Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice Race Report

Who wouldn't want to do a triathlon on a Sunday night (Father's Day) at 5 pm? Just about everyone in the world, I guess. There were 20 participants in this event, 5 did the duathlon - the other 15 did the triathlon.

The course was a 1/2 mile swim down river, 12 mile flat bike ride, 3.1 mile flat run. The weather had been really rainy and cool the past few days and so we were just hoping to not get rained on. Luckily, the weather held out. The sun even showed up for a while. The wind, however, was blowing super hard. That had me concerned, but I was really already concerned. The swim, freaks me out. I had been worried and anxious all day long. The thing is, we are training for a much longer event and this first training event was supposed to set the stage for that.

We sponsored this event last year and got to watch it. Last year there were about 50 participants. Most of them were first timers, with bikes that weren't really geared for triathons. So leading up to this event I was feeling pretty good.

We got there about 2:30 for the 5 pm start. We were sponsors of the event again and had all the race packets and registration materials, so we needed to be there early. This resulted in standing around in the wind for 2 and 1/2 hours. The other participants started showing up and they all looked REALLY serious. It was all men - 3 women. Us three women did not look serious. It was one woman's first and she brought a friend, so we all stood around trying to make ourselves feel better, while the professionals set up around us.

We wrestled our way into our new wetsuits.

The time came to start and we walked 1/2 mile up river to the start. This had been billed as an easy down river swim. I remember last year people yelling from the shore to just flip on your back and float down. The water was not so swift this year - the tide appeared to be coming in and there was a strong cross wind. There were also a few big ships that added some wake to our swim. Here we are getting ready.

Here's me just getting started. I know that because I am doing the crawl stoke. I only did that for a few minutes - my hands kept hitting the sand, I wasn't out far enough and I felt like I was on a water treadmill, working hard, but going nowhere.

After a few minutes, I didn't really know what to do, so I just did whatever I could to make progress. I breast stroked, a little back stroke, side stroke. I just kept moving and couldn't figure out why the river wasn't helping me.

Here's Trevor, he said he did the breast stroke most of the way. He's better than me at staying calm, I get frustrated and end up battling my mind. I'm working on that.

We finally got out of the water - the swim took me 16 minutes. In the lake, it usually takes me 22 minutes, so I guess there was some current. Here is the usual picture of me getting out of the water. I always have the same look on my face. I can tell you the word that is going through my beings with an F.

I felt better than in other races because I could actually run to the transition area.

The bike was my strongest event. We've ridden this course many times on our long rides, so I knew it well. Its flat and fast, you just have to pedal the entire time. The bike took me about 50 minutes. The cross wind was nuts, I could not believe how hard it was still blowing. I passed Trevor twice, coming and going and he looked good too. He had run 8 miles in the morning, so I think he was a bit more tired than me! Here we both are on the bike.

Finally, time for the run. I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach and I'm not sure why. I've been running by my heart rate this year, which means I don't worry about my pace and that has slowed me down a bit. The idea is that if I run in the right zone, I can run forever. So that's what I did during this event, just ran by my heart rate. It rained on us a bit during the run - windy and rainy. Perfect.

The two other women were a ways behind me when we started the run. I was actually geting excited that I might be the overall women's winner. Then, the last 1/2 mile, they both passed me at an all out sprint. There was no way I was going to sprint to the finish. Honestly, it was a blow to my confidence when they passed me. So for the last 1/2 mile I had to remind myself that this was training for something bigger and that I needed to stay within myself and just do what I needed to do. I kept thinking that Trevor would see them coming in first and think I was hurt or something had happened. I know it doesn't matter that they passed me, but that isn't how I felt.

I finished in 1:38. I think Trevor finished in 1:23. I didn't have a time goal in mind for this event. I just wanted to get the feel of moving from swim to bike to run. After we were all done, I had this overwhelming feeling of fear. In 8 weeks we are going to swim more than twice that far, without being able to touch the bottom. We are going to bike 4 and 1/2 times that far and run more than 4 times that. I felt sick to my stomach and I wanted to cry. I was thinking...why didn't we just stick with running. What the hell was I thinking. I'm scare of the water. I'm slow. The 70.3 on August 16th has an 8 hour time limit, what if I can't finish.

Then I thought about how life is all about being afraid of things and doing them anyway. You don't become better by doing things the easy way. I keep telling myself that, even today. I'm working really hard on being proud instead of being scared.

But here we are at the finish. Medals and all.

And here are the wonderful women who took the great pictures - Trish and Jo. These two started out as customers at our store. Then we met up with them again at Vancouver Fit - they are coaches too. They have become friends and they are really awesome people. They came out to watch us in the event and were there for the whole thing. They'd drive out on the course to see us on the ride and they were cheering us every step of the way. How amazing is that? We love them.

What I realized today is that I need to get my butt into the open water and swim there for the next 8 weeks. The pool isn't cutting it anymore. So starting this week, we'll be at the lake every Tuesday night and probably every Wed and Sunday night. Because we have 8 weeks to be ready for something much bigger. And we will be ready.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Great're awesome! I could never do that.