Saturday, May 21, 2011

I am a WOMAN of STEEL again - 2011 version - Diva style!

Remember when I first did this in 2009?
I was hooked!  I love a triathlon - and while I've yet to do more than a sprint distance, I love them!

Then last year, I talked my girls into doing it with me and remember what happened?  No bueno!  Couldn't even compare times since it wasn't the same event!

This year - it was touch and go there with the weather for a little while.  It's been raining all week, and we have all been watching the reports very closely.  It appeared there would be no precipitation, but the temps might be cooler than we had hoped.  It ended up being even nicer than I could have hoped for.

The plan was for me to get up at 5:20, grab my gear and get to Lisa's at 5:45. I woke up at 4 and was too excited/anxious/nervous to sleep.  I wrangled around from side to side until about 5 when I snuck out of bed only to find Splenda on the computer.

I loaded my bike, grabbed my gear, left him instructions and the one last mark up before walking out the door.

It's no secret how I feel about my "Diva's"  All girls who met through the gym, started hanging out, doing events together and found ourselves becoming besties.  I had already seen some encouraging marks on Ree's and Ana's feet bottoms, but I had a different idea.

I knew that once we each had our jump in the water, it would be unlikely that we would see each other again until the finish line, but I wanted them with me.  I needed their encouragement, and their voices in my head yelling at me to push harder.


Splenda did a fine job of the writing no?

Once we all gathered at Lisa's, we loaded the 'burb and off to American Fork we went.  A lecture on not throwing banana peels out the window, a quick food stop and the next thing you know we are looking for parking. 

As we were unloading the bikes, it has occurred to Ana that not only has she forgotten her bib number, but her bike tag, and her issued swim cap.  CRAP for her!  Next time, she sleeps over at my house or I go and pack for her in the morning.  Plain and simple.

We each found our transition staging areas, got body marked, Ana got her situation remedied and we headed for the pool.  Ree and I post in the 6 minute swim times and Ana and Lisa post around 7 minutes so we lined up accordingly.  The fasted post was 4 minutes, but I am here to tell you that there are some LYING women out there.  No way were you swimming a 4 minute/300 minute pace.  NO.WAY.

It took awhile before out time zone even got started.  As we waited, who shows up??  TIBURON!!  I had asked her last night if she would come and be our paparazzi.  She was the missing Diva and I really wanted and needed her there.  Apparently, she had been planning on surprising us all and showing up, but not only, but each of the other girls had also texted and asked her to come.  Do we think alike or do we think alike??  I even got the sting in my nose like when you are gonna cry, when I saw her.  We chit chatted, she got some pictures and then positioned herself to get us all as we came out of the water.

We finally got to the front and then it was my turn to jump in.   And of course, as Stuart one of our swim coaches warned me, I came out too fast.  I realized it about 25 meters in and tried to slow down.  However, Ree was behind me and she swims a little faster so I had to keep a certain pace so I didn't get in her way. 

Soon enough, I had found a good rhythm and was settling in.  Next thing I know, the lady in front of me has slowed way down and not willing to move out the way.  I am not willing to slow down and wait for her since it will just create a log jam.  I'm not seeing anyone coming right away down the other side so I make a move and end up literally almost swimming over the top of her.  Sorry whoever you are.  Should have put yourself in the right time zone.

Another 100 meters and I can feel Ree on my feet so as soon as we hit the next wall, I pull up and tell her to go ahead.  She can maintain a steady speed, whereas, I am sprint, slow, sprint, slow.....

The last 10 meters, I happened to take a mouthful of water and can't blow or breathe so I just stood up and walked the last couple of steps to the side.  I was thrilled the swim was over, feeling pretty good about my pace and off and running to the transition area.

Transition 1 - I should have had a towel at the gate by the pool and been drying as I ran to my bike since I was still soaking and had to take the time to dry off.  I ripped off my swimsuit (sports bra and bikini bottoms underneath), dried as much and as quickly as I could and threw on my t-shirt and running shorts.  I also had to get socks and shoes on and when you're a little damp, it takes a skill to do it and fall on your butt when your hurrying.  I swallowed a big swig of water, put on my helmet, gloves and sunglasses, grabbed my bike and ran for the OUT gate.   I felt good about the T1 time, but knew I had wasted precious seconds with a wet body.

I mounted my bike in time to see Splenda and Chloee there at the gate cheering and taking pictures!  YAY!

 I knew the course and knew the best way to work my gears and pace for this portion so I felt very prepared to tackle it as hard and fast as I could.  It was great.  The sun was up, my adrenaline was pumping and roadkill after roadkill was happening.  I spent the entire bike portion calling 'left', 'on your left', 'coming up left'....etc.  Now THAT is fun.  It was also a chance to GU up, and on the flat's and downhill, and catch my breath.  I thought about drinking some water I had on the bike, but didn't want to have to slow down.  There was another lady I kept leap frogging with and I wanted to keep her in my sights.  Besides, I knew I could drink on the run.  It was also an opportunity to look at my arms and wonder where and how my Diva's were doing.  I hoped that Lisa didn't panic in the pool.   I hoped that Ana had made her transition okay and was comfortable in what she was wearing.  I hoped that Ree was killing time on the bike since the run was going to be hard for her.  I was thinking of cool it was that Tib made the drive and hoped I would see her again as I made the second loop.
The rest of the bike portion was fairly uneventful.  I was able to catch up some time, dry off a bit and enjoy seeing so many ladies attempting such a hard thing.

Transition 2 was much faster, I just had to rack my bike, switch out my helmet and gloves for my hat and water bottle and off I went.

