Remember I said I couldn't end this tri season on a du?
We've got these great little local races around here put on by NCN. Small, cheap, and local. Can't beat 'em. So I decided I'd trade in my race voucher from volunteering last year when I was all pregnant and huge and do the international distance today. Signed up online last week, packed my bag yesterday before my friend's wedding, and was all ready to go.
I spent the better part of last night and this morning, um, clearing out my system, so to speak. What?!?! I didn't eat anything that I normally don't eat, so it's still a mystery to me. Perhaps it was a little bug or something. It was no fun. So I decided at about 3am this morning that I could either A) bag the race, which totally stinks, and end my season on a du or B) downsize to the sprint, because, hey, then I'm not too far away if I crash and burn, right? It has been hot, hazy, and humid as HADES here lately and I knew that trying an oly in this weather with the amount of bathroom time I was seeing was a recipe for disaster.
So I got to the race and dropped down a level to the sprint. I'm REALLY glad I did that. I'm fairly certain that the oly would have meant lots of port-o-potty time. Mmmmmmmm. Port-0-potties in August.
So, I also got to thinking, that holy crap, I haven't raced a sprint distance tri since 2005. I sorta think they are too hard, which is kind of how I feel about 5Ks. Because you have to go all fast and stuff, you know? I like to zone out at one speed. Plus, there is no room for error. But I thought, what the heck? I might as well step outside the comfort zone and try something different. So I knew this would be an interesting day.
Saw a ton of my CTC buddies there which was awesome! It made it so much easier to face my tummy. I hit the bathroom not one, but two more times before the start. DEAR SWEET ALMIGHTY THERE CANNOT BE ANYTHING LEFT IN MY GUT, I thought. Turns out I must have been right. Whew! Good timing.
So the gun went off, and I'm not even sure how far this was supposed to be but I think it was a 1/4 mile swim, so we're looking at roughly 400 meters. I forgot what a beach start is like, and it showed. I tried some dolphin dives and got nowhere. I arrived at the first buoy in a complete bottleneck. Poop sandwich. I then was swimming next to someone doing breastroke. I was like, "Okay, no. I'm not staying here." So I tried to turn on the jets, but it didn't seem to work too well. Total time including the run up the hill to T1 was a (for me) VERY disappointing 9:43 (I think). Looking at the results it seemed that the times for most people were pretty slow, so I'm thinking it had to be more than 400 meters. Let's hope, at least!
T1 was uneventful. Got on my bike and took off.
And then realized something was rotten in the state of Denmark.
Why, oh why, was I pushing 300 watts and going 15 miles an hour?!?!?!?!!?? I knew there was a little headwind, but I rode along the lake all summer so I'm used to it and NEVER saw anything like that.
Oh no. I know what happened.
The $%$&%(@ tire is rubbing against the rim. Damn horizontal dropouts that are so tempermental. Arg. I had this problem earlier this week but thought I solved it.
There comes a moment when you realize you should have thought about this earlier, and curse your stupidity. Then, you have a few thoughts go in your head:
"It's not that bad...I can just ride it this way."
But when I couldn't go more than 13 mph up a TINY hill, I knew I needed to stop.
"Damn. There goes your race."
"You know, self, sprints are too fast to make this up."
And then a few other things went through my head that I will refrain from typing, so to keep things PG around here.
Stop #1. Tried to fix it. Got on. Didn't fix it.
Stop #2. Tried again. Watched people whiz by me again. Got on. Still didn't fix it.
Stop #3 This is it, I thought. We don't fix it this time, we're just a' gonna ride it as is and call it a training day.
I fixed it! Hoooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!
Whizzed by quite a few people at this point like they were standing still. :) But as in a 5K, you screw up a little, and there just isn't much time to make it up. I figured at least I might be able to have a decent run.
Got into T2 and still managed about a 19.3 average, despite three stops. I'll take that.
And since I still, yes STILL do not have Yankz on my shoes, spent about 47 minutes TYING MY SHOES LIKE A FOOL IN T2. Note to self: if you are going to do short course stuff, please act like a short course athlete and do a little preparation. Oh well. I was just happy my stomach was still okay, but I was afraid to have anything but water.
Took off on the run and passed a few people instantly. Then got passed by a tiny little thing in my age group who I flew by towards the end of my ride. I remember thinking, "Hmmm, she looks like a runner. Wish I had a few more minutes on her." Oh well. Turns out she was a runner, and she took OFF. She eventually won my age group. Competitive Sara curses having to stop 3 times on the bike because I might have had a shot with a few more minutes on her. Arg!
Got passed by another girl in my age group and let her go, as it was early and I wanted to hopefully pick it up. But it was hot, and I felt a little weak. I saw her about a half mile later, stretching on the side of the road. My goal became to hold her off, and I did. She eventually finished a little bit behind me for 3rd in age group.
Somehow I managed to eek out a 25 minute 5K...hey, not bad! I finished the whole shebang in 1:22 and change. Good enough for 2nd in my age group! I'll take that fo' SHO'!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of my girl JenC...that chick flew by me on the bike and had a solid bike (as usual) and then pretty much PR'd her 5K to win her age group! Jen, I tried to catch ya but you were smokin'! GREAT JOB! It was so good to see her do so well, and pretty much everyone in CTC finished strong or even took home some hardware.
So, you know what? Short course stuff is pretty fun. I'm very very glad I did the sprint and not the oly today. I think I could get used to it!
And I guess that's pretty much a wrap on my tri season this year!
What a freakin' blast. :)
Now, onto my marathon goals. Time to up the runs big time. I'm feeling good and I know I've got some speed in me, but do I have 26.2 miles of enough speed? That is the million dollar question.
I also head back tomorrow, so it will be a challenge to fit this in with the first few weeks of school. Here goes!