Friday, March 20, 2015

Desert International - 4th try... :-)

Saturday... I had sand in places I didn't know I had due to the sand storms
and high winds, but that wasn't going to stop us from supporting
our Tri It Together athletes!
THIS race has been my achillies heel.  1st year and it was my first international distance tri.  When I arrived race morning, I was not ready to see the level of athlete, equipment, matching tri kits (this race is a tri club competition)... I was emotionally spent before I raced in the heat and did not properly hydrate... almost pulled out for medical help, but finished.  2nd year I met and helped an athlete who had crashed on the bike and decided the race wasn't going to beat him.  He kept going and needed some support to finish the race.  3rd year, I had a hamstring injury all off season and couldn't run so I did the Aquabike.  And then this year...
The Garrett sisters, Susan and me... during one of the calm moments
of the weekend.

For the 2nd year we decided to camp at the onsite campground... and for the 2nd year, we dealt with AMAZINGLY CRAZY weather.  70 mile per hour winds, rain, dust storms... thank goodness we had a trailer!  We didn't go outside unless we had to... or were racing/supporting racing.  Our Tri It Together Club tent blew away and broke, the windstorms during the Saturday sprint were so bad that you couldn't see 1 foot in front of you and the swim... oh the poor athletes doing the swim... the bouys blew away, couldn't find the course, finally they just announced to come in to the finish line. 

That was Saturday.  The wind blew so hard both nights that it kept us up, wondering if everything was OK outside.  Sunday morning - race day.  Woke up to a light breeze and figured the weather would be OK for the race... and it was... until transition set up... when it started to rain... and it was cold.  I think that is enough of a set up to let the photos tell the rest of the story...

I have never been cold when "warming up" in the water, but with the rain, it was COLD! 
No better way to get it started than to be out in front... I'm on the front line with
my right arm taking the stroke and one of the first out of the water!  Good start!
Not the best photo, but shows the craziness of transition... and with Susan!
While I was still feeling good on the bike... even in the rain...
I used to like to run... but it is now the part of the race I struggle with and
hate.  The bike is usually pretty good for me, but it was sooooo cold
that my back cramped up at mile 15 and I spent the next 9 miles telling
myself "the faster you get off this bike, the faster you get to start running..."
HUH!?  I don't think I have ever been so happy to start running... :-)
OH... MY... GOSH!  my bike was aweful with the pain in my back and I finished the bike 15 minutes slower than
expected.  Then I started running... felt slow... kept pushing... and then I started noticing my splits.  I was running faster
than my training time... at 3 miles, I was averaging about 10 minues/mile (I'm training at 11 minutes per mile).  I felt
good and the 4th mile was at an 8 minute mile... WHAT!!!?  Then I noticed that if I kept it up, for the first time, I
would finish this race under 3 hours.  About 3 minutes from the finish, Jeff ran up next to me.  I told him I was about
to go sub-3 and the other athletes around me started cheering.  These are the photos as I crossed the line... in the rain...

Our cold, wet, but happy-we-were-done Tri It Together athletes.  It was a
tough race, but it proved to me the Ironman training is working.  Time to trust the training...
One week to go...

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