Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ironman Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3


Holy crap that was hard. This was one of the hardest races I've ever done. This seems to be my theme for this spring: Super Hard Races I Am In No Way Qualified For And Should Never Attempt At This Weight.

I don't know why I keep doing these super hard races so ill prepared. Maybe I'm hoping that somebody, somewhere, is saying, Hey, that Misty chick has got some stones. In any case, it's a very challenging course, but so well run--I can never get over how well run it is. Every aid station is stocked, to the very end, every volunteer is friendly and supportive and runs to get you stuff.

(There is at least one race that I like to joke is a do-it-yourself race --You know what you triathletes are? you're SPOILED. You with your ice and your well-marked courses. Snort!). Every year I hear the same thing from people who have done it, that nothing ever changes. )

But this race just outside of Lubbuck, however, is definitely not one of them. Mike and Marti care about athletes. They do triathlon themselves, and I think that makes a difference.

I finished in 8:43, not my best work, but considering the preparation I put into it, not my worst, either.

The only complaint I have about this race: they send out Athenas and Clydesdals last. I'm pretty tired of being in the "leftover" group, and you should not send out your heaviest racers on a hot day last. I have it on good authority that even the pros found this to be a bad idea. I wore my new Vendetta wetsuit on the swim. This suit was a dream. Super flexible; I was doing squats and windmills in this one. Perfect. Fit. I did get a little warm on the swim, as the water was 74 degrees. I recommend a sleeveless for this race. I'd only been in the pool about 4 times this spring so my swim was apallingly slow, 59 minutes.

As a reward, each time I passed a buoy, I would pull out the neck a little and let colder water flood into the suit. The lake was calm and smooth and all I had to do was peek up to site on the buoys. The suit fit me perfectly, and wasn't too tight around the neck, as other suits have been. I heart this suit. I'll be wearing it at Redman for sure. It came off easily too.

I came into T1 and sat down. I had decided to try something new: I had prepared everything I needed for the run and the bike and put them into ziplock bags, which I thrust into my back pocket, so that I could just take off and go. I load everything into my bike shoes and helmet so it's not forgotten. I pulled out my Garmin, turned it on, and set it next to me. I pulled out my bike socks, the ziplock baggy, sunglasses, gel gloves, and helmet, and then stood up. I was ready.

Okay. So. In a nutshell, 56 miles, roads can be a bit rought (velcro that aerobottle on TIGHT), 8 hills, 99% humidity mixed with mist and rain throughout most of the course.

I had two problems.

1) after FINALLY geting bike shorts over a wet skinsuit, I stood up and they were on BACKWARD. I let it go. What the hell. Maybe that's where the padding needed to be.

However, the back (front) of the shorts elastic rode down under the zip lock baggy that I'd put into my back pocket. It had an inhaler, some e-caps, and a PayDay bar, and squeezed it up and out of the back pocket. Last I saw it was sailing toward the side of the road as I headed down the first hill. I never saw it again.

2) My feet hurt like hell. Yes, on the bike. More on this later.
I've done parts of this course in other races, so I flew down the 2nd hill into Yellow Horse Canyon about 34 mph. The course was mostly flat, with steep climbs into and out of canyons. You really don't get enough momentum built up to carry you back out; they're large canyons. I'm very proud that never walked up any hill; only toward the end, at hill #8, did I stop for a moment and put a foot down on the ground, and catch my breath. I even climbed hill #5 that they call "the staircase," and passed people walking their bikes.

My total bike time: 4:15 or so. Certainly much more than I wanted to, but considering my lack of training, I'll take it. My bike worked perfectly. I love my new bike mechanic. I've had some shifting problems in the past, but not here, not at this race.

Heading back into town I depleted what was left of my legs, and my left foot HURT like crazy. My foot foot was numb in the middle. This has been a reocurring problem that I haven't mentioned much before.
So I came into T2, racked my bike, and then
AND THEN stared down at my soaking wet, mud-splattered gear. Crap. it had not occured to me to cover it in case of rain. Socks, shoes, towels, everything: soaked. So now I get to run 13.1 miles in wet socks and shoes. Joy.

In the past, any aches and pains that presented themselves usually went away when I started running, but my legs were just spent. Plus, it was humidity in the 90s, it was about 12:30 pm, and it was HOT. It was an out-and-back run with hills and turns; a challenging run course. On the way out I passed: Sweet Baboo, SW Tri Gal, her husband, and other people I knew - everyone deviated and ran toward me and wanted to slap hands and "high five," but I was almost too exhausted at this point to do that. Mostly, I just dramatically stumbled up to people and said, "I'm not doing so well."

The run has 2 large hills going out to the turnaround, and 1 large hill coming back. I was whooped. I stopped several times on the 2nd hill because my legs just didn't take it. On the way up the 2nd hill out, I saw Crazy Jane, who looked pretty fresh and perky, and also by Cindy, who gave me a salt tablet. Up at the top of the hill, there is this 4-mile out-and-back called the Energy Lab. The sun came out as I was climbing up toward it and stayed out and it was hot, and humid, and I soaked. I'm pretty sure at this point that I didn't resemble the sex, sweaty woman of many a dream, but more so the sexy, sweaty horse that just ran the track a few times. SNORT.
Somewhere around the turnaround, though, I took 2 EnerG Ease caplets, a couple of tylenol, and a vitamin B and washed it down with coke-cola. By then, the pain in my foot had subsided somewhat. Most of the people AFTER my at the turnaround were pulled. I would LOVE to do a race at some point where it's not that close! I passed about 4 people on the way back in, including what I later found out was the #2 master's athena.

