Sunday, July 8, 2007


This morning, as taper week begins to . . . well, taper, I decided to get in one more run of the Ballwin Tri (also known as FTE, my First Tri Ever) Course. Everything but the swim and without really hammering the transitions. My plan was about 80% of race effort but, really, the bike ended up being close to 90% (maybe more) and the run . . . well the run SUCKED ASS. Donkey Ass. Dirty, stinky, just had some carrot induced diarrhea donkey ass. It was the run that wasn't. To put it more plainly. I. Walked. Walked. It took me over forty minutes to do the f*(&ing thing. In fact, as soon as I set out on the run I had the thought: "Who am I kidding? I'm not going to place in my age group. I must have been on crack." It was all downhill from there.

Or rather, it was all uphill. Or a lot of uphill. Suddenly the slow times of last year begin to make sense. Then I got a side stitch. Not just a "OK, forcefully exhale and relax your belly on the inhale, smooth out your stride . . . ah, that's better" kind of side cramp. No it was a "Holy crap, this is what Braveheart must have felt like when they were pulling out his guts!" kind of side cramp. I ran through it for a bit then said "Screw it, I've already lost this thing, anyway" and walked. I walked and cried like a little girl. Well, I didn't cry, but I wanted to.

As I walked, I tried to talk myself out of the downward spiral I was speeding down. "You had a really good bike. You're really getting strong on that bike." To which self answered back "I averaged less than 16 miles per hour. That sucks. I'm still two minutes over my goal pace. Total Suckage." Self said "Not, total suckage. That hill in the middle is tough - its going to be tough on everyone. And the detour cost you some time - just as it will for everyone. Let the bike alone. You did well." self tried a new tactic "Fine, you'll get through the bike, but here you are walking up this god forsaken hill. Walking. You're going to be last." "You know, next week I will not have stayed up until 11:00 drinking beer at a pool party the night before. Next week I will get up early and eat a bowl of oatmeal and not bonk. I will ingest a full gel instead of just half. I'll dilute my Gatorade and sip instead of gulp on the bike. Also, I'll be coming off of a week of taper instead of two days in a row of intense running and biking. It'll be a whole different ballgame. You can't use today as an indicator for performance a week from now." "Yes I can. You're going to be last." "Shut up." "You shut up."

I'd say it was a draw. Finally, I caught up with Hubby and we walked and jogged until the end. The best I can say is at least I did the whole course. I wanted to turn around but I knew I would feel that as more of a failure. I guess its time to adjust my goals, stay positive and just try to have fun out there. I need to give myself permission to not kick everyone's ass out there. Either way, I'll have a PR since it's my FTE!!

New goals:

Tier One: Not to forget my bike (Thanks to Jane for that one. Go give her a shout, she's doing her FTE on the same day as me, just in a different state so we don't have to try and kick each other's butts.)
Tier Two: Finish strong, knowing I left it all out on the course
Tier Three: Not to be DFL

Oh God. I really am doing this in a week. Crap.


21stCenturyMom said...

NO FEAR! No fear no doubt. You already had the "I'm going to have to suck it up on the run" moment before your event and when you are there you willhave a different mind set. So now you know - it's hard. It's really hard. But knowing that it is hard makes it easier and you are so ready. So very, very ready.

Your little muscle dudes will be installing myelin reinforcements in your legs all week. You are so money.

a.maria said...

i am probably the LAST person that should be trying to pump you up right now, but..

it will be your first tri. which means your endorphins will be RAGING and you'll do a lot better than you anticipate. of that i'm sure.

try not to get sucked up into the numbers of the thing. because the secret is.. no matter how well you do... you'll always want to be faster.

enjoy being out there. don't do what i did today and ruin the experience because it wasn't what you thought it "should" be.

you're smarter than that!

Danielle in Iowa said...

You'll be fine! As for that two minutes on the bike? I honestly have never ridden a training ride at as fast a pace as during a race. Yay for endorphins!

Now it's your turn to make some hills your bitches :-)

It's your FTE, so just finishing is a PR!

Jane said...

Sorry - don't pick up my neurosis! Maybe you shouldn't set a goal of placing etc, because you might ruin what should be an awesome day. For example, you do a great time, feel good physically, no injuries or blisters, complete your very first tri, but then are sad b/c you didn't place or win. Don't set yourself up to be upset. It will be incredible to cross that line! My goal is to finish and take enough good pics to put on my blog. hehe. We are both going to do great!

Tom said...

Feel the fire. Be a buffalo. Meet this tri head on, but have fun doing it. Chalk it up as experience and don't worry about placing in your age group. You'll be euphoric at the finish.

Bolder said...

every race i've ever done feels the exact same way pre-race...

just one more right of passage for you:

race simulation

know you know...

you're going to have a great day!

Vickie said...

Okay, let me try this for the 10th time--bad Internet connection. I wanted you to know that I will be thinking of you this week as you sruggle with your fears. Your fears are real, but you WILL do this and do fine. Take it from one who knows what its like to be last--learn to enjoy the moment. I am learning my strengths are not in how fast I am going, but in just being able--able to finish something like this; able to be different from other women my age (and younger); being able to be strong, focused, determined. Remember: The journey not the arrival matters. (T.S. Eliot) Go get 'em!

jeanne said...

you need a mantra: how about "I AM GREAT!"

rinse. repeat!