Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Loosely-assembled race report (or something like that)

Since so many people have said "Sarah, you haven't updated your blog!" I'm led to believe that I was wrong in assuming that nobody reads it anymore. :-)

First off, I've had two tris since I last wrote: The Pleasanton Tri for Real (9/18) and The Santa Cruz Sentinel Triathlon (10/2). My performance at the Tri for Real surpassed even my own expectations and a race report of some sort will soon follow this entry. Time hasn't exactly been a luxury for me lately. The end result, however, was that I won my age group!! (click the link for the results page) Talk about surprise. After they had called 3rd and 2nd place, I thought to myself "well, that's okay. I thought maybe I'd placed, but you know, I did the best I could, and I'm INCREDIBLY happy with my performance." Then they announced 1st, and I'm sure there was quite an astonished look on my face, because I was literally stunned. It's taken a couple of weeks for it to truly sink in. I told so many people, not to brag, but to hear myself say it so that I could really start believing it!

Needless to say, my expectations for myself were raised a bit after that for this next triathlon that I was to do. Perhaps a little too much? I didn't expect a podium spot, but I did expect to perform at the best ability I could, and to really practice the mental art of staying focused on what I was doing in each moment. That said...

I wrote something up quickly the other day to send to my cycling group, and it's served as a makeshift race report until I delve into a few more details. Hopefully it will provide a few laughs, as I can now laugh at it, too. Enjoy!

Race Report (or something like that):

2 new tubes: $12
-proceed to change back tire (somehow flat after last weekend, but couldn't find any specific culprit)-
Full tank of gas for drive to Santa Cruz: $38

Bridge toll: $3
Another tube + labor at the Spokesman Bike Shop in Santa Cruz (because somehow, my back tire was flat again - figured being somewhat of a rookie at changing tires, I'd have somebody else do it, maybe I'd screwed up somehow): $13
Dinner and wine with old and new friends: $25
Coffee beans for my coffee maker at the hotel room: $2
Getting my car back from the towing company after it had been towed from a newly paved road with NO MARKINGS on it (which, apparently, was a 'no parking' zone): $240 (ouch)

-pre-race coffee (forgot the coffee beans in my friend's car when I got a lift to the towing place): $2
-excitement upon exiting water and learning I'd done the swim in 25 1/2 min - PRICELESS!
-excitement upon leaving transition zone: PRICELESS!

-look on my face when my back tire went flat AGAIN 3 miles into the ride: probably priceless and somewhat heartbreaking. Still, I was determined to make the most of it, and while I knew I was out of the running for a podium spot, I could still do my personal best and enjoy the race. Then my valve broke as I was pumping up the tire. Changed it again, but pump was broken. Bike maintenance guy pulls up, brings out a pump, sends me off on my way.

-look on my face when my tire goes flat YET AGAIN 6 miles later at Bonny Doon Rd: PRICELESS! No pump. No tube. Just done. Bike dude in the van pulls up again, somehow manages to motivate me to get back on the bike as he pulls out a new tube and tells me I'll love the run. Wiping my tears, I hop back on and try to enjoy the wind in my face and the ocean on my left.

You can only imagine what happens next:

-look on my face when I feel that 'ka-chunk' on my back tire 3 more miles out: well, I don't know about the look, but the expletives that went flying were pretty solid. Standing there feeling utterly defeated and frustrated: pretty priceless, also. Everybody should have that experience of standing there as the LAST of the participants pass you by on the bike.

-getting to flag down a CHP and ride shotgun in the squad car as he takes me back to the transition zone and trying to make idle conversation in between sobs: PRICELESS!

Arrive at the transition zone, thank the officer for his time, and deposit my bike in the stand, wondering if I should even bother running a 10K. Who cares, at this point? I looked at my watch and realized that I theoretically would have been coming through the finish line in about 8 minutes, and there was no way I was going out now, only to be one of the last people in and get the courtesy clap as people are breaking down the race area. hell no! More than that, though, I knew my friend Heather would be arriving any minute, and besides wanting to be there to welcome her back, I just didn't have the heart to go out and run a 10K. Emotionally, I was spent. Physically, I wasn't exhausted, but I was tired. Mentally, I was finished. I looked out toward the run course and thought "nothing's impossible, but the bottom line is that I just don't want to." So I didn't! (in the end, I'm really glad I didn't!)

So...as you can see...it was a pretty costly but priceless weekend. Check off 'have worst race ever' on my to-do list. Still, I write all of this with a smile - add that to my bag of good stories to tell 20 years from now.

There's always next year...!

As for what follows at this point...there's a distinct possibility that one more race looms in my future. We'll call it a chance at redemption, and I've been given the lucrative offer of having half my entry fee paid for (and at a $140 entry fee, that's a pretty sweet deal). Keep your eyes open for confirmation of me participating in the Treasure Island Tri on 11/06. I've maintained a tough schedule this week - swam hard on Monday, spun on Tuesday, and did an hour swim followed by a hefty-paced 40 minute run. My legs are feeling it! But it motivates me to think that there's one more race to train for. *sigh* Mentally, I am exhausted. Physically, well...fairly exhausted as well. I'll need a few more days to sleep on it...

1 comment:

Ben said...

You are SARETASTIC!! I don't know how you do it. Remember-
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..." :)