Monday, July 6, 2009
GWN Race Report
This bloody blister was my special surprise at the very end of the race -- I never even knew I had it until I stared in blinking disbelief as I took my sock off. I guess all those mental tricks I used during the race paid off. :) :) (I keep wiggling my toes in front of Mike inviting him to touch the blister -- hahahahaha!)
ANYWAYS....New PB alert!!! 5:13:45!! YAY!!!
Onto a down and dirty race report...
I positioned myself right near the front. (I know, I'm nuts, but I like to be in the thick of things. Hee-hee!) Let's just say I never ran out of company for the entire swim -- I bumped, groped, jostled, sputtered and had the same thing done to me. If you raced GWN on Sunday, you wouldn't be able to say you were lonely during the swim. :)
The turn at the first buoy was hilarious --- everyone came to a grinding halt. You couldn't swim because everyone was bobbing upright like apples in a tub. I bobbed up and down along with everyone else and the sheer force of people behind us pushed everyone around the buoys at which point everyone got busy swimming again. It was so much fun, I felt like I was on a waterslide! Hahahahahahaha!! Too bad, I couldn't have bobbed up and down while being pushed forward for the entire swim -- that would be a new swimming tactic, eh? LOL!!
I had decided before the race that I would bypass the wetsuit strippers and take off my own wetsuit to save time. You see, at the Penticton training camp, I had practiced this over and over again and I was quite confident that I could do it quickly...
The only trouble was I couldn't whip the darn thing off my feet because the timing chip strap caught on my wetsuit. I struggled for a bit but managed to yank the wetsuit off without sitting on my bum which is a major triumph for me. :) :)
Next thing I knew, I couldn't find my bike. Ahh well, I knew that sometimes a little disorientation isn't anything to panic about, so I took a big breath and got back on track. I put my socks and bike shoes on (again, without sitting on the ground! HURRAH for training camps!) and got busy with my bike. :)
I had a great, great bike ride. :) I had just installed the new Profile water bottle -- you know the one with a lid? I was so excited about the prospect of not having crap spilled all over my bike... However, it was not meant to be. Alas, that damn lid splashes just as much water as the good ole yellow sponge. In fact, the lid was WORSE.
You see, there's a foam-like insert in the middle of the lid. It sort of looks like the plastic lid of a McDonald's cup. You know that "x" slashed opening you poke your straw through? Like that. Well, the trouble with this lid is that the foamy insert provides just that little bit of extra resistance to a water bottle nipple pressed against it.
Picture it -- concentrated mixture of Carbo Pro and Nuun trying to be squirted into Profile water bottle. The foamy insert halfway closes the water bottle causing ensuing spillage EVERYWHERE. It didn't matter how hard I squirted my water bottle, the stream wouldn't get in the Profile bottle unless I stuck my finger in the top to open it up so to speak. Thus, electrolyte and carb drink pooled around the lid and flew off in every direction saturating me, my bike, and anyone unlucky enough to be around me.
The other crappy thing about the Profile lid was that the water I grabbed from the aid stations were in wide mouthed plastic milk jug things. When I approached an aid station, I had to undo the Profile lid (it's hinged to the bottle) and hold it open while I poured water in. CRIKEY!! Hahahahahaha!
At 70km into the bike, I started to really push myself. I was using this mental trick I had learned an hour before the race -- I kept saying to myself, "I'm not biking, I'm not biking." I thought of lying in bed at the hotel room relaxing in front of the tube. Then, every once in a while when I could feel the wind, or a little incline appeared, I would GROWL and then pedal away.
I'm not kidding -- I don't know how this growling came about but it worked. :) I would zone in on a new target to pass, would grit my teeth, wrinkle my nose and go "GRRRR!" Then, I would have this spurt of energy. I know one time I was Grrrr-ing and this poor woman who was spectating on the side of the road probably thought, "What the hell?" Hahahahahahaha!!!
Well, I'm not one to question any method that works. So, I Grrrr-ed my way all to the finish and into T2.
T2 was in a different place than T1 -- one of THOSE races. Hahahahahaha!! You had to yell your number and then all these volunteers would yell back and forth at each other waving their arms at you to show you where you had to park your bike and hopefully find your bag with running shoes. Hahahahaha!! I had to run way the heck down the road and all I was thinking of was another lesson I learned at camp -- restrict the amount of walking you do on your cleats because they wear away very quickly. I thought of all the times I carefully strained my feet walking on my heels to protect my cleats. The thoughts that go through your head eh? Hahahahahahaha!
I had the BEST run so far in a triathlon. I actually ended up only 2 minutes slower than the half-mary I ran in May, so I was soooooo excited. I think I held the same pace throughout -- my nutrition was bang on, and I was thrilled to start passing people at about 15km into the run. The last 5km were awesome -- I was hurting, but I used the same tactic I had used during the bike, thinking to myself, "I'm not running, I'm not running."
I also thought of the running drills we learned at the Penticton camp, and all the advice and feedback I had received about my running form. Running light, running quietly, all these things popped into my head. I used every single thing I could think of to keep on trucking forward.
The run has ALWAYS been the worst part of a tri for me, but I was feeling really strong and good for once!! There was one girl in a pink top just ahead of me that I never could quite catch, but she was like my carrot. If it wasn't for her, I don't know if I would have been able to push myself so much. :) :) I finished about 10 seconds behind her, and after I congratulated her, I thanked her for helping me run my best race so far. She was so cute and said, "My pleasure!" :) :) :) :)
As usual, I saw so many of my friends and fellow competitors out on the course, none of whom I cheered for -- and all of whom cheered loudly for me. This is a big embarrassment to me, but I just can't seem to find the mojo to cheer when I race or even when I train hard. SO....Once again, Thank you so much NICK, TESSA, CAROLYN, ERIN (you always are so perky and awesome!) for cheering even as you were all working so hard! Big hugs to you Nick!! Frig, one of these days, I'm just going to cheer all day long at one of your races to make up for all these times. Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
The icing on the cake was passing one girl in the last km of the race! I was so pumped -- I was feeling strong. :) :) When I heard my friend Susi scream and cheer as I approached the last little incline before turning toward the finish line, I gathered up more strength and targeted this poor dude in front me. You have to turn to the right and run down the block to get to the finish, so I "champed it up" (Man, I love that phrase! hahahahaha!) passed him on the inside and ran to the finish.
As I was running, I saw the clock was at 5:13 and I decided I was going to get under that clock before it ticked over to 5:14. Wheeee!! And I did!! :) :) :) :)
BIG hugs to Jenna and her children, Chiara and Alex. Jenna -- I most definitely heard you at the swim exit and out on the bike course. THANK YOU so much for screaming your head off!!! That energy really helps! :) :)
So, here are the times --
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
A BIG humongous thank you to my coach, Sara. You are such an amazing coach and person -- thank you for mentoring me and showing me I know NOTHING about triathlon and very little about myself...because it is this knowledge (or lack thereof, heh-heh) that has been the catalyst for me pushing through my own self-imposed limitations. Now don't get me wrong here people, my coach doesn't stand around and tell me "You know NOTHING, fool!" On the contrary -- the training she has me doing is personalized FOR ME and it is through this training I have learned I am capable of more than I thought.
Thanks again Sara for your friendship, mentorship, and coach-ship. Hee-hee!!!
Posted by Julie at 8:24 PM