Left foot, A blister on my middle and "index" toe. Small ones. Oh, and blisters? After they pop? Don't like hot water. Ow. Right foot, very small blisters on the same two toes. These blisters all occurred on the bike. I did not wear my sexy toe socks on the bike, but I will next time. Bottom of right foot: very tender spot in the ball of my foot that probably would have become a blister had I continued to insult it by running amok in Cordy Lane.
Calves: no problems. I attribute that to all the trail and hill running I did this spring. Quads: mildly pissed off, but very bearable. Much less stiff and tender than after other endurance events.
Skin: Very, very mild pinkness. I rubbed in sun screen, spf 80, the night BEFORE the race and again the morning of, and then got sprayed with it after the swim. Sweet Baboo had read that sunburn speeds up dehydration by messing with your skin's ability to breathe and perspire properly, or something like that. I was pretty badly burned at IM Loo last year, so I was taking no chances. Otherwise, I've discovered some new places to chaffe. Will be addressing this problem with lots and lots of Baby Aveeno next time prior to getting on the bike!
Chest: achy. I have asthma, and whenever I go short on sleep, my chest aches and I wheeze a little.
Lower back: Achy. Nothing that some stretching and a nice long Hatha Yogurt class (I always call my yoga class my "yogurt" class) won't fix. And a message. The rubbing kind, not the voice kind.
So, okay. My race report. Here I'll talk about the swim and the bike. Here's some mood music for you:
Well, my swim was about what I expected it to be, given that it was colder and I. Am. Lazy. I really blew off my swim training this spring, because I wanted to focus on the run and the bike. I will be refocusing on the swim because of the unexpected results: It wasn't just that I was slow, but I became mired in a thrash-fest of other slow swimmers from which I was unable to extracate myself for nearly an hour. I know, I know: that sounds mean. But it's the truth. When the cannon went off, I had counted to ten, to let the more aggressive swimmers get in and avoid getting pummeled in the process, and every time I do this I get stuck in a human washing machine.
Next time, I'm not only going to train, but I'm going to put my goggles on under my cap and take my chances with the fast folks.
I've never really done the mass start that is so indicative of the Ironman. So the cannon went off!! I counted to ten, and then ran and dove in. In such a swim, all you hear is splashing. All you see is arms! I found myself trapped in a human washing machine of people who started side-stroking, breast-stroking, and one guy was dog-paddling, and this was before the first loop was even half over. Eventually, I was able to make a space for myself and start swimming properly, and finished the first loop in about 45 minutes. Yay!
then as I finished the first loop I was surprised at how people walked slowly and casually over the timing mat and then slowly over to get back into the water. WTF? I had to weave in and out them to get back to the water, where I dove back in. On the second loop, a wind had come up, starting some wave action on the water, blowing waves at me, which was a bit disorienting. I was bobbing up and down even as I tried to swim forward.
Also, for some reason, the kayakers had gathered near the end buoys, blocking them. Not sure what that was all about. But at least at this point I had a nice open space to swim in, even if I was getting bored and tired of swimming. The second loop took nearly an hour for me! I finished the swim and exited, running to t1 and the bike.
Hmmm. What can I say about the bike? Well, I can say this:
- The really big hills are between mile 22 and 44 (first loop) and 78 and 100 (second loop)
- There aren't quite as many as there were as there were at Kentucky, but the hills are looooooonger and steeeeeeeper. Like, over 6% steep.
- On the first loop, the hill are "challenging".
- On the second loop, the hills take away your will to live.
What a beautiful day!
I am a lucky woman.
I was singing U2's "Beautiful Day" to myself. What beautiful country! What friendly citizens! Seriously, the people I encountered on the course were amazing: enthusiastic and friendly, right up until the end. I pulled over once to let the large fly or bee or whatever had found its way into my helmet out, but otherwise stayed on the bike until around mile 60, when I finally got off and hit the porta-potty. I had my brush with greatness when, predictably, the pros blew by me early in the loop.
There are some pretty cool downhills! I went down them full tilt, my aero helmet making a really cool train-like noise that only I could hear. After a while, I started yelling choo choo on my downhills. (Like all things southern, I sounded just like a freight train.) At one point, I hit 41 miles per hour. At mile 30-something, there was a timing mat, and I started imagining good energy from my blogger buds coming at me whenever I heard the beep as I went over timing mats for the rest of the course.
On the way back into town, between mile 44 and 56, there was wind In. My. Face. That sapped some energy, but I was half expecting it, having talked to a couple locals before the race. As I rounded the halfway point, I sort of high-fived myself, because I knew I had passed the cutoff. It was only about 12:30, I think. I went by the bloggy peeps cheering section and heard my name being yelled. Awesome!
Then I hit the second loop. Not. So. Great. I was almost crying but mostly just muttering and swearing to myself. It's pretty clear that my bike needs work. My quads are weak. I hate hill work, and it shows. I was getting tired pretty fast and, and no longer singing "Beautiful Day". My chain kept jumping off my cassette and lodging between the casette and the tire - the first time I was able to pedal backwards and move it back out, but the second time I had to get off the bike and get my hands greasy. I need to have that looked at.
I was stopping halfway up some of the hills just to let my breathing slow down. By the time I hit mile 80, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn't make it, and I was pissed.
But for me, pissed works. "Pissed " raises my ire and makes me work harder. By mile 90, my will had come back and I calculated that I might make it. By this time, though, I wasn't smiling so much. I was grumbling and asking myself why on earth do I do this $hit? What is WRONG with me? Normal people are canning, or watching TV, or something. And here I am paying someone to put myself through this crap.
I kept stopping on the way up the hills to give my quads a brief respite and let my breathing slow.
By mile 100, I knew I would make it so I decided to see if I could hit T2 by 5 pm. The wind had died down some, so I was able to make some good time coming back in. I was smiling again, and singing something. When I hit mile 100, and crested the last hill, there was a short flat sorta downhillish ride to an intersection, where there was a guy standing there directing us back toward town, and he said, "It's all flat after this!"
I flew by shaking my finger at him laughing and smiling, yelling, Don't tease me!
I hit t2 and was pretty happy, although tired. I was done with hills and bikes and even though I had discovered some new girl places to chaffe (eek) I felt pretty good.
I knew that I had nearly 7 hours to finish before Midnight, but I was hoping to finish before 11:23, you know, beat the moon. I left T2 around 5:09, I think, considerably faster than at Kentucky. I had finished my bike about 50 minutes faster than I had at Kentucky. I was feeling pretty good, and happy, because now I get to run! (How weird is that?) My right foot hurt like hell, but as soon as I took my bike shoes off and walked on it, it stopped.
Okay. I'm going to lay down some more and rest. I'll write about the run later, after coffee and some red bulls.