I haven’t written in awhile because I was dreading having to admit this to everyone. I mentioned in the last post that I was the swimmer on a triathlon relay team.
It didn’t go well. Let me start at the beginning.
The morning started well. I maybe a little more nervous than I normally am before a race, but as I usually am quick to tell people. Nervous is good. Nervous means that you care. Nervous can help us focus and perform better. I am more concerned when I’m not nervous going into things.
We left Coach V’s grandmother’s place in Flagstaff and went to Upper Lake Mary. we got to the staging area. Got Coach V’s bike squared away, found Andrea, the runner, and got our timing chip.
The traditional method for a tri is swim, bike, and finally run. So, I was up first. I got into the wetsuit. I was told I needed due to the water temperature and it would give me some extra bouncy. Surprisingly it wasn’t to bad to get on. I noticed right away that it was pretty tight to my neck but dismissed it as just the way these things are.
I walked to the start area with the whole Embrace Your Pace gang that came up for the event and waited for the relay start.
When it was our turn I got in the water. submerged myself and thought this isn’t so bad. water temp was mid to upper 60s and I was able to get off to one side so it wasn’t as crowded. A horn was blown and we where off.
I started off in with a freestyle stroke breathing on the third stroke until I ran into someone. That wasn’t a big deal. I put my head up, looked around and switched to my back more floating than swimming at that point. But I was fine and actually thought it was kind of relaxing.
I flipped back over to swim for a little bit again and that’s when the trouble started. On one of my breaths I took in some water and choked a little. My lungs upon receiving the unexpected water decided. “Nope, we are going to freak out and start an asthma attack immediately.”
Between the asthma attack, the wetsuit at my neck, and the thin air at 7000 ft I panicked. Suddenly I couldn’t keep my head above the water, or at least that’s how it felt. I seriously wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of that lake at point. But one of the race volunteers in a kayak noticed my struggling and came over to let me grab ahold of the kayak and rest.
The asthma attack wasn’t letting up and without my inhaler with me I was afraid that continuing would be a bad idea, so I asked to get pulled out by the boat. My race day was over. I made it maybe 50 meters of the 750 meter swim. Once on the boat I was able to get my breathing under control even before we got back to shore. The folks on the boat where very understanding and supportive and I am grateful that they where there.. They had to take my chip so officially my team was no longer competing but they did tell me that the rest of the team should still do there events.
I was, and to an extent still am, extremely mad at myself. I’ve NEVER not finished a race before. Even when my back gave out at the beginning of a 200M dash in high school I got back up and finished the race, before passing out briefly from the pain. And not only did I fail and not finish but I let the rest of my team down. They where counting on me to do my part and I didn’t. And its completely my fault. I hadn’t swam seriously since high school, I’d never swan in open water, I wasn’t ready for the altitude, I hadn’t worn a wetsuit before, and I blew off training thinking that athleticism could carry me through. My arrogance cost my team an official finish in the race and nearly cost me even more.
I’m still upset and a little pissed at myself. But for me it seems to have come with some new determination. Coach V and I are signing up at a pool so that I can start swimming laps and get used to being in the water. I’m signed up for a reverse tri at the end of August. Which means that the swim is last and its only 400M in a pool. I’m looking into a couple of Tri sprints this fall. A sprint basically means all the distances are shorter. The only issue there is that I need to make sure it fits in with the marathon training.
The rest of the weekend in Flagstaff was really fun. Went on a couple of hikes, both of which where cut short by rain. And it was really fun seeing everyone up there and cheering the others on during the bike and run.
OK, enough about that.
I’ve been taking training easy the past several weeks knowing that marathon training is coming. But I’ve still been trying to make the Tuesday and Thursday morning group runs. I got my donut key chain, which means that I made 4 weeks in a row.
I ran my 5th in the AZ Sunrise series this past Saturday. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as well as I hoped. I started having a lot of calf pain and then knee pain during the second mile and had to walk. Every time I would test out running and get back to full stride the pain started again. I ended running the 3.1 miles in 30:03 which is a 9:41 minute per mile pace. Not horrible but no where near the 25 minute 5K I did in Seattle a few weeks ago.
Once I got home and took my shoe off my fourth toe on my right foot was extremely sore and very painful if it got touched. On further inspection I found a good sized blister had formed UNDER the toe nail. I felt relief almost the instant I popped it and now its fine. So, I’m blaming that for the issues on the run Saturday. That being said Coach V, and I agree, that I should get my calf looked at. Its been causing problems off and on all summer.
Last Friday we started going to a cross fit gym, EL JEFE. Coach V prefers that sort of thing to running and I really need to work on my upper body strength. Other than the class being at 5 am it was fun in that hard work kind of way. They also on staff have a running coach and a in house physical therapist. So, I’ll probably be talking to them soon.
This morning I went on a bike ride with Coach V. Its been well documented that I am not a biker. However, my friend Stephen loaned me a bike and after looking at the seat on it vs the seat on mine I came up with a theory. My seat SUCKED! so I switched them.
I wouldn’t say that I loved biking this morning but it wasn’t too bad. a good seat can make a huge difference, apparently. Who knew?!
So, that basically catches everyone up. The bike was day one of marathon training. I’ll post the whole plan later since this is getting a little long already.
Next up is an “easy” 40 minute run tomorrow. Until then…C-YA!