OK, so it's april already and my first tri of the year has come and gone.
bright and early this morning [415am] we headed out to new roads for the annual louisiana triathlon. we all met at ihop to carpool, so i jumped in the car with sue boo, "chicken legs" lemon, and ernie. it was a good and uneventful trip to the race getting there in plenty of time to set up and chit chat with friends i havn't seen for a while -- even with that pee stop on the side of the road for yours truly.
we pulled up and parked right next to transition (and the potty which was a good thing for me as i have been having some Gi problems latley) and made plenty of noise to wake up the family sleeping in the camper next to us.
It was great weather for a race brisk in the early morning hours --warming up to about 80 by the time we finished the run. the water temp was colder than i expected though - a mere 70 degrees - so i was glad to have the wetsuit this morning!
After I got all set up, i went out for a ride on the bike to be sure all was working well. i stopped after a mile or so to check the wheels, brakes, etc since it seemed i couldnt get my speed up. i wondered if i was going uphill or something...but everything on the bike was perfect. the motor was just off. training has been tough latley, and i was tired, but i wasnt going to dwell on it - so i just cruised back to transition and wrote it off. i knew once i got in the saddle after the swim all would be good. it always is.
after a few more trips to the potty, it was time for the race to start - so off with the flip flops and on with the wetsuit and into the chilly....uh oh. glass in the foot. dilema during the national anthem. and the glass was so small i couldnt see it, but i could sure feel it. well, after a small panic attack, and some minor surgery and blood loss, i got it out in time and made it into the water for a quick chill before the start. and off we went.....
the swim was eventful for me - a reminder that i should have taken my own advice and been in my wetsuit a few times before the first race of the year as i was compelled to rip it off as i have done in the past. the cold water chilled me as usual, but i just kept on moving forward and couldnt wait to get out. i managed to make it out in decent time and looked forward to hammering on the bike. once in the saddle, i just tried to push it. i wanted to see how hard i could push on the bike and then run strong. I had no expectations, today was a test. i knew i was tired going in, so i just wanted to test my limits and see what could happen. so i went. and i must tell you, that was one of the toughest rides i have ever had. my legs hurt from the beginning, and my speed didn't seem to measure up with the effort. but i just kept pushing. it was all about the effort....forget the speed. i wanted to ride hard and run hard. so off the bike and onto the run - again, my legs felt tired from the beginning, but i wanted to run hard and see what it gave me. it hurt and that's good. and in the end, i did ok....
so....all in all, im pleased with today's effort. getting the kinks out before the bigger races is improtant and this race was perfect for that. everyone knows it's hard is it to race when you're not "on"....but you just do it, because you can. so when im tired from the get-go like this morning, i forget about everyone else and the day becomes a race from within..... how hard can i push through the pain and discomfort - mind over matter. and when it's over, what can i learn from it?
I am at the point now where I want to do better at the bigger races, sacrificing some of the smaller ones. after going into this race tired, with my training on a mileage and intensity peak, I look forward to chillin' out this week, hydrating, and resting up for a fast St. Anthony's next weekend.
see you in tampa!