Yesterday I competed in the Tejas Triathlon - Sprint distance in Sugarland, Tx.
I posted a goal for this race as 1:18:00 based on my times in my last race.*
After I posted it I laughed.
Then I cried.
Then I was sickly.
Then I couldn't breathe.
It got hot out.
Then as the race got closer I kept thinking of humorous ways to write about my failure. Thinking up failure recap posts before packet pickup has even occurred is probably a bad thing.
This race kicked my arse last year in a bad way.
The night before the race The Coach found out the next game in his baseball tournament was at 8:00 am. He wouldn't be able to concierge** the race for me for the first time ever. I was resigned to having a crappy race.
I trucked myself up to the race and before I had even completed the mile walk to transition I realized I was having some severe digestive problems. (To put it mildly.) I made three more porta can stops before I even got in the water. (At that point I wished I had made another.) I texted The Coach that I was having problems. Too bad he wasn't there to take pictures of the porta shitters as he calls them.
I got into the water determined not to swim an extra 100 meters as I had at this race in the past. I started off on the far right with the plan of staying close to the buoys. By the time I got to the second buoy I had crossed diagonally through the wave of swimmers and situated myself in the most crowded place possible. I am sure that was just as enjoyable for the swimmers I ran into as it was for me. It was crowded and I tried to hang, but many people were doing breast stroke. Getting kicked by a breast stroke kick is way more painful than a flutter kick. It is also harder to get around a breast stroker. I had swallowed
Time: 14:40 - This is actually the time for both the swim and T1 as there seemed to be some timing glitch?
Place: ? (Probably 9)
I transitioned to the ride feeling no better about the whole race. That is the feeling that comes when your bike is the last one on the rack after the swim. I soon started to feel better as my mph seemed pretty solid. I saw a pack of ladies in front of me and I thought if I could just hang with them I would be doing well. Honestly I didn't give more than a passing though to saving something for the run. I was thinking my run would suck no matter what. I kept the pack in sight for the first loop and then I lost most of them on the second loop. The bike seemed to be over before I knew it and I felt pretty confident.
T2 was long. Probably because I was dreading the run. This run kills me every year. In order to make it less painful this year I tried to familiarize myself with the route before race day. I do better when I can spot something I recognize along the way. I thought back and remembered that the path along the drainage ditch is always the part that has done me in in the past. This strategy seemed to help. At least no one with a walker passed me this year! I didn't see anyone from my age group pass me, but the head of the 35-39 pack blew by me in the last mile. I just kept saying to myself, "run, run, run". My strategy was to skip water stations until the last one where I poured water over my head and took one sip of Gatorade. I made the turn into the drainage ditch and tried to keep my pace under 10:00/mile. Finally I saw the little white bridge that signaled proximity to the finish. I kicked in it probably too late I could have started running faster sooner.
The reason I call this Matter Over Mind is because my mind had highly underestimated what my body was capable of . I so badly wanted to do better than last year. And I did. I improved on my time by ten minutes.
I didn't think I would though.
I thought I would suck.
There is a difference between psyching yourself UP and psyching yourself OUT. I did the latter. My body had to override my mind this time and prove myself wrong. If those two would ever get together I might be phenomenal.
I don't know that I could have hit my goal time, but I probably could have shaved off another minute in transition and maybe another minute in the run if I had been in a better mental state.
So to recap the recap................
On the pro side
Good bike. (Must have been a fast route all the times were good, but that's cool. I can live with that.)
Did my first race solo and lived, or more to the point didn't get lost and mugged.
I realize I have got to spend some time working on my swim which used to be my best leg.
No pictures as I was solo.
Sucky attitude caused me to forget to enjoy the first half of the race.
Drought caused lake to extra duck poopy.
My son called me in the middle of my post race nap. Grrr.
*Apparently when I originally set my goal I failed to factor in that last year is was an 11 mile ride. 12 miles at 19 mph should have been 40 minutes. This would have made my goal time 1:24:00.
**Term stolen from Rock Star Tri who is currently on hiatus.
So. Overall all, not bad at all.
What experiences have exceeded your expectations lately?