Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Creek Tri RR

Make that hot, windy, broken, painful, and frustrating and you have yourself a more accurate title for the last post I wrote.

Let's just say that God was speaking clearly.

Just to warn you, this may be a really long post, so settle in...

I packed up and headed to Des Moines mid day on Saturday.

A friend took me out to pick up my packet and then we headed back to get our gear together for the next morning. My bike's gears were slipping a little bit but we got that straightened out for the most part.

I stayed with a buddy from high school and his wife and 2 year old little boy. They have been so hospitable as this is the second time this season I have stayed with them before a race. I stayed up way too late talking to them and catching up but that is part of the deal when you stay with friends you haven't seen in a while. All too soon it was time to roll out of bed. I got about 5 hours of sleep Saturday night. I got my gear together and stepped outside. Not kidding, it was 78ยบ and 97% humidity at 5 am. There was fog on the ground and it was so oppressive you could hardly take a breath in.

I drove over to pick up my bike where I had left it the night before. I ate a piece of white toast with PB and Honey and got most of it down. From there it was on to the race site. We got there in plenty of time and got body marked and good end spaces in the transition area. I could not get myself to get in the lake and warm up even though it was more than warm enough. I just can't see the point of getting all wet and then having to stand around (I shiver no matter what the temperature) and get cold again. Warning to the dudes reading this, you may want to skip the next sentence. Besides, I had some nice cramps that were not helping my mood to race. Sorry guys but most of you have a significant other that probably talks about this so suck it up. =0) Just kidding.

I was in wave 4 and we took off about 7:45 or so. It was a one loop clockwise 1500 meter swim. I felt alright, I just never got in my groove. After the first turn the sun was in my eyes if I breathed to the right which I am a little more comfortable with. I was breathing left every third breath and closing my eyes when going right. Not pretty. I also noticed that when I was sighting, if I was off course, I was always pulling left. I have never noticed that to be a problem before. Swim time: 33:35. This is a 2:03 100 yd time. Really, really slow for me. I heard someone say they thought the swim was long but I have no idea if that was true. There was also a pretty sizable run to the transition area so maybe my swim was a little faster after you account for that.

T1 went off smoothly. 1:21

I jumped on my bike and was headed out on the course when I felt the chain slip the first time. I figured it was just working out the kinks but when it happened over and over I couldn't deny that I was going to have problems. I have since learned how to attempt to fix this problem but on Sunday morning I had no idea and in my defense, the thing was so loose that I probably would not have tightened it enough to solve the problem in one dismount. Anyway, I shifted through my gears and found out that if I stayed up in the second and third largest chain ring in the back and the large ring in the front I could keep from slipping. So I crushed my pedals for 24.something miles. I was hot, it hurt, the little rolling hills kept coming, and when I turned around there was a head wind. This course was probably considered flat for all intensive purposes but when you are mashing your pedals and your quads are on fire even the slightest grade seems somewhat difficult. Anyway, I was going to eat Fig Newtons on the bike, just a couple but I was working so hard and it was so hot there was no way I was going to get those down. I again with I would have had a heart rate monitor on because I was WAY up there. I drank a quarter of a bottle of Gatorade and most of my CamelBak of water (yes I am still wearing the stupid thing for the bike because I have not yet gotten a seat mount for two bottles and there is only room for one on my frame because it is so small). I also took an Enervit Lemon flavored gel 20 minutes before I got off the bike. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I also got held up by a van or SUV as I came back towards the park off the highway. The volunteers and the sheriff that were standing there did their best to keep him moving but I ended up coming to a stop behind him. I was growling, "go" at him until it turned into a shout. I am sure the policeman thought I was crazy, I wasn't even close to the front of the pack but I was still trying to be speedy to place in my age group. Bike time: 1:21:20 averaging 18.3 mph. I would like to be faster but I can handle that.

