Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon 2016

Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon

Because I live in Oregon and because it's the beginning of June and because it's the beginning of the Portland Rose Festival I had been mentally planning for this event to be cold and rainy.

Boy was I wrong!!

Record setting high temperatures all weekend all over the state.

At Blue Lake the temperature today is supposed to be 100 degrees.  It was already 80 degrees at 10:30 when I finished my event.  It felt way hotter than that during the run!!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The last few weeks I have had to back off on my workouts.  Wasn't really thrilled about it but with the end of the school year stresses it was the right choice so that I didn't become a basket case by the last day of school.

While this was good for my overall state of mind it didn't make me feel as prepared as I would have liked for the triathlon this weekend.  Then with the temperature forecasted as being record setting temperatures I was a bit nervous.  I haven't done well with running in the heat in the past.  Now I'm supposed to swim, bike and then run in it?  Yep, I had some pretty major butterflies.

My husband couldn't go along which was a bummer.  When I told my BFF Faylene that Joe couldn't go and I was bummed she didn't even hesitate.  "I'll go with you! I'll drive and everything!"  Oh my goodness!  One of the many reasons I love her!!

And then bonus!  Her husband came along too!  So two of my favorite people in the world were going to go with me and cheer me on.  Sweet!

I picked them up bright and early, 5:00 a.m., and we headed to Portland.  One of the downsides of drinking lots of water ahead of the race to be well hydrated in anticipation of the heat is having to pee often.  We made one pit stop on the way so I could use the bathroom.  As soon as we arrived I immediately went and got in line to go again and it had only been 30 minutes!!  And I had to go one more time before we started the swim.  Seriously!!
Sunrise on the way to the race.
Faylene and I went and picked up my packet with all my race gear.  There's a sticker that goes on the helmet and then another to go on the bike that have my bib number.  I put my bib on my race belt and Faylene put the stickers on my bike and helmet.
Third Sprint Tri of the year.
I found my friend Melissa and we headed down to the lake to put on our wetsuits.  No reason to stand around up at transition in a hot wetsuit and then trudge down to the water in it.  When you aren't in the water it doesn't take long to heat up!  They made an announcement that the water temperature was 71 degrees!  Wow, that's significantly warmer than what I had been practicing in this spring.  So I decided to not wear my neoprene cap and booties.  I also didn't worry about ear plugs.
Couple of Badass with Sparkle girls!  <3
I was in the last heat to take off for the Sprint Triathlon.  Melissa took off two heats before me since she is a young chicky yet.  :-)

I had to wait a bit.  I hate waiting.  I just want to get started because then I'm doing something.  Finally it was my turn to line up.  Jon called me over and gave me some last minute instructions on the swim.  Start slow until I get around the first buoy and then find a good pace and go.  :-)
Watching Melissa take off, waiting for my turn.  
I did a much better job this time of going in a straight line.  I also did a much better job of making other people, the ones that were zig zagging, stop for me instead of the other way around.

The water felt great.  Definitely more fun to swim in open water when your face doesn't hurt every time you put in the water.  I have grown up swimming in lakes and so I really like the open water swim aspect of triathlons.  Now to work on getting faster.
Finishing the swim.  Red cap started in the heat before me and kept zig zagging in front of me.  I wouldn't stop for him. :-)
Came out of the water and headed into transition.

Ugh.  Transition was slow.  Someone had kicked my stuff around so my nice neat piles weren't so organized anymore.  I tossed my goggles and swim cap down and accidentally dropped my Garmin too.  So I wasted a few minutes worrying about what the heck I had done with that. So it took me a bit to get the wet suit off and then get what I needed for the ride. Will have to continue to work on making transitions better.

