Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mind Games and Meltdowns

So..... the "race report".

Completed the 1/2 at Challenge Penticton (1900 m swim, 90 km bike, 21.2 km run) with disappointing overall results, but not a total wash out. As with all endeavours - many things to take away and ruminate on.

  1. I need to own my s*%t - if you're going to have a meltdown the day before the race, that's not necessarily the best timing.... Hard to dig myself out of that one.   Keeping things in perspective: remembering why I'm here; giving myself credit for the work I've done and not letting others comments affect me negatively can be difficult.  Refocusing was hard!  Thanks for the reminder to be grateful Jenn Soost.
  2. I was really pleased with my swim.  I held a good line throughout and continually passed people for the first 2/3.  Kept it steady and tried to "pull with purpose" and not miss the back end of my stroke.  I really enjoy lake swimming, but I need to remember I'm there with a purpose --> don't relax too much.  I was even more pleased to hear the swim was ~200m long, so that makes my time even better!!
  3. I knew the bike course was going to be challenging for me b/c of the amount of climbing on the back half.  I knew I could complete it b/c we rode it in May at bike camp.  My unknown and worry - could I make the bike cut off on this type of course?  Looking at my bike split - I rode well on the way to Oliver (downhill net and a tailwind?) and I pushed up the hills - standing when I could and spinning up for the rest.  The initial hill in Oliver was a triumph - in May I switchbacked up the switchbacks, but ploughed up it on race day.  Best part of bike course - the tight switchbacks down, near the end before hitting highway 97 (right before the 2nd Texas gate).  So much fun.
  4. The run.... *cue the music* du du dummmm.  A highlight off the top - I got to see the overall full iron distance winner - Jeff Symonds x2!!  He passed me on his way out and back - freakin' fast legs!!  My legs didn't feel too bad coming off the bike.  I told myself I was just going to get through 10 km twice. (12 km was my longest run pre-race).  I made it to 8 km doing my walk/run usual, but then my inner thighs started to cramp .....and then they wouldn't stop!  I had lots of salt tabs with me, I took them at regular intervals, but I couldn't get a handle on the cramps.  And there it is.  I walked miserably for the rest of the race.  Ice is always your friend.  
  5. Overall, I did OK.  I didn't quit, b/c on Sat I didn't want to start. Head games can be a deal breaker and I know my friends that have completed ironman distance races talk about the difficulties during the race and that they must be overcome to complete this type of event.
On the lighter side - I had some good/funny moments during the day.
  • So exciting to hear your people call you by name and cheer you on as you pass by! 
  • Saw my coach twice on course and he shouted encouragement my way.
  • Saw Katie Frauts finish first overall female for the 1/2 distance - she's amazing!!
  • Not sure why the volunteers wanted my bike in T2, and not letting them have it - until they told me they'd rack it for me!  oh - here you go, thank you.
  • Finishing the race, someone trying to strangle you - no wait, just the medal around your neck; someone asking you your shirt size - WTF?  I'm dazed and confused, now I have to give a clothing size, pick the correct distance and get out of the finish area?  Really all I can think of - get this timing chip off my ankle, I want my bike, gear bags and to get the hell out of Dodge!! As I write this, maybe that's why they kept asking me if I needed the med tent.  Finally I just asked them to stop talking/touching to me.  Strangest reaction to a finish that I've ever had!!
  • Darren gave me a big hug at the finish line, but told me later how miserable I looked coming off the bike (knew I had to run...) --> apparently this was OK, but he at least wasn't a stranger!!
  • Balancing my 3 gear bags on my bike heading back to motel, trying to take a shortcut that then involved getting my bike + 3 bags over a 500 ft tall fence (OK, maybe 3.5 feet, but I'm short), then walking a narrow ledge on the wrong side of said fence.  2 guys asked me if I could take their picture - "Sorry man - not today", while continuing to balance on ledge avoiding fall into rocks 500 ft below (OK - 1.5 ft).  (WTF is wrong with people - always thinking of themselves).
  • Back at said motel, not knowing what to do with myself, tired, sore, still cramping, blah, blah, blah. Why not jump into the pool? So I did, then I couldn't get out - everytime I went near the ladder my legs seized up.  I'm obviously going to die here.
  • Ate a ham and cheese sandwich - heavenly salvation.
  • Saw most of our Talisman gang somewhere on course.  Everyone did so well - congratulations to all of you (Jan, Loreen, Hilary, Jen, Scott, Danielle, Katie, Eamon, Darren, Felix, Sheila, Kilah, Rick, Dave, Heather, Mike C and the coach - Elmar!!)
  • In spite of all that - had a great dinner with the gang, went back to the finish line to cheer the last finishers and watch the fireworks.
What a day - my reactions were very different from previous races.
Ironman Arizona is on my mind and I'm going to finish it!! - lots of work to do (both mental and physical).  
I love my runners, I love my runners....

Ciao, happy training - Cindy


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