In T2 I dumped the CamelBak and all the calories that I didn't eat and took off. I took the time to put socks on again because I knew that I was going to be pouring water over my head and didn't want to get blisters. T2: 1:16

The run was horrible. I literally fell apart. I have never had such an agonizing run in my life. My legs were trashed from my psycho bike and it was so incredibly hot. I am positive that I added about a quarter of a mile on to the run (as did many other athlete) running from shade to shade which usually meant crossing to the other side of the street or the sidewalk. There were some spectators and volunteers who may have been angels randomly throughout the course squirting people with water out of bottles as we went by and a really nice random cyclist offering his water bottle to people as they went by which he would then refill from a big cooler. At each aid station I drank a glass of water and dumped a glass of water on my head and body. I was running 5-7 minutes and walking 30 sec. approximately. Running longer if I could and walking the aid stations. At mile 3 I drank a sip out of a glass and it tasted like chewed up bubble gum. I figured there had been Accelerade or something in one of the coolers long ago and that was what I was tasting so I sipped out of the other cup and it was the same thing. I didn't drink much at that station and dumped one of the cups on myself. Yeah, pretty sure that it was a powdered mix of something because I was sticky. I later heard that a bunch of people did the same thing. Have you ever tried to sweat through sports drink? Not much fun. I tried to rinse it off a mile later but at that point I really didn't care. I was hot, thirsty, tired and a bit crabby because of my snail's pace and the fact that I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. At some point I remember uttering the F word under my breath and swearing that I would never, ever attempt a half IM, let alone a full, ever. I ran the last quarter of a mile in at a decent pace which almost killed me. As I crossed the finish line some guy grabbed me and asked if I was alright, I was fine but I chose that moment to stumble and he pulled me over to the side and dumped a gallon jug of water on top of me. That soaked my socks and shoes which I had mostly managed to keep dry up until then. Run time:1:07:53 a disappointing 10:56 min/mile.

Overall time: 3:05:22 (I don't want to talk about it.)

It was just a hot day, everyone was suffering. I ended up 5th out of 10 in my age group even with my mechanical issues. I was 35th out of 75 for females and 217/304 overall. Not a great race but a good learning experience. I never felt sick or had a bad headache during or after the race so that was good but I still don't have the nutrition down. That is going to be something to work really hard on this winter while I ride my tail off on the trainer.

This was going to be my last race of the season but I am not sure I can end on that. There is a smaller sprint in Lee Summit, MO at the end of the month so maybe I will do that one to try and end my year with a good race.

This is Bricko and I recovering at home that evening.

Thanks for sticking with this report until the end. I know it was a long one.

Later all.


Danielle in Iowa said...

Oh gees, I can't imagine doing that run after pounding on the bike!

And yeah I had to ask at every water stop which cups were water and which cups were Heed (at the stops they had it). The volunteers did not seem to realize that we might care! (I was afraid of doing what you did!)

kt said...

oh... that was Heed. =0)

Duane said...

Hey Kate! That was a rough day! But you did finish. I vote for you doing one more race!

Tri-Dummy said...

"Besides, I had some nice cramps that were not helping my mood to race."

Are you talking about elbow cramps?


I squirted a bottle of Heed on my head at a HIM in Colorado last year. Honestly, I coulda cared less...I was hurting like you were.

The race was similar, as I didn't stick with my nutrition and paid for it on the run. My bike problem was an 11/23 rear cassette in hilly Colorado. My legs were absolutely GONE by the time I got to the run.

The run was a death march. I just about cried for joy when it was over. It's tough pushing through a run like you did. I'm proud of you!

rueschmike said...

Way to persevere. That's something to be proud of.

bigmike600 said...

It is very commendable that you suffered through it and instead of quitting you went the distance. That is what I find impressive about triathletes. They don't ever want to quit. Your body practically has to shut down to make them stop. You did great. Your dog is awesome too.

Steve S. said...

Nice job! Sweet bike average!!!

TRI-ROB said...

Hey DUDE... uh... ette! Way to tough it out! I think everyone needs a race like that... being new still... I'm waiting for mine... but I'm positive its coming! Enjoyed the RR... and REALLY don't give up on your half and full IM dreams... that's what keeps us going!


blink140pnt6 said...

True to what tri-rob said but you really, really, need to figure out your nutrition before you move up in distance.