Friday, June 25, 2010

Highs and Lows

Greetings Peeps!  Highs and lows ... applies to both my blood sugar levels, and my mental and emotional state as I train and race in local events. A little double endtendre!
I'm a bit behind in my blogging and I have no real excuse ... maybe I've been procrastinating and waiting for that uber-rush of enthusiasm I like to have while I'm blogging? But, it hasn't arrived and time is ticking away. So, I'll just jump right in!
I'm two race reports behind :(  I'll make up the lost ground here. The first was a duathlon in Willoughby two weekends ago.  It's a smallish race right around the corner from where I live. I worked it last year as a volunteer and frankly it was the nidus to jump start my re-entry into triathlon. Anyway,  I had hoped to do an Oly triathlon the day before, Saturday, but I was too late in registering and got shut out.  I was immensely bummed! So, I threw all my energy into the duathlon on Sunday.  Yes, I was a week after doing a 70.3, and probably should have been resting, but I just love to race these things, so off I went!  I had a pretty good 5K run, a pretty awesome bike leg, if I do say so myself, but the final 5K left me a little empty - I was running on fumes.  A fellow teammate and friend, who happens to be my age, passed me at the 2 mile mark. I usually beat her, but not on this day! I was really okay with her passing me, and she was so gracious - asking me if I was okay and encouraging me to run with her for the last mile.  I just didn't have it and frankly had resolved to slowing my pace.  I was quite happy for her, however!  Liz Kelley rocked out a great duathlon and got first place overall for women!!  I am proud of her, she's been working really hard and will tackle her first 70.3 in August.  I finished about a minute behind her and got first in my age group (because she got first overall, she didn't ALSO get first in the AG, I did). Frankly, it was such a small race that it wasn't a huge victory, but hey, whatever. I had a good workout :)  Later I was a little mad at myself for losing that competitive edge, but then I thought, I really am still recovering from the 70.3 - and frankly I'm feeling a bit beat.  So, onward.

The following weekend I signed up for an Oly in Maumee Bay, about 2.5 hrs away.  I arose at 4 am and hit the road.  Checking BG around 6:15 revealed a 71 - pretty low for a pre-race BG!  So, I attacked the powerbars and gu gels and got myself in the 130's before racing.

I had plenty of time to set up. Got a great PRP - a few actually, which always is a great relief! There were mayflies everywhere - yuck.  I saw lots of fellow CTC'ers too.  What a gorgeous day this was turning into!

Then ... the swim :(   I was hoping SO BAD to go under 3 hrs this race.  I'm ready! I'm due! It can do it! I just need everything to come together and IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!!  I was prepared for today to be that day.   But, the swim ... it wasn't good.  Just to refresh your memory, my last Oly swim was 25 min and I rocked it - no panic attack and a good strong swim I was proud of.  On this day, however, I had a return of the panic attack.  And it was a big return! I had a very hard time with this swim.  I did a lot of breast stroke and considered quitting on several occasions.  The water conditions were perfect. It wasn't too crowded. I have NO EXCUSE.  My head - my mind - just lost the focus I needed to keep the panic in check and I felt completely vulnerable and scared.  I just wanted to quit.  When that's happening, I just want to DNF and eject.  It's ESPECIALLY hard when there are 2 loops to swim.  When there's just one, well, I need to get back to the start anyway so it's a little easier to "buck up", but when there are 2 loops, I really need to push through to start the second loop.  This panic attack was one of the WORST ones.  Like almost as bad as the very first one in the Cleveland Triathlon. That one I attributed to lack of practice in OW, but I can't say that anymore.  Yes, I can do more OW swims, but I've done enough to know I can do them!   I keep thinking back to Knoxville and what happened there that went so right ... ?  It was a point to point swim, no loops.  I chanted a mantra the entire time: "long and strong, with an attitude of gratitude".  Plus, I was alone, no personal spectators, no team mates (well Janet, but she was LONG GONE!)  Simply put, I was more relaxed and more focused.  I will work on simulating that experience for future triathlons.  This is going to be my main focus for the next few races - to master the swim experience and optimize it, avoid the panic attacks if I can.  I really need this to come together for me to break 3 hrs on an Oly - and I TOTALLY WANT THAT!!!

After the swim, I was feeling pretty low.  I was very mad at myself. I tried to shake it off - afterall, I certainly wasn't the last out of the water!!  There were a significant number of athletes behind me.  I just didn't do MY personal best. So, the attempt to shift my mental state to re-focus on the race was in full effect.  The bike route was flat and fast, only some wind on one of the stretches.  It was a 2 loop route.  Only 4 people passed me and they were fast men on their second loop while I was on my first.  I passed about 7 people personally.  I would say my bike was a 7/10 - I could have rocked it harder but my mental attitude was working against me.  T1 and T2 went very well, no complaints.

The run - I was still hoping there was a tiny chance to go under 3 hrs but I'd have to run sub 9 minute miles ... while I can easily do that on a run race, in a triathlon, my tank is somewhat empty and I'm in a 9:30 - 10 minute pace.  It wasn't looking good.  I didn't have that competitive edge, I was down on myself.  I hate that I do that to myself - I wouldn't do it to anyone else! Why do I do it to myself?  Anyway, it was nice seeing familiar faces on the out and back run.  I ended up crossing at 3:07 - a PR for me by 2 minutes ... but DAMN - I COULD HAVE GONE UNDER 3 HRS!!  I know I could.  I want a do-over!!!   Ugh.  So, I will try again ... I have other Oly's on the schedule.

This weekend is a sprint triathlon.   My goal is to PR (not sure what time that will be but I will research that from last year's events) and nail a good swim.  I need this to be a confidence builder! I will try a few things different for the swim leg, too.   We'll see if I can't regain control over my emotions and mental state through meditation and focus. 

I'll also be doing OW swims weekly out at Mentor Headland's Beach, and am hoping to have some CTC peeps join me!  Everyone is welcome, please come and help me regain my control over this OW swim issue!!

Today I see my endo.  I've been waiting for months for this appt.  I have TONS of questions. Tons of things to talk about!  Hoping to convince him I can get a CGM - a continuous glucose monitor - which will be a HUGE help for me in my training and racing.   Fingers crossed folks!  We'll see!  Look for another post soon with more on that.  Gotta run - thanks for hangin!  Love that you guys support me - it makes a huge difference to me!!

Peace out,


  1. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get under that 3 hr mark! (but then you have to help me do it, too!) Keep up the strong work.

  2. OK so since I have done the 3 races, I think I also felt most comfortable at Knoxville too and I think the difference is the floating start. It is hard when it is madness going in to keep the HR down and stay comfortable. I definitely notice it and have had to calm myself down both at Quassy and Maumee a bit. I try really hard to put myself in that comfort place thinking about swimming open water with Beth while laughing over turtles.

    You are putting the work in and getting stronger with each race and the results WILL come! Summi is a very easy swim (& floating start) and I bet you ROCK it! See you Sunday!

  3. You are doing AWESOME! Wow! I love reading your posts because you're funny and so real. I'm sure you'll get to that sub 3 hour mark soon. You are doing so much racing. Sometimes it's good to let your body really rest in between some of the races so that it can truly recover, and THEN you get those PR's you're looking for. ? Keep up the great work!