13 April 2008

Lanikai Sprint Triathlon

This was a very interesting day. In many ways it was a really great race and I find it amusing how many times I quit during this race :)

I was still a little concerned about the swim and when I got there this morning the wind was blowing and it was a bit choppy. Kind of like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride on half speed. Not too bad but a bit of a challenge. The water was also pretty cold due to lack of sun for a couple of days - brrrr!!! So the swim starts and, as always, I seed myself near the back of the pack. We head out to the first buoy is such a large group it was almost impossible to swim. I had to stop and do the breast stroke quite of few times. As we round the first buoy it is impossible to swim. We are all clumped together and just trying to get around the buoy. Once we clear the buoy the field immediately starts to open up. It was so choppy I was having a hard time getting a rhythm going. At one point I felt myself starting to panic and I talked myself down, I was very proud of myself. So between the chop and inhaling water and the goggles fogging up, I just kept plugging along trying to swim the best I could. At one point I decided that I really wasn't a very good swimmer and I was going to stop doing triathlons. I finally hit the shore and I was near the back of the pack but there were still people behind me. In spite of everything, I felt pretty good so I thought I'd have to work some more on my swimming :)

Head out on the bike and it's a flat, fast course. The bike I can do. Well. I ended up passing a few people and moving up a little. There was a problem with wind on some of the open stretches. The wind was gusting off the ocean pretty good sometimes. I could feel my legs and I didn't understand that. But I kept going pushing as much as I could. The turn around is at the top of a hill. I didn't know that!! I made it as far up the hill as I could but my legs were screaming. Since I still had the run I decided to swallow my pride and walk a little. I wasn't the only one :) Once at the top I remounted and flew back to transition. 2 or 3 times along the bike course I decided triathlon wasn't for me. I'm never going to be fast so why even do this. Spend the money to get in a race to be near the last??? Why???? Also, as I neared the transition it started to rain. That's when I started saying to myself, oh screw this!! This is just stupid!!! I'm not doing the run!!! When I get to transition I'll pack my stuff up and leave!! This is ridiculous. As I pulled into transition I was planning in my head what I'd do, rack the bike, take off helmet and gloves, sit down, change shoes, don't forget to grab visor I'll need it in this rain. Obviously, I wasn't quitting :)

Off on the run. My legs actually felt pretty good once I started running. I was slow but plugging along. About the halfway point of the run was an aid station where I learned there were 5 or 6 people behind me. I'm on the last mile of the run when suddenly.......intestinal distress hits. Oh God!!! We are running through a really expensive neighborhood. All the bushes that are available are in front of million dollar homes. I'm pretty sure they would frown on my using their bushes as an emergency stop. I even contemplated asking someone if I could use their bathroom but decided that wasn't a good idea. I walked a bit because of this problem but when I reached the top of the final hill I felt like I could run again. So I did. The final .4 miles was along the beach. I hate running in sand. I have bad knees and running in sand is way too dangerous. But I did it. I ran where the tide was hitting and the sand was firm. I ran as hard as I could on that freaking sand. I ran through a wave and got both shoes wet, UGH!!!! I think it was around here that I decided seriously, triathlons aren't for me at all. I really need to stick to just running and biking. I love those. I'll even swim but doing all 3 as a race is complete and total insanity and really, just not for me. Then the finish line was in sight and I found a little bit more in me and sprinted through the chutes!!! When I finished I was breathing very, very hard, I had a small stitch in my side, my legs hurt, and I was so happy to be done.

I realized that I had really given my all out there. That I had pushed through some really tough spots and I had kept going when I really wanted to just stop. I realized that I do have it in me to do triathlons. I knowthat I can get better at ocean swimming. I realized that I conquered some huge demons today. It was not a perfect race. It was not the fastest race I've ever done. But I think, at least mentally, it was the best race I've ever had. I surmounted some huge mental hurdles today. I felt so awesome when I crossed the finish line because I knew what I had done out on that course. No one else does. But I do.

Then on the way home I decided that the Honolulu Triathlon was out, too close and too long. My next race looks like the Tinman in July :)


Fe-lady said...

Way to go FLO! That's what it's all about! Hope you are still basking in the moment...and yes, triathlon IS for you! :-)

Anna said...

That's SO awesome that you finished the race!!! You're right you do get through some obstacles and you finished what you set out to do.

I'm SO proud of you Flo!!!

Irene said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I am so impressed that you dealt with your fears and apprehensions in that choppy water! Once you've rested, I hope you take the time to celebrate! Well done.

angelfish24 said...

Way to go on overcoming the mental obstacles and physical for your race. That's great and don't give up on racing. I don't think you will. I want to do one again, just reading...it gives me inspiration that I can do another one.

Anonymous said...

I think you have done the task no matter how tough it was.You surely have a great will power and never say die attitude.


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