Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crescent Moon Sprint Triathlon Race Report

A few weeks ago, I raced my second sprint triathlon. Everyone has had one of those races that they would just like to erase from their minds, well, this was mine. It was even worse then my marathon last year where I puked all over the side of the road at mile 2. For every one thing that went right in my first triathlon, two things went wrong at this one.

Race Morning
After only three hours of sleep, I stumbled out of bed and got dressed. My brain was just a foggy mess from lack of sleep and I even forgot to put on my usual race mascara. Gasp. I scarfed down a banana and half a peanut butter bagel and then I was off to the race site.

Once there, I quickly hit up registration, set up my bike in transition, and went to check out the swim course. The temperature that day was supposed to be 85 degrees, but the morning was cool and foggy and steam rose up from the lake. I shivered and stared at the lake. The buoys were spread out and the swim looked long. I have only swam in open water twice before, so I told myself that I had swam this distance many times in the pool, but in my mind, it looked like it was a 20 mile swim and my confidence tanked right then and there and of course, my stomach dropped.

The Swim
I lined up in the back, which is quickly becoming my favorite starting place for the swim, and tried not to puke in the sand or crap my wetsuit. When the gun sounded, I bounded into the water and EOWWEE almost ran back out. The water temps were in the 60's and it was cold. I gingerly pushed forward and started swimming. Once I put my head under, the cold water shocked my system and my head flew back out. I started gasping for breath, but couldn't get any air. Someone whacked my head from behind and I started panicking. This is the sort of freak out that figured I would do in my first tri, but I never did, I was relaxed the whole swim, so here it was, the great freak out in my second triathlon. You would have thought I was being attacked by man-eating fish out there, the way I was thrashing around.

By this time, people were swimming over me, so I had to get out of the way. I looked to the shore and told myself to just end it right now. GET OUT. I thought about it, but something in me just told me to "KEEP MOVING", so I did. With my head out of the water. I wasn't going to put my head back in that cold ass lake. I swam free stroke until my right arm came out of the water and someone whacked me from behind again. DAMMIT people. I felt something click in my chest and my chest and back started to hurt. Well crap. The first thing I thought of was that I had another pulmonary embolism. OMG, OMG! It hurt to swim freestyle, so I resorted to the breast stroke. Yep, breast stroked most of my second triathlon.

To make a long story short, I finally made it out of the water and started making my way up to transition. I sat down on one of the steps and gasped for breath and told myself to just turn in my chip and go home and get some sleep. But that stupid, little perky irritating other voice told me to get the hell up. I can make up the time on the bike and run.

Swim time plus run (OK, I walked it) up to transition. 24 minutes. Felt like the LONGEST SWIM EVER.

Not much going on in there. And I do mean not much, I think I was the only person in there since I took so long to swim. Time: 1:33

The Bike
The bike course was a mix of hills and flat, but I had ridden the course the previous weekend at a 19.3 MPH pace and I was confident that I could make up some time from that lousy swim.


Once on my bike, I noticed that my chest was still hurting and I couldn't get down into the aero bike position. WTH was going on!* So much for purchasing the aero bars. At least I have a picture of me with them...sorta in aero.

*The following Monday, I went to the doctor and discovered that I had strained my intercostal muscle. YAY ME! I am probably the only person on the face of this earth who has strained a rib muscle while swimming.

I settled into a nice ride until the first hill came up and I pushed both gears for my chain rings at the same time and started up the hill. I pedaled and nothing happened, I spun and spun and spun, but nothing happened. I finally got off my bike and looked. I had dropped my chain. And it was stuck behind the chain ring and the chain stay and I couldn't for the life of me, get it released. I laughed. Then I cried. I glad I wasn't wearing my race mascara.

Finally, one of the dudes on the course ran over and yanked the chain out, spun my tires, and declared me good to go. I looked at him as he ran back to the course and thought "I'm not sure I want to go." I dried my tears and wiped the snot off my nose and got back out there and finished that thing.

Bike Time: My bike computer said 18.1 MPH, but my official time (because on race day, it doesn't matter what your computer says because it doesn't stop when you have chain issues) was 16.6 MPH, which means I dorked around with my chain for about 3 minutes.

I wish you had skillz like me.

Went in, couldn't find my towel, scowled at all of the elites who were done and standing around, finally found my towel and left. Yep, I left through the bike entrance and almost got myself plowed by a rider. It might actually have been good to put me out of my misery at that point.

Time: 1:19

The Run
By this time, I was like "Meh, who cares what my time is, let's just get this thing done." The first half mile was uphill. I don't know why I look like such a funktard in this next running picture. I guess that is just what I look like while I am running uphill with a bad rib muscle.

Note to self, fix running gait while running uphill

Like I said, the first 1/2 mile was uphill and after that it was a mix of gently rolling hills. Once I was on the run course, my legs just seemed to take over and knew what to do. I am a runner at heart. I suck at swimming, tolerate biking, but I absolutely love to run. This was the only part of the tri where I felt relaxed and comfortable. Probably because I didn't give a shit anymore.

Run Pace: 8:34

AND DONE. Total time was 1:35, which is actually 3 minutes faster then my first triathlon.

I was so very happy to see my friend Jill (who took this picture), my husband (not sure why his hat is like that), and my sweet puppy Piper!

Thanks for coming out and cheering me on Jill! I sure appreciated the support!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

We had the exact same swim experience

there goes "I am cool because I did a tri in October" thought

Congrats on finishing and sticking out the swim, that swim will haunt you for a little bit, but it is nothing that would compared if you stopped all together

intercostal muscle, didnt know what that was till you explained it, use intercostal muscle when telling your race report to your friends, sounds more hardcore

Terzah said...

Hi Tara--Thanks for your comment over on my blog. Love hearing from another local blogger!!! You tri girls have my utmost respect.

ajh said...

Yeah! You beat your last triathlon time. Did you do a report for that one? I should go back and read it now that I am such a swimmer and might actually do one. I will be breast stroking - it is all I can do. And my bike is very slow. May need to change that at some point.

Beth said...

way to go Tara, tri's seem to always have some crappy parts for me, maybe that's why I keep coming back. I am chasing that perfect day....maybe. Will you do another???

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

Ugh, the swim portion is a huge reason why I have never tackled a triathlon - I would freak if someone hit me while swimming!

Your run pace is awesome for having just swam/biked!

HappyTrails said...

Hey, you finished strong. Your 'off' day was probably b/c you didn't have your mascara on, I'm pretty sure. Yikes on the intercostal muscle. Hope it gets to feeling better soon. Neat that Miss Jill came out to cheer you on - that made an 'off' day mcuh better! :-)

Julie said...

Not sure how come I've never made my way to your blog! I'm just heading out but will be back tor ead your race report!

Molly said...

I was so afraid of having something happen to my bike during my tri, or freaking out in the water. You had both, and then some, but you still PR'd!

love that Piper came to cheer you on!

hope the rib is okay : )