I had huge hopes for this post with how good I felt going into it, all of the training that should have gave me a really good race time, what the weekend was SUPPOSED to look like weather-wise, planning the perfect family/friends long weekend.
So let's throw all that out the window and restart....
I got sick on Wednesday, I was in denial that it was allergies, but it was a cold. I thought the best thing to do was REST, so I did, I slept and biked and got in a short run prior to the race.
My father-in-law Carle was experiencing some breathing issues Friday morning before we left, 7 hour drive just could not happen for him. However, we were positive that he would be better with some rest and they would leave the next day.
I consolidated my bags, took my necessities, and hopped a ride with Yasi and her mom for the trek up Friday.
My parents and sister were leaving a little later on. Later when we got into New Hampshire,Mike called to say Carle was being rushed to the hospital and admitted into ICU. Part of me wanted to get right home and be with Mike and the family and part of me knew that I was doing this for Carle and this horrible disease. I wrestled with this decision Saturday morning until I spoke to Mike. Apparently, Carle was telling every nurse, doctor, tech about what I was doing, where he was supposed to be, and Mike even hung up a sign in the hospital room that said "Go Heather! Finish #1!"
that they were supposed to bring. Okay, I thought, the decision is made...even with the torrential downpour, this thing was happening and I was going to do exactly what that sign said "FINISH."
Since it was pouring, we decided to use the hotel gym for some light "movement" - I was on the precur strutting and looking like an alien from that movie Signs (Mel Gibson) watching old Project Runway, while Betty (mom) power-walked and Yasi
We had a great lunch and was able to meet up with Anabel, whom I met last year via twitter and at Vineman. Anabel and her cycling phenomena fiance gave Yasi and I the ins and outs of the bike course. We then went to the meeting where we heard that it isn't supposed to rain that much (as it was downpouring about 2 inches or so of rain) tomorrow and that they would be using sub-pumps to get out most of the water...great!
Dinner was pretty awesome, I found a place that has quinoa on the menu - you can't go wrong with that...
Went to bed after some "good luck" phone calls from the husband and family and ready for the next day.
|Early morning tweeting|
And then the nerves started, maybe it was seeing some rain, maybe it was because we were running late, but I couldn't stomach the 1/2 Ezekiel English muffin and almond butter. My transition spot was in a huge puddle, I am talking large, and I had barely enough time to throw everything in a trash bag and run out to get my wetsuit on and hand off a bag to my mom. The water looked cold, I don't know how that is possible but it did and there was no time for me to sit in there and waddle around.
|looks cold huh...|
I decided to run to my mom and see if there was an extra Gu - I was worried I didn't eat enough beforehand. So I shoved it down, took a sip of water and it was GO!
Women 39 and under were in the same wave which was the second wave and as expected it was COLD. Not the 66 degrees that it was supposed to be. I would estimate maybe 59/60. Head was not going in and I have to say I didn't freak, I just moved slow and then eventually developed a groove for the first 800 meters. I couldn't breathe ever 3 so I had to do every 2 which ends up being way slower for me, but I was calm and that was important. Eventually I started swimming normal (as usual the last 800 meters) and then realized I couldn't feel my feet and had to start moving faster to prevent numbness. I got out dizzy, very dizzy and kind of nauseous and that little cold I was in denial about made me feel like shit.
It was a long transition, after the wet suit strippers, I was numb, cold and shivering, I found the arm warmers got my stuff on, but it was a clusterf*%* of errors, arm warmers were backwards, I had to put them on again right, I dropped my socks in teh mud puddle, I got my bike and started running out and then realized this was not going to be good, I really didn't feel well, I remembered my white long sleeve in the trash bag, ran back, threw it on, dropped my helmet in some mud and got the hell out of there...
Bike (4:01 - I have an excuse...)
|after my 8 min T1 time....ugh|
The first part was nice as I expected, I tried some of the Perpetum but my stomach wasn't having it, so I tried a Peanut Butter Gu (can I say yum!) and then we started approaching the hills. Initial thought, not so bad! And then, my dreaded fear, a flat. I hate flats, I suck at fixing them, I am slow and to add on the extra numb fingers and thumbs, I couldn't get the levers to take off the tire, it was bad. Eventually, bike support came by fixed it and I was back on my way a good 30 minutes later. The ride was great especially with the downhills and the flats. The hills sucked at about mile 2 when I ran out of gears....that was hard. I was so cold on the downhill, and was so far gone in time, I thought about quitting a few
times. I stopped at a water exchange and promptly puked a little, got some electrolyte drink, some chomps, and then went on my merry way. I do have to get better at gearing so I don't waste time with chains popping off (another few minutes wasted) during the second climb. If this was a nice day and I wasn't sick, I really would have loved the bike course.
During all this, remember that little thing called DOUBT? well, he crept up, and during the first loop, I said I'm just going to quit when I see a bike support, I feel like shit. Then I pushed into the second loop, during the major descend after the second climb, I said I was finishing at mile 56. I was done, I was cold, I had snot hanging from my nose, I was coughing and almost puking and I just said. "you know, I finished 2/3, people can't be upset. I am really sick."
and then my other part of my brain saw a vision of the sign in Carle's hospital room that said "Finish #1 Heather"...but then that little asshole DOUBT came in and was like "how are you going to finish, you feel like shit. You are REALLY going to run 13 miles"
And this went on over and over for 40 miles...I passed my family coming in and went into T2, completely ready to load the bike and call it a day and watch my friends come in.
And then this literally happened...no lie...exactly like the movie...I found myself putting on my sneakers "And in that particular moment I decided to go for a little run."
And the first 8 miles felt great despite those damn hills....seriously 8 times??
|This was the first 6 miles then you do it again...|
That was crazy, but then I started cramping, made some more friends, and finished!!
|Yasi and Anabel! Yasi had her fastest 1/2 mar time and Anabel got 2nd in AG and a spot to Vegas for World Championships!|
|me and my mommy!|
So even though I didn't have the bike I wanted, the best weather conditions, and wasn't 100%, in this odd weird way, it was a great race! For the first time I was happy about the run and ran a respectable 1/2 marathon after that bike (for me), I don't have any more of the bike to run transition slowness and I didn't completely screw up the swim.
Even more importantly, I was able raise awareness and money for ALS and make Carle proud!
Tri-ing to Fight ALS
For all of this to happen:
I have the most amazing husband who supports me during these crazy things AND I had friends and family that supported me through this both virtually and there!
|my sister and Tiffany made me a cool sign!|
|My awesome support crew!! I love the Family!|
Oh yeah, and I had an awesome training partner this season! Check out Yasi's race report
- so proud of her and her race!!
If you recall, I wanted to do one earlier in the season for two reasons:
1. I was hurt last year and wanted to start training ASAP.
2. I wanted to not worry about training every weekend in the summer.
BUT, the minute, I crossed the finish line and was all happy because there is something in your brain that instantly erases
every awful thought you have (I will never do this again, I can't wait to not have anything to do on a Sat except drink beer and work on my tanlines so I don't look like a farmer, I am really happy to be done with this
), every bad feeling you get during a race, is immediately replaced when someone puts this cool little medal on you...and the only thought you have is "I can't wait to do another one."
So here's to the thought that triathlons are not just a race it's a lifestyle
and I enjoy every part - the ups and downs, the crying, laughing, all of the sweat and hard work and mental preparation makes me a stronger person and able to take on life's challenges.