Racing

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“I don’t have the right name, or the right look, but I have twice the heart…”

Published May 19, 2014 by Tritrigirl

-Just One Yesterday – Fall Out Boy

That song came on during the last half of my ride on Saturday and felt enormously fitting for me, well, really just that part of the song.

Saturday was the 30 mile Real Ale Ride.  I almost overslept, thankfully the hotel was full of other riders and I woke up, got my stuff together and headed to the brewery.  I always feel a little self conscious at these things.  Especially since I was on my own.  But I did manage to make friends.  I walked up 4 hills (including the one made of pure concentrated evil as one rider assessed) I drank some pickle juice because my calves were cramping.  (Seriously, for you riders, runner, triathletes, if you have not discovered pickle juice and you’re prone to cramping I recommend checking it out.)  So I’m at mile 28.49 according to my GPS (which I’m sure was lying) and right down the street from the brewery when this guy rides up and says, “Hey, it sounds like you’re riding with a flat.”  AH HELL.  I could hear something but didn’t know what it was.  So I unclip, hop off and sure enough.  Fucking flat.  Well, shit.  The car is LITERALLY across the street from where I was, so, I walked the bike over, strapped it back onto the car, put on my flip flops and went to find my new friends.  Had a couple lovely brews, had a great BBQ sandwich and then it was time to load up and continue on my journey of torture through the Texas Hill Country.

I drove from Blanco, TX to Marble Falls, TX found my hotel and unloaded, showered and attempted to nap for a couple hours before hunger and a serious headache made me stop watching Big Bang Theory, get dressed and head to Double Horn Brewing for dinner (where I started to encounter SPARTANS).  Great anniversary Saison, great grilled chicken sammich.  I was almost falling asleep over my plate at the end.  Back to the hotel and tried to get to sleep early because I knew Sunday was gonna be rough.  And of course, I couldn’t sleep.  I was so nervous.  Waking every couple of hours and even having a nightmare of being tortured as part of the obstacles.

I woke up bright and early.  Had some breakfast (small bagel, a little cream cheese and a banana) and got all my water bottles together because I don’t take dehydration lightly.  I don’t know how hot it’ll get or how much water I’ll have access to but I intend to always stay hydrated.  I pack the bike back up onto the car, load up the CD player (old school yo) with FOB and Coheed and Cambria and we’re off to the Spartan Race!

After off roading in my Mazda 3 for 50 miles (okay 2, maybe 2) I finally get parked.  Get everything together and head to the shuttle pick up so I can find Angela before she heads out with the Elite heat.  She’s re-registered to go at 10 with me and her brother but I want to see her off for the Elite Heat.  I get my wave time changed (PS – they will move you later but not earlier) and head to the start to find her.  I get in a quick hug and a good luck before she takes off.  Now, it’s early, and I am literally looking around at all the “fit” people there going…uh…so…where are all the “regular” people.  You know, not the ones who drink protein shakes constantly and measure out the Glycemic Index of their foods and the ones that don’t know the calorie to mass ratio of a banana.  Those of us who don’t live at the gym or do crossfit like it’s crack (Crossfit is a lot of fun, but it’s weird how it’s almost like a cult).  They finally start showing up as the morning progresses (thank goodness!).

Angela finishes…she got lost apparently they hadn’t marked the trail very well at one point and she went straight instead of turning left (she showed us later where) and in the end went an extra 1.5 miles out of the way.  YOWZER.  So we’re getting ready to line up when finally Scott shows up.  He was a little easier to find than I expected but with NO cell service it was impossible to coordinate anything.  We got lucky.  Anyway, you have to climb over a short wall to get to the freakin’ shoot before you can start.  Ah hell.  I’m short, I’m big and I’ve got shit for upper body strength.  This is gonna suck.  They give an awesome motivational speech that ends with you screaming I AM SPARTAN!  AROO! AROO!  AROO! (Even the kids race does…PRECIOUS).  We take off.

