I’ve already gone from “1 Down, 5 or so to Go” to “2 Down, 2 or 3 to Go”. It’s the new math! Or it’s because I missed a race due to illness, injury and apathy to train and then did what was supposed to be race #3 only to be hit upside the head with a healthy dose of reality. Going long when you don’t train is just ugly.
On a positive note I got promoted at work and then immediately got handed a very large project to manage. An important project (as are they all ) and I need to do a really good job. There goes the training and therefore there should go the racing. Will I give up?
Race #2 was the Silicon Valley Long Course 66 mile race. 1 mile swim, 56 mile ride, 9 mile run. That 9 mile run seemed like such a fabulous idea – 4 fewer miles than a 70.3!! I’d like to say it lived up to my expectations that it would be so much easier but I’d be lying.
Quick race report
Swim – The water, contrary to what I had heard, was very nice. Good temperature, clean, silky. The course was 2 loops where you had to get out of the water and take a quick run down the beach and get back in. There’s nothing quite like standing up and becoming very aware of your rapid heart rate and labored breathing to make a swim just a few notes short of totally terrifying. I was a twee uncomfortable when I started lap 2 but then I started passing people from a previous wave and I felt pretty good. Total swim time 36 minutes. Good enough.
T2 – my usual fumbling to get the wetsuit off, panting, struggling with the shoes blah, blah, blah. It took approximately forever
Bike – The course was nice. I felt okay and maybe even passed a person or two. Then some passed me. Then I rode alone for a while and was happy to note that there is some fine agricultural land still in existence in Steinbeck Country. I liked it. Only 1 hill to speak of and lots of nice scenery. At about mile 30 I traded off for a bit with a sweet young thing in a UC San Diego Tri suit and finally managed to drop her which felt great even though I was pretty sure I would see her again. I also traded for a while with a 44 year old and a 59 year old until they eventually dropped me. As they sped off saying something or another I said “We still have 9 miles to run” and the 44 year old said “Ah – I’m not a runner – that will be more a walking thing” and I thought “great – I’ll wave on my way by you”.
I was hurting and struggling and I had dueling songs in my head. I would start to hear Carole King’s “I haven’t Got Time for the Pain” and then I would think “NO NO – NOT THAT!” and start channeling the Beatles “It’s Getting Better All the Time”. It got me through in I wasn’t sure how much time.
T2 – I must have looked pretty toasted because my friend Carrie who was volunteering was ever so encouraging. I just knew she could tell I wanted to cry and go off to play in the playground. I didn’t, though. I swapped my stuff and headed out for the run.
Run – As expected it was a long, drawn out, sufferfest and I had no juice. That is the inevitable result of not running very often. I think I had run 9 miles over 2 weeks and here I was trying to run 9 miles in under 2 hours. Seemed like a long shot. I walked, I stopped and breathed, I jogged, I took a Gu, I drank some water, I jogged some more and I told myself, “just get to 4.5 miles and you will be on the way back” and that’s what I did.
It was an out and back and I looked and looked for Ms. 59 and she was nowhere to be found. Not sure about her 44 year old friend but I think I passed her. My little bud from UC San Diego flew past me at about mile 4 and I called out “I knew you’d get me” and she called “hang on with me!” Cute kid. When I was almost done my friend Sharley came along on her bike and gave me a lead bike to the finish experience. It was very nice.
Just as I got done I heard them announcing 1st place in my division. “She did it in 4:11!” they called. And then they started moving on so I walked up to the podium and said “I race 55-59 and I just finished so I must be #2”. They said they would get the results in a minute and get back to me which they did not do. When they got done announcing winners I went up and reminded them and they looked it up and scowled at the iPad and finally gave me my bottle of wine and a t-shirt identical to the one I’d gotten in the SWAG bag (WTF??)
Total time 6:08 which was not a happy thing but as it turns out Ms. 1st place “winner” bagged the race and just did the aqua-bike so really I won. How they failed to note her 2 minute and 18 second run time as they announced her win is beyond me. Anyhow, the other lady in my AG never showed up so I totally dominated! First, Second and Third! And I only got 1 bottle of wine. Damn.
It hurt. It hurt a lot. So the obvious question is what do I do about Vineman 70.3, Folsom Long Course (66 miles) and Big Kahuna 70.3? The answer is – I will go ahead and make an attempt at Vineman again. The game plan is to get more running in and just fake it on the bike and not die on the run. I’ll probably switch to Folsom Sprint although I could probably dominate my AG again in the Long Course since the competition all goes for the short stuff. And I will probably roll over on Big K for this year because no one is paying me for this and it’s kind of a struggle.
So The weird math problem of the day is this: If an athlete starts the season registered for 6 races and turns 3 into 2 how many races will she do? Answer: Nobody knows.