Saturday, June 02, 2007

I'm done. (Race Report)


I finished the Deuceman 70.3

Holy hell, that was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I became a cry-athlete (Pirate's words) in the middle of the bike.





I edited the run and bike profiles with some general comments . Click to read.

(Added later)
Okay, I've had the first of what I'm sure is going to be two suppers, and here's what I have to say...

This was the third 70.3 I've done. I figured, it would be a piece of cake, especially since the race director advertised it as a "fast course" with "some hills" at the 40-mile mark.

So, here's the dirt: I had a crap day. There were three things working against me:

First, the bike course was very hilly on the second half. The bike profile above doesn't show all the turns on the course. See that reallllllly big hill? Towards the end? It winds toward the right, so that you don't realize you're still climbing until each time you round a corner. For four miles, it just keeps going up, and up, and up. That's why I kept pulling over and crying. At one point, I was crying and babbling, "it won't end. It just won't end!"

Second, the altitude was around 6200 feet. Altitudes like that make you feel all wimpy and whiny, like you really suck. You have trouble catching your breath. Swim, bike, run, it doesn't matter: unless you live at this altitude, you're going to suck some serious air. The air has less pressure, and the oxygen molecules are further apart, so your lungs have to work harder to get in the oxygen.

Third, well of COURSE there was wind. Wind loves me. I passed three windmills - real ones - pointing in the direction I was going. They were spinning like mad. And here's the thing: The wind was in my face going out AND COMING BACK!

MotherF&$%#ER! Hills, High Altitude, and Wind. Don'tcha just wish you were me?

I read somewhere that when you're really, really tired your body plays a trick where it tries to convince you to stop, just stop, in order to protect itself. I really had to battle that today. It is worth noting that Sweet Baboo was worried I'd blame the day on him. I'll admit to many dark thoughts while on the bike, but I was sure happy to see him at the finish, and I knew he would worry enough about me to make up for any imagined wrongdoing.

Some of my thoughts on this bike:

  • I hate the bike. I really hate the bike.
  • Who am I fooling? I'm never going to be able to finish an ironman. \
  • I think I may do permanant damage to my hoo-hoo with all these long bikes.
  • I can't do this. I just can't handle one more hill.
  • Oh my F&$%#ing gawd, another F&$%#ing hill.
  • I have to quit. Now. Right this second.
  • This was all Sweet Baboo's idea.
  • I am so unprepared for this. I'm a fraud. There's no way I'm going to be able to do an ironman.
  • I really, really hate the motherF&$%#ing bike!

In any case, there were only two Athenas stupid enough to attempt this today, so it appears I may have gotten 2nd. I was dead last, and too busy crying in Sweet Baboo's lap to think about any prize I might have gotten.

I'm sure that Sweet Baboo and Pirate will have their own reports to make and about how this was major, major suckitude.

So, I'll just make a general list of pro's/cons

Pros:

1. Volunteers, as they often are, were awesome. They had this whole "switch out your bottle thing" going, where they had bottled prepared with HydraBOOM and without dismounting, you could swap out your empty bottles with a full one. Cool. Very cool. At one aid station, they surrounded me like I was at a 1950's gas pump. One handed me gels. Another swapped out my bottles. One squeezed a bottle of water into my aero bottle. The swap out thing was especially handy when I reached back to get mine and realized it had bounced out of my flatwing. I got a nice, cold full bottle to replace it.

2. Smallish sort of race, so you didn't get overwhelmed by the crowd.

3. They sent the Athena's, Clydesdales, and Pros off in the first wave. That means I had a whole lake practically to myself with a nice crowd some distance ahead of me to let me know where to go next. (Until, that is, the men showed up, and surrounded me. But then they swam on, and I had the lake to myself again.)

4. My new bike made this easier than it would have otherwise been. For instance, when I pulled over and unclipped to cry in the middle of a hill climb, it was much easier to get back on and keep going up the hill, until the next time I pulled over to cry.

5. I think my hydration/nutrition plan worked well although, owing to the difficult of the course, I added more hydration on the run.

6. Awesome shwag and a great raffle afterwards.

7. The swim was awesome. The lake was a no-wake lake, with no chop and a "brisk" 67-degree temperature.

Now for the cons (Only two, but they are compelling)

1. The bike was advertised on the web site as a "fast course with some hills at 40 miles". Bulls$%t. Everyone I knew, even those that did the Olympic course, were wondering around in an exhausted daze, talking about how difficult this course was. This was an extremely challenging course, with many people who are accomplished athletes talking about hard it was.

2. There was a point, halfway through the run, where you split off right to either finish (if you'd just finished the 2nd loop) or go left to do the second loop. Miguel, for instance, didn't do the second loop and didn't even realize it, and when he did, he promptly reported it to someone who let him go back out on the course to finish it. There was no way to make sure that everyone did the second loop. They need to put a timing mat somewhere on the second loop to make sure that everyone does it.

Not a PR. It may have been my worst ever.

But I'm done.

Now it's time to eat second supper.


...

36 comments:

  1. Yay for you and overcoming!

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  2. Good job! Looking forward to your race report!

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  3. You rock. Seriously. Can't wait to read to read the report. I was sitting here freaking out a friggin sprint distance race, and then I saw this. Wow. You blow me away!

