Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Cold, Wet 30 Miles

I'm not sure if this sums up my day yesterday...but when i got home from my 5 hour workout/clinic in the cold, cold rain, I couldn't decide if I was proud of myself for biking 24 miles, changing a tire, and running 6 miles or whether I was disappointed in myself for not running the additional 4 miles that I was scheduled to run.

When I got to West Creek at 6:30 in the morning it was bitterly cold and intermittent drizzle was starting to fall. I couldn't find my biking gloves and my arm warmers at home in the early morning search, so I was stuck wearing my running gloves and a long sleeve jersey and a micro-thin cycling jacket. I biked an incredibly cold 12 miles...then opted to warm up with a quick 1-mile run before Coach B's wet tire changing clinic and the Not With These Hands Trigirl banner photo. TRIgirl Annnnn gave me some really cool color-coordinated TRIgirl barrette thingys, that brightened my smile. And seeing the photo of all of those new TRIgirls with the NWTH banner also made it seem not so rainy after all.
I was really glad that I watched the clinic (even though I know how to change a tire) because I learned 2 tricks. First, you can get a box of cheap BB gun CO2 cartridges at Wal-Mart instead of paying $2-3 each for them at the bike shop, as long as you get the right kind (with threads or without) for your system. And second, when you are trying to get the tire back on the rim after changing a tube and you get to that stubborn part where the taunt rubber just doesn't want to budge and you don't seem to have the leverage to get it back on the rim....then you actually can sit on the tire with your inner thigh to hold it still and get the leverage you need to slip the tire back on the rim. Thanks Coach B! I've been struggling with that one at home...and it is the one thing that keeps me from being a fast tire changer....every time.

After learning that trick, I was lucky enough to get to try it out. TRIgirl Red had a flat, and after finding a tube to borrow (since hers had the wrong stem) I got to practice my newly learned skill of sitting on top of the tire. It worked like a gem.

Unfortunately though, all of that waking up early to get a jump on a rainy workout was now Coach B and I were the only ones from the Ironman/Half Iron group that stopped for what, 90 minutes for the clinic and helping some TRIgirls who needed it. I started to shiver but had to get right back out there in the rain and pretend like we were enjoying ourselves while we slogged through the rest of our workout. For the bold and brave Coach B and the rest of the Ironman Cor d'Alene group, that meant the rest of their ride and then a 18 mile run! I hate to say this, but that made me feel immeasurably better when I realized I was "only" slated to run 10.
By the time I changed TRIgirl Red's tire and got my bike back out of the truck the rain was coming down harder. Not only that but many of the girls who started much later than me but hadn't come to the clinic were now done with their bike and were we'll on the way to finishing their run. I know this shouldn't affect me....but it did.
Note to self. Focus on your task at hand -- not on others. You will be doing your HIM all by yourself and plenty of folks will be done with their entire race when you come through T2. You know they will be having a post race massage or a post race snack. They will be taking their bikes from the transition area and celebrating their victory...and you will be starting on the third (and most difficult) leg of your journey. You will need to start finding the strength to run your own race -- not look at others.
On top of the intermission of my workout, affecting me mentally, also I learned that I need to work better on my nutrition plan. When I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I certainly didn't feel like eating anything. But I also knew I needed to think about my nutrition for the day. I had a long workout planned and was going to need energy...... A quick survey of my kitchen revealed that I was short on carbs: No bread! No bananas...No bars! I guess you can tell we just got back in town and I haven't had a chance to go shopping. Brainstorm! Coach G's little voice entered my head and said....Oatmeal! Yes her favorite pre-race breakfast saved the day. Oatmeal to go. And hot coffee.

I packed 2 cheese sticks, a Chocolate Outrage GU (thanks Aimee) and a handful of pretzels. Don't ask me why but my optimistic self had placed 1 water bottle in the freezer so it would be nice and cold (and it stayed that way until I brought it home). I filled the other with lemon favorite drink for the bike. I really wish I had thought to pack an apple, because by the time I got home from my workout it was noon and that was not quite enough food (or water with one bottle being frozen) to make me my strongest.

I have to say I thought I was going to vomit after throwing my bike in my car. My stomach had been hurting for most of the bike ride but I couldn't figure out why. I guess it could have been the cheese sticks, but at this point that was the only thing I could have eaten that might have upset it. I was more likely to believe that it was the prospect of still having to run 9 miles that turned my stomach. So, let's get on with it!
I was so friggin' wet to the bone that there was no way I was going to carry water for this run -- despite the fact that I knew I hadn't been drinking enough on the bike. It just seemed ridiculous to carry water while I was soaking wet. So, I grabbed my GU and ran. As soon as I started running I was thirsty and I spent most of each my 1 minute walking/recovery looking up at the sky with my mouth wide open. Would you believe that with how wet i was and how heavy the rain felt like it was falling when I was biking, there was actually very little water coming out of the sky and into my mouth. I know you are supposed to take the GU with water, so I felt like I really shouldn't have any more considering that I was adding caffeine to an already dehydrated and overtaxed system. Each time I stuck out my tongue for water it started to quiver and shake like a hand does when you've had too much caffeine and not enough food.

I had a little talked with myself on this soaking run and decided, girl, if you can run one loop at West Creek (6 miles) then that is something you should be proud of, especially in weather like this and the fact you've been in it since 6:30 a.m. I had actually never run the 6 mile loop before and it went by faster than I thought it would. I passed the lake. I touched Patterson Avenue, and turned around. I passed the lake again...and there it was, just like it had been since Thursday's brick....only this time it was mocking me. An unopened orange Power Aid or some kind of endurance drink. Sitting there mocking me....saying, "you know you are thirsty...don't you think I would go great with your Chocolate Outrage GU?" We'll, I'd like to know that bottle's story, but I wasn't about to drink it. Up the Farm Bureau hill and shortly thereafter I had some TRIgirl company for the last few minutes of the run.

So, I admitted defeat and ran only 6 of the 10 miles slated for the day. I was extremely thankful for Coach G saying that it was OK. So, maybe I'll feel less guilty and just be thankful that today I will be dry all day long. I will be warm. and I will be resting.

Oh, and one more thing. I think it is ironic that my WETSUIT arrived Friday. WETsuit, get it?Too bad I haven't had a chance to try the thing on yet. The Richmond TRI Club open water clinic was cancelled due to the "winter-like" weather.


Diane said...

J ~ thanks for taking a break during your long workout to join the tire changing clinic. Your insight and suggestions were very helpful. Great job for slogging through a very tough workout!

Melissa said...

awesome work out!!!

(and my suspicion is that the powerade was from the du...that was what was at the water stations)

TriGirl 40 said...

Yes - the thought crossed my mind that it may have been nice to have worn our new wetsuits - during the bike and run! Gosh, that was an awful day. All the time and energy you gave for the TRIgirl clinics makes up for a lost mile or two.