Yam City Tri second go around . . .
It is funny how we learn lessons when it hurts or . . . it hurts. As a child we learned not to touch something after we touched it and it was hot. Plus, it hurt. Or we learned to be careful walking down stairs AFTER we fell and hit our head. And it hurt.
I learn in that manner today, as an adult. I know many of you have probably taken some sort of a leadership test or Myers Briggs, or some similar standardized test to evaluate your characteristics. I am an extrovert; however I debate this with a few folk since I feel I have been turned into an extrovert when I have many introverted tendencies. However that is another blog post.
I am a charge in, locate the objective, and fasten together a plan, then implement the plan, individual.
There is not an issue, objective, or problem that I can’t put together a respectable solution for and implement said solution. The problem with this is that it is like the old “don’t touch the hot stove” advice and then I touch it and learn, “you know, that was a mistake.”
I have friends that go into a situation and they think through the individual pieces of the puzzle. They analyze, plot, and put together a plan that is possibly more informed than my plan would have been.
I will say this. This is strictly to keep my ego intact. Between the two philosophies the success rates are quite similar. So I do a pretty good job completing my objective.
Today was a typical learn from your experiences day for me.
I’m just going to say it.
I have been sick for about four days. Three days leading up to this race. I didn’t feel bad by any other means and I felt this wouldn’t have a negative effect on my race. Remember, how I learn what not to do. This race experience taught me not to race if you’re under the weather.
Amanda was concerned that I might be de-hydrated because of my illness. I decided to pour down the electrolytes and drink plenty of fluids leading up to this race. As I drove to Opelousas I felt fine.
I arrive, unload, air the tires, roll into transition and see my friend Mike Pate. I know I talk about mike a lot, but he is such an awesome person. Not just because she does triathlons at 320 pounds. He is simply a kind, energizing person who cares about you and your success. I am lucky to have a friend like him. If you have a second go to his site.
I hope Mike and I are good for the sport. I hope that we motivate people by our experiences and our challenges. We are human and we have this BIG problem. We have an idea what you might be facing in your daily battles, whether it is food, money, compulsion and we want you to succeed. We also know that you can do it.
After setting my transition area for the race I began to taunt my friend Janni Pani from the Tri Club. Last year she motivated me to push myself and this year when all was said and done she brought the pain again. Next year Janni, next year.
I had HIGH aspirations for this race. Bad idea being sick.
I was #15. The race numbers were set up by how fast you think you would finish the 150 meter swim. I have been swimming my 50m laps in around 45 to 50 seconds. Therefore I felt I would finish the swim portion in around, 00:02:45 – two minutes and forty-five seconds. That is what I put on my registration.
Needless to say I was bringing in quite a few stares and glances my direction. I am standing in the midst of the swimming elite. Well proportioned, lean body mass, intimidating swimmers. Then there is the opposite, me.
One lady walked up to me and asked me what swim time I put on my registration. I told her 245. She didn’t even respond, just turned around walked back to her place in the line. I didn’t look to see where that was, but in my mind I pictured a small discussion going on about the fat guy in the front. I laughed inside.
Let me state something for the record right now.
99.999% of the athletes that participate in triathlons are AWESOME. They are supportive, amazed by you, comforting when you struggle, and I would not have continued in this sport were it not for my tri club and their kindness.
So, please, focus on all the good I write about in my blogs. The support and the positive response I have been given along this pathway of triathlon.
The race begins.
I jump in the water and go to the bottom and lose my goggles, great! When I come up the race director in mortified thinking he might have to come in after me. There is only 10 seconds between each racer for the start so I didn’t have time to find my goggles at the bottom of the pool. “GO!” he hollers. I’m off!
The first 75 meters I was flying. I thought I would get caught by the truly fast swimmers behind me, but not so far. Problem for me was the pool was extremely warm. Around lap 4 my legs felt like rubber????? I can only attribute that to the warm pool since that never happens to me.
In the middle of the 100m lap I was passed quickly by one guy. I made the turn on the next lap and let a guy go by, I don’t think he was happy about that, he looked a little tired, but he did pass and took off. In the last lap at the wall to turn around another guy was on my heels. I don’t like to hold people up. I don’t want to give anyone a reason to think I ruined their race so I let him go by at the wall, problem was I think he was gassed since I slapped his feet the whole way to the exit. I didn’t mean too and at one point I lifted my head up and slowed down so he could get ahead.