 It always takes me a while to get my legs after riding the bike into the run.  This time was no exception, maybe even a little longer.  It doesn't help that you start off with a pretty good hill a block or so into the run.  But before getting to that beast, just as I turned the first corner, there was Chloee and Splenda.  Chloee took my hand and ran with me for a little bit

 How fun!  I knew I was losing time, but I didn't care, I just loved that she wanted to be a part of it!  I thanked her and continued on with an odd trot trying to get my legs to work right.  Finally, at about the mile mark, I found them, kicked it up a notch and started a steady and quick pace.  My problem now was that I had to pee.  BAD!  I wanted to hydrate my muscles since the water in my bladder wasn't doing them any good, but I also didn't want to add to the bladder problem.  There aren't any Honey Buckets along the route, so I basically told myself that I could either pee my pants and hope no one noticed since most ladies butts were still wet from the swim or push through and talk myself out of the discomfort.  No brainer.  If I had peed myself, Chief would have NEVER let me hear the end of it.  There would be facebook mocking on a daily basis until the Second Coming and there was no way I was gonna live with that, so I held it and instead concentrated on my running form.  Again, knowing the route was great since I knew that if I could hang onto this same pace until I rounded the corner, the rest would be downhill, and I could move even a little quicker.

The run is always my favorite.  It's what I am most comfortable with.  Maybe because it's the one that I feel I have the most control over.  It's just me and my legs.  Nothing else.  I love to watch the other participants, I love to look at their ages on their calves, their bodies and wonder what made them choose to do this.  I know my motives and they are mostly very selfish.  I love to compete.  I love to accomplish hard things.  I love to have the satisfaction that comes from a physical feat.  Were these other women the same?  This particular event is awesome in that, there is every size, age and body type competing.  All women.  Some, it's obvious that they are very physical, that they do a lot of running, or biking or both. Some, it's apparent that they struggle with physical activity.  And yet, here there are, busting butt to show to themselves (I think) that they can do it.  I love my thoughts as I run.

On the down hill side, I could at last see the turn into the final stretch.  I wanted to sprint, but didn't want to start the sprint too soon.  I waited until I hit the grass and spotted someone ahead of me.  I poured everything I had into my legs and lungs and jetted for the finish line.  She heard me coming and wasn't about to get passed in the final seconds so she turned it up and we both sprinted as hard as we could through the line.

Ex.hil.a.rating!!!  First off, as I come into the grassy area, there is Splenda, Chloee and Tib cheering and taking pics.  Then as I cross and am grabbing a water, I hear my name and look over to see Debbie (Ree's wife) cheering and taking pics!  Nothing like getting love from the start to the finish!

My first question was for directions to the diet coke.  After grabbing one, finding my fam and friends I headed straight for the port-a-john!

I watched with Tib and Splenda while the rest of my girls came in.  And then we all stood around and re-lived the race. I love that part.  I love comparing stories.  I love hearing what went well for them, what they might have struggled with, what made them push hard.  It's just the greatest.

(run Ana run!  for the record, I couldn't keep up with her sprint!)

They were starting to post results and for a few minutes I was actually 3rd in my division.  Sadly, that didn't last.  I waited until tonight to get the final results for now, we were basking in the endorphine high and euphoria that comes with every race finish.

and yes, I DO have a diet coke in my hand!

Splenda and Chloee headed home.  Debbie took Liam and went home as well.  Tib gave her goodbyes and left.  The rest of us went back to the transition staging area, gathered our gear and bikes, and headed back for the 'burb.

After a quick stop at the Iceberg for my most favorite milkshake in the world (that I can now no longer have - but that's a whole different story), we were home.

So how did I stack up this year and how did it compare to 2009?

Final stats:
Swim - 8:34
T1 - 4:28
BIke - 43:41
T2 - 2:31
Run - 27:37
Overall time:  1:26:54
10th out of 49 in my age group
203 out of 740 overall.

2009 stats:
Swim - 9:11
T1 - 5:16
Bike - 46:36
T2 - 2:37
Run - 24:24

Other than the run - I have improved.  That makes me happy.  What's up with the run?  The only thing I can think of is back in 2009 - all my events were 5 or 10k's.  Short quick runs.  Since then I have added distance and that training alters your speed.  At any rate, I'm okay with it all.

 Improvement is good.

 Finishing with a decent showing is better.

 Doing it all with your Diva's is the BEST!


Anastasia said...

You are a woman of steel! And of inspiration, this looks like so much fun. Hard, but fun!

Suz said...

I'm tired just reading about it! You're amazing!

Connie said...

I was going to say "How Fun!", but thought twice about it. Good for you! You really are a woman of steel!

tammy said...

Once again you are amazing! "Sorry whoever you are" - love it. And I love that Chloee joined in for a minute.

DesertHen said...

Okay...I would have died on the spot after the swim! YOU, Woman of Steel, are my Hero!!

Bravo on a race well finished!!!

" Hit It......." said...

Oh my heck! I am so amazed! You did a fantastic job. I wish I had your courage. I love that Chloe' wanted to run with you! She loves her Mimi.

I want to be you (in the athletic sense) someday. Work has interfered with my workout schedule and I feel it!

Becca said...

Good for you! You always impress me with your heavy race calendar and your ability to do everything well. The picture of you racing to the finish line looks like you are going head to head with one of my friends, but I can't be certain because the image is too small and I can't zoom in on the face, but I still think it might be her!

Pedaling said...

You are one strong woman.
Yesterday turned out to be a great day for a little competition.
Way to go!

Cheeseboy said...

I was captivated by this entire post, and I promise I read the whole thing. I'd love to do one of these one day but that would involve buying a bicycle, something I am not willing to do because I hate biking and the only time I would use it would be for the race.

Congrats though! Really awesome that you did this AGAIN! I say you should have peed yourself though.

Lara said...

Woo! Woman of Steel indeed!

You are so inspiring. :)