Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Columbia Tri

Nothing about this race went as planned.  I was fighting a lot of fatigue going into the race and then I crashed on the day before for the second race in a row.  This time I hurt both wrists and landed hard on my chest.  I ended up 9th.  Not at all the result I was looking for.  I did have a good weekend with my mom.  I did not get to see her on Mother's Day, so it was nice spending the weekend with her.  I feel bad that I was in such a bad mood after the crash and poor performance.

The only thing worse than losing, is training harder and going slower.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cold and Rainy

This year was my third time racing Rev3 Knoxville in its four years.  I did the race as an amateur the first year they had it and returned back to the race last year.  I love doing Rev3 races because they always put on the best events, and Knoxville is a fun course that is within driving distance from my house.  I was excited for the race this year!

I am going to start with the day before the race this time.  Most of the time this is a boring day with not much to talk about, but this race was different.  It was raining with temps in the mid 50s.  The forecast was calling for this weather the whole weekend.  I was not excited about this because usually I struggle in cold conditions.  My muscles just don't fire properly when it is cold.  I kept my head up and went about my business as usual.  I had a good run in the morning and got ready for an afternoon session of riding and swimming based around an open swim from 12-2.  The pro meeting was at 2:30 so I had to ride before the swim.  With 1 min left in my ride I went to cross a treacherous set of railroad tracks, angled at about 30 degrees across the road and soaking wet from the rain, for the 4th and last time.  I was not successful on this attempt!  As I went to angle across the tracks a car came up beside me limiting my space to only a small shoulder.  I went down hard on my left hip. I got up as fast as I could and tried to assess the damage.  I looked my bike over, no damage! I did a body scan, my hip and left pinkie were sore.  I got back to the car and pulled down my bibs to check out my hip, busted open.  My day was done...I was not going in a dirty river with a new open wound.  As the day progressed, my hip tightened up and my pinkie swelled up.  I am no doctor, but the limited mobility and swelling in my pinkie led me to believe it was broken. Good thing I don't need that finger!

Race morning was a struggle. I did not want to warm up too much on the bike or swim because of the conditions and my hip did not want to get going.  I am so glad transition was out of the rain in a parking garage.  It was the saving grace for the day that consisted of temps in the low 50s and constant rain.  The water temp of the river was also well below 60.  I did a 10 min ride to get the legs going, and that was enough of the rain on the bike.  I set up transition and went out for a run.  I did an extended run warmup because the rain was not bothering me on the run and it took a lot longer to get my hip loose enough to feel semi normal. I did swim cords to warm up and jumped in the water 1 min before the race started.

Finally!  A good swim!!  I lost about a minute and half to Cam and less than a minute to the majority of the group.  Ultimately I need to swim better, but I will take it for now.  I wore arm warmers under my wetsuit and threw on my thermal vest to get through the ride.  Overall the conditions were not as bad as I was expecting but it was definitely an epic race.  By about 15 miles I was shivering and I having a hard time pushing the pedals, but I was in good position so I had to keep going with all I had.  I lost a few precious seconds over the last 3 miles due to the technical nature of the course and a frozen brain.  In T2 I had a hard time getting on my running shoes and almost asked someone in the crowd to unbuckle my helmet for me.  I have never had a problem unbuckling my helmet, but at this race my fingers on my right hand were too numb to apply enough pressure.  Finally I got up enough strength in my left hand to get out of my helmet. Once out on the run, the front half of my feet were numb and made it feel like I was running on stumps.  It took about 2 miles for my legs to warm up and get going.  There were deep puddles forming everywhere so as the run went along I had to decide how deep a puddle was and determine whether to run though it or around it.  A couple time I chose poorly and wound up in water up to my ankle.  I ended up finishing 3rd.  I have never been happier with 3rd place.  The conditions made it more about survival than racing.  I hope I never have to race in similar conditions, but if I do I will be ready!

A big thank you goes out to my grandpa.  He traveled with me to and from the race, and along the way did about 90% of the driving.  He was also a great spectator even though if I were him I would have been in the car with the heat on during the race!  Thank you to my coach, Greg Mueller, and all my sponsors, N.B. Properties, Bralin Laser, Profile Design, Rudy Project, Champion System, BH Bikes, Stages Power, CompuTrainer, Normatec, Cobb Cycling, Hofferth Chiropractic, Proform, and Express Press. Without them I would not be able to train and race with the best.  I also would not have made it through this race without their gear to keep me warm.  

Never complain and never explain. ~Benjamin Disraeli