Overall I felt good about my swim. I was only passed by three folk, I think I held my own???
Again the water was warm so transition was a little tough with my rubber legs. I had a decent transition #1. My goal was to average 17 mph on the bike. I had been pushing it in my training and was hold 17mph in my training.
The initial 7 miles I was flying (for me). I was at or above 20mph. I have not learned there is a reason for this, especially when I wasn’t really killing myself to hold that speed. At the turn around I realized why I was moving so fast. Now, as I rode back I realized the wind is head on. When you are as large as I am, your torso and body act as a sailing mast. I was averaging 13mph to 14mph for the next 5 miles.
Last year during this race I remembered how bad the frontage road was that we raced on for about 2 miles. My memory failed me miserably! The road was a gazillion times worse than my memory served me. Each bump which were about 2 feet apart was like hitting a curb in the street. I was miserable. This is where I lost a great deal of time as well as missing a turn.
This was really unfortunate for me. I was about 20m behind this professional looking racer, cervelo P3 (one of the best bikes out there) matching racing uniform. I saw the turn ahead sign, however I am used to having volunteers on the road pointing you in the direction you are supposed to be turning. There were none. He continued straight and I . . . Followed right behind him.
Bad idea. I realized quickly that we were supposed to turn back there so I turned around and headed back, he continued on. So I lost time there, but lesson learned.
On the frontage road the cervelo guy passed me again, I guess he figured it out or was told?
The bike was over and I thought I had done pretty well. I didn’t think for a second I had made my goal of averaging 17mph.
Transition #2 was difficult again. My legs were still like rubber. I drank a half bottle of Gatorade and began to walk to the run course.
As I exited transition I saw so many friends there. Momma Bear, Denise, and Eric. Others were cheering as well. I love this sport!!!!!!!
I walked about 100 yards and then decided to start a slower than slow trot. I was going to try and bring my legs along for the ride until they found a second wind.
Problem. Remember the whole not feeling well, sick thing. As I began that trot, I felt dizzy. The I upchucked (I can’t think of a more polite word??) about three times losing any electrolytes I had forced in my system. I were not happy!
At the turn a young man about 11 ran up beside me. I recognized him as standing with Momma Bear. He said, “hear, you might need this.” And handed me a water bottle, a cold bottle of water. Little Angel!!! I knew it had come for another Angel who knew I always complained about needing water on the race course.
I had to walk a lot. My legs felt fresh now, but my head was holding me back. I would get dizzy if I ran to hard, it was just a dismal attempt at running for me.
I did put in about a half mile continuous in the shaded neighborhood we ran through, but then I heaved again and had literally no fluids in me I don’t think.
In about the last mile, Vanilla (from the tri club) and a small group of guys trying to get a workout in after the race were running the course again. As we passed each other going in opposite directions I said, “show offs!” and laughed. One day, one day I will be able to do that.
The run turned bad when there was no more shade and the sun was letting me have it. I was ready to walk it in, but a voice said, come on big boy, let’s run it in. I thought to myself, that doesn’t sound like my normal voice in my head????
“Come on” the voice said, “”let’s go.”
It was Vanilla. He had run back to help me in. Awesome. He pushed me to finish strong. He continued to talk to me the last mile and motivated me to finish strong and I can’t say how much that meant to me. Two reasons, he is one of the best triathletes in the club and in his age group anywhere and because he is a good guy.
In the last ½ mile my harem was awaiting me! All of the people who had finished, mainly gorgeous tri babes, were waiting to run in with me. The tri babe of them all was Janni Panni, who once again kicked my butt in this race. Thanks guys, you made it fun.
I crossed the finish strong and was happy with my efforts, not so happy about my performance but, none the less happy with the effort I put in today.
I had to get home quickly today so I was packing and getting ready to head out, but I was waiting to see Mike finish. I saw him at the turn and yelled for him, then pushed my bike by the finish. And hollered him in to the finish.
I felt fine until Brandy, John and I were at my vehicle. The sun began to pour down and I was zapped all of the sudden. Thanks to John and Brandy for basically packing my truck and putting me in it to head home.
What did I learn from this experience? Don’t set goals if you’re racing sick. I think maybe it should read, don’t race sick??? Nah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I go to Florida this week so the training may be a little weak, but next week, I begin my ½ Ironman training for my race in October, IronStar!!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!
Thanks to everyone for your continued support.
Go out and run today.