Wednesday, May 3, 2017

One Tough Lady

What the heck?  This wasn't on the upcoming race list!

I know!!  Right?

This is a local triathlon and I didn't consider it because it was in between the Beaver Freezer and the Oregon Dunes Triathlon.

But, since I didn't get to do the Beaver Freezer....

This past week I got the okay from my doctor to get back to full training.  The supplements that we think were causing the heart rate issues seem to have worked their way out of my system and the past week workouts have been going well, as far as heart rate goes.

Joe mentioned in passing that maybe I should do the Heart of the Valley tri.  At first I thought that that was a ridiculous idea.  But the more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it.

If I did this triathlon I would still get a triathlon in for the month of April and it would be good training for the Oregon Dunes triathlon in a few weeks.

So I sent my coach an email.

I got a text later saying we would talk that evening during our group run.

I think he wanted to see how the running went with the heart rate before he said yes or no.

We did hill work that evening.  Not my favorite thing, especially when running in general has been a struggle.  But I got it done.  And each time I went up the hill I went a little farther.  I was a little slower too but I kept moving so I'm calling it a win.

Later that evening I get this text:
So I signed up for the Heart of the Valley Triathlon.  Yikes!

I left the next day for a conference in Bend for work. I got up early in the morning so I could get my swim and bike ride done before I left.  Friday was strength training so I used the hotel exercise room to get that done.  Didn't have any free weights or kettle bells but I was able to do everything else no problem.  Had to do a 30 minute run on Saturday but waited until I got home to get that done.

This triathlon started at 12:30 p.m. which was a little weird.  Means I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, which was nice.  But it also meant I wouldn't have the whole afternoon to rest up when I was done.  Monday will come fast after this race!!

Joe had a two hour bike ride and a run to do.  So when he got home from work he got ready and headed out for his bike ride.  He basically made his way to Corvallis and met me at the race.  He had time to get his run done before my swim started so that worked out pretty good.

I got my race packet and got my stuff all organized.  Saw different friends and chit chatted for a bit.  My hubby got done with his run and joined the group.

Next my coach and his whole family came walking up.  Then behind them came Melissa and Marcus.  Later I saw Ron.  Jon had sent an email out to the Booth Bunch letting them know I was racing and a large chunk of them showed up!  Wow!  That made me feel pretty special!  Love this group of amazing athletes and feel pretty honored to be considered an athlete along side of them.  Having them come to cheer me on was pretty cool!

It wasn't long before it was time to get started.

This triathlon was a 750 meter swim in a pool that was set for a 50 meter length.  Long course pool!  I did a few laps to warm up and then got lined up to get assigned my lane.

The swim started off a little shaky to start.  I realized that one of my problems last year with the Beaver Freezer and then with this race.  With the start of the swim we jump in and go.  I'm used to being in the water and having a moment to get set and then pushing off the wall.  Since I don't know how to dive I jump in, come up and start.  It kind of gets me all discombobulated to start with.  Now I know that for triathlons that are in a pool I need to get in and give myself a moment to regroup and push off the wall.
Thanks to Ron for the swim pictures!!
I learn something at every race I do!

The swim went decent.  Not as fast as I would have liked.  I found a comfortable groove but it wasn't as fast as I have done on some of my steady swims during training.  Not sure what the deal was but overall it wasn't too bad.

When I got done with the swim I had to get out of the pool at the bulkhead.  This meant jumping up and then using my arms to get myself up on the deck.  It was a pretty tall bulkhead and I was a little worried about how I would do getting out.  I did have the option of going under the lane lines to get to the wall with the ladder but I really wanted to try and do it the way they asked me to do it.  I jumped up and actually did pretty good but I lost my grip a little and slid back into the water.  On the way down my toes scraped along the bulkhead.  Hurt like I stubbed my toe but I wasn't too worried about it.  I gave myself another boost and this time was able to get out of the pool on my own.  I was pretty happy about this. I could tell I am stronger than I was a year ago.  So that's a win.

I run along the side of the pool and head to transition.  As I'm running I look down at my toes and realize that I'm bleeding.  I thought I had just scraped my toe.  When I got to my bike I look a little closer and realize that the entire big toenail is starting to stick straight up.

Great!! 😳

I have basically ripped most of my toenail off and I still have a bike ride and run to do.
What the heck is wrong with my toe?
I told my coach I get a pass on a slow transition time!

So I push down the nail and put on my sock so that the sock will hold it down and then finish putting on my shoes and socks.  I get the rest of my gear set for the bike ride and head out of transition.

The weather has gotten pretty nice.  Cloud and sunshine mix and little or no wind.  I was wearing my tri suit and didn't have to wear arm sleeves or a jacket over the top.
This bike route is pretty hilly and I haven't been able to do any hills for the past month.  You know, because of the heart rate issue.  So the plan was to just go ride hills and have fun doing it. I didn't try and kill the ride, I just worked at doing it well.
Downhill is fun!
I did a ride on the trainer at my coaches house on Monday and he had me doing hills with his trainer and Zwift account.  While I was doing that he had me work on changing from the small ring in front to the big ring, while quickly changing the gear on the back as well so that I would basically be in the same gear I had been in but better set for the uphill or downhill.  So I worked on doing that during this ride.  It went really well.  Only once did I change things up too soon but it wasn't somewhere that it cost me much.  Kinda fun to learn a new skill and be able to put it into action on a ride.

