Sunday, June 17, 2012

U.R. MY I.M.

Since I first entered into the multisport world I've always vowed to never, ever do a local race.  I never want people I know watching me race.  When I tell people that I do triathlon they are always impressed so I try to keep that mirage going.  Because if they actually saw me racing, they'd know I wasn't all that impressive. The no-local-race rule was broken this weekend at the extremely local Wyckoff Triathlon.  Everyone talks about this race all year but I've always been able to avoid it altogether.  The opportunity came up just last week to get into the race so I jumped at the chance, oddly enough.

I've been working hard to let go of my extremely high expectations.  I'm always disappointed when I don't come in first - let's be real here, I'm pretty much never going to come in first place unless I train hard all day everyday.  That means no bagels, no Starbucks, no lunch, no naps, no parent/teacher conferences, no fun, no life - coming in 1st is not worth giving those things up and I need to remember to just have fun (not to mention I'm pretty sure I don't have the DNA make up to be a world champ)!  This was my first race of just trying to have fun and it went well.  I had a really good time, I watched everyone that I know from my town fly past me and wasn't ready to quit.  My time is my time, my race is my race and I need to just enjoy the race, enjoy being active and continue to improve.  This race had a 5 mile run - not a freaking 5k which is what is should be - and I was really worried about the run but really tried to let go of that fear. 

A few days before the race, Kevin left me this note and at the bottom it said, "you are my ironman" and I wrote that on my wrist the morning of the race.  I used that to get me through the run - I never gave up, I hardly walked and averaged an 11:11/mile which is about a minute faster than I was expecting (and for those following this blog that is pretty impressive for me!).

Along with just enjoying the race, I made a few rookie mistakes.  Many triathletes will find a small, local race to do at the beginning of the season to work out all of the kinks.  This was my THIRD race of the season yet still mistakes were made - you know "People plan, God laughs":
-got out of the water and realized I had no socks so I rode without sock (I left them in the car).  Not a terribly big deal but only bc Kevin was there and I knew he could get me socks for the run (of course they were in transition when I got back to run!);
-went to put on my helmet and my hair tie snapped - snapped right in my hands so I had nothing to do with my hair (which if you know me is a  NIGHTMARE!).  I am never without at least 4 hair ties around my wrist at any given time, except this one time;
-then my helmet didn't fit, wouldn't stay on and was all over the place - I have no idea what happened as I had just wore the damn helmet a few days before for 6 freaking hours!  Had I fallen on the bike - I'd be brain dead as this helmet was serving me no purpose - take a look (notice the hair and helmet - a hot mess!):

This race ended up being so much fun!

  • I got to race with Jenni;
  • My sweet first born son got up at 4am to watch me race;
  • Kevin wasn't racing which means he gets to be my full-time sherpa (which is awesome!);
  • I did better than expected and had fun on all 3 legs of the race;
  • And most importantly, I wasn't disappointed at the end - I was happy!
The only real downside was the finishers medal - very, very lame.

I am going to put myself in the lottery next year to get into this race again - I think this will be a good staple race to do every year to see if I can keep improving with each passing year. 

Bring on I Love The Tavern Tri coming this Sunday...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rain, Hill, Family & a Great time!

Dianne & I were Team Kennedy!

Rev3 Quassy has come and gone - my new favorite thing about triathlon just might be the relay and/or the AquaBike.  What an amazing concept - skipping the part that sucks and hurts the most!  But since this IS the Year of the Run I'm not giving up on running altogether, at least not yet.  Saturday's race was a one time event in order to race with Dianne.  Out of the kindness of my heart, I "allowed" her to do my run portion so she could be a part of the day (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) because I'm a really kind sister-in-law.

