Sunday, June 6, 2010

No Regrets

That was my mindset going into the race this morning. I didn't want to get to the end of the race and think "I wish I ran faster" or "I should have swam harder." I just wanted a nice solid effort. Yesterday the Wingman and I decided he would stay home for this race. He is still dealing with his infection and has had trouble sleeping. I figured he would be more comfortable staying home. So I was going without my Wingman.

Last night I was asleep around 9:30p with my alarm set for 4a. I learned my lesson last year about not eating much for breakfast so I wanted to be sure I was up in plenty of time to eat. So at 4a, I hopped out of bed, ate, then jumped into the shower. When I got out of the shower, Wingman was up. He said he would help me pack the car for the race. What a guy!! I kissed him goodbye and then was on my way. I put on some good pre-race music to get me 'in the mood' to race. Before I knew it, I was at the marina. There weren't many cars there yet so I picked a good spot and backed in. I unpacked the car, dropped my stuff of in transition and made a bee line to the bathroom. The nice thing about getting there early is you have a choice between the porta-potty and a real bathroom. Obviously I chose the real bathroom. Took care of business then went back out to setup my transition.

My setup doesn't take long. After I finished I went over to the water to check the temps. The water felt great. I decided to only wear my wetsuit bottom and ditch the top. I also noticed the water had a chop to it. The wind was kicking up the water and I also noticed that we'd be swimming against the current. It didn't look too bad so I decided not to give it another thought.

I went back to transition and grabbed my wetsuit, cap, goggles, shot blocks and an ear plug. I felt an eerie calmness come over me. Usually I have some butterflies, but today I didn't. I climbed into the water to warm up a little bit and wound up cutting my toe on the big blocks in the water. I took a look and saw that it was along the side of my toe, not the bottom so I would be OK for biking and running. Phew!

I was in the 4th wave so I watched the others go off. I tried to stay focused on the swim start and finding a good place. When the horn went off so did I. The chop got to me a little in the beginning. When I would turn my head to breathe, the water would drop me down from a swell so it would make me a little nauseas. Great, at this rate I'm ready to puke in the water. I got to the first buoy and made the turn unscathed. I noticed now that I was up on people from the previous wave. Between the 1st and 2nd buoy was a lifeguard on a surfboard. I almost laughed out loud when I saw 8 men hanging on. No women, just men. Really guys?!?! The swim wasn't that bad and it was still early. It picked me up and I felt a little stronger now. I got to the final buoy and made my turn into the final stretch. I was now swimming into the sun and misjudged where the swim finish was. The lifeguard got my attention and I corrected my direction. It got a little tight near the swim finish and I may or may not have gotten a little too familiar with another swimmer near me. He wasn't wearing a wetsuit (just a tri suit) and when I went to begin my next swim stroke I can say with confidence that he does not have an enlarged prostate. Phew, I am sure he'd be relived to hear that. I should sent him a bill for a copay.

Once I made it out of the water I ran to transition to get my bike. The wetsuit came off easy and the transition went smooth. I grabbed the bike from the rack and was on my way. My goal for this race was to go out hard on the bike and see what I could do. Only problem was I got caught up at times in packs of beginners. The race people went out of their way to educate racers about proper bike conduct. It was in the race packet and mentioned again at the pre race briefing. You have to stay to your right. So many riders today were riding all the way to the left and at times riding two abreast and chatting. Hello people!?! This is a race, not a social outing. There'll be plenty of time to talk later. This only fueled me to ride harder and faster at times. I could hear the Eminem lyrics in my head:

No more games, I'ma change what you call rage
Tear this motherfucking roof off like 2 dogs caged
I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed

I started to worry that I would blow myself out before I got to the run, but I had to get away from them. Then one woman almost brought me to a grinding halt. I was coming up on her so I said "On your left" as I was about to pass her. She decided to move left as well. I was now near the double yellow line and kept saying "on your left." Dumb bitch never gave me room and even had the balls to say "I heard you. Why don't you move more to the left." Oh no she didn't!?!?! I wanted to stop and beat the crap out of her right there. Instead I just picked up my pace and got out of there. The final half mile was rough because the road is narrow and you really can't pass anymore.

I made it to T2 and thought about how my tri almost turned into an MMA event. I think I had enough rage to take her down!! But now I had to run first. Got into my running shoes and made a mistake before leaving T2. In my anger/rage, I pulled my laces waaaaaay too tight. I didn't realize it until halfway into the run.

The run is a super flat out and back course. My goal was to just be comfortable out there. I started running as soon as I exited transition. I made my way down the boardwalk and out of the marina. I ran in fear of that woman tracking me down. I also ran in fear of my competition. I saw her in T2 and wanted to get as much distance between us as possible. I knew if I walked at all, she could possibly pass me. SO no walking today!! I made it to the turnaround and looked for my competition. When I made it back to the main road I saw her. There was a good distance between us, but now I wanted to put the hammer down and bring it home. No regrets today. At this point I could feel my foot going numb. Dang nab it, my laces were too tight. I made a quick stop to loosen them and the continued on. Didn't really lose any time over it. I was now nearing the marina again and could hear the finish line area. I just focused on hanging on. The last 1/4 mile is on grass. Great, nice unstable surface for me and my numb foot! Actually I got the feeling back in my foot by now, but really didn't want to run on the grass. As I crossed the finish line, I felt good knowing that I executed a good race plan. I knew right away that there wasn't anything I would have changed about the effort I put out today.

I got out of the finisher's area and went over to look at the results. Mine wasn't posted yet so I went to the car to get my post race recovery drink. By the time I made it back the times were posted. I shaved 7 minutes off my time from last year. Gotta say I was pretty happy about that. I was proud of what I did today. I was able to stay in the moment and not think too far ahead. It really fired me up for the rest of the season. My next race is the Montauk sprint. I'll take a look at last years results and review it with Jen to come up with a good game plan to take some more time off.

But for now, I get to celebrate my victory today:

Who cares about the hardware, I won some cookies!!!

1 comment:

  1. Go SU!!
    Proud of you, as always!!
    Now don't forget to share, the cookies..not the prize!!