Race Report: Kemah Triathlon (Olympic)
I followed my usual routine, prepping for my race. I had a "normal" pre race dinner of me consisting of a lean grilled burger, veggies and sweet potato. Next morning ate my sweet potato and eggs for b'fast and downed a bottle of Extend (amino acids) and some Gatorade. My sleep, the week leading up to the race, was not that good. I have not been getting to bed on time and I have to admit I felt it a little. :(
I arrived to transition early, as in before they opened! They were letting athletes in, so that was good. I got setup, checked my ins and outs, found my training buddy, and headed to the boat.
The boat ride was fun with my tri-peeps, and before we knew it we heard the National Anthem and a flyover by the Coast Guard; then the pros and elites hit the water.
The water was choppy -- definitely more of a challenge than last year. I'm told there was a 1 knot cross current, making staying on course a challenge. I noted on the way out that the buoys were all kinds of crooked, and therefore determined I would have to sight well on the shoreline to swim straight in for the the shortest distance.
I had been having my recurring nightmare that someone would jump in on me from the boat, after I jumped in. The Friday before the race, I spent my time at Masters learning a life saving jump (Only pros and elites are allowed to dive off the boat). This type of jump minimizes plunging deeply underwater. On race day I was confident and I did it perfectly -- kept my goggles and all! Whooo! Though someone did jump in on my legs, but I was sort of on my way, so it wasn't a big, scary deal.
Started swimming and I just couldn't find a pattern to the swells for what seemed like the first 10 minutes. I kept taking in water each time I'd breathe. The current was a challenge, but I was staying strong, and and pretty straight! After the first 10 minutes and everyone now spread out, I finally relaxed and the swimming became easier. I was sighting well and pretty much at the top of the swells. Yay!
I made it out of the water in 37 minutes. Not a stellar swim, but last year I did a 35, and it wasn't near this challenging. So I'll take the 37 and be okay with that. Overall the swim was fun. I actually love this swim in this particular event. :)
I exited the water and my stomach felt horrible -- the rest of me was fine, so I just kept moving on. Dropped to my butt and had my wetsuit stripped. I headed into transition and headed out on the bike.
I knew I'd been jostled a bit in the water and took in a bunch. I was hoping my stomach would calm, but it was crampy the whole time. It made riding the first 12.5 miles into the headwind (gusting up to 25mph) even more awful. My plan was to ride high cadence, keep my heart rate in check because we knew there would be a headwind. On the way back, slow down my cadence a little, get into a good speed gear, keep my HR in check and enjoy the tail wind. On the way out I rode somewhere around 13-15 mph... at times 11mph!!! Descents that normally take me at speeds >25 mph, had me descending at 17mph! I was patient and kept to my plan. At the turnaround, I totally enjoyed riding 23-25 mph all the way back -- it made the ride out worth while for that piece of fun alone. Sure enough I was passing folks who burned their legs up on the way out. That coach of mine is pretty smart. :) Seriously though, the tail wind was so strong I was climbing overpasses at 18mph -- which I never do! LOL I hoped on the way back my stomach would settle some, not having to keep a high cadence, but it wasn't getting better -- in fact, I felt like a visit to the port-a-potty was in store. Bike time was 1:32 for a staggering average of 16.5. Blah. Tough Day, but I survived.
I dismounted my bike and started running to my rack. I immediately started puking -- there goes breakfast! I started dry heaving and probably should have called it right there, but my kiddo was working the aid station and I didn't want her to see me quit. I took a 6 minute transition and decided while today wasn't going to be the day my training progress would all come together, I could still go slow and steady and finish the race. I left transition and made it about 2 miles. I was dry heaving the entire time. Finally I was just down for the count. Medics came a took me; that was the end of my day.
Boo for me. Admittedly we already knew this race was compromised from my bone bruise.
So what did I do next? I went home and signed myself up for TriGirl supersprint on Mother's day. Yeah, it's not an Olympic distance, but it's not something I've ever done; just go hard as hell for under an hour. I need to move forward from the Kemah event and forget about it, just as quickly as I forget where I put my keys. :)
There's always next year.
PS: Boo to the professional photographers who took my picture in the med tent! Really?