel too nervous.  I got kicked in the face and could feel my wetsuit rubbing my neck raw.  I felt like I was giving it a good effort but that I still had a little more if the swim was shorter.  As I struggled to exit the water and run up the beach, I didn’t even unzip my wetsuit.  I wanted to get to our biker as soon as possible!  My lungs were screaming!  Why don’t I do this for my own races?  Why just for relays?  I handed off our timing chip to our biker and tried to ask how long my swim was, but no one really knew.  I thought it was about 32 minutes, but wasn’t sure and didn’t see the actual times until the next day.  26:31!!!  A new PR!  Heading into Columbia Triathlon will be a learning experience as it’s been a while since I had to fly with my bike, but my goal is to push it to my limits and then work on changing those limits. 

1 comment:

  1. You'll get there in time! I remember high school swim practice - at least my school surely put us to work (can't say much about our competition though since we were always undefeated, haha).

    Keep putting in the work (as you can around a Ph.D.) and it'll come together!