Stephen, Kathy, Dianne & Deihdra
We arrived on Friday for packet pick up and bike drop off - it hadn't started raining quite yet but the skies opened up over night.  The drive to the race Saturday morning was something out of a movie - it was raining so hard you almost couldn't believe it.  I was fairly certain they'd call off the swim bc there was no way lifeguards could see any swimmers in the water, it was that kind of torrential rain.  But no such luck - we got to the race and the rain slowed a bit, safe enough to swim.  While the swim was safe, it was not easy at all.  The crazy hard rain and wind made a usually calm and lovely lake into one with quite a strong current.  Said current was not going in the direction I wanted it to go!  My predicted swim time was 40 minutes.  It was hard and long but I got to the 2nd turn around buoy in 20 minutes and I was psyched that I was going to crush my PR time.  Then the current set in and it took me a full 20 minutes to go the last 1/3 of the swim.  Twice I looked up and was facing the wrong way - a few other times I looked up and didn't have a clue which way I was facing!  It was a big confusing and the turn around buoys just weren't big or bright enough to see very well.  I was excited that the rain had stopped - funny thing is that while swimming I guess you think it's no longer raining...not so.  I would have quit the swim and DNF'd but there is no way out of a lake other than to swim out so I kept on going.  There were many times that I could swear I was not moving one inch in any direction but eventually I did make it to the shore.  I finished in 41 minutes - piss me off.  Once out of the water I saw my sister Kathy 2 steps in front of me - she was also pissed at the strong currents and difficulty of the swim.  We both said that we had leg cramps from kicking so hard to try to just finish.  I pretty much never kick in the swim (no coaches comments here - I just don't kick I need all the legs I can get for the rest of the race) but this swim I had no choice but to kick as hard as I could.  I also knew I was not running in this race.

Even the pros have to deal with the rain!  Matty Reed

Once out of the water I realized it was still freaking raining but on to the bike I went.  I have ridden in the rain a few times and while not ideal, it doesn't scare me.  My coach constantly says, "Americans don't train in the rain that's why they aren't the best" or something like that.  I could just hear his accent in my head.  I rode this course a mere 2 weeks ago and it really didn't seem all that hard then.  I finished the preview ride in 1:50 - that ride was without police stopping traffic so I was hoping for a 1:40 finish.  Again, the rain makes the race an entirely different ball of wax.  This bike course is all hills - you are either going up or down.  You can never get into a rhythm, you are constantly changing gears and either climbing or descending.  Climbing in climbing no matter how you slice it but descending in blinding rain is not that much fun.  Going fast down hill is my favorite thing to do - makes the climbing all worthwhile but in this race it was nearly impossible.  I finally took off my glasses bc I couldn't see through them but then the rain was pelting me so hard I couldn't see anyway.  You had to sort of close your eyes and hope for the best.  Since I was in the very last swim wave I was alone on the bike course.  I passed about 5 people but other than that I was completely alone so that took out the scariest part of descending while with other people.  My max speed on the day was 38.8 which in hindsight is probably a bit too fast in those conditions!  I was able to finish the bike in 2:01 but I need to take about 3 minutes off bc some jackass guy asked for my CO2 shooter and it took him forever to use it and he made me wait to give it back to me - I should have either said NO I didn't have one or just thrown it at him while I was still moving.  Lesson learned.  The first 15 miles were awesome - I was alone on a closed road having a grand ole time but then I realized I had another 10 miles to go and it was hard, hard, hard.  Plus I was starving and couldn't even drink bc I couldn't' really take my hands off the handle bars to drink.  And the damn rain kept getting harder and heavier and hurting my body more.  If I had planned to run I'm fairly certain I would have DNF'd this race.  Kevin volunteered in transition for this race and there were at least 2 girls that came off the bike with hypothermia and had to quit right there.  I wasn't as cold as others but I did have nothing left in me to go on.

By the time I got back to T2 I had already mentally decided to tell Dianne she didn't have to run (I did say it out loud but she ignored me).  I felt so bad for her that I took so long and she'd have to be out there at the very end of the race all alone and soaking wet and freezing.  But I pulled it and she was excited to get going!  She finished in 1:03 a great 10k pace and was so excited!  We ran through the finish shoot together, got our medals and got what was the best post race food I've ever had!  I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you haven't done a Rev3 race you need to get to one ASAP!  It's the best organization out there - medals, tshirts, by far the most amazing transition!  But most of all they had the BEST volunteers ever!  I was at least moving on my bike - those volunteers stood out there in the pouring freezing rain for hours for nothing more than a free tshirt.  They were the best!

Another race...another medal...another victory!

As always I need to praise the best sherpa in Triathlon - sweet Kevin.  He saw many people come off the bike freezing so as soon as I came off the bike he took me to the car.  He had the heat blasted, dry towels and my dry clothes all waiting so I could heat up quickly.  I'm happy to let you hire him for your next race.... there is no one better in the Race Sherpa biz!

Next race - June 23rd - AquaBike National Championship...who's in??