Saturday, April 26, 2008

Langley Pond: Bad Races Happen

I usually wait until I have the official results before I write race reports. Also, I usually tend to skip doing race reports of bad races. Today's race report will be different. The bike was shortened, so the time was really irrelevent. Mostly, I need to reflect on why my race was not up to my standards and renew my committment to the multisport lifestyle.

Late Swim and The Trouble Begins
As we were gathering at 8:00 to start the race, lighting and thunder stopped the start until 9:00 AM. We almost had to make it a duathlon. Luckily, we were able to start. The swim seemed to be smooth, except for a fairly crowded start. My breathing was smooth and I felt like I finally got my zig zag tendancies out of the way. Toward the last 500 meters, my right leg started to cramp up a little bid, but nothing I could not work through. At 100 meters, it hits: my right leg locks up, in pain, completely unable to move. I finished the race in a backstroke, or only using my arms. I hobbled up to transision area and hoped that all this went away.

Same Cramp Different Bike
I got back to transition to see all my stuff in a mud puddle. my helmet had rain water in it and my shoes were soaked. I got my wetsuit off, helmet on and started hammering on the bike. On lap one, I bet I passed at least 50 people. My bike felt great, my legs were at a good cadence and I was still thinking this race could still be doable. The new bike, my Blue T-14 felt great. My position felt great. On the first lap, nobody caught me. My average speed for the irst lap as 22.3 MPH, which for me is pretty stout for a hilly course. As I started the first hillclimb on lap 2, the calf on my right leg locked up again. It took away my momentum and I was riding at the single digits up the hill. Throughout the second lap, I would work out the cramp/pain in my right calf and at get some kind of speed going again. Once the cadence was where it needed to be, that calf would lock up again. After lap 2 my average speed went from 22.3 MPH to 20.9

A Blistering Run
The transition area looked like the muddy remnants of the 1969 Woodstock. My shoes and socks were completely soaked, as was my towel. I got my wet running shoes on with no socks on. My calf was just nagging me and I pretty much just resigned myself just finishing. Some of my typical competitors and my friend swimshady was 3 miles ahead of me. Suddenly, some dude passed my me. I never get passed on the run and having that guy go by me just got me motivated. I picked up the speed and ran at least within a couple of minutes within my target time. At the end, I had at least 3 blisters on each feet.

My Own Damn Fault
There are a lot of things for this race being what it is. Really, it all comes down to me not training and eating properly. In the last couple of months, my training has not been consistent. I have good weeks and others where I practically can not consider myself any kind of triathlete. My friends and family like to call me a triathlete and I like to think of myself as a triathlete as well. The thing is, to be a triathlete, you can't just show up to a race, get your ass handed to you and brag about how you toughed it out, despite a cramp here or a blister there.

Real triathletes properly train and prepare for the races they are doing, so the race is simply a reward for those 5:00 AM morning swims and lunch time runs. They learn skills and form to make it happen more efficiently and make the most out of the strength and endurance gained in training. True triathletes eat in a way to fuel their bodies. The Ferrari F1 team would not put the leftover gas from the lawnmower in their multimillion dollar race car, so why would I put junk food in my body before my race?

Simply put, my training and overall preparation for this race was a half-assed effort. My eating and hydration is what led to my cramping. Simply put: If I did what I knew I needed to do, I would have had a better race.

Despite it being a bad race, I had a good day and it was fun. Everyone out there is blessed to be doing what they are doing, now matter how their race is going. Think of all the people in cancer treatment, revering in hospitals from bad car wrecks, or even those who let themselves go to the point they have to borrow the wheelchair from wal-mart to do their shopping. They wish they could do what we do. I'm thankful for the health and even more thankful for the friends I make in this sport. Now it is time for me to do the training and have the races I know I can.

1 comment:

Wes said...

You didn't happen to have on a Blue tri suit did you? LOL! My wife has a Blue road bike and a Blue riding kit, and she was excited to see you out there. She so wanted to go check out your bike!!

I didn't have the greatest race either. Something about standing around for an hour in a wet suit, feeling my breakfast slipping away... But you know what, I always do my best. That's what being a triathlete is all about. I hear you on living the lifestyle. I got some rethinking to do..