09 October 2006

When I'm done I'm done.

I have a terrible habit that I've had since I was a kid. It used to drive my mother crazy. I'm always looking to the next thing. I can be working on something, anything, and as I near the end of it I begin to think of what I'll do next. Well, once I begin thinking about doing something new I want to start that and forget what I'm doing. For the longest time I would have all these unfinished projects (okay, I still have some) laying around the house. For example, I love to quilt. So I will get new material and design and cut a quilt and be all excited about it. As I begin to put it together I'm totally into it watching the design take shape. As I near the end and all that's left is the finishing, batting, actual quilting part, etc, I will begin to think about the next quilt. Once I start thinking about that one I get excited about it and want to start working on it. And unless I am really strong and disciplined, I will start on the new one and not finish the old one. Now you understand how I work.

That's what happened with the Ko Olina Tri. I knew I was going to do it but I also knew that starting today I would be instituting a whole new program. I've spent the last week working out the details and planning it out. Well, I got so wrapped up in the new program I really lost track of the tri.

Since I tend to panic attacks during the swim, I have worked out a mental exercise that I do prior to the race to calm my fears. I did not do that this time. Okay, let me start at the beginning.

I arrived at the race site at 5:00 a.m. and got all checked in. I found a great place to rack my bike and got my area all set up. The athlete's meeting was at 6:15 and the race started at 7:00. So I made a couple of trips to the bathroom (what is it with race mornings???), chatted with a couple of friends, and basically just tried to get ready. Looking at the lagoon I could feel my anxiety building and I knew I had made a critical error in not mentally preparing the last couple of weeks.

Finally we had the athlete's meeting and got all the rules. Then it was off to the start. This swim is 4 lagoons in a row with the transition area located at lagoon 4. We had to walk over to lagoon 1 where the start line was. It took like 20 minutes to walk over there, it was crazy. Also, due to the small size of the lagoons, the race is started in several small waves. The elites go first then the age groups, except the 50+ went in the 3rd wave and the last wave was the 45-49, ummm, that would be me.

One guy ran down to the lagoon and whipped out a snorkel to use in the swim. The USAT official saw that and he was disqualified before he got out of the first lagoon.

So off we took and I got in the lagoon and had a full blown panic attack. I couldn't catch my breath, was absolutely certain I was going to drown in 5' of water, totally freakout!!! The good part was I was able to talk myself down rather rapidly. I turned on my back and floated along for a minute or two saying, "calm down, just relax, you can swim." I got out of the first lagoon and my HR was through the roof. I walked briskly to the next lagoon trying to gain control of my breathing and HR.

I got to lagoon 2 in much better shape. As I got in the water I developed a plan. I focused on what I was doing but didn't think about it (does that make sense??). I would count 4 strokes then sight. So in my head I was saying, "1, 2, 3, sight, 1, 2, 3 sight" by focusing on the mechanics I got through it very well. Using this method I managed to pass a couple of people in each lagoon. By the time I exited lagoon 4 I was not the last person out of the water. I was pleased with that.

It was off on the bike. This was 18 miles through an industrial park on a Sunday morning, how boring. There were lots of turns and u-turns. They describe it as a very technical course. I discovered something I had guessed. I'm a good bike rider. I think it's about time for a decent bike and some group riding and I think I'll be really good. I ended up passing about 6 or 8 people on the bike. Since I was near the very end I thought that was pretty good. After what seemed like forever, the bike was over.

On to the run. I left T2 walking and looking for water. There was an aid station right there so I grabbed 2 cups of ice water - that may have been my mistake. I should point out, it was really hot out there with no wind of any kind. The humidity was superhigh too. After drinking my ice water and putting the ice in my hat I started to run. Ummm.... yeah..... not so much. The water was sloshing around in my stomach, my hip and IT band were screaming and my HR was through the roof. That's okay, I can walk for a little bit; so I did. Every few minutes I would try running again, ummm, yeah, not so much. So I would stop and continue walking. The run is a 2 loop course that's only 4.5 miles. I knew I could walk that far so I wasn't worried, but it was a little scary that I could not run. Anyway, I walked the first loop and by then felt able to run. So I took the 2nd loop at a very slow jog. It was painful and agonizing, but I did it.

The embarrassing numbers: (prediction)

Swim: 24:55 (30)
T1: 3:39
Bike: 1:17:18 (1 hour)
T2: 2:23
Run: 1:08:23 ( 50 mins)
Total: 2:56:39 (2:30)

Actually, not too bad. I did learn a lot from this race. Things I thought I had conquered turned out not to be conquered at all. Things I thought were under control were not. I know what I need to work on and where I want to go with my training for next year. So it was good in that way.

Today begins a whole new focus though. I'm going to work on weight loss and building my aerobic capacity back up.

Today however is a rest day. I'm sore in a couple of places I wasn't counting on; my neck and right shoulder (from the bike no doubt), my right calf - huh??? - and my plantar in my foot seems to be flairing up again. Time to lay off the running for just a little bit, get recovered and start building.

Since I do not have a holiday today I better get my butt to work.


Nancy Toby said...

You got 'er done, didn't you!? Congratulations! It sounds like you're well-equipped with fallback plans in case things don't go right on race day. That's great!

Ellie Hamilton said...

Excellent! I hate swim panics... been there, done that too. Guess it happens to everyone sometimes. Don't sweat it! You did great controlling it. You done us proud!

Vickie said...

Hey, you finished, and to me that's what counts. I'm sometimes one of the last and even last people out there, but to me, finishing is the most important thing. You can analyze after (like you did) and hope to improve the next time.

As for the snorkel thing? I actually saw one in a race I did a few years back. Apparently the officials did not!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on getting it done! Looking forward to hearing about what the new training program brings. Be well.


  Motivation is not the cause of action, it is the result. You want to be motivated? Get up and go do something. - Mark Manson How many time...