Monday, June 6, 2011

Twinsburg Duathlon

To summarize this race, it was pain and puking. 

I had worked all nights the past week and by the time I finally got to sleep on Saturday afternoon, I was whipped.  I woke up around 9pm, having missed the Captains game Saturday night, only to fall back asleep within a half hour and not stir again until 2:45am on Sunday.  Having nothing better to do for a few hours I got up at 3am.

I left for the race a little after 6am, so I was there in plenty of time to set-up.  It would be my first multisport race in nearly a year and only my 2nd since September 20th, 2009.  It had been awhile.  I loved the RD and whole heartedly supported North Coast Multisport by volunteering and racing any chance I got.  I had just volunteered at the Tallmadge 5k for him on Memorial Day and just a week later I was about to compete in one of his duathlons.  (I hate duathlons by the way.  I would rather do an entire marathon).
I saw my buddy MK and we ran a short warm-up before the race meeting.  I feared she was going to completely kick my a$$, along with a few of my Snake Bite teammates

The race was a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2 mile run.  It started out downhill and in the sun.  I had a side-stitch almost immediately and like a baby ended up kinda spitting-up/vomiting on myself before mile 1.  The course wound around my old high school and then up into the woods and into the shade, except it was uphill.  I could see a lot of familiar faces pulling away from me.  I looked at my watch and saw I could make it in 15 mins if I pushed.  I made it to transition in 15:03.

There were no mats exiting the bike to transition or re-entering so our bike times would include T1 and T2.  If one multisport skilled of mine has remained with me, it was my ability to transition quickly.  I definitely made up time on a few chicks that were at least 20 seconds ahead of me on the first run. 

As we exited the parking lot we headed into Twinsurg.  The first few miles of the course we climbed up out of the town.  It was a little congested throughout the first few miles.  There was some inadvertent blocking and definitely one chick, "pink shirt" drafting.  I was so proud of myself when I caught her trying to hang on my wheel that I only yelled at her "you can't draft!" without dropping one "F" bomb at the cheater.  She would continue to hang back behind me on and off throughout the race drafting off another girl until we finally dropped her in the last 2 miles.  One of my teammates "P" BLEW by me like I was on a stationary bike and ended up crushing the course and placing 2nd overall.  My computer had been messed up on my bike for the last week, so the only true number I had was time (no cadence, speed, or distance available).  My stomach was not getting any better and I puked again on the bike (seems to be the norm these days -- I did that a week ago trying to beat a storm home too).  At about mile 6 there is a section that I knew could be bombed and I hit it hard, hoping to get back some time.  We had to go through an intersection and as I passed a girl (who would later get a penalty for blocking), I yelled "On your left!!!"  and she pulled LEFT!!  I screamed again and she continued to stay on the left.  I was debating pulling right, but feared she might figure it out at the last second and side swipe me into a crash, so I did what any bada$$ would do -- I broke the rules!!  I pulled into the oncoming lane of traffic blew by her and rode outside the course cones for a minute (techinically I could be DQ'd, but the girl put me in an unsafe and unavoidable spot).  As I cruised, she came back on me and passed me a mile or so later.  She apologized and I told her it was ok.  I wasn't mad.  I didn't care, she wasn't doing it on purpose like "pink shirt" was who, had also come back on me riding the other girls wheel up to me. 

Thankfully, we hit the climb on Glenwood right then and I watched the girl who passed me pull away from me as I shifted into my easiest gear and started spinning up it.  "Pink shirt" was so close to my back wheel she said, "Aren't you wishing for a downhill now?"  I was lit at that point!!  I dropped it down 2 gears stood up and climbed away from her.  I made it to the top and hammered it!  I had had enough.  I had already puked twice and was killing myself and NOT about to give another chick a free ride. 

Back into transition.  I racked my bike and for some reason felt compelled to straighten up my transition gear in a neat pile before leaving (I have no idea why), so I did.  As, I ran out I asked the RD jokingly, "does my hair look okay?"  He said "Yep, you look great!!" 

I felt like poop, by this point.  I was panting and gasping for air and my legs were like bricks.  I wished so bad at this point it was a biathlon.  I was slowing down....a lot.  I could tell I was outta gas.  There was a mom and her 2 kids ringing a cowbell directing runners about a 1/2 mile in and I thanked them and hi-fived them both (carry over from Boston, I guess).  The hill the first time had been challenging, now it was just rough.  I staggered up it and managed to pass a few people (all guys).  The chick on the bike I had been battling with was also right there with me.  I saw one guy doing the "pissed off, I can't do this, someone ruined my race walk."   I yelled at him not to give up, but he didn't even look up or acknowledge me.  Fine!  Be pissed you got chicked, a lot.

With less than 3/4 of a mile one of my teammates, ND who I had passed on the bike came flying by me like she hadn't just run 2 miles or biked 10.  I was totally impressed, but I had nothing and she literally ran away from me.  Finally, with about a 1/4 mile to go I started pushing, but so did the chick I had been battling with since the bike.  I started to make up ground on her, but just couldn't run her down and she finished a few seconds in front of me and man was I glad that was over --- whew!! 

I had projected my finish time at 1:30:00 for imATHLETE, but managed to finish in 1:06:xx.  I have not paid attention to my finishing time in a race for a long time now.  I figured I was about 20th for the women and in the 50s overall.  I had a lot of fun racing, but I was feeling a little rough and my tummy was not happy with me. 

USAT results finely came out after a few penalties were issued.  I was happy to see a lot of the people blocking and drafting got caught.  A-Train raced super well and was in 6th place when I saw him, but unfortunately, the official drove by him at some point and gave him a drafting penalty.  He did so well and was extremely upset, the official would ever think that of him.  He hates cheaters as much as I do and he ended up 11th overall  with a 2:00 minute penalty.  He is still bummed now, but his spirits seem a little better.  He had the 3rd fastest bike split on the day (including his T1 and T2 times). 

Overall, I felt a lot of mediocrity about my race performance.  My training just hasn't been the same since before starting nursing school and I thought I would be able to get it back, but I am definitely struggling to get in the training and to accept the fact that this just might be all I got now.  Kind of stinks after finally having my breakthrough year in triathlon in '09, only to take a year off for school and now just not being able to get it back for whatever reason.

I came home took a shower, took some Excedrin and drank a beer.  I felt like I had a bad hangover.  It was sad but true, after starting an exciting sunny day at 3:00am, I spent a large part of the remainder of my day laying in my bed, in the dark fighting a headache and a nauseated stomach.  It was still a great day and the funnest of the 3 duathlons I've ever done. 

Oh and to boot, there were 4 girls from SBR racing and we all placed in the top 10, and not one of us drafted, blocked or cheated.  It makes me proud to know that I am on a team in which the members race their butts off, but do it clean and still kill it!!


TriEric said...

Great race report. I'm glad you are back to racing. You are doing great. Hope to see you soon.

The Salty One said...

You're supposed to save the puking for the chute! You always inspire me to be tougher and make me feel like I'm a big pansy half the time. I always love your race reports!

PS Missed you on Tuesday!!!