Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I did it!! 140.6 miles! Rev3 Race Report

I signed up for this race Sept. 1, 2009.  I remember the day and how excited I was. It seems like I've been working for this race for a full year ... well, I have!  One. Full. Year.  As it began to approach, it became surreal. Now it's not an aspiration or a dream; now that it's upon me, I will actually have to DO IT! Complete 140.6 miles in under 17 hrs. It's this weird blend of emotions: excitement and terror!

My strategy was unique, and, truth be told, I often got a lot of flack for it :) But hey, I'm a big girl, and I know that this approach was working for me.  My strategy was to race often - like virtually every weekend. I think, since April, there have been only 4 weekends when I didn't have a race. I did one sprint, probably 7 olys, and two halfs. The purpose, for me, was to get used to it - racing. Organizing. Planning. Preparing. Recovering. I worked out 3-4 times during the week, depending on how much time I had. At one point I was juggling SIX jobs, as well as my Triabetes Fundraising commitment, and trying to fit time in for my 3 children and my husband Ted. I'd do what I could during the week, then race on the weekends, and couple that with another "big" workout.  The races were rarely 100% effort. They were in the 80% effort. None of them were my A race, but meant to get me comfortable with racing and calming the nerves, developing routines, figuring out what works and what doesn't, trying out equipment, etc. In the mean time I had a lot of fun and I want to emphasize: stayed injury free.  Besides blisters, I've had no musculoskeletal injury at all. My knees, hips, ankles, back, ... all of it ... feels great! I've never felt healthier! I feel better now in my forties than I did in my 20s.

So, as race day approached, I settled into taper - a very new and unsettling feeling for me! But I did as I was told, and I found myself ready - REALLY READY - on race day. 

When I envisioned this race over a year ago, I visualized my kids and hubby there cheering me on as I crossed the finish line.   So, earlier in the week when I started to make plans, I was somewhat heartbroken to hear from my kids that they didn't want to go. :(  I thought for sure the Cedar Point part would seal the deal, on top of missing a day of school. But, they reluctantly told me that they didn't want to go. I know that was difficult for them so I tried to roll with it. I said it was okay. I said I understood. But, I didn't. I guess I'm different ... because as a kid I would have jumped all over this opportunity. It would have been so exciting to see an IM finish, let alone, a parent finish. But, I dealt with it and wasn't going to wallow in self-pity or make them feel guilty for being honest. I kind of get it. Triathlon is NOT a spectator-friendly sport. That's the truth.

So, it would be me and Ted heading out to CP on Friday. Ted loves golfing, and he's pretty good at it! So he brought his clubs and found opportunities to golf both Saturday and Sunday. I was really okay with that!  The two sports compliment each other and in the future we've planned to try to do destination races once in a while where I can do a Tri and he can try out a famous course.

Arriving Friday was perfect for me. We headed to packet pick-up, I got my number and chip and was all set. My number was 458 - that "felt good" .... sometimes odd or prime numbers can bum me out. I was happy to have this number.  My friend had 247 - and his wife said it was perfect because he'd been training 24/7 for his full IM!   Once I had that race packet in hand, my anxiety dropped significantly.  Next we went over to the expo and I was looking for a cycling jacket.  I don't have one, and I will definitely need one for the fall riding I'll need to do for IMFL.  Plus, I "might" need it on Sunday ... I was considering putting it into special needs bike bag. I found one on sale and then it had another 30% off so I was about to jump on it, but Ted bought it for me instead, as an early birthday gift! Awesome! Last year, aerobars, this year, cycling jacket. He's figuring this "new me" out!!!  Once we had the jacket and packet,  I was able to go back to my room and lay out my 5 bags and put the appropriate items in each one.  Eric Banks, a fellow CTC peep (whom I've never met!) was kind enough to send me his spread sheet, which I then tailored to my needs. That was a huge life-saver!! Thanks Eric!

I soon realized, that, with all of my meticulous planning and packing, I had ALL of my triathlon needs readily available, however, I FORGOT MY INSULIN AN CGM CHARGER!!! :(

I thought about this, and the solution was that I had ample time on Saturday to drive home and pick them up and return.  No biggie - I wasn't going to stress over this. 

Sat. morning I went down to the beach to get into the water and get it in my head that it would not be too cold. It was windy, and the waves were big. But the water temp was GREAT!   I was looking to meet up with 2 "friends" - neither of whom I'd ever met. The first was Saci Mowinski, a fellow diabetic and Triabetes athlete. He and I know each other through Phrendo (the diabetes equivalent to Facebook) so we'd plan to meet up. He and his wife Carlene found me right away. They were delightful!  I loved them right away! Fun to talk to and just really nice people.  I wish we had more time to get to know each other.   In talking with them, I mentioned my planned trip home and Saci offered me his Lantus (the long-acting, background insulin I'd forgotten). He's on a pump so he rarely uses it, and just brought it as a back up. I said, I'd be thrilled to be able to have just 20 units Sat. night, but he said he'd plan to toss the pen after the race anyway, that I could have it. WOW.  Just ... WOW.  God has brought very special people into my life ... while I would never CHOOSE diabetes, it has made my life what it is today, and it's all a blessing.   I gratefully accepted and we made a plan to get it later.

The second person I was looking to meet was Tim Ritt. He needed extra Cedar Point tickets, and I happened to have one. So I found him and we made arrangements for him to get it, so my errands were complete and a success!  Now time to get into that water.  I almost didn't.  I almost chickened out. But I didn't. I donned my wetsuit and went in ... it felt great! Much warmer than I would have guessed.  Because of the waves, I didn't swim as far as I wanted, but I swam for 20 min before exiting and heading back to the room.  Ted was golfing so I was able to keep working on my bags, shower, then head down to bike check in.  I was not allowed to ride in the park, and I didn't want to carry it the mile down the beach, so I got on a shuttle bus with my bike and we were dropped off right at the expo/transition area.  My first stop was to Bike Authority. I had asked Sherm if he'd have 650c tubes available, as I was looking for 2 of them. He said he'd be sure to send some with Doug.  I stopped over, met Doug and introduced myself. He got out the tubes and our transaction was complete. I was happy to see the BA tent pretty busy Friday when I got there, and after I obtained my tubes, there was an influx of people needing bike mechanical assistance. At one point I saw Sean (I think) using a saw to cut through something on someone's bike! WOW!   Those guys are truly "mechanics"!!  Huge thanks to Sherman an Bike Authority for always taking care of me! I'm buying a back up rear wheel from them for trainer use over the winter.  LOOK HOW MUCH I'VE LEARNED THIS YEAR!!!!!   If you've been following, you will know that I used to not pump my tires before a ride, I thought 40 PSI was fine, I didn't use terms like saddle, stem and aerobars ... it was just a bike! :)  Now I can do basic maintenance and change my own tires and replace tubes!

Next I dropped off my bike at transition. Then I was free for the day. I did an easy run then went back to the room and took a nap. Ted had just gotten back and NAP doesn't do it justice. I CRASHED!!!  Slept hard for over 2.5 hrs.  I missed the CTC group photo and the athlete meeting! But, that's okay. I needed it.  We went down to TGI Fridays for dinner then back to the room to do some final prep before heading to bed.  I was nervous, but not too bad. I was surprised how calm I felt! I went to bed at 8 pm and had a good night's sleep.

No comments:

Post a Comment