I was happy to have a preview day offered by our triathlon team. It provided many opportunities to learn and experience, as well as hang with some of my favorite tri peeps, and meet some new ones! I’m always very impressed with all the opportunities that are offered us by CTC! If you aren’t taking advantage of these things, you really ought to be!
I headed out to Sandusky Friday evening. I was looking to avoid the drive for Saturday morning. Bunked up with a few CTC friends and, as always, enjoyed great conversation and many laughs!
Saturday we gathered at Sawmill and checked in. Next we headed down to the lake where Leah, from Liquid Lifestyles, gave us many tips to try and utilize while doing open water swim. The lake was calm and pretty clear, and I had 4 nice loops around the makeshift course set up for us. I’m starting to feel so much more calm in open water! Practice, practice practice! I’ve been doing OWS on Tuesdays in Mentor and it’s amazing how much that’s helped me!
Next we set out for our ride. The plan was for us to break into compatible groups and do a loop of the full course – about 50 miles. I had other plans though. Today I would attempt my first century ride! I was in group B2 and most other riders had their goals for one loop, so I quickly learned I’d be going it alone. I was prepared! I had my camelbak on and got some razzing for that … yeah, little did you know I’d be on my bike for 5 ½ hrs in 90+ degree weather!! Being diabetic, I have additional challenges and nutritional needs. I was prepared with cash, snacks, phone, extra liquids, and sunscreen. I was unprepared for the mental abuse I’d be facing!
The first loop went lovely! I felt great. As I turned away from my group for the second loop, I began to feel shaky. I stopped in Milan to take my BG … it was low, at 51. Yikes. I took a gel and some amino vital, rested under a shade for about 10 minutes, then got back on the bike. Miles 50-60 were rough. Once I got to the gas station at the furthest point, I refilled my liquids and got some ice. A guy asked me if I was biking out there? Yup! He said: it’s TOO HOT! ... Yup, tell me about it!
The next leg of the ride was a bit better, until around mile 75, when I started to feel pretty miserable. My saddle was causing me great discomfort and I was tired. Being alone was probably my biggest mistake. I did pull off and rest in the grass, under shade, for about 5 minutes. I needed a pep talk! I swear, if I could have called someone to come get me, I would have! But my husband was in Columbus and the SAG wagon was long gone.
I found myself going slower and slower. There were times I was going 9-10 mph. I was running out of steam physically, mentally and emotionally. I began to have doubts. I thought: I can’t do a full, this is crazy! I’m going to have to downgrade to the half. I don’t think I can do this.
As I neared the finish, and the miles crept up slower and slower, I was getting agitated and exhausted. I finally arrived back at Sawmill. Now to drive home. I seriously considered napping, but just wanted to be HOME! So off I went. Things felt better once I got home. I had some first aid care to deal with, as my poor body was in bad shape from that ordeal.
Once home, I relayed my concerns to some people and was lucky to get a lot of support. I got some great advice, some motivation, and some pep talks, that really helped! Thank you to those of you who chimed in with support!!
Next time I will do it a bit different. I think this is all part of the journey that is part of training for an Ironman. That day was difficult, and fun in a twisted way, but it was necessary and I learned a lot from it!