I raced the Na Wahine sprint triathlon yesterday. I did not plan to participate in the 500m swim, 12 mile bike and 5k run only because I’ve been nursing some left TFL and glute issues and mostly because I am kinda burned out. Up to now, I’ve done over 10 races this year alone and despite being a racing OG, I still get a lot of anxiety about racing.
But who was I kidding anyway? I always do this race. This is the only all-female triathlon in the state and the race creator is my coach, KC. She even gave me the go to include one free 2CW-HI personal training gift certificate in every race packet. I had to walk the talk, and so on a whim, I was in.
Red Flag #1: My last swim was the day of Hawaii Ironman 70.3 back in June and because I dislike swimming, I had not been in the water since. But hey, what’s 500 meters anyway…
Red Flag #2: Because my Q4 goals had changed to focusing on the run, my biking had to take a back seat. But hey, my biking is pretty solid naturally, what’s 12 miles anyway…
Red Flag #3: Because my left TFL and glute had been injured, my running had to take a hit over the last month. But hey, what’s 3 miles anyway…
In working toward a more relaxed approach to all anxiety-inducing acts in my current life, I decided that since this was all a last minute hot mess, I would push my cares aside and just go with the flow. And so on race day, I stayed calm and carried on. And now it’s a day over, I am happy to report that THAT very attitude also carried me through some mistakes, the most awful of which was my caffeine buzz kill.
Morning of race day, I had 1 scoop of my Infinit custom bike blend with a heaping scoop of my gym pre-workout powder. I DON’T race using a pre-workout gym powder, but I DO gym with it, so I tanked it down.
I started the swim as I always do. I seed myself in the middle of the pack. I wear my nose clip. I start out with a hard sprint to settle in with same pace swimmers. I sight often and I breathe with every stroke.
But then my heart rate soared. My breathing became uncontrollable. I started to panic. I felt as though I was going to drown. I thought about getting help to be pulled off the course. I couldn’t believe it was happening as I have swam far far worse conditions for much much much longer.
I took off my nose clip thinking it would help control my breathing. Nope. It made it worse. Soon, I found myself hanging onto a volunteer’s surf board whimpering for a little break to put my nose clip back on. And his reply gave me a dose of much needed comfort. He said, “of course you can; that is why we are here.”
So there I was, all pathetic, clinging to this surf board for dear life, wanting to call it quits but fearful of giving up all in the same MIND FUCK.
As I floated in place, I knew I didn’t want to make a rash decision based upon an inflated sense of fear. So, I did what I often preach, I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it. It felt like the longest swim of my life.
Back on the land, my confidence inceased. I zoomed into T1, grabbed my shit and rolled to mount my bike UNTIL I DROPPED MY CHAIN. WTF. OMG. REALLY? LOL.
Laughs and a lot of bike grease later, my bike leg was per usual – decent for not biking much at all.
And then I found myself on the run course; where I had to give it my all; my focus since June; now a test of where my run ability would lie after a month run program modification due to my left TFL and glute injury.
I was pleasantly surprised. I started out stronger than I usually do and was able to hold pretty steady run splits throughout. My heart rate was sky high (196 bpm) but my breathing was controllable. I was suffering but I was able to hold that suffer fest for almost 26 minutes over the 3 mile course.
In the end, I was able to place 3rd amongst a tough Women 40-44 age group. First and second place women in the ranks are beasts! I don’t podium often, but when I do, it is a nice reminder that even with bumps along the road, you may just be pleasantly surprised at the end of your journey.
Oh and by the way, the heaping scoop of pre-workout powder was probably like 400 miligrams of caffeine I took in one shot with no food. EPIC FAIL! Another lesson learned…