The toe didn't hurt too bad or I was too busy thinking about the ride to think about it.  Except that about a mile in I realized my sock was wet and every time I would pedal with my right foot I could feel it go squish.  I couldn't figure out why it was wet at first since I dried my feet off before I put on my socks and shoes.  Then it occurred to me that my toe was bleeding and was making my sock wet. Yuck!!  So gross but at least I didn't have to see it bleeding.

Part of the route I had done once last summer with my coach.  Going up Highland Rd.  I remember really, really struggling to get up the last part of the hill.  While I still had to work hard to get to the top I definitely wasn't completely wiped out like I was last year.  So that was also a win.

I got done with the bike.  Overall it went well.  Although having my sock feel wet and squishy, most likely from my toenail bleeding, was a bit disconcerting.

I had a really good transition from the bike to the run.  I racked my bike.  Took off my helmet and gloves.  Grabbed my hat and took off.
Here goes the run!
Gritting it out.  
Running was a bit more difficult.  My toe would push on the end of my shoe.  So it was a little painful.  I started with running for four minutes and walking for one and then tried to make the run part a little longer as I went along.  Not gonna lie, it wasn't the funnest run I have ever done.  But I managed to get it done and with a rather respectable time for me.  Especially considering my lovely toenail issue.

I crossed the finish line and my hubby, my coach and his family, Marcus, Melissa and Ron were all there cheering me across the finish.  Got bonus cheers from my friends Chad, Trevor and Jaime who were there supporting Trevor's dad in his first triathlon.
Done!  First Tri of 2017 is in the books.
Then of course I had to show everyone my injury.  lol  So gross.  Since the toenail had been pushed down by my sock and shoe it wouldn't lift up like it had been when I first got out of the pool.  I lifted it up a little and that was plenty!  Ouch!!  And yes, you get to see pictures!  Because it's fun to look at the gross stuff!  bwhahahaha
This is after the race.  
Was able to cut most of the nail off today.  That's going to be ugly for awhile!

You hear stories about people finish triathlon with injuries.  IT band, muscle strains, scrapes and bruising from crashing their bike or tripping on the run, that kind of thing.  Don't know that I've ever heard of someone ripping their toenail off.

I'm an overachiever like that.  😜

Can't do things like everyone else.

Frustrations for the day were getting hurt and not liking the pictures of myself.  (That part isn't anything new!  And yes, I'm still working on that part.  But that's for another blog.)

Wins for the day:
  • I actually did get out of the pool way easier than I thought I would be able to do (minus the injury).  
  • I did a solid ride on the bike which I wasn't expecting since I haven't done much hill work in the last month like I should have.  And I had fun practicing my new skill of using my gears better.  
  • I realized later, after one of my teammates pointed out (thank you Rebecca!) that I had negative splits on my run.  Each mile was faster than the mile before.  Which is really awesome, especially since my foot hurt so much.  
  • The day after the triathlon I was at the YMCA doing my workout and thinking about the triathlon.  I had a sudden aha moment.  The pool at Osborne is set up for meters.  So my 750 swim was a 750 meter swim which works out to be about 820 yards.  Which makes me at more of a speed that I was expecting.  Ha!  No wonder my time didn't match up with what I thought it should.  
  • I wasn't completely wiped out and sore after the tri.  I was tired and had a most excellent nap that afternoon.  But I got up the very next morning and did the longest swim workout I've ever done.  The day after a tri!  And I did it really well.  That shows that my fitness level is much better than I give myself credit for!

Not quite the race I had anticipated but it was so good to get a triathlon done.  It was nice to remember that I actually can do this triathlon thing.
No rest for the tired teacher though.  Got up Monday morning and did a 2000 yard swim with a bike ride in the afternoon.  Tuesday I had a hour bike ride and strength training.  Wednesday will be hill work with coach on the trails.  I've got some work to do to make up for April.

Jon had told me that I would have a great story to share about my triathlon.  I had so much fun telling my students about it on Monday at school.  They didn't know I was even going to do the triathlon since I decided on Wednesday night and then was gone to a conference on Thursday and Friday.  I had tape on my toe to protect it and keep it from getting dirty and they wanted to know what I had done.  So I told them.  I was laughing so hard at their reactions.  The best was when I was telling them about pushing the nail down so I could get my sock on.  That totally icked them out.  I continued with telling them about the squishy sock and suddenly there was a pause and a student looked at me and said, "Wait!  You kept doing the triathlon?"  Of course I kept going!  There was another pause and then another student said, "Mrs. V, you are one tough lady!"  The general agreement throughout the day was that they wouldn't haven't kept going if it had happened to them.  They were super impressed that I finished the race.

Funny thing to me was that it didn't even occur to me to not finish.

So I guess I am one tough lady.  I kind of needed to be reminded of that.  😀

One last thing.  I know I have said it before but seriously, it is worth repeating!  We are SO fortunate to have such a fantastic group putting on triathlons in our local area!!  Best in the West organized the Heart of the Valley tri and as usual did an amazing job.  The organization, clear information and awesome volunteers help add to the fun of just doing the event.  I so appreciate all the hard work they put in before and after each event.  I can't wait to see them again at the Oregon Dunes Triathlon in a few weeks.  Here's a link to their main event page so you can see all the different races they put on:

**Photo credit to Ron, Jon and Best in the West (who makes the pictures from their events available for free!!)

1 comment:

  1. Great job Lisa. You just keep getting stronger in all ways! I love this course, it was my first triathlon back in 2011, and I didn't die. Your reports always pull at me to start again. Thanks for sharing and great job!