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  4. Rest and recover and give us a report when you are up to it. Glad you made it. That is just awesome. Let me guess....1st place master athena.. Can't wait to hear the report. Especially the bike part. I looked up your bike on their website and that thing is amazing.

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  5. Bigun and I thought about you guys today while we were picking up his packet for alcatraz. Can't wait for the report. You are awesome.
    ;)

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  6. Wow wow wow - you finished. I'm so glad to read this - I was so close to tears in the last quarter-mile of my first tri today - I thought I was going to just have to sit down right there with the finish line in sight! And you did this huge amazing thing! I am in awe!

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  7. Glad you made it through such a tough day! Good job!

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  8. Aww mate that sounds AWFUL! You are so brave to not flip that race a digit and storm off! Well done for persevering

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  9. Way to Go! You perservered... You are an inspiration! I'm doing my first Olympic tri next weekend (Boise Spudman). I thank you for that... for giving me inspiration to keep on tryin through all the "tears"... Great job! Keep on TRI-in!

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  10. The wind doesn't surprise me a bit. I've never been on a bike ride where I didn't have a headwind both going out and coming back. Weird.

    WTG for hanging in there!

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  11. You guys are still inspirations for having the courage to try. Besides it was time you let someone else win for a change.

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  12. You are one tough broad. You inspire me.

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  13. You are my hero. I hope you do the IM so I can meet you and give you some supoort. You hung in there and that is so impressive. After recovery ,you'll have a different look at the race. I loved the comments on the graphs.

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  14. To say "You ROCK!" would be an understatement. Awesome determination, GeekGirl!

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  15. {{{{Misty}}}}}

    If it was tougher than BSLT, as brian said then I am proud of you for even finishing!! And crying is part of the experience sometimes. And YES-you CAN do an Ironman!! Hugs, Debi :)

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  16. I love your annotated elevation chart!

    Hills suck, no doubt about it.

    WELL DONE!

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  17. So glad you finished. You have given me hope.

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  18. Oh, BTW, seconding Waddler's comment about meeting up at IM KY. Right now I am planning on going--to spectate and volunteer. Hope to see you there.

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  19. Dear Geekstress -

    You were not Lanterne Rouge yesterday - Oh no. You were not DFL.
    Mr. Miguel "Wingman" Sanchez has the honor of that title. Have a look at the results ;-)

    No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

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  20. p.s. - it was so hard I've been fighting the urge to re-name it the "douche-man".

    Fighting it, I tell you.

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  21. OMG - they added on all his time taking a nap and shower before he realized his error. So I wasn't DFL! Woo-hoo! Baboo is calling Miguel to give him the news as we speak...

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  22. Sorry you had such a miserable experience, but you FINISHED!! You never, ever, gave up....you ROCK!!

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  23. So sorry I missed you at the race this weekend....thanks for calling me back tho and leaving a message for me. You DID sound really tired...hope you didn't have to drive any! :-)
    Congrats for finishing a tough course. I didn't have a great race either...so there is always another one somewhere, someday...without as many hills! :-)
    (My mountain biking sucked big time today...fell two times...no...three times...maybe four...I am all bruises and scratches...but I still have my teeth!)

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  24. Wow, you really push yourself. Congratulations. You have come a long way.

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  25. you and your B*$!#&N new bike kicked that M%$*#@?!^+ing course's A$$. Not every race will be a PR. YOu finished. You finished INSPITE of it. You rock.

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  26. I dunno...you kept going on a course that made you _cry?_ That takes some serious balls.

    I don't know if there is anything to hang your head about here.

    Color me impressed.

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  27. Holy smokes! What a day! You absolutely rock! Nice job sticking it out. You are not a quitter!

    The comments on the elevation charts are priceless!

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  28. Sounds like after that, you can kick a$$ on an ironman course. I don't think I'd be able to overcome the mental part of your day, and I know the physical part would have killed me. Your comments on the charts were a riot, rest up.

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  29. It's much better to cry and complete the course than suck it in and not finish. You did a 1/2 Iron! Who cares if you cried? You didn't quit. That's more impressive than if you had a great day and was just cruising along. I love the emotional graphic chart, by the way. Congrats.

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  30. So why don't you do the BSLT half? You are certainly trained better and I can guarantee the hills don't sound as bad as this one was..
    :)

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  31. Congratulations! You finished! You showed the Deuceman what determination is all about!! Unlike the pros (like Norman Stadler who would have had a hissy fit and quit) you showed true sportsmanship and did everything in your power, including crying - way to multitask!! and you finished, that is all that counts. You finished!!!!!!!

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  32. You came, you saw, you swam, biked and ran...and most importantly never quit. At the very least, you can chalk it up to a fantastic mental training day!!! Way to go. :-)

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  33. My current excuse for not doing the BSLT because I'm doing Ironman Louisville in August, and I'm not where it fits in my training plan.

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  34. OMG, you have Sudoku on your sidebar - I may never leave!

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  35. This is another example of why your blog is my favorite all time blog! You are hillarious! How you can keep such a great sense of humor about such a difficult and unexpetctedly painfull event is beyond me. Permanent damage, ha, that's flippin funny! Not funny that was happening, funny how you put it. I need to stop typing or I'm going to dig myself into a hole:)

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  36. OMG, I thought I would die laughing at the annotated elevation charts. Priceless!

    Amazing race - I'm in total awe that you pulled it out in such a frustrating situation.

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