If you are thinking, Wow, another race? Maybe it's too soon?
You are not alone - I was thinking that, too.
The recovery from the duathlon, as previously mentioned, was quite rough. Even though it left me exhausted, I had trouble sleeping for days afterwards. I felt like a zombie... not one of those freakishly fast moving zombies that are in all the newer zombie movies....but one of those old-school, really slow and stupid zombies.
Last weekend, I left for the duathlon quite stressed over normal work/life situations. I let this happen too often - despite my desire to be chill and laid back, in my natural form, I am high-strung and easily stressed. Nothing good ever comes from that - and although I know my duathlon fail was the result of numerous factors (poor hydration, crazy fast start, etc) - I do think that my flustered, frantic mind played a role.
After numerous nights of insufficient sleep, it was clear that I needed to do some compartmentalization in order to dig out my inner layer of "zen." So for the last few days, I have been stopping and breathing at any sign of frustration or irritation. I even didn't reply to an email until the next day.
I felt pretty good by this weekend, and even in the mood to race. But, I'm using the word "race" loosely - my plan was to have a solid, smooth effort - not so much to compete.
The race didn't start out smoothly at all since I noticed a leak in my goggles as soon as I jumped in the lake. There was not much I could do about it aside from stopping every so often to empty and adjust them. Each time I stopped, I choked on the choppy water. It was not fun but swimming is never fun for me.
My Stop -Fix goggles -Sprint method of swimming was exhausting and the lake water made my eyes sting. But, it only lasted 15 minutes and 15 seconds...and once I was of the water, I put it out of mind.
At our last race, our friend Jen put her helmet on backwards.
We (lovingly) laughed at her - after all, there are only a few people who would do that.
And, um...turns out, I am also one of those few people.
I always set my transition layout at the front tire, and then rest my helmet on my handlebars. For some reason, I put my layout at my bike tire this time. So when I put my helmet on, it was backwards.
They don't let you race with your helmet backwards, FYI.
No big deal, I stopped and corrected it. The rest of the ride was great...there was a wind so I didn't look at my pace. Since headwinds slow you down and tailwinds speed you up, your pace at any given point is irrelevant.
I focused on drinking my electrolytes and keeping my cadence high.
Aside from dismounting too early, looking around confused, and finally realizing no one else was getting off their bike and that I needed to get back on - the bike was great. When that happened, I could only laugh at myself.
After I dismounted at the correct place, I returned my bike and put on my left running shoe with ease. It took two tries to get the right shoe on.
My stomach was full of lake water so I didn't feel great on the run - but I felt decent. I picked a sustainable pace right on the edge of my comfort zone. I didn't look at my Garmin to see the actual numbers...I knew it wasn't sub-6 or anything crazy. At Mile 2 I am told that I am the 4th woman. Well, that is pretty cool.
I pick off one lady in front of me - and I catch another. I pass her but she passed me back. I stay right behind her which basically allowed me to continue pace.
I knew I could pass her - but it would push me out of my comfort zone.
I just wasn't in the mood for pain.
She finished in second place and I finished 3 seconds later to take third.
My 5K time was 19:13 - which is totally okay with me!
I got a special wine bottle (filled with wine) and a $50 gift card for my efforts
plus a reminder to me that I cannot take myself too seriously. When I start doing that, I stress and my success suffers. I always have to remember Why I Run.
Sprint tri 2 weeks ago VS this race
swim: 15:18 15:15 - 3 seconds
t1: 2:52 1:37 - 1 min, 15 seconds
bike: 36:38 min (20.5) 34:19 (21.5) - 2 min (but last week the course was long)
t2: 1:39 1:24 -15 seconds
run: 19:07 19:13 + 5 seconds
time: 1:15:18 1:11:49
I didn't actually improve - I just managed to get my bike shoe on.
My friend, a professional, suggested that I come to their weekly practice...it's sometimes a track workout, sometimes a swim workout and sometimes they do mock transitions. They do the fancy stuff where they keep their shoes on their bike. And while I will hold on to the coach's card in consideration, even just the mere thought of me ever getting my shoes on my feet while they are attached to my bike, makes me chuckle.
I am so light-years away from that.
I still need to figure out how to put on my helmet.