I took off on the bike.  The bike course is a flat out and back ride along Marine Dr.  This follows the Columbia River.  It was really pretty.  There wasn't much wind and I was moving along at a pretty good clip for me.  I saw Melissa heading toward me when I was at about mile 4.5.  It was fun to see her and give her a Woo Hoo!!
Ready to ride.  
We turned around at six miles and headed back to the park.  Oh my word!  There was a spectacular view of Mt. Hood for most of the ride back.  I loved seeing that mountain during my ride!

I had been shooting for getting the ride done in 45 minutes, but it took me 50 minutes to finish.  Still pretty good.  My average pace was over 14 mph which is better than anything I've done in training so that made me happy.

Next came the run.  This was the part I was worried about.  I don't run well in the heat as a general rule.  And it was hot!  Eighty degrees while I was running and it felt way hotter when I was out in the direct sunlight.  I did pretty good for the first mile but there was quite a bit of shade. Then I got out in the sunshine.  Ugh again.  I slowed WAY down.
Not fond of pictures of me running. lol  I look very serious here.
Then I saw my friend Melissa.  She was walking down the path and I could tell she was struggling.  Now you need to understand, this women is amazing.  She has had a very frustrating year dealing with injuries and set backs.  When she works out most of the time she pushes through pain or has to deal with pain after.  A lot of pain!  But she keeps going.  Badass with Sparkle!!  Today that sparkle showed big time!  She was hurting, hadn't been training, and went out and kicked ass.

But here's the thing.  Melissa is just like me and I think like a lot of us.  We look at what we think we should be doing instead of seeing how awesome what we are actually doing is, right at that moment.

So here comes Melissa and she doesn't look happy.  So I wrap her up in a big sweaty yeti hug and remind her how badass she is for doing the race at all.  She says she has gotten in her own head.  Been there, done that.  Another reminder that she is awesome and that she has less than a mile to go to the finish. So what if she walks?

Just as I'm getting ready to take off a woman that was going by says, "Hey, why don't you keep me company?" and starts walking with Melissa!  I absolutely love that!  Total stranger but willing to support another athlete.  Awesome!

I took a moment to use my inhaler and take some fuel.  Did I mention that it was hot?  There was a small hill and I decided to walk up it and then start running on the other side.  The run was really slow.  At the turn around there was a young man with a sprayer and I let him completely soak me.  It felt so good!  I had just over 1.5 miles to finish.  I was running but it was a really, really slow run.  I would walk here and there for a few yards and then get going again.  I saw Janelle when I was almost back to the lake.  It is always great to see a smiling face I know and get a high five.  It was a nice boost towards the end.

The route took us back to the lake and we ran along the lake for the last quarter of a mile.  Blue Lake is a really nice park and I liked being able to see more of it, even if it was at the end of a sucky run.  :-)

All of a sudden I can see the finish line!  Dwayne and Faylene were there waiting to cheer me across the finish.  It was awesome!!!  So were Melissa and Marcus!!  Fun to have such supportive people making it sound like I had just won the whole damn thing.
I made it!  I look relieved, don't I?  :-)
Dwayne and Faylene made sure I had water and had gotten my cooler out of the car.  The followed me around as I walked around and cooled down.  Then I went to get some food.  There was also free beers for the athletes and since I don't drink beer my two Sherpas ended up with my beers.  Weird.  I got another water, a chocolate milk, made a chicken sandwich and grabbed some donuts.  The chocolate milk was SO yummy!  Nice and cold and tasted amazing.  The chicken sandwich hit the spot too.  Once I got some food in me Faylene popped open the 2 Towns Cider I had brought along.  It tasted so good!!  Even better than the chocolate milk.  ;-)

My BFF and a cider.  Good way to finish the race!  :-)  
Next we wandered around to look for Jon.  Got my high five and hug from my coach.  He seemed pretty pleased with how I did.  :-)

Then it was time to gather up all my gear, load up the car and head for home.  It still weirds me out a little to be the one that everyone is helping out, instead of being the Sherpa for someone else.

