Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Who Are You Racing For?

Who are you racing for?

I saw this sign just after the turn around during the run portion of my triathlon last weekend.  It got me through the last three miles of that 10k.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Race report for the Tri at the Grove 2018.
Pine Meadows Campground, Cottage Grove Lake, Site $17
This year we camped on the opposite side of the lake from the triathlon in our trailer.  We went a few days early and it was nice to have some down time.  The campground was very nice and it was a good test run on how dry camping would go.  No electrical hookups or water.  Everything went great and we didn't have any problems.  Joe was doing his workouts for his Ironman that was coming the next week.  I enjoyed doing my shorter workouts, hanging out with the pup and reading books.
View from our campsite! 
Joe went over and help set up on Friday night and I stayed at the trailer and got myself ready for the race and then went to bed early. 
Race day was gorgeous and I was excited to get things going.  

I love getting my stuff ready and seeing my teammates and talking to people near me.  The energy in transition is just fun.  
My hubby and sherpa for the day. 💜
Teammate Rebecca.  Sunshine smiles!!
Teammate Ruth.  More sunshine smiles!!  (I love my teammates!)
Getting ready for the swim!
My swim went well.  I felt really good and that was fun.  I did struggle with other people getting in my way.  Think I'm going to change up the line I swim in with the buoys so that I'm not so much in the middle of things.  I lost my groove several times because of other people and that is something I definitely need to work on.

I came out of the water feeling good and headed for transition.  T1 went smoothly and I got going on the bike in a decent amount of time.
Here I go!
My bike ride was awesome!  It felt great.  I was down in my lower bars almost the whole time.  My legs felt solid.  I just felt strong the entire time.  I had a complete blast!  Last year I had a huge improvement on my bike portion of this race but a lot of that improvement was due to the awesome new bike I had.  This year my improvements were going to be 100% me because it was the same bike as last year.  😁
 When I got done with the bike I knew I was ahead of last year's time.  I try not to look at my watch while I'm doing the bike or the run because I don't want to start getting in my own way thinking about speed or pace and making myself crazy.  I'm supposed to be having fun not becoming mental.  😄
Heading to T2-Smiling!!!
Got through T2 in a descent amount of time and took off on the run.  Couldn't feel my legs so I gave myself a few minutes of walking before I started running.  I ran a mile, walked a few minutes and then ran another mile.  The first two miles felt really good and I felt like I was going a descent pace.  (Still not looking at my watch.)  But then things started falling apart.  My legs were cramping up some.  So I would run for awhile and then when things just felt too tight I would walk for awhile.  It was a bit discouraging because I had started out so well.

I had just gotten to the turn around and was heading back when I saw the sign.  All along the route were orange cones with encouraging signs stuck in them.  This particular one I'm sure I have seen before but for some reason it really hit home.

The sign said, "Who are you racing for?"

Huh, good question.  Here I am, struggling through my run.  Frustrated that I can't seem to get my legs to cooperate and do what I've been able to do in my training runs.  This question just kept coming back to me.

When I'm doing my training, most of the time I'm alone.  Gives me lots of time to think about things.  Sometimes it gives me lots of time to not think about things as well.  Both are good for my own mental health.

So as I'm moving along and working on NOT thinking about how my legs are cramping up I start thinking about who am I racing for?

The answer may seem obvious.

I am racing for ME.

My race, my effort, my time, my struggles.  Every single stroke in the swim, pedal on the bike and step on the run is for me.

To be a healthier me.

To be a happier me.

To be a me that works hard at meeting big scary goals.

To be a me that can keep moving when things are not going the way I planned and still be proud of what I was able to do.

I finished that run for me!  Good, bad or ugly, it was my run and I did it the best I could.  What a great feeling.  Sounds weird but it was very freeing to be in that place mentally during the race.

I finished that run three minutes slower than the year before.

But because I had a faster swim, a kick ass bike ride and the first two miles of the run were solid I was still able to get a PR!

Not that long ago I would have not enjoyed the PR and would have let the struggles on the run take all the joy out of my day.

Not this time!!

I am pretty excited that I was able to do so great for 2/3 of the race and then to keep myself moving even though things didn't go quite like I had planned.
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Made it!

There was an issue with the timing system during the race.  The Posse did a great job of rallying and getting times and splits down as best they could.  I am sure that was a bit of madness and stress during the race.  (I'm also sure that's an understatement!)  So for comparing purposes from last year to this year I am going to compare my times from my Garmin watch last year to this year.

Swim:  35:21 (1:48 faster)
T1:         2:51 (1:12 faster)
Bike: 1:39:41 (6:23 faster)
T2:         2:29 ( :33 slower)
Run: 1:28:16 (2:21 slower)

Total time: 3:48:40!!  (6:28 faster!!)
Bonus fun fact:  Fastest Olympic Tri of any Olympic race, 5:58 faster! 

Now the goal is to figure out what the problem is during the run and get that dialed in before Best in the West.  I was very dizzy after the race and didn't feel good.  Not as bad as last year but definitely there.  I did much better fueling during the bike but we are thinking that the nutrition still isn't giving me what I need so that I can sustain during the run. 

There is ALWAYS something to work on! 

Remembering who I am racing for helped me finish a fabulous (and really hard) day. 

It could be that I could see that same sign on another day at a different race and it could say something completely different to me.  Will be fun to see. 

As always, here are my shout outs:

Joe:  Fabulous and supportive husband that has let me join him in the world of triathlons.  Love having these adventures with you.  Thank you for being my sherpa and taking care of me before and after the race.  I love you. 

Coach:  Thanks for keeping me moving during all my crazy travels this summer.  I would not have done as well as I did if you hadn't helped me figure out ways to get some version of workouts done in spite of the limitations I had.  Where there's a will there's a way! 

Best in the West:  Once again it was a great event.  I know that you probably didn't enjoy it as much as I did with the technical difficulties that were going on.  But in spite of all that, I had a great time.  I appreciate all the hard work that goes into putting on these events, long before race day and long after.  You are appreciated! Also, free pictures!  Seriously, that is so cool! They are always so fun to check out. 

If you want to do an event in September checkout Best in the West Events and see if there is something that looks fun to you.  They even have a Try a Tri event that is a super short version of a triathlon so you can get your feet wet and see if this might be something you'd like to do more of.  DO IT!!!  😀

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