Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sisters...all a girl needs in life.
It's been 3 days since I crossed the finish line at the NYC Triathlon. As mentioned in the last post, I didn't feel ready for the race, I had a lot going on and hadn't trained very much to prepare for it. It certainly showed in my time and it's taken these 3 days to feel a little bit proud of just finishing. I feel like at this point in the game, "just finishing" isn't enough anymore. But time to move on from this race and only expect great results with great training which I didn't have this time.
The NYC Triathlon has more logistics than the average race or at least any race that I've done or been to. I went in on Friday to sit for the Athlete Briefing which was boring and pretty pointless. I didn't learn anything that wasn't in the athlete guide but I guess not everyone is a geek like me and reads the whole thing. Went back to the city on Saturday to check my bike only to get there and realize I didn't have my bib # on my bike and they would not let me in. Had to hike it back to Glen Rock to get the damn number and then go back into NYC. I was less than pleased by this annoying driving back and forth - not to mention it's $8 everytime you cross the GW Bridge!
Finally Race Morning - up at 3:00am, in transition by 4:15. On the way down the West Side Highway we saw a car flipped over with another car crashed into it and then that crash ended up delaying our swim start. The sky was dark and rain was on and off the whole night/morning. The rain stopped as we got into the water - the time trial start was interesting and way better than a mass start. There weren't a million people kicking you, it was quite calm, quick and empty. Everyone says this is an easy/fast swim - not sure who those people are but it was neither of those things. It was quite choppy, I kept getting hit with waves. Then at the 1000 meter mark I slammed my foot into a jetty. Who knew there were huge jetties in the freaking Hudson River?? I even stopped and stood on the damn thing. My foot is a little ripped up now but I did think it was bleeding pretty bad in the race but it wasn't. And just when I thought I'd seen it all I jumped back in and looked left to see a woman holding a hot pink pool noodle! I thought for sure I was hallucinating but when I looked again she was still holding the noodle. Kevin said he saw the lifeguard throw it to her which was good for her since they ended up pulling 28 people out of the water and 2 athletes died in the swim.
Out of the water and on to a very long trek to T1, bike shoes, helmet on and ready to go only to have to wait on line to get out of transition! There were way too many people in this race. Even out of transition it was hard to mount bc of all the people trying to get on their bike, then it was a long way to get to the highway and at one point we were forced to dismount and walk our bikes up the ramp. Finally got on the highway and were able to ride and then came the torrential downpour. I was fine with the rain - beats the heat but it was dangerous. There were flats everywhere and 3 crashes that required ambulances. Not pretty but I made it in less time than I had planned which is always good.
Finally on to the run, down 72nd street I saw Kevin and he told me Wendy was going to meet me on the run. I looked high and low for her, hit Mile 1 and still no sight of her. FINALLY I saw her and have never been so happy to see a sibling in my whole life!! She ran with me and I was doing well, still having a bit of fun. Mile 4 came and that's when the race fell apart. Never in my life have I had trouble breathing, it felt like someone was standing on my chest, my heart rate was over 170 and then over 180. It wans't pretty although she was happy as a clam! If she weren't there I'd probably have just sat on the side of the road and waiting for someone to come fetch me but she pushed me to finish. She jumped off about 100 yards from the finish line and it was an out of body experience to run across the finish line. I don't remember much, I did hear the announcer say my name but nothing else. Crossed the line and nearly fell down but just kept walking and hoping someone I knew would find me. It was so congested, they were yelling at us to keep moving, it was hard to get out. I was so happy to see Kevin but by then I was also seeing spots and slowly my peripherial vision got worse. In highsight, I should have gone to the Medical Tent. It took a solid 2 hours for me to even be able to really see again. The end of the race, the walk to brunch, brunch, the ride home - is a large blur. Even yesterday is a little blury as well. Today was another day of resting and trying to get the feeling back into my body.
This race was tough for me - tougher than any other race. Not bc of the distance, weather or logistics - it was just hard. I guess we all need one of those every once in awhile to remind ourselves that life is sometimes hard and it's all about how you handle adversity. Thankfully I have a strong sister (I have a few but this time just the one was physically there!) that was able to push me - physically and mentally - to the finish line. Thanks Bunz...even at 37 I need my big sister.