We loaded up the bike and got everything in the car and headed for home.  I cannot even tell you how much I appreciated not having to drive home!  That was one of the things that I wasn't looking forward to when Joe found out he could come with me.  I got to just sit and chill.  We had the AC cranked up and it felt so good!!

I was overwhelmed by all the support and encouragement I got from friends and family.  I got an amazing amount of love before and after the race, through emails, Facebook and texts.  It was seriously awesome.  When I look at my times and how I did and start comparing it to other people it isn't good.  So I appreciate all the love sent my way because it helps remind me that it's pretty cool that I'm out there trying this crazy stuff, even if I'm always on the bottom end of results.

I was talking to some friends the next night about how it went.  I had totally forgotten that Mark and his son had participated in the Take Me Out to the Ballpark 5k the same year I did it for my very first race ever.  I was telling them how my 5k time was really slow and Mark started laughing.  He said, "I remember how hot it was at that first 5k you did!  And you were slower at that race than your time at this tri, right?"  I said yes and he said, "You went faster and had a swim and a bike first!"  I had made this same observation myself after the Oregon Dunes triathlon but it was fun to have someone else see it too.  :-)  I will have to see if I can dig up a picture of me from that first 5k.

Here is my official results:

  • Total time 2:06:26
  • Swim Time: 23:21
  • T1: 6:31
  • Bike Time: 50:48
  • T2: 2:14
  • Run Time: 43:21
  • Division place: 8th (Once place says 7th, one says 8th but on the age division they only have three listed, think there is a mistake somewhere! lol)
  • Place: 253 out of 270

I have to very firmly remind myself to be proud of the fact that I did a triathlon instead of comparing myself to others and how far down the list I am.  Sigh.  Wish that was easier for me.

However, my coach sent me a link to an article a couple of weeks ago.  http://running.competitor.com/2016/05/out-there/out-there-i-can-i-will-and-kiss-my-a_150443  Check it out, it's a great article, very inspiring.  The girl in the article says to anyone who doubts her, "I can, I will, kiss my ass!"  I have found myself saying this often....to the negative voices in my own head!

Nobody is saying anything like that to me.  I say negative things to myself.  I should have done better, they are faster, why can't I be like her?  It goes on.  I have to really work at not going down that road and stay focused on what I have accomplished.  No comparisons!  So I tell the Negative Nancy voice in my head to Kiss My Ass!  No negative self talk allowed!!

Next up is the Tri at the Grove.  My first Olympic Triathlon.  I have butterflies in my stomach just typing that.  Yikes!  Shit's getting real now.

I'm sure there will be some adventures during the next few weeks while getting ready!  I know my coach has plans for me as soon as I'm done with the school year.  Should be interesting to see how I do.

I was showing my medal from this weekend's race to my students at school.  Someone asked if I won and I said no.  They said, "Oh, then it's just a participation medal."  They were a bit snotty about how they said it, imagine that, a middle-schooler sounding snotty!  lol  While I understand what he meant, there is a lot of talk right now about giving kids medals and trophies for participating and how that doesn't teach them many of the things that sports can teach a child.  How to be a gracious loser, how to be a gracious winner, how to handle it when you don't do well, how to work hard to become better, etc.  All amazing things for a kid to learn.

I told the student that it's a little different for adults, that for a lot of people, getting out there and doing something out our comfort zone is hard.  Getting a medal to show what we accomplished is pretty cool.   I didn't play sports as a kid for various reasons.  The lessons I have been learning through running, and now through triathlons, have helped me become a better person so I appreciate the medal to be proud of.  I don't give up, I work hard and I do things way out of my comfort zone.

So yes, I get a participation medal and I'm totally okay with it.  :-)
It's a heavy one too!
Next up, my Olympic Triathlon.  I've got some work to do!

**Photo credit to Faylene Gardner and Jon Booth.  :-)  I was too busy to take any pictures.  :-)

1 comment:

  1. As always Lisa, well said. Thank you for the privilege to be your coach!