Monday, May 25, 2009

Race report number 1 (and the rest of the week)

I'm back and I survived. Barely, but I did.

Friday Graeme picked up my wetsuit rental and after work we headed to Second Beach pool so I could try it out. I only swam 500m because I really just wanted to see what the wetsuit felt like in the water. It felt awesome and I felt and was way faster. I felt like I was paddling a boat! I left the pool with more confidence about the swim.

We headed over to Shawnigan on Saturday morning. We got on the first ferry and drove straight down to the lake. Checked in at our B&B (which was a little odd, but whatever) and then headed over to the site. I hadn't been feeling great that week and had an upset stomach but we still did a lap of the bike course to see what it was like. After the race meeting we went back to the B&B to get everything organized for race morning. Graeme ran a quick 5km to loosen up his legs and I had a nap to try and calm my stomach. We then headed out for dinner and a couple beers at a cute little brew pub in Duncan.

Sunday morning was up early after a pretty good sleep Saturday night. My stomach felt much better and I really didn't feel that nervous. In some ways I didn't feel like I was racing because I am used to getting up early for Graeme's races and this seemed much the same.

We headed to the race site and Graeme set up his transition. His start was at 7am and mine wasn't until 8:45. After his swim I set up my transition area. Once the Olympic people were in the water warming up (for their 8am start), I did a short short run to loosen the legs. I then starting the process of getting on the wetsuit. It wasn't too bad actually, until I went to zip up. The zipper came up, but it didn't close. A few girls around me looked at it and all said it was broken. I knew I would not get in the water without it, so I decided to look for someone who knew what they were doing. The first random guy I asked was able to get it done up though he did say it was likely broken.

Swim - I'm not sure you can call what I did "swim". I tried to warm up but had a hard time breathing with my face in the water because of the cold. Once the gun went off I tried again but I just couldn't breathe properly. I think it was a combination of nerves and the cold. I tried a few times and then gave up. I thought about quitting at that point but decided I needed to at least get through it to know that I can finish it for next time. So I mostly breaststoked the whole way. There weren't people around me, so I wasn't in danger of kicking anyone. I flipped over on my back a couple times as well to try and calm myself down. I was still far from last out of the swim though.

T1 - Not good. I was mad about the swim and was walking to my area when I gave myself a bit of a butt kick and told myself I could still run there. Getting off the wetsuit wasn't great and there are a few things I could do faster. Still I'm not bothered about the slow transitions because it was my first race.

Bike - The bike was good. I could have gone a bit faster I think as I had too many concentration lapses, but I pushed and passed a lot of people and was only passed by one girl on the bike (she was FAST). I am happy overall with this segment. I averaged 30.0km and I am sure I can do better, but I was working.

T2 - My stuff I had laid out had been kicked all around and my towel was somehow on top of everything. Slow again, but oh well.

Run - I hadn't worn socks and I paid for it here. I really thought I could go under 25 mins but I ran a 26:05. I don't think I pushed hard enough though the blisters were part of that. It was a lot of false flats and on a loose trail. The loose trail didn't help my feet either. I have 2 really bad ripped blisters on the inside of my arches and 2 non-burst on the outside of both feet.

But its done. And it can get better.

I wasn't tired at all when I crossed the finish line, which annoyed me. As I started to walk back to my transition area I saw Graeme and knew that wasn't good. I ran over to see what had happened.

His derailleur snapped at 80km and went into his spokes. He didn't bail luckily but it looks like his frame is toast. He had just picked it up from the shop after getting it tuned. Oh, and his headset slid down as he rode too. We brought it back to the shop on the way home. I hope they do something for him. We have a good relationship with the guys there. The owner wasn't in but the guy who looked at it felt they should give him something for it. Poor guy was on his way to a sub 2:30 bike split and is not happy. Well he's more upset about the bike then the race but he is upset about both.

Graeme obviously didn't want to wait around until noon when the buses starting running again, so I rode my bike back to the B&B to pick up the car. While he was waiting on the road for me Simon Whitfield (who swam for 2 relays and rode for one) came over and talked to him and commiserated with him about his bike. He also said he thought the bike course was brutal which makes me feel slightly better!

So as of Monday morning my only soreness is in my groin area. It has bothered me before but it is worse today. I have no soreness or tiredness in my legs which tells me I didn't go hard enough. It was definitely a learning experience! As soon as I have my own wetsuit (the one I rented doesn't fit that well so they ordered in a different one for me) there will be a lot of lake and ocean swimming happening.

The rest of the week wasn't good workout wise. I didn't feel great and it was a cut back week which ended up being cut back even more. Hopefully the groin and blisters will be ok as I want the next 3 weeks to be big training wise.


Julie said...

Hey! First off, good job at stomping out the pity party trip (we all have them) and continuing on to finish the race. THAT is the important thing! :) :)

I have to tell you the secret about swimming in cold water -- I had the exact same thing happen to me during my first oopen water race. The key is you HAVE to get in the water and swim around a little before the race. You HAVE to get your face wet before the race.

The shock of the cold water makes you suck in your breath and sort of hyperventilate at first, but it is nothing to worry about -- it is a normal physiolgical reaction. It passes.

The trick is to get the shock over with right before you race, so when the race starts, you can just concentrate on swimming.

Too bad I missed meeting you! What a beautiful venue though, eh?

Props to you for fighting back against the broken zipper and negative feelings. You gained a lot from this race I am sure! :) :) :)

Beth said...

Thanks Julie. I am sure more practice will help too. And its always nice ot know other people have been through the same thing and then gotten to the point where you have! Yes, it was a beautiful venue. I would do the race again. It's too bad we didn't meet, but there's always IMC!

John said...

Nice job, Beth!!! I'm so proud of you for sticking it out, despite the negatives. You persevered, and now you're a triathlete, baby!

Sorry to hear about Graeme's day - a mechanical like that is bound to happen, sooner or later, but it still sucks. But better now than IMC, right?

Jenna said...

Hey...jumped here from Julie's. Holy shite girl you are one determined cookie!! Way to fight back and make the best of all you could. My mantra, "When you have done the best with what you have then you have won your race!!" You WON HANDS DOWN!! Your mental toughness will get you a long way.

Julie is right about making sure to get your head under the cold water. Dunk yourself, let cold water into your wetsuit and give it time to warm back up, if you can not get your head under, blow bubbles at the surface until you can. Once you have made friends with the cold water, breathing will come much easier. The best swimmers freak out when thrown into cold water. Also, wearing silicon ear plugs keeps the cold water out of your ears, and some say it helps with balance when you come back on land. Two swim caps can also help keep some heat in.

jen said...

I'm totally late to the party but congrats on the race. You were a trooper and finished out a tough day. It will definitely get better!

I'm doing my first OWS of the season this weekend and I'm terrified of that cold/shock/can't breathe thing. I know I'll get over it but it's so scary at first.

Congrats again and good luck with the continued training and racing! :)