Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Race #9 of the Season: TriRock Colorado Olympic

As you probably alluded to in my previous post, this race sucked, and sucked hard.

In fact, I don't want to write this post. Not at all. I'm ashamed of myself. But ... maybe if I write this and get it the fuck out of my system, I can move on. I already got myself back on the Aurora hills this morning, essentially riding most of that course again. So to purge this race, and press reset, and start anew. 

Let's do this shit ...

I knew this race would be awful. I think Brandon being around the day before and a bit the morning of didn't help either. I've discussed at length here how him not training/racing with me this year has really started to affect me. Him being around essentially for race day? Brutal.

I closed the night before, so an 11pm bedtime awaited me as well as a 4am wake-up call. I got most of my stuff sorted and packed before I went to bed.

Alarm came on way too early and I was up to get ready, pack up the car, get my hydration sorted, eat breakfast and get out the door. Parking opened at 5; transition at 5:30. I got there about 5:20ish and people were already setting up their bikes in trans. I got set up - we had set spots on the racks - saw Richard (not racing, but working) and Carlos (racing) as well as Kristen (racing). I went down to the actual bathrooms to take my pre-race poop - the bleach smell in the bathrooms about made me puke. I seriously came very, very close. Not pleasant.

Looking back on it, I was slightly anxious all morning, but I don't think I acknowledged it to myself that day. I stayed in transition long enough to talk to Brandon before I left to get in a small pre-race swim before the race started (I was the first wave). Aurora Reservoir was cold as per usual, but it warmed up even quicker than at Crescent Moon, so that was nice.

The Swim:

The start was a bit like Arizona in that we had to swim out to it a bit. The cannon went off and so did we. 

So I've always thought it would be nice for the buoys to be labeled with distance in a race, so you had an idea of how far you've gone/still had to go. TriRock actually had this ... and let me tell you - it's horrible. It was fine going out, but on the bottom side of the triangle and the way back? Ugh, it was just hard to see 900m at one point. Really? Are you serious?!? I never looked at my watch (won't make that mistake again), but it just felt like the swim dragged.

I did try to draft off feet/boardshort a few people for a little bit and it kind of worked, but clearly not well enough as the swim was utter shit and I think my slowest Olympic distance swim. Great.

I also totally felt my wetsuit chafe the back of my neck. Also fantastic.

Time: 44:13 (pace: 2:57/100m; rank: 147th overall, 65th gender, 15th division)


Stupid long run up to transition. Had arm coolers, but didn't bother with them. Otherwise, I like T1. T1 is simple.

Time: 3:06 (rank: 56th, 32nd, 7th)

The Bike:

What was good about the ride:
- no shifting issues like at Crescent Moon
- really learning to make the bike do the work in terms of shifting/gearing
- my cornering is really coming around
- did a great job of keeping hydrated
- averaging an 85 cadence on those stupid hills
- 39.0 mph max on one of the downhills

What wasn't good about the ride:
- the lack of strength on the hills that really showed up about 16 miles in
- the other riders who didn't know how to stay to the damn right. DON'T RIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN ROAD, PEOPLE.
- stupid hill back into transition, preventing you from spinning out your legs
- the breakdown I had mentally

Time: 1:36:57 (pace: 15.3 mph; rank: 124th, 46th, 11th)


Chose not to BodyGlide my toes. Got blisters as a result. Never not doing this again.

Time: 1:48 (rank: 100th, 37th, 7th)

The Run:

As I posted on Monday, I mainly had three thoughts during the run: 
- I want shade
- I want (ice cold) water
- I want to curl up and cry

I developed these thoughts about two miles in. 

I usually pride myself on my mental game, but it was completely gone. Nowhere to be seen. My toes hurt, my lungs hated me, my legs hurt, wah wah wah. Usually, I can push a lot of this out of my mind (okay, not the lungs; they dictate my life) and still manage to run a decent amount. I've had hot, miserable runs in tris before and still have managed to push through (see: Boulder 70.3 last year).

Not this time. Not this year. I contemplated turning in my chip at least a half-dozen times. I didn't - Brandon says it's because I'm not a quitter and it's even on my RoadID ... which I probably should have looked to for inspiration, come to think of it - but oh man was that the first time I seriously considered it. I also decided that maybe pulling out of Harvest Moon was the best course of action, because could I honestly pull off a course about twice as long in six weeks?

I finally let myself cry at the turnaround - which meant walking for a good while for sure since crying means I can't really breathe which in turns mean I really can't run. I did have one decent stretch of running after that thanks to a woman in an RMTC kit who helped me through a patch, but it wasn't enough to sustain me through. I essentially power-walked the rest of the course, passing other walkers in the process.

I was able to cross the finish line in my usual manner - running and running the strongest all segment. I got my medal, got my chip taken off, got a cold-ish bottle of water, took my finisher's photos (where I look absolutely miserable), found a shady spot ... and sat down and cried.

Time: 1:21:11 (pace: 13:06/mi; rank: 150th, 66th, 15th)

They had something where you could print out your results, but I didn't even want to know. I didn't figure out how badly I'd done until sometime Monday. Worst Olympic tri ever, worst 10k run time ever ... least fun in a tri since at least Tri for the Cure 2008 ... but probably ever.

Overall Stats:
Time: 3:47:17
144/161 overall
62/70 females
14/15 division (F30-34)

I tried to eat post-race - Noodles mac and cheese! It's delicious! - but couldn't force down more than a few bites. I hung out with Richard and Carlos for a bit and enjoyed probably the best part of the morning.

Recovery boots!

It's my fault this race went so poorly. It's now up to me to make sure that Harvest Moon isn't quite as abysmal.

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