Why do we sign up for these things again .... ?
Today i definately asked myself that question many times. i might have prepared for the answer to this had i known that the conditions would affect me the way they did, and had i known that for the whole race i was going to feel like i had just been hit by a bus or had just fallen off my bike teaching a T3 cycle class :) ( yes that did happen, dont laugh too loud )
I had a great pre race warm up yesterday, a ok nights rest after the endless hours of visualizing , which i honestly wish that i had not learnt that skill at all since it seems like it is a neverending story that goes on in my head. But woke up ready to go and in good spirits.
Today my goal was to have fun, be encouraging , excited and kind to others and just trust that all my hard training would show up for me and see what happens. I also wanted to race for Steve's Aunt Nelda , who raised him and is 80 ( dont let that fool you , she is sharper than i am now, and could ever wish to be ) , who came down from San antonio with Steve's cousin and their daughter to watch me race for the first time. She is one of those woman who brings out the best in you , and also shows you the impact that someone can make on anothers life. i remember the first time i met her, after Steve has been gloating about her for ages, i was silent all the way home, just still trying to take it in and feeling like i had this spark relighted in me .. so definatley a good reason to race hard..
Funny thing is - i almost crashed into them as i was taking a turn on my bike. that would have sucked..
I was excited. i felt ready , i have had some great races and some amazing workouts recently for me to feel really confident going in. i also had this new nutrition plan that would hopefully stop me from cramping and give me the energy i needed.
Swim i thought went really well. I got totally banged around by the boys for about 200 m. i remember getting hit in the jaw, and thinking, wow - thats a first. but then i got into a nice little pack for nearly all the swim. i was always behind someone or right next to someone, since i read in the latest Triathlon magazine that being a bit back and next to someone was the better draft zone. I was working as hard as i could, knowing that i dont have much time to make up the swim deficit on the collegiate swimmers ahead of me, and i think this is the main reason i officially dont think olympic distance is for me.. the swim to bike ratio is not in my favor, unlike the 70.3 distance. Got out in 29 min .. ouch.. and i heard Steve shout 6 min back.. holy cow. i am going to have to book it..
was pretty good. i hate having to take my wetsuit off by myself, and usually fumble quite a bit, but this time it went off smoother than usual. the running with the bike was another story. we had to go over all these wood chips and my bike hit something and i lost grip and almost fell face down, but thanks to my "tiger like reflexes".. just kidding. i was able to recover.
Steve told me that as soon as we were mounting bike, two guys behind me did the "flying squirrel " onto their bikes, and then collided into each other - must have been quite a sight, but they missed me by inches.. phew..
Well, i was hoping to really get after it , but right off the bat, it was bbaaaaddd... my legs felt like bricks and if i had a heartrate monitor on , i think it would have shown 100 percent max , and i was struggling to breath to top it. when i tried to stand and sprint, there was nothing. so to my dismay, all the hills and turns i had to sit up and pedal as if i was on a paper route.
The encouraging thing was that i was going back and forth with some guys from the elite wave, and ended up dropping them, aswell as the fact that it looked like i was dropping the gals behind me aswell as catching the two infront of me. yes the ones 6 and 4 min out infront.
I finally caught Suzanne , who i know is a strong cyclist , so that gave me a glimmer of hope. now i was in 2nd. i remember passing her and instead of trying to increase the gap and keep pushing , i backed way down, just to try and recover, as if i had it now and i was going to lose her. but right as i let off , there she came again and tucked infront of me. i knew i had to suck it up and really pass her now on this 2nd attempt , and i did , right before the big turnaround on 1st street. I had so much speed going into that turn that my tire skidded and i missed the fence by inches hearing all the gasps from the sideline. what i sight that would have been. nevertheless , as that happened and i was digging myself out of the back corner, Suzanne had snaked in and passed me again with a smooth little inside turn..
right after that , i passed her up again, and was able to stay infront for the final loop . i think at this point we were stil 3 min behind the leader. and no one close to us from behind. so we were racing for 2nd and 3rd.
The last few races, i have started the run and felt great, legs were there, and i was composed.
This race didnt happen like that. as i got off the bike, i knew it was going to be a long day since i was struggling to run through transition.
when the run started , i had no idea how i was going to make it to the end. not good thoughts to have when starting a 10k run. i was immediately looking for shade that i could go and collapse under and call it a day.. i was not ready to run today. Suzanne and i ran a mile together,until she left me and i had no response. my first thought was Dang - i had no idea she could run like that, but also thinking, i must be going at a snails pace. my 2nd thought was -i'm done. time to lay down on the side of the road and get wheeled out of here. i can honestly say that i had the most negative self talk i have ever had in my head . ever. and i was starting to feel really dissapointed with myself. Nevertheless, i put one foot infront of the other, just knowing i will get to the end eventually and knowing that i would be more disappointed with myself if i had to quit for the first time, especially when i am coming in 3rd in a big race. Crossing the bridge for the first time i actually got sick on the side of the road, i kept running, then i really wanted to stop. But then i thought of Aunt Nelda and the rest of the family all here to cheer me on, i couldnt quit. not today..
to finish it off, Suzanne ended up dropping out, with about 1.5 miles to go, while i was concerned for her , i knew that if she was hurting , it was ok for me to feel as bad as i did, and so just kept moving foward , determined to finish, and now i was in 2nd. Right as we were about to turn for the straight away on BSprings and Riverside. Leslie passes me with a sounded like a grunt but i think was a c'mon to me. Easy for her to say, as she looked like she was floating across the road, and my feet were getting deeper into the cement. i had played out this moment in my mind and how i was going to respond and kick it in if it had to come down to this, but my mind would not let me put any of that "wishful thinking " into action..
So ran in 30 sec behind Leslie, for a 3rd place finish..
I thought , i did it !! i got my pro card. i was ecstatic. and i was super proud and happy for Leslie too. we had both done it .. We sat and waited to see if any age groupers had bettered our times.
30 min - none , 1 hour - not so far, i thought it was done. Hammer ( Scott H ) then came over to me and said , i think someone just went 2:16 which beats our times.. no........
went to go and check.. it was true. i was out of top 3 .. and i wont deny it , that sucked.
to feel as if i had done it, and go through all the emotions, and then lose it, and go through all those emotions. yes, i do realise that me just sneaking in at 3rd today with a terrible race, means i really shouldnt be pro anyway, but to have a big dream accomplished and then lose it like that . well just plain sucks.. i really wish that those gals had entered the open wave so that i could have known that i was going to be sprinting in for the actual 3rd place. dont know if that would have changed anything, but i would like to think it might have...
anyway, Kansas 70.3 on Sunday. lets try again...i will be hoping to report that i didnt cramp...