2 miles out from the finish, an ambulance went screaming by the lake, and I thought, oh, boy. Baboo will freak out. Sure enough, half mile later here he came, walking and smiling, and saying, "there's my baby." He walked with me for a while, and stayed a little ways behind me so that he couldn't be accused of pacing. I alternately walked, and ran, and then finally I finished. I almost cried I was so happy to be done. I don't do a lot of half marathons, but the last time I did my PR was 2:59. I was hoping for that on this one, for some strange reason, but I wound up with 3:16 as my time. I think I negative-splitted it because I felt so much better on the way back and was able to run most of it.

Then I walked about 30 feet to the boat ramp, and into the water where I floated on my back for a while, despite my fat butt's attempts to flip me over to my stomach.

When I got out of the lake, OW. There was my foot again. This time, I could barely walk on it, and I noticed a swelling above the painful area. At first, I thought it was broken, but I went to see a sports medicine podiatrist and he x-rayed it and said no, I just need orthotics in my cycling shoes. He gave me a cortisone shot, taped it, and gave me an ugly boot to wear. Maybe Wednesday I can swim, and maybe this weekend I can ride a bike, but no running this week. Crap. At least now I've finally solved the mystery of why biking hurts my feet so much. I am already finding that I have to work half as hard because of the limping and the boot. Hmm. How to make the best of this...

I found out that I got 1st Master's Athena, and 3rd Athena overall

Tomorrow I'll do my product review for the bra Moving Comfort sent me.

So. To wrap up. What worked, what didn't work:

  • My nutrition. For breakfast, I had a small, flat-bread wrap with veggie protein, some lettuce and tomatoes for breakfast, and some fig Newtons. On the bike, I had a power bar that THEY NEED TO MAKE EASIER TO OPEN - HEY, POWER BAR COMPANY, ARE YOU LISTENING?
  • Hydration. I drank gallons of gatorade. When it's that hot and humid, I don't stop drinking.
  • Sweet Baboo. He did this 3 hours faster than I did it. Yup, I married a big ole' STUD.

  • The bike. It's in great shape - glad I took it to Matt Caruso.

  • Taking my wedding rings off. Usually I perseverate the entire swim on the prospect of losing these.

Didn't work:

  • Well, for one, I could have TRAINED for this race. Duh. The overall Athena winner had a slower swim and slower run, but creamed me on the bike. Could there be a connection between how little time I spend on the bike and how slow I finish these races? Hmm. Maybe..
  • Wetsuit should have been sleeveless. To warm.

  • Putting my bike shorts on backwards. Going to not do that next time.

  • Trying to put on soaking wet injinji socks. next time, I'll put things in plastic bags. Of course this morning I checked my email to find this message from SW Tri Gal that she sent me the night before the race. Apparently, her husband:
    ...had a brilliant suggestion to bring plastic bags to put our running shoes in in case it rains while we are biking..Just a thought! See you all in the AM :)



  1. Huh, backwards shorts don't work?? I was gonna try that, but now rethinking that plan.....lmao.
    I have the same recurring theme this year. I am still 11 weeks and 30 pounds from race day. Yikes!
    Good job out there, we thought about you all day!

  2. rest , recover and do it again when you are healed!
    Congrats on your 1st place athena!

  3. Hey, Misty chick - you got some stones! :))

    Wow, 1st Masters Athena and 3rd overall Athena! Congratulations!!! That's amazing, and in brutal conditions and undertrained even.

    And hey, you were halfway there on the plastic baggie use.

  4. Great job and race report. I am so impressed with the toughness you showed by hanging in there.

  5. "Hey, that Misty chick has got some stones" H tells me all the time that you are his hero-does that count? He sees you as nothing but an "I will never give up ever chick"
    You should be proud..and next time I will text my messages the night before races.

  6. I wore my helmet backwards in a race once, but your shorts? I can't stop laughing. Thanks for the race report. You really do have 'stones'--I can't believe your perseverance on a difficult course.
    Congratulations on your Athena win!

  7. Hey, that Misty chick has got some stones!
    How was that?
    Congratulations Misty - a hard day and a podium finish, well done!

  8. Misty = Stones. No doubt.

  9. Oh and by the way-were you swimming in the same lake as I was? The thing calmed down for your wave-lucky!!

  10. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Hey, I remember major choppiness in the water!! It felt like that to me anyway because I was having trouble sighting. Way to tough it out. I know how much the run sucked. I cried when I saw Jeff at the finish...I don't cry much either. I the hell do people do full IM's?? Stones? You got 'em.

  11. Great report! Dry Injinji socks are hard enough to put on I can't imagine trying to be quick in transition and fumbling with them!

  12. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Well Done!! Congrats on placing so high in both categories. Hiope you get that foot under control!!!

  13. Sounds brutal, but always love your race reports. Congrats, Misty !

  14. Great job Misty! I swear you are going to need to add on to your house to hold all that hardware you win.

  15. Seeing you struggle on that run,I could only imagine that the random spectators on the course were saying to one another "that gal is not going to make it".Of course those of us that know you,knew differently.As I said when we passed-You're going to make it.Misty never quits!And so it was.
    1st PL Athena. Congrats.

  16. Awesome. I think it's so cool that you do these races. I can't even imagine attempting one. I want to crawl in bed just thinking about it.

  17. Robyn, sometimes, so do I. :-b


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