Sunday, December 11, 2011

Screaming Barfies

I had a dream. [not a surprise to anyone who knows me.] I was drinking out of moldy water bottles. Like nasty moldy. And I was swearing up and down about how amazing my immune system was, and about how I don't get sick. I had that dream. And I woke up with a sore throat in real life. GREAT! How all my colds start. And it lasted like 10 days. I didn't feel sick, I just had a cold. Runny nose, a little cough, and some sinus congestion. Nothing a bunch of snot rockets by day and NyQuil by night can't handle. It probably didn't help that I raced on day 5. In 52 degree water. In 45 degree air temps. That was the high.

HITS: There is a new triathlon series that had the first race in Palm Springs. I had the itch to race over Thanksgiving and checked out my schedule. I registered over the phone the Monday before the race. I switched my schedule at work [thanks Cory!] to be able to barely squeeze it in. 

Drove out on Friday night after work. Got to the campsite/race venue at 10:00pm. It was freezing. So instead of setting up the tent, I set up camp in the back of the Rav4. Kermit and I had a great night's sleep. Alarm set for 4:30am, as I missed registration pickup on Friday [remember I work till 7pm]. Wake up. OMG it's freezing. I do NOT feel like getting out of my amazing down sleeping bag, taking off the wool long underwear, and putting on spandex. 

Ride my bike over to the race venue. No line. No issues getting my packet. Rack my stuff in transition. Wait until the last possible moment to take off the down parka and sweats. Seriously I was the last person in transition before the race as they were kicking everyone out. The sprint started at 7am, and the Oly at 7:30, so I wasn't in a rush.

I watch the reaction of everyone "warming up" in the water. Not good. I somehow convince myself it'll be good for me, as I always yell at my students to get in and warm up. I may retract that statement for water under 55 degrees. It was more of a cool down than anything. I was wearing my wetsuit, a silicone swim cap,  neoprene swim hoodie, and the race cap. And still my face had never experienced anything quite like it. I'll call it the super duper ice cream face ache. Burr.

Interesting race as there was only 1 Olympic distance wave. Seriously?!! A mass start, this is AWESOME!! Pretty ghetto as the race director without a bull horn just yelled go. And we were off. Found feet. Drafted the entire race. Two loop course where you have to get out half way. Stayed steady with no effort or surges. Just sat in. Felt uninspired, and had no motivation to be the first out of the water, as I didn't feel like putting in any extra effort to go around anyone. 

Swim 20:57. 1st Female

Got on the bike with solid blocks of ice for feet. Literally, feet were chopped off during the swim by a barracuda and replaced in transition with bike shoes resembling rectangle bricks made of ice. Bike computer was dead and I didn't grab the Garmin. Had NO IDEA how much I was pushing or how fast I was going. Apparently there was a tail wind on the way out as was evident by the head wind on the way back. 

Felt like I was in no-man's land on the bike. I think maybe 4 dudes passed me, and with a vengeance. A vengeance of disk wheel mashers. Ate one or two gu's. Can't remember. There were a bunch of 90 degree corners with tons of sand, so I was unable to use my crit skills as I was having to brake hard before the corner. Saw a dude skid out and eat it hard. Course was VERY poorly marked. Almost no cones and I wasn't sure if it was shut off to traffic or not. Almost blew past a turn on the way back as I'm frantically asking/yelling at the cop, sitting in his WARM car which way to go. He ever so nicely pointed his arm in the direction I was supposed to turn. Road quality was crappy farm roads with a ton of dirt. Really glad I didn't flat. 

Bike: 1:10.xx 7th Female. Not happy. Winds affected me more than I wanted them to. Must work harder on Fiesta Island. 

Got into T2 with frozen feet. Still. Even with toe warmers on the bike. Shoved shoes on the blocks. Grabbed a handful of stuff [visor, garmin, salt tabs in tube, gu, and bib number]. Had a juggling contest running out. Here I am fixing the visor. And lifting my heels!!

First aid station had only Heed. Great! My absolute favorite race fluid! NOT! [Hating Heed, Any SDIT race, SuperFrog, etc - seriously not a fan] I looked at my running water bottle in transition and opted out since a) I was already juggling handfuls of crap, and b) they advertised race aid. 

Never trust a first time event. Really, you should just never trust race support. I'm a water drinker. I go through 2+ bottles on an Oly bike course. On my 3 mile technique run sessions at home I have the bottle. I can barely make a brick session without longing for water. I just got used to running with it through my IM training and race that now I can't live without it. And for some reason on race day, I thought I could. 

Feet started to warm at about mile 2. Just about the time 2 girls passed me at the same time. Man! I really need to get faster at running. Work in progress. Anyway, feet were heating up, and it wasn't good. Blood flow began to occur and it BURNED! I've experienced this in my hands, back in my ice climbing days in Minnesota. It's called the Screaming Barfies. Not kidding. Couldn't believe it was listed in Urban Dictionary.  Feet seriously felt like crap. Couldn't lift. Couldn't push. Just kept chugging along. Mile 3 was an aid station with water. Took a salt tab. Feet started to come around on the last lap. Was paying for the early speed. Random dude passed me and encouraged me along saying we had 10 min to break 2:20. Not sure I really cared at that point. Looked back just once and didn't see any ladies. Cruised into the finish line.

Run: 46.22 9th Female. Happy. But the course was short. And I worked hard. Stayed 3rd female OA and 1st AG. At a very small race. But hey, sometimes half the battle is showing up! They have a lot to do in race management and execution, but it was a race. And I felt I needed to race before Panama. Things are on track. It gave me confidence and also things to work on [cough] brick sessions [cough]. 

So that's it. This week was about rest, getting better, turning the corner and starting to build again. Rode Swami's with the big boys yesterday. Today was 10 run miles with Noko and Erin. Another big 2 weeks and then it's vacation! 

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