The course itself wasn’t too bad, it was a trail, with some definite rocky climbs.  I won’t go through all the obstacles, because honestly, I can’t remember all of them.  I do remember a few particular ones.  The big one being an inverted wall.  About a 6 ft wall, inverted towards you.  I had 3 people helping me to get up (Including Scott and Angela) but once they had me up to the post where I’m supposed to “just throw my leg over” I can’t move.  I’m freakin’ out and I can’t pull myself up.  Two guys who made it over the wall came to my rescue and started helping me pull myself up and over.  And then I was down and off of it.  I almost burst into tears.  I looked at that thing as we walked up and thought, NO WAY IN HELL.  But I love Angela, because she looks at it and says, okay, here’s what you’re going to do.  And we do it.  I couldn’t have made it through yesterday without her, without Scott (who was a big help to everyone while he ran the course with us) and without the other Spartans.  By the third and second to last obstacles, I just didn’t have anything left in me to climb.  I tried the inverted rope climb 3 times before falling and saying to myself, I’ll take the burpees.  (If you can’t do an obstacle you get to do 30 burpees…it’s in your best interest to do the damn obstacle)  All told I 95 of 105 burpees…15 for an easier version, 30 for missing the spear throw, 30 for the inverted rope climb and 30 for the rope climb.  Out of 21 obstacles I wasn’t physically able to complete 2 and I missed the spear throw, that’s a skill thing, not a physical thing.

As Angela said about half way through: “I’ve never worked so hard for a banana.”  And it was the best fucking banana I ever had!  Anyone can do a Spartan Race.  Don’t think you can’t.  Everyone helps each other.  I wouldn’t have made it through without help.  Everyone is AWESOME.

AROO!  AROO!  AROO!

Spartan

my mud

 

Yes, that’s me in mud covered purple.  You can’t see my red hair, because…mud.

Today I am sore as hell and the bruises look like I’ve been manhandled by security at a Poison concert.  I can almost barely walk, but it was worth every minute, every scrape, every bruise, every bump.  SO.TOTALLY.WORTH.IT.

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The Rookie Triathlon – Anatomy of a Race

Published May 6, 2014 by Tritrigirl

After 5 years I’m no rookie…it’s certainly not my first rodeo, but this is the start of the Texas Tri Series and so I’m in the veterans category.

I’m proud to share that on Sunday I did not drown, I did not wreck nor get run over, I did not pass out, I did not sprain anything, I did not puke, I did not finish last (not even in my age group) and I did not quit.

The morning dawned like any other.  I was fast asleep when my alarm went off at 5:15 am.  Transition opens at 6 and we’re relatively close.  I woke Scott up, and took Oreo out to go potty before bitching and grunting myself into my super spandex magic tri outfit.  Then I had to do the usual morning…um, er, evacuation.  Here’s the thing, I hate porta potties with a vengeance and race morning they are always packed with long lines of people doing just that….so I try to get it out of the way early.  So anyway.  I forgot to have Scott put my fast laces (laces on shoes that don’t require tying…just pull on and voila…shoes on feet and ready to go) prior so he did it the night before…and tightened them…without my wide ass feet, but I thought it would be okay.

All my water bottles were filled.  All my crap was packed.  We loaded up and went off.  But I forgot socks so we had to stop by my house for socks.  Good thing I’m close.

We got there relatively early…a little after 6 and traffic was a mess.  But it always moves quickly.  As it did.  And then Scott did the pre-transition check of my air pressure and wheel overview.  (This is something I can do too, but it’s nice to have him handle it all for me since messing with my race wheels is a little unnerving.)  Once it’s all ready I jaunt over to “body marking” (exactly what it sounds like) race number and age are written all over your arms and legs with a giant sharpie.  So people know who you are for 2/3’s of the race.  I head into transition and try to find somewhere to set up that I’ll remember.  Saw my friend Kelly and chatted while I set up.  Set up includes: Large towel, bike shoes in front, helmet open on shoes, GU packs, sunglasses inside.  Run shoes with rolled socks for easier access, race belt with number, and hat next.  Thick hand towel draped over tire and tri bag stashed by shoes.  All this in as small a space as possible to give others room.

