Thank God for the Miltonman Olympic triathlon this past weekend! After a terrible, no good, very bad day of training last week, my confidence was shattered and I was questioning my 18 weeks of training. I was super nervous going into the race because it was a crucial step in proving to myself that I was ready and where I needed to be.
The rain held off and it was a beautiful Saturday morning to race. I stayed in Friday night to get everything ready and I got a good night of sleep. I woke up early the next day and was out the door by 5:45AM. I arrived at the venue at 6:55AM and the race began at 8AM. I had plenty of time so I told myself to relax and take it easy.
I listened to music as I got everything ready. Usually I am too nervous to do this, but I decided to give it a shot to see if it would help my nerves. I even watched my favorite Ironman YouTube video to help motivate and inspire me. I made small talk with a few athletes around me, but I kept telling myself to just focus on me. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you’re not constantly looking around and watching every other athlete and comparing yourself to them. I was there to run MY race and to prove to MYSELF and I think deep down I understood that so I stopped caring what the other athletes were doing.
The swim was a dock start so we all lined up and got to jump into the water one-by-one. Everything happened so fast that I barely had time to think about it, which I was thankful for. I did notice that I had the same feelings as the last Olympic I did — I was slightly nervous, but more excited than anything. The water was warm when I dove in and I told myself to just relax and do my own thing. The sun was shining and the lake had beautiful surroundings. I found myself just thanking God for the opportunity to be out there for most of the swim.
I didn’t have one freak out! I never even had to flip over on my back to backstroke! I treaded water to adjust my goggles twice, but even then I was calm and efficient. Toward the last straight away to shore, I realized I had to pee pretty bad. I tried my best to continue swimming and to pee at the same time, but it just wasn’t working LOL. I knew I had to go before I got on the bike though, so I ran to the restrooms as soon as I had my wet suit off. (Thankfully the bathrooms were right next to transition.)
Now onto the bike. Ah yes, the bike. The “most fun” of all three sports to me. Now a few days ago I realized I had a back flat tire. Thankfully it wasn’t during a ride. My husband and I tried to change it ourselves, but after realizing I only had one tube (which was for a flat on the road) I decided just to take it to our local bike shop. We watched a few YouTube videos on how to take off and put back on the tire and after fiddling with it, we got the back tire back on. Now this is where my own stupid behavior comes in. I didn’t think to test ride it at all until the actual race. The bike pedals seemed fine when we picked it up and gave it a few spins, but I never actually rode it until I hopped on it to start the bike leg of the race…
Instantly I could feel something wrong. It wasn’t really pedaling and when it was it was really hard and sounded like the gears were breaking. I jumped off and spent about 5 minutes trying to tighten and move things around. I couldn’t actually figure out what was wrong with it though. My face was red and I didn’t look up. I just kept trying to figure it out, which I honestly had no idea what I was doing! I had watched a few YouTube videos, but I couldn’t remember anything at that point. Then suddenly a nice man came up “Can I give you a hand with this?” He asked. I wanted to scream “YES please help me please fix it!!”. He took a look and adjusted a few things and then it seemed like it was OK. I thanked him and was off. But then seriously 3 minutes later, just as I fully exited out of transition and pedaled only a few feet, I heard weird clicking and breaking sounds and I knew something was wrong with it again. I pulled off onto the grass and practically threw my bike. Now I was alone on the course and no athletes were going to stop and help me (and I don’t blame them). Thoughts of just walking my bike back to my car and going home flashed through my head. Why was this happening?! I spent another 5 minutes working on it and managed to get my entire back wheel off. Great. Now I had no back wheel and was stranded. Suddenly a car pulled up and the same nice guy who had helped me earlier ran up to me. I started to explain what I was seeing and after a few adjustments he said “Your back axle is on backwards”. He adjusted it, then he said he loosened my breaks. I hopped back on and FINALLY it felt normal. I saw the car he was in ride past me on the course and realized he was “bike support” for the race. I silently thanked him over and over again in my head.
Despite losing about 10 minutes on bike technical difficulties, my time was pretty average at 1:33. I felt like I was really hammering to make up time though and I arrived back in transition breathless, but way less flustered than I was when I started the leg. My T2 was quick and efficient and before I knew it I was out on the run course.
I must say though – it was the best triathlon run I’ve ever had! I didn’t walk one time, which may sound pathetic to others, but the past two Olympic triathlons I’ve done the run has felt like pure torture and I have had mental fights just to keep going. This run felt good and I really enjoyed the scenery. My legs weren’t screaming at me to stop and I didn’t feel that mental “despair” out of pure tiredness. Once again I found myself talking to God and thanking him for the summer, the weather and the chance to be out there competing in a triathlon. I finished on a good note and was happy and proud.
I ran into the guy who had helped me with my bike and I thanked him profusely. Not sure what I would have done without him! Lesson learned 🙂
I am still on a high from the race. I love the Olympic distance and I love competing on beautiful, sunny summer days. It really makes you appreciate everything you have and are able to do. I want to chase that feeling for the rest of my life.
On Sunday I got up early to get in a solid 11 miles, bringing my weekly total up to 82 miles. Needless to say my legs are shot and I am a good sore and tired this morning.
For the next three days I will be on a juice cleanse by Juice From The Raw. I’ve had this planned for about three weeks now. Basically when I started questioning my training and when I had a “why am I doing this” week, I knew my mind and body were begging me for a little break. A few co-workers have done juice cleanses recently and I’ve been curious about them. I found a coupon and ordered it and have planned THREE total rest days in a row. I’m so excited. Three glorious days to not think about training and to allow my tired legs a good break. I have a massage planned for tonight, a facial planned for tomorrow night and on Wednesday night I’m going to go sit in the hot tube and sauna at my gym. The next three days will be all about detoxing, resting and restarting my body and system.
This morning I weighed myself for the first time in nearly four months and was pleasantly surprised to see I was down 5lbs. I’m not trying to lose weight, but I’m also not really watching what I eat either. Yes I eat a good amount of salads and veggies and take certain supplements, but I have not restricted myself all summer. We’ve gone on plenty of trips and there have been many nights at the bar filled with pizza and beer to say the least. All I’ve really focused on is making sure my training was on point and making sure I ate decently around my bigger training days or races. I’m excited to try to focus on nutrition now. (I realize this probably should have played a bigger role earlier on in my 70.3 training, but who wants to diet or watch what they eat during the summer?!) Workouts and training are easy and fun — it’s what you put in your mouth that is the real challenge. I’m really going to start being more conscious of it.
Here’s to the next three days! I feel positive and happy and I’m thankful for where I am in my training and in my life. I know that with taking three days off I am automatically going to have a lower mileage number this week, but that is OK. Three days off won’t hinder my fitness. If anything it will help recharge my motivation and I’m excited to see how I feel both physically and mentally.
Happy training week 19! (WOW 19!!)