An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I don't like racing...

My wife Lisa wraps up her hijacking of my blog for the month of September, adding her own insights into the world of triathlon.

...seriously. Of the 5 sprints I've done I have only enjoyed one. That was the race Dave & I did in June, together.

My first race was a huge event. I wasn't ready for the swim. I could swim twice that distance in the pool, but hadn't done any open water swimming. I was sooo glad to get out of the water! I raced on my Huffy mountain bike that I got when before 8th grade. I got passed like I was standing still...a lot! My run was OK, but I didn't run the entire thing.

My 2nd race was shortly after my first and it was probably the hottest day of the year. The swim was a little bit easier. I used a different bike, which was a little bit lighter, and I improved on my speed from my first tri. I did start at 8 am or so, but by 10 am while I was on the run, it was hot! I was just glad to be done on that hot, hot day! My training had declined after my first tri because I realized I didn't really "need" to train to finish.

My 3rd race was an absolute disaster. It was Memorial Day 2010, in Eastern Washington, the water was sooooo cold I couldn't breathe. I had on a sleeveless wetsuit but that didn't help in the 59 degree water. I hadn't trained that much and got in the water and doggie paddled the entire 1/4 mile swim. The bike was where bad went to worse. I was on an actual road bike! However, I hadn't practiced enough getting into clipless pedals and I didn't know to make sure the bike was in a low gear. The bike route was really flat, except for the start where it went from the water up to the main road. It wasn't a really steep hill, but it was enough that I couldn't get in my pedals and pedal up. I think it took me probably 5 minutes to get started. I was crying the first few miles out of pure frustration and disappointment. Crying while trying to bike fast makes it pretty hard to breathe, FYI. By that time I was mentally done. I walked most of the run and came in 2nd to last.

My 5th race was this most recent one. (Yes, I realize I skipped the 4th race...will get to that soon!) I had been training for the Olympic distance but 2 weeks out I realized I wasn't going to be able to do it in the 4 hours that the course would be open. That was the race time limit. The swim was harder than I expected, the bike was actually OK but the run was difficult. I finished and was very disappointed in my finish.

My 4th and only enjoyable race...was this past June. As I mentioned, Dave and I did this race together. We did the "retro" division which meant that we didn't use wetsuits and no "tri" specific gear. Prior to this race I didn't complete nearly enough training. I had been swimming 3 or 4 times? I might've "wogged" 5K sometime prior but am not 100% sure of that. Biking? I had been on a bike a few times, riding the couples miles to and from PT and had also taken my mom's bike out for 10 miles the week before. (It was a hybrid bike vs. my road bike.) Since we were in the retro division, our wave was very last. There were 4 of us in the division. I was the slowest swimmer and Dave side stroked along beside me. (He is almost twice as fast as me in all the disciplines.) I'm always glad when the swim is over...and this was no exception. We hopped on our bikes and did 2 loops. We then "wogged" the 5K. We were literally the last to finish. But what made the difference was that I wasn't concentrating on the fact that I was the slowest or that I wasn't going as fast as I should've been going or that I was being passed. I was just enjoying being out there and spending time with my husband.

I'm very bad at not comparing myself to others. I don't expect to win, but I also don't like getting passed by everyone. On the bike, I have a lot of time to think about the fact that I could've trained more/longer. I am definitely my own worst critic.

So why do I keep doing it?!? Because I need the motivation, as I spoke about before -- I need a goal to shoot for to stay on a training plan, and a race gives me that. However, I think I need to look for a race buddy for my next triathlon!

 Well it's been fun blogging for September! I realized how quickly days go by and you think - oh! I meant to post! I hope you all continue to read my hubby's blog! I'm sure he has a few ideas for upcoming entries.

/End Hijack

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