Wednesday, July 23, 2008

University of Okoboji Triathlon

I'm really starting to fall behind in my blogging. Sorry about that. Sometimes life takes a firm grip and won't let go. But since this is a "rest week" I thought it'd be good to take some time and re-cap the University of Okoboji Triathlon.

This was a spur-of-the-moment type of weekend. I just got done with the Life Time Fitness Triathlon and to be perfectly honest, my body is starting to scream at me to stop for a while. But I decided to go because it'd be a good opportunity to see a friend of mine who lives in Iowa. My friend and I decided to spend the weekend there, participate in an event, and spend some time relaxing in the wilderness. "Relaxing" is actually a misnomer. It was more like "come to grips with".

As we're both thrift shoppers we decided to go camping. Now, I haven't camped since my age started with the number 1 and ended with a 2 or maybe even a 1. So it's been a while. And I didn't remember what a person needed to go camping.

You know.

Things like firewood, sleeping bag, tent, pillow, air mattress, tarps, and food. None of these came to mind. I brought with me what any good city bred triathlete should be bringing on a camping trip:

a few changes of clothes, running shoes, biking shoes, butt'r, flip flops, some water bottles, a bike, bike tire pump, iPhone, iPhone charger, 2 hours of bone crunching tunes, and my car.

Needless to say I was a bit unprepared.

But good thing my colleague was a seasoned veteran at camping. She had the tent and a sleeping bag for herself. I still got to sleep on the hard floor. At least one of the two of us got a decent laugh out of it.

Saturday was race day. My friend ran the half marathon and I decided to compete in the triathlon.

In summary, the triathlon was an unpleasant experience. Not due to anything the race directors or officials did. It's hard to think how it could have been run better (timing mats at the beginning and end of transition as well as finishers medals for all finishers would be nice). However, Mother Nature wasn't going to let my streak of perfect triathlons continue.

The swim started in a mass start and I learned very quickly that mass swim starts SUCK! There is only one thing more aggravating than to have someone's hand bash into your foot or leg and that's to have THEIR foot collide with your head or goggles. I went from perfectly calm to furious rage in about 0.3128 seconds (give or take a few tenths of a second). I was so furious in fact that I just stood straight up and let most of the pack race right on by because I would have punched the next person who would have touched me.

The bike route, which was entirely around Lake Okoboji, would have been beautiful had it not started raining roughly 3 minutes into the bike. And it wasn't any kind of rain. This was a torrential down pour. This is the kind of stuff G-d said he wouldn't let happen for 40 consecutive days and nights. And the only thing that sucks worse than racing a bike is racing it while wet. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say the bike was no good at all. (surprise, surprise)

Finally the run. This is where I learned my body is finite. For the first three miles, I had to do a run/walk combo because my calves were tight as rocks. Nothing under the sun was going to fix them so I had to tough it out. Stretching didn't do much good. Neither did the electrolyte pills I had with me. It was literally one of those days where my body was telling me to stop or else bad things were going to happen. Not to mention that I was already miserable from a frustrating swim and a horrible biking experience.

At the end of the day, I crossed the finish line and could celebrate another successful finish. It was definitely an off day. Definitely a day where time and performance weren't a focus. It was a day to spend with friends. And that got accomplished. So the day was won.


Jon said...

The mass starts do suck, but it's just another discipline to practice. A large majority of tris will be mass starts vs LTF's time trial type. I've only had 2 time trial type starts vs countless mass wave starts and I already feel spoiled. Oh well.
Great job persevering though and getting through it!

Ms. R said...

Mass starts are learning experiences. I have learned to start in the back and to the outside...haha! There are better races to come. Good work on getting through it!

Deniel Hopkins said...

interesting post....good reading.
keep tri-ing