Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lonestar 70.3 race report - warning - long again

A few good quotes that were in my mind going into this race :
As Sam Wariner quoted to me“ I was born to be an athlete, this is all I know “ .
Another quote that my husband’s good friend , Chad sent – Don’t try to please other people, do what makes you come fully alive. The world needs people that come fully alive”
“ I don’t want to be standing at heavens doors and tell God that I didn’t use up all the talent that He blessed me with “
The reason I got into triathlon is because I feel that God has led me to be doing this and has opened every door possible. I am here to bring Him glory and point people to him – through my actions , my attitude, and trying tolove on people .
I feel I didn’t do this as best as I could this weekend.
My attitude – I feel ,was not the best. I was so self focused and then disappointed that I didn’t realize all those around me, some that had not even been able to finish the race , had a bad race, etc. and here I was complaining because I was leading then lost , yet set a personal best time of 4:57 , which most people dream of breaking 5 hours.
I was really hard on myself after the race, yes, tears and all, and I am sure to many out there, it seemed as if this is all that mattered to me, etc. yes, I am hard on myself when I don’t achieve my goals but personally I think this is what make me work so hard and makes me the athlete I am .
So ,me laying this all out there for you all to see , is because I need some accountability with my friends and fellow triathletes. If anyone sees me like this again, slap me upside the head. Please !
My goal for the rest of the year – to do what God has gifted me to do in an attitude of gratitude that I am able to race and be out there with all my friends. And my focus needs to be on others , not myself. That is what brings the most joy ! truly !! In the past when I have had down times, the first advice I get given is that I need to go and do something for someone else and get out of myself. And it works everytime.
Now to the race if you are still reading after all that rambling……
So the mindset from my coach Siri, was to have no expectations and just try my best. I don’t know if this mindset worked for me. Last year I went into each race wanting to win and by a lot, and mostly I did, and I had that fire that I felt was missing from the race. It was almost as if I was my best friend out there saying “ you are doing great, so proud of you “ when really what I needed to hear was “ get your butt up to the front and win this thing” …
Swim –
The bay, the wind , the speedboats going by made for really choppy water. I started out in front of the pack next to Carla Uribe, who I know is an strong swimmer. I thought with all the time in the water and with my improvement on my times in the pool ,that I would be able to stick with her, but I unfortunately found out that no matter how fast I am in the pool , if I cant swim in open water and sight properly, I am still going to be slow. So note to self – more open water swimming and learn to sight. Immediately once the gun went off I was probably in the front pack for 50 m before I lost any feet that were in front of me. And then if you can believe it, I swam completely solo for the rest of the way. The good news is I swam straight in line with buoys and most people were getting pushed too far to the right because of the current and waves. I swam as hard I could for that day ( again that “kind” voice was holding me back a little knowing I had a long day ahead ) , so it was really about at 80 %.
Came out of the water in 35 min or so . Brutally slow . But I didn’t let that get me upset since I had that feeling that everyone had a bad swim because of the conditions. And I was being my “best friend “,remember .
Bike –
Got out of T1 quickly and started passing people immediately on the bike. There was some head and side wind going out , but not too bad. I was still holding around 21 mph. My hope was too average out around 22 or 23 mph, so I was thinking that on the way back with some tail wind , I would make that up .
After the turn around .Tailwind ? Where had it gone ?? so I was averaging about the same on the turnaround. I was thinking with this slow bike I was going to start getting passed up, but didn’t , so everyone must have been having a hard time out there? I felt pretty good about that coming into T2 but had no idea how many gals were still in front of me because I didn’t have Steve to call that out like he usually does as I come out of T1. I usually like to know how many girls are in front of me out of the water So I know how many I need to pass on the bike, which gives me that extra motivation.
I had taking in my nutrition religiously so that I would be ok for the run . I had Lime Puresport and Carbo Pro mix with Nuun for some extra electrolytes, and then I was taking in salt stick tablets every 20 min. The goal for this race was to not cramp up like I did in Longhorn 70.3 last year.
I wanted to push and go harder on the bike, but I had something holding me back. I kept on having this fight in my head – do I hammer the bike – my strength, or be conservative because i kept on thinking that I still had to run 13.1 miles and that is where it will be won. The second thought won and I kept it rather conservative on the bike. I think it was also this voice in my head being kind to me and saying just to try my best, instead of it saying “go, go , go, no matter what it takes “
