I was feeling pretty exhausted from a tough summer of clinical rotations and racing so I tried to bail out of the Lorain International Distance race last weekend. I told Paulo that I didn't feel up to it. His reply? Just get it done.
So I was off to return to the scene of the crime!. Yes, this was where I did my first US triathlon.
My training since Steelhead sucked. Emergency Medicine was a tougher rotation than anticipated because of the swing shifts and studying, so my workouts were few and far between. Then before the race I decided to do a completely ass-kicking swim workout on Friday, a bunch of running at the end of the week, and another swim workout on Saturday. Bad idea!
I remember back to when I did my first race here. I signed up months ahead of time, went the day before to pick up packets and scope out the race site, and had everything laid out the night before. I was terrified! This time was like a whole different ballgame! I was exhausted when I got home from work the night before and passed straight out. I woke up with barely enough time to shove all my crap in the car, take a quick look at the map and get out the door. I remember thinking- Right on Colorado, Right on Kansas. That is easy enough! They are both state names!
As I turned off the expressway into Lorain I had a bad realization. I looked at the street names.... Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio. Oh crap. I'm in trouble. So after 2 frantic calls to Lanny and a plea for help from a local, I finally made it to the race site at a bit after 7am (race start 8am). I registered, peed, racked my bike and made my way down to the race start.
The race had a sprint and Oly division. As people were lined up I started to think that my cap was the wrong color. There were hardly any people with blue caps! The 1st-4th waves of sprinters went off and there was a pretty pathetic sized wave left. All of the Oly racers. 29 strong with 8 women. Hmmmmm....
I overheard someone talking before the race saying that the coast guard had their GPS stolen the night before and they had to guess on the distance of the swim. Interesting. And looking out I could barely see the buoys. Partly because they were so teeny, tiny, and partly because there weren't a whole lot of them. As we started swimming it started to become very apparent that they made the swim a teeny, tiny bit long. To make matters worse the very last buoy they had was the farthest from shore! It was like they were saying- just go back in! Don't worry about swimming straight, you'll get there eventually. And of course, the genius in charge of assigning swim wave colors chose the Oly racers to give the navy blue caps. So we couldn't even spot off each other. Needless to say the swim was a mess. When I got out of the water and saw my time was far north of 30 minutes I knew one of two things: The swim was WAY long, or I had completely trashed my arms with my swim training that week. Likely a combination of both...
On to the bike, there was again a monster headwind on the way out. I half wanted to get off my bike to make sure my brake wasn't rubbing. It felt so slow! But of course we were rewarded on the turnaround. The Sprint was 2 loops of the Oly so we got to go against that lovely wind twice. Saw a bunch of newbies on the course which was nice. But there was also some really bad rule infringements (blocking, drafting, ipods...). I didn't see many women out on the course so I didnt know if they were ahead of me or behind me. I paced the race a little bit harder than my half ironman bike pace. I shot for a bike HR of 170-175, which is 5 bpm higher than my half pace. It felt ok, but I was pretty tired. The month had taken its toll for sure.
Off the bike onto the...
The run felt like total crap. In the first 1/2 mile I actually remember wondering if I was going to even be able to run the whole thing. It was so painful and my legs didn't want to cooperate. Mile 1 took approximately 30 minutes to come (or so it seemed). As I started to near the turnaround a woman buzzed by me on her way back. Crap! She's way too far ahead. No way in hell can I catch up with how I feel.
But seeing her managed to light a bit of a fire. I started feeling a bit better and tried to pick it up. When I got to the turnaround Steve, a CTC friend told me I was 1 minute behind. I hit the turnaround, grabbed a gatorade and headed back out for lap 2. I could see her now. I ran faster.
As I got to the lap 2 turnaround at mile 4.5 I had bridged the gap. As I went by the lead woman she cheered for me (how cool is that?). After I took the lead I basically ran as fast as I could all the way home. I was breathing like a rabid bull and most likely foaming at the mouth as well. I ran by some people walking to their cars after the sprint and heard a lady say: She's a fast one! I would have laughed if I wasn't in so much freaking pain!
As I came up to the finish I heard a very large cheering section start up. How awesome! I am beeing cheered in! I finished the race, nearly passed out and downed 40 ounces of water in quick time (it was REALLY hot out). I had a great time with new and old friends and stayed to pick up my FIRST OVERALL WOMAN TROPHY!!!!!
Here are the stats
Overall Place 6/29 (First woman)
Considering my last real Oly had a finish time of 2:58, I call this progress
Then I got miserably lost (again) on the way home and had to call Lanny to get bailed out. I don't know how I find my way around my apartment without a GPS....
Racing TODAY! (But Not "Racing.")
1 day ago