Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grinding Gators

Canby Gator Grinder Sprint

I'll provide a little history for those that have never read my blog. This was my first triathlon since Ironman Canada 09. It was my first time running off the bike since IMC 09. I fractured my second metatarsal 8 weeks ago. I've been without pain now for 2-3 weeks. I tried testing my run twice in the last week for 10-15 mins each time. Both times felt ok. This would be my longest run since injury. I spent the last year and a half dealing with running injuries and other sorts of health problems. My confidence in my athletic abilities are nowhere near what they used to be. So what do when faced with fear? Run away? Or saddle up?

I opted to do race this sprint in a TYR training bikini. I did this for a few reason. Contrary to my profile photo, I am actually pretty shy inside. I still have the fat girl image of when I was a kid. No matter how lean I get; I fear I will always see myself in that way. Today my goal was to destroy that image. The other goal was to rebuild my confidence by doing something that I feared. After all is said and done - mission accomplished. When pushed to the limits it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or sees. It's what YOU DO.

For the swim I rocked my TYR Metallized Nest Pros, Fish Fin swim cap (BTW - I was the only one with a fin!) and my TYR Tri training bikini.

Swim 500yd - I started in lane 2, 4th(last) position. First and second guy claimed to swim 7:30, second guy said 7:45. My most recent TT had me at a 7:37. I would only need to pass one guy......or would I? The last whistle blew and I was off. Holy Moly! I think I was dropped within the first 50-100 yds. Not completely out of bubble drag, but dropped none the less. Holding my own was a struggle. My form was out of whack and I felt like a fish out of water. Flip-flop, flip-flopping around. By 300 I got control of my breathing and my form straightened its self out. It was around this time that dude #2 past dude #1. Dude #3 took a pass at #2 and I took the opportunity to follow suite. #1 went out too hard and we all passed him. Now I was stuck behind #2. I kept tapping his foot and he would not allow me to pass. With 100 to go I just didn't have it in me to sprint past him at the middle lane. Rules said only pass at the wall. I shoulda, coulda, woulda pulled his ankle down and downed him. Oh well, another day. 500 and I jump out of the pool and run to my bike.
Swim time - 7:30 / 500yds - new PR! (7th woman)

I don't remember much here. My head was a blur. I tried to put on my jacket but I was wet and it was a tight fit. I said f*** it, mounted Carnage and we were off.
T1 - 1:04 (first woman for T1)

Bike - Hurt like a motherf***er. I knew that it was possible that I may not be able to run 3 mi. I knew that I may end up walking part of the run. I've thrown down massive watts/climbing in the last week or two and had no foot pain. If I was going to race I was going to push with all I had in the swim and bike and do what I could with the run.

It is no secret that my bike handling skills need improvement. It doesn't help that my feet turn into cement blocks sub 60 degrees. I think loosing feeling in my feet and hands due to the Reynaud's plays a big part in balance and coordination on the bike. On this wet, 50 degree day, I was fortunate to keep the rubber side facing the ground. The course was pretty curvy and hilly. My lackluster handling skills hurt my time. Too many times to count I slowed down and took a cautious approach to the corners. To make up for my time lose I attacked every incline. In 11.5 miles my PowerTap recorded 23 power surges. My quads cried and I told them to STFU. This was not their race. It was my race. What good is racing if you can't see what you're made of? I kept repeating that in my head. The pain in my quads felt like an inferno....yet I think the fire originated in my lungs. Goodlord! Where is the air?! No time to breathe. No time to think. Only mash!
After reviewing my Power Data I hit a new 20 min avg watt PR! And a new 30 min normalized watt PR! I managed to pass a few dudes, poor handling skills and all.
Bike time 37:11 - 3rd woman (beaten by my 2 kickass co-workers Anna and Michelle! I wouldn't want it any other way:))

Transition - My room mate took this little footage of T2. What a clusterf****. I love how my mom offers to help in T2. LMAO!

T2- 1:17

Run - Ok, can't feel my feet. They're like huge cement clunking blocks. Ugh. Both feet were completely numb. Not good. I focused on a slight lean forward, keeping my knees high and landing under my center of mass. Oy! My quads were screaming at me again. And again I told them to STFU. What were they b****ing about now? I wasn't running with my quads. The course was flat. They could rest. It was now time for my backside to put in work. Although I didn't push my pace my breathing was f***ed from the bike and swim. I felt like I was having a panic attack. This brought on a few nasty side stitches that stabbed into my abdomen. I focused on slowly exhaling my breath. I thought a lot about my time in hot yoga and meditation. This helped. By the halfway mark I was in control of my breathing again. Which raised the question, do I push it? You're not really TRI'ing if you can breath. At least not in a sprint. But the answer I came to was NO. I still couldn't feel my feet and didn't want to risk a pick up that would crush my dreams of IMC this year. So on I ran, with my comfortable breathing. The race ended on a track and for the last 200 I picked it up through to the finish.
Run 5k - 23:09/ 7:27 - VERY content 2nd place
                                          Total time 1:10:13. 1st AG, 2nd place female overall

Now comes the Props
Way to go Anna (co-worker) for breaking course record and winning female OA! You are incredible hun!
Great job Michelle (co-worker) for taking 3rd place!
The top 3 women all work for Team Estrogen and DOMINATED our age groups! Maybe this is because we have a kickass boss?! Thanks Susan for a great TEAM BUILDING event!

Thanks to all the support from my friends over the last year and a half. You picked me up while I was down and accepted all my flaws.

And last but defiantly not least - I have the BEST momma who came out to support me. She also made incredible gluten free monster cookies! My BEST friend MessyJesse Jo for putting up with me for so long. You're what I need when I need it, always. Jessy gave me this beautiful gift afterwards. It's a sparkly snow globe! My favorite. The best part is the message written on it.
And I thank the wonderful man by my side (from a far), who has NEVER doubted me and always encouraged me to shoot for the stars. He often tips my glass over, making if half full again.

I pray that this is the start to a long and healthy race season. My confidence is growing.......


cherelli said...

Awesome RR and result, way to go for pushing it! I hate having frozen feet too, scares the crap outta me that I would twist my ankle and actually be none the wiser...sounds like you IMC 2011 dream is well on it's way to reality, keep up the good work!

Marv said...

Great result ! I understand about the breathing on the run sometimes like panic attacks. I tell people it is like trying to run while being held under water. Good job !