Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Black Butte Olympic Distance Triathlon - Race Report

This was my ugliest race ever, so glad it's over!  Ignore any typos and spelling errors, still a bit foggy in the head.

Pre-race routine:

Ate 2 hard boiled eggs, some peanut butter and a banana and headed down to the race. At the transition I had to rack my bike on the shifters rather than the saddle as the wind was so bad, bike were getting blown into eachother on the racks. As a result I didn't put my aero-bottle on the bike this will later prove to be a BIG MISTAKE! Got body-marked and the guy said to me, "we are looking at 25-30 pmh winds today" of just lovely to hear! When we arrived on site and I saw the wind I was regretting bringing my tri-bike with race wheels

Threw on the wetsuit and headed down to the water with Shannon and Candice.

Event warmup:

Looked at the white caps on the lake and said a prayer that the swim would go ok. I guess my prayers were far from answered.



Started the swim and just told myself the white caps were not a big deal. Was having a tough time relaxing in the water, kept getting mouthful of water, the buoy seemed really far away. Slowly the pack got away from me and I just told myself to let them go, focus on YOUR race.

I felt like I could not get enough air and began to side-stroke. I have not side-stroked like this since my first tri....EVER!!! I rounded the buoy and felt tired, told myself "you are an Ironman and this is an OLY, you can do this!" I saw 2 women get picked up by the rescue boats and really wanted to be one of them. I was worried part of me almost just swam back to shore. I could not see the next buoy and would take my goggles off to look for it!

Told myself, just got one lap done and then you can make it! One the second lap, the jetski came up next to me and I chatted with the driver. He said "are you cramping?" I said "no just taking in a lot of water. This swim is really crazy." He said "well the swim is the hardest part in triathlon"...I was so thankful to not have a neon sign hanging over my head saying "i'm an Ironman" as I really wanted to hop on the back of the ski and be done.

I kept pressing forward and finally got to the swim exit. A woman Yelled, "great job" and I said "that was a suck-fest!"

What would you do differently?:

I survived without a DNF, good enough for me. Crazy but I wound up PRing my OLY swim by 4 minutes.



Was so happy to be out of the water, I almost cried! Saw Shannon in T1 and said "I almost bailed on the swim" and she said "I almost did too"

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I had 18th fastest T1, lol!



The wind on the bike started immediately! It was head-wind and cross-winds. There were a few rollers in the beginning and my bike was getting blown all over the place. I had a death-grip on my bike bars, no way was I going to get into my aero-bars, I was terrified to even move my hands from the bars. On the flats I was doing a 60 cadence going about 9-MPH in my granny gear! I wanted to cry, thought about just getting off my bike...I felt like I was going to get blown off my bike....why risk injury for my Ironamn.

I pressed on and told myself it had to "get better" as dust clouds whirled by! Continued to battle the wind and kept coughing, odd. I finally hit the turn around and got some tail-wind, I drank a bit and had a bit to eat, but not nearly enough.

Finally got close to transition and was bummed when I realized we had another and out back to do with a big climb, ugg! Finally got to T2, was happy to be off my bike, but was very concerned about the fact that I hd eaten 3 Clif blocks and only drank 1/2 a bottle of water in 90 degree temps!

What would you do differently?:

Bring road bike. Since I racked on the bars, I didn't use my aero-drink, I should have taken the time to put that on in T1....at least I would have been able to lean over and drink without taking my hands off the bars.



God transition for me.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, other than take the water bottle with me on the run



Legs felt good and I was happy to be off the bike without having crashed. Immediately I realized I had no saliva in my mouth, WTF!? I got a few hundred yards in and started hyperventilating!! My chest felt like I could not get a full breath, and I could hear myself sucking in air. Shannon came up behind me as I was walking and she said "come on, run with me." I said "I can't catch my breath" in between bouts of sucking air in. She said "I will stay with you. Are you ok?" I said "I will be fine, just keep going." She asked me "you sure?" and I could see a look of concern on her face, but I told her to leave me.

I walked the uphill and jogged the downhill. I made it to the aid station and took a GU and some water. The sun was beating on me and I felt miserable. Legs felt ok but I could not air and if I tried to take a deep breath I would have a coughing fit. Things started to get cloudy in my head and my mantra became "stay upright, keep breathing and don't pass out" I had a feeling if I passed out, they would not find my body on the trail and there were very few people behind me.

I drank a bit at the aid stations, my lips were cracked from heat and lack of hydration. My mouth was dry as the desert. My vision felt dark, like things were caving in around me. I wanted to cry and just get a full breath without going into coughing fits. The wind blew and I got dust in my eyes....I told myself just keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.

Finally I heard the finish line and told myself "just get there". I finally crossed, standing on my own 2 feet.

What would you do differently?:

My body had never reacted like this before! Maybe it was a sh-t storm of swallowing too much water on the swim, not hydrating on the bike, dusty conditions....I just don't know. Its 2 days later and it still feels a bit uncomfortable to take a deep breath.

Post race

Warm down:

Stopping and drinking

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of fuel, hydration, breathing issue.

Event comments:

This was my worse race experience, EVER! Finishing this race was harder than any Ironman I have done. I have dealt with muscle fatigue and pain in Ironman, but never experienced my body caving in on itself. Usually the darkest in racing for me is that place of doubt when going long, but this time it was physical darkness.