Kelly took numerous selfies of us that eventually were never posted to FB.  Jaime shows up and unpacks next to me.  Hoping her bright orange mat will help me find my shit later.  We head to the water, decide there are too many stickers and we’ll leave our flip flops by the wetsuit removal area so we don’t have to run through them (they are BRUTAL – tons of goat heads – OWCH).  We attempt pre-race yoga but really just end up chatting.  Scott is hanging with his buddy Nate as it’s Nate’s first race.  Too soon it’s race time.  Swim caps on, goggles on, nausea in full effect and we’re in the water.  It’s chilly but not too chilly.  I’m sure I’ll warm up.  Count down.  Then gun and we’re off.  I don’t get half way to the first buoy before I can’t breathe.  It’s not a out of breath because we’re just getting started thing, it’s a can’t catch my breath no matter how often I breathe thing.  So I swim MOST of it breast stroke…AKA slow as hell.  I count off the waves after me before I get to the end and note that I’m third or second to last in my group to get out.  Scott’s waiting to cheer or goad or harass me as I get out.  I tell Nate’s the water’s not that bad.  I tell Scott I can’t breathe.  And walk up the hill, get my flip flops and try to jog.

Get into Transition (AKA T1) find my stuff because I have blue rims on my wheels.  Get my shoes on, helmet on, shit together, feeling discombobulated but we’re going.  On the bike, trying to catch my breath, Aero bottle (the one between my Aero bars – Bike pic here) is frozen.  Trying to drink, trying to breathe, trying to catch up.  Once we get to the big right hand turn I can breath again, but alas then we have the 90 degree right hand turn with an instant mother fuckin’ hill.  Short, steep and it sucks.  A lot of people walk this.  A lot of wrecks here.  I usually swing wide and downshift seriously (or is it upshift?) so I’m in the easiest gear and then curse my way up.  Can’t breath again after that, but we keep going.  I drank almost all my water in the bottle in the cage.  Aero bottle was frozen until almost the end.  I got to a point on the last steep hill where it my inner monologue was along the lines of  “Come on, bitch, you’re mine!  Get your ass up this bleep bleep bleep bleep hill.  No excuses.   You got this.  Get up there.  Make it your bitch.  Let’s go.  I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I’m gon’ survive, keep on surviving…(yes, this happened).  Got to the top turned right.  Saw Scott.  Threatened to make him a snot rocket target.  Turned right.  Asked Jaime’s bf if he would finish my run if I hung out with his daughter.  Dismount line.

Get into Transition (AKA T2).  CAN.NOT.FIND.MY.SHIT.  I wasted at least a minute trying to find my crap.  Finally did.  Took forever to get my shoes on because remember how I told you Scott put the laces on?  THEY WERE TOO TIGHT.  But, I gotta get going.  Grabbed some Gatorade and I’m out to the run.  Run / jog-ish down the hill.  Run by this guy yelling at everyone that the pain and the cramps go away!  No excuses, get up the hill.  I wanted to punch him.  I walked up most of the hill.  It’s a long one, not too steep but my feet were cramping and I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest.  I continue walking / jogging and as I’m starting to question my life choices and my sanity I hit the mile 1 marker.  It’s a 2 mile run.  Thank the pink unicorn in the sky (or whomever you prefer).  I get to the only water stop.  Get some gatorade, get some water.  Try to talk myself into the rest of the run.  I walk / jog.  Almost cry at least twice because I think I suck then remind myself that I’m a helluva lot better than those who can’t or won’t do these stupid things.  Finally we’re about 1/4 mile left.  I can see the finish line.  I can see Scott.  He’s trying to cajole me, but I remind him. CAN’T.BREATHE.  I finally get to the end.  I get my new water bottle, get to a picnic table and get my god forsaken shoes off.  Jamie finds me.  I’m talking to Scott and Jamie and start coughing and wheezing and my awesome friend hands me her inhaler.  1 puff and I can breathe again.  Will be taking my inhaler next time around.  I don’t have asthma per se, but when my allergies are bad (as they currently are) I have issues breathing.  Lesson learned.

Took some time to recover before I headed to the beer tent.  Got me a beer and then a turkey hot dog.  Which was amazing.  Tasted like smoked turkey.  YUM.  Then some ice cream.  I was ready to go but Nate placed so we waited for the awards ceremony.  I got sunburned.  Took a 3 1/2 hour nap after.

In the end: Overall time- 1:43:21 (Last year 1:44:34) Swim – 13:13, Bike 51:56, Run 30:55.  300m swim, 11 mile ride, 2 mile run.  Knocked 5 minutes off bike time.  Added to minutes to swim and run time.  The next triathlon is the same course.  Am hoping (expecting) to see improvements.

More sore today than yesterday as to be expected.  Will be going on a short jog / walk later today.

I didn’t give up.  🙂  Another race completed.