Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A belated race report

Saturday marked my second triathlon of the year - this one quite a bit longer than the first. My mom and my good friend both did it as well, which made it a heck of a lot more fun than the last one. In fact, Mom and I stuck together throughout and I think we both decided that's totally the way to go.

The swim... ah, what can I say about the swim? I hate open water swimming. Hate it. I suck at it, plain and simple. I have such a hard time getting my face in the water and just freaking swimming. I get disoriented so quickly. And my wetsuit being so tight did not help matters. As soon as I started breathing harder I felt like my lungs were being crushed. I ended up pulling the zipper open partway through so I could breathe better. Overall, it was awful. You could barely say I swam the thing - more like I clumsily propelled myself through the water in a roughly forward direction until I got to the shore. I was the last person out of the water, and that sucked. Of course, everyone there were all so nice and cheered me on, but I felt like it was a pity cheer. Oh look at the poor girl who can't swim - isn't she couragous for getting out there and really sucking. The thing is - I can swim. I can swim pretty well, even if I'm slow at it. I can swim for a good long time without stopping and my form isn't too bad. But out there I must have looked like I'd never tried to swim a distance in my life. Bleh.

So not the greatest start to the race, but it turns out my swim time wasn't as bad as I thought. I was 2 full minutes behind my mom, but as I headed to the transition area I was sure she'd been waiting for me for at least 5. It's a distance I should be able to do in about 10 minutes, but it took me 14 - but considering it felt like about half an hour, I was a little relieved at the 14...

(and never mind that my friend did it in just over 5 - that woman is a freaking fish)

In any case, wet suit came off, shoes went on and the bike began. It was a 14 mile, 2 lap course, which means the whole first half was spent knowing we had to do it all again. Yikes! The course wasn't too bad - a bit hilly, but nothing I couldn't handle. I've biked worse. The problem with 2 lap courses though is you go through the whole thing dreading having to do it all again - and feeling like you must have already gone the whole 14 miles about the time you pass the starting line again, so you're really only halfway done. But that's ok. Mom and I hung together and we even passed a few people. Pace-wise she and I are a good match, although she's in better shape than I am this year (no worries there - her last baby was born 21 years ago, LOL!). We actually had fun most of the ride - although my hiney was seriously ready to be off of that sucker by the end. I haven't done many long rides and I'm definitely not conditioned to be on the bike that long.

The only problem I ran into, really, was forgetting to take my energy gel before I started the bike. Thanks to PCOS, I have blood sugar issues and my blood sugar tanked on me about halfway through the bike leg. I felt pretty nauseaus, and unfortunately that lasted the rest of the race. I did take the energy gel (which is just a packet of super sweet, supposedly complex carbs that you sort of half drink, half try to choke down because eating while you're working that hard just plain sucks - at least for me) between the bike and run, so it helped some. But I did have to stop and walk three or four times on the run because I felt pukey. Luckily my tummy did hold and the run wasn't too bad.

Mom and I weren't trying to break any records, our own or anyone else's, so we didn't kill ourselves. We pushed hard, but like I said, there was some walking and it was all good. We had a really good time together. I hope she wants to do the same when we do the Danskin next month. It took the pressure off big time. I wasn't very nervous at all the night before or the morning of; it truly felt like something we were just doing to have fun together and to keep ourselves in shape - which is exactly the point.

All in all, a fun race. I'm trying very, very hard not to be depressed at how I look in the pictures, being that I'm 20lbs heavier than I was when I did the Danksin in 06. I know, I know, I did the damn triathlon, that's a lot to be proud of, screw how fat my thighs are... I know. But still. It's hard.

I also really need to do a couple practice open water swims between now and the Danskin. I know I can do better and I'd like to have a better swim experience. I was hating it out there; next time I'd like to at least be comfortable enough to do some real swimming, not this stupid half side stroke BS I ended up doing. Lame.

But I don't want to end this on a negative note, because overall it rocked. I'm really glad I did it, really glad I did it with my mom and really glad we're doing one or maybe two more this year. I felt awesome afterward - tired, obviously, but awesome.

Go me! LOL!


Mandy said...

I love reading about how your races go, and it's especially neat that you could share it with your mom. So cool. :D

Pamela said...

Wow--you are always an inspiration to me. I think it's wonderful that you even DID the race to begin with!!