Of Races and RollerCoasters

Folsom, August 15, 2010 – Folsom Olympic Distance Triathlon

There is no better time for self-evaluation and a trip to the internal loony bin than during a race. The rollers on the bike course are no match to the rollers in my head that have me selling my bike and going back to Jazzercise by the time I’m halfway through only to leave me wanting to sign up for another longer, harder race by the time I cross the finish line.

Folsom was the same story. I thought my swimming was just fine and I knew I was not last in my wave and that I had passed people from the wave before so that was fine, right? Oh no. I got out of the water and saw that my swim was long by a couple of minutes and immediately decided that there’s just no hope for me. I will never be a good swimmer and I might as well quit fooling myself. Why do I even do these races anyhow? But Oh well – here I am and my bike awaits.

Then on to T1 where I absolutely could not get my wetsuit off – again. It wasn’t enough that I had ripped a giant hole in the leg pulling it on (yes I know you need to tug on it from the INSIDE). Oh no – it would NOT come off. And then it did and I had on my bike shoes and helmet and off I went.

My legs hurt – they were tired and had lactic acid burn (in spite of eating some SportLegs before the start) and I felt weak. I couldn’t get my speed up. I hated myself, hated racing and decided once again there was NO WAY I’M EVER DOING THIS AGAIN!! And I’m certainly NOT going to do Big Kahuna because races that suck are OFF THE TABLE and it WILL suck!

On I rode, trying to give it my best; trying to speed up. When I had about 5 or so miles left I noticed on my bike computer that my average mph was 15.1 NO WAY! And really – there was no way I could have that pathetic performance on the permanent race record so I spent those miles going absolutely as fast as I could trying to rachet up that number past 16 because really – I MEAN REALLY! And I did. I got it up to 16.1 and decided that perhaps there had been a wind/hill issue going out and I wasn’t maybe (just maybe) well enough trained. Maybe.

The run was fine. I felt pretty good and I ran and ran. Nothing notable. It hurt and I wanted to stop but I didn’t.

And then I finished – 2 minutes off my last year time and 16 minutes slower than I wanted to finish. I was certain that divorcing triathlon was the only solution to how crappy I felt about that. No Big Kahuna, no more racing, no more being a poseur. Done done!

A day later, having really looked at my times and my splits it occurred to me that given the training I had done my finish wasn’t so bad. 5 out of 10 in my AG, right in the middle where I always seem to land. My run was 1 minute faster than last year. My swim was what you might expect when you only swim twice a week, if that. My bike split was truly pathetic but what if I put in more time and trained? What if I did some hard intervals on the trainer? What will happen this weekend when I ride 75 hard ones on Saturday and then do a long run on Sunday?

Hmmmm…. guess I’ll figure it out when I race Big Kahuna.

ps – I have done way more training than you can see evidence of in the side bar. I’m just not the numbers junkie I used to be.

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7 Responses to Of Races and RollerCoasters

  1. Juls says:

    Speaking of your sidebar, why do you have the nutritional information for the Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl on yours?

  2. Glad your day later assessment was positive!

  3. Dori says:

    Congratulations. You did better than last year! I was undertrained for my last half, but all things considered, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Sometimes that’s good enough.

  4. fe-lady says:

    please have some FUN at your next triathlon…!

  5. cloudveil says:

    Congratulations to all of you guys. Nice picture and story. Love it.

  6. Black Knight says:

    5 of 10 in the AG and 1 minute less means that you made a good job. Nice picture.

  7. Funny how the “I’m never doing this again” moments always lead to “Sign me up!”

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