So into t2 I come, no cramps so far, except for some minor hand cramps I had throughout which was followed by me popping some salt.
Got to the end of the bike and didn’t take my shoes off on the bike as usual , I bent down to try but felt myself starting to cramp up in my back – oh no.. so I just left the shoes on , flaps open.
I got off and ran with them as fast as I can – which was slow. Next time I have to get those shoes off no matter what .
Racked my bike , grabbed a gu and one more salt tablet and took those immediately as I got water heading out for the run.
I heard Logan on the microphone saying that I was the 3rd age grouper to head out on the run. And I could see two woman just 100 meters in front of me, and they were moving slowly. I passed the first girl that was in my age group at the first corner, and I felt effortless. All the t3ers were on the side screaming and all excited. i was going to do this. By the next turn I had already put 100 meters on her and was feeling good. The next lady had left in the wave in front of us and I passed her at about mile 1. When I looked down at my watch to see the mile 1 split. 6:20 . whoa – I thought. Seriously ?I thought I was running 7:15’s at best .I got so excited. Right after the first water stop I could feel my quads starting to cramp up . please ,please ,…no…. I kept on, just not picking my legs up like I was for the first mile. Mile 2 – 6:35 and feeling great except for those quads which I could feel tighten every step of the way.
Still holding the lead, I could see one girl closing in. Mile 3, 4, 5 I checked my watch. Was holding 7min miles all the way, which I could not believe because I was really feeling my quads now, knowing that at any moment it would lock up. I kept my steps small and short , so that I would not encourage a full blown cramp. At Around mile 5, I finally got passed up by girl 1 .crap …..
I kept on thinking , pick It up , you are not working hard enough! Especially since I really wasn’t breathing hard. So I tried to surge and go harder but the body would not respond at all. I was starting to feel cramps in my feet and at one point my left foot locked up and I hobbled for a few steps until it released again. This happened a few times after that . I got water and Gatorade at every stop, but nothing was helping, I was starting to fade ,and fast, and there was nothing I could do about it . My mind wanted to go harder, but my body was not agreeing.
Right at the end of the 3rd lap and 4 miles to go , 2 more girls passed me , I wanted to cry right then . I was out of the “top 3 – pro qualification”. I tried to put on a surge and stay close to girl number 3 , but that is when full on cramps started happening. My surge ended up with me having to back way down. I was going to stop and stretch but I really didn’t want to walk so I kept on with a slow crawl.
Last lap to go, and I was slow close. Still in 4that this point. I was praying that I could somehow pick it up and selfishly I was praying that someone ahead of me had blown up. Both didn’t happen. I ended up getting passed by two more girls with about a mile to go. At this point I looked at my watch once more as the new goal was to break the 5 hour mark that everyone talks about breaking. Please let me at least do that. I was able to hold steady and deliriously picked it up for the last half a mile. I remember thinking how ridiculous I must look because my head and arms were flailing everywhere as I ran then hobbled because a cramp would overcome me, then run into the end.
4:57 … so close yet so far. A 4:48 would have got me top 3. 9 min !! - A little harder on the bike , a steady pace on the run with no cramps and I would have had it..thats what I am telling myself anyway.. Next time
I couldn’t Thank to Lindsey Holtkamp ( my Steve replacement as she put it ) for taking care of me as I was in the medical tent for 2 iv’s and hyperthermia( No wonder I couldn’t pick it up during the run) She held my hand , as I am seriously scared of needles , and she really went above and beyond to be kind and loving as I was beating myself up over the race.
Thanks to Matt connor for speaking some truth into me as I lay there with tears in my eyes, Phil for trying to stretch me out before he carried me over to the medic tent. Kelly for getting my bike when I couldn’t walk. And Jennifer for being the driver to and from Galveston , and for the great conversations we had.
Thanks to Red licorice events, jack and adams, under armour,Puresport, Sweet leaf tea, and T3 and all the teammates, and of course my husband who keeps on believing in me and supporting me.

1 comment:

  1. Natasha - I really appreciate you sharing your heart in this post. It's clear that God is working on you! The great thing is - you recognize Him doing it & you are open to His leading!
    For what it's worth - I think your performance at this race was amazing, especially considering the cramping, etc. I do understand your disappointment, though.
    Every race is a learning experience!
    Keeping following your heart & His voice & He will give you the victories you desire!