Monday, April 26, 2010

Pre-race report Texas 70.3: Can you say NERVES?

First off, thank you thank you thank you for all the nice comments, the FB comments, the emails etc before DURING ( i did read them all in Transition, hence my slow T times. LOL) and after the race. It was super fun to "see" people cheering for me while i raced and i felt it!

Last time i did a huge long blog it was bad. So i am going to break this up since i am pretty tired and also dont want to leave out fun details of the race:) So pre-race here goes:

Thursday: Flew in later in the day to Houston, via St.Louis. It was my first time flying Southwest and I loved it. Did you hear me? I HEART SW. I cant even tell you how evil i think Delta is. But i just did, so there. I mean even the passengers on the plane seemed less stressed, and more willing to share space, etc. So I Got in a bit late to Houston and my sister picked me up. I had a slight travel meltdown in the airport parking area bc she had so much stuff in the car that we had to literally repack her cases of diet coke and water ( and shoes, and flippers, and clothing) that live in her car. Heck, she works alot, i get it:) but I just wasnt in the mood to hang out travelling any longer. I was READY TO RACE. ( note this, bc by saturday night at 3am when i email JEN I am about ready to lose it)

We get to her house and we are all into bed by about 11:30. Decent sleep, cant complain, its like 70 out! Raining but 70!

Friday: Heide is running around working and taking chippy to School ( my nephew, who btw has grown another foot!) and I am kinda hanging around waiting to go. Of course ( recall last night) I am ready to rock and roll. I mean i must be racing soon, right? Lets get this party started! Anyways I am sure i annoyed the heck out of her, but we finally got rolling around 1:30 and it was so good to be heading to GALVESTON! Woohoo! Chippy would come down after school with Janis, his au pair, and a friend. We had adjoining rooms so the kids could do whatever they wanted all weekend and we could have race HQ next door. We got down to Galveston and the sun peeked out but it was windy! We got into the hotel ( Moody Gardens) and then decided to go check in to the race and then go swim. By now it has become a long day and the travel of the day prior caught up to me. I am spoiled. I usually fly nonstop. But repeat after me " I LOVE SW!" so no worries.

We go check in and its pretty short, do the mandatory shopping ( Rich needed a cool shirt!) and Heide stocked up on some gels and water bottles. And then it was time to swim. Heide decided to go ride her bike and i went to check out the swim. I was tired. But knew i would regret not seeing what this salt water pond ( a bayou ) was all about. And when i finally got to the start area there were tons of people in little packs so i just tagged along. You know the type, the middle schooler that stays about 10 feet behind the cool kids and doesnt talk but looks the other way when they turn around and see you? That was me until about the 1st buoy on the course. Seriously funny. This one couple was out there and i was just about 5 feet from them with the current and then I think i creeped them out! So i went back! The water was warm ( 72!) no signs of anything as i couldnt see my hand, a bit of a current, no sharks ( Marit, do this race!) just good old salt water.

I met up with Heide in the room and we had dinner in the room. Lame I know, but i really HATE eating out during races. I just want to eat in my jammies and drink my own water etc and not wait for the nice garcon to bring me iced over water. So anyways...we found suitable menu items and took them to the room. And we forgot the loaf of bread so my lunch the next day was hurting. I had ALL THAT nut butter and bananas and rice cakes, but as much as i love rice cakes they are NOT a proper bread pre race :)

Saturday: Heide is up at a normal hour of 7am. Her wave doesnt go off until 8:50! Lucky sleep in. I slept ok, but every so often i had this stomach churn of " this will be me tommorrow!" It never really left my mind that I had my day in 24 hours. That kind of "gulp" you get when you remember that tick tock your time is approaching!

I had planned to do my Brick day ( 10 min of each) early in the am and meet her at the swim. So she headed to Transition and I headed out on my bike to check her out. The roads were wet so i didnt stray far, and i couldnt get on the course which was ok. So i zoomed up and down the parking lots. It was pretty windy. I lost the number off my helmet ( dork I know, as sooon as i got checked in friday i numbered everything. I only had 2 days may as well not leave it till the night before. Do you see a trend here?! Hyper) So i got Gretta rolling, checked the wheels for the 100th time and then ran to the swim. But there was nobody there?! I kinda thought they had delayed it, but they actually cancelled it. BUMMER. I met two Oly athletes and they were ready to go. But it looked rough, but not THAT rough. In hindsight, we had rough water sunday and the winds were about 1/2 of what they were sunday. So the Sprint and OLY races became straight TT Start bike to runs.

I was messed up on her times, etc..but finally saw her coming in on the bike and then watched her chase down some women in her AG. She did awesome! She ended up winning the oly 50-54 women and her friend Kristi got 3rd OA. I have some pics of them, and they all look like fit and fast Texans! Super proud of her! and super tired. But i wanted to go to the 12:45 meeting not the 5pm meeting so i sucked it up and continuted ON MY FEET for another hour. In hindsight i would NOT stand up for 5 hours the day before a race and THEN sit outside in the sun for a race meeting. I crawled under a tree, seriously.

Race meeting. Was ok. I didnt tell you that this was my FIRST M DOT race ever, so to be even more frank. IT. SEEMED. SO. BIG. Like scarey big. so i wanted to go to the meeting to make sure i knew all the potential rules i may break. Seriously do they always do the "IF YOU DRAFT, we will kill you." speech? Actually i think it worked but it only works if EVERYONE respects the rules, and luckily in what i saw most everyone did. shoes in the pedals, that was a bummer, and I could rack Gretta race morning. cool. and cool that I had my own number on the rack so i didnt have to be a meanie and tell some lady to move her @#$% off my space. (oops getting ahead of myself)

i go back to the room after awards and PASS OUT. I mean PASS OUT COLD. I slept for about 40 minutes then got hungry and get up to eat at 3pm/ I ate alot saturday it was like the bottomless pit. I think it was part nerves and part " eat up sister, you are eating gels tommorrow!" Gross i know.

Heide, chippy, Kristi, and Heide's BF "Rich" seriously his name is Rich, all go out for dinner and i am in the room eating my boring old meal and watching some movie with Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman. I am thinking about the race but trying to not think about the race, and thinking how pretty Uma is and wondering if that is her normal hair color.

See, nutzo-ness is setting in. I NEED TO GET MY JOB DONE. And i am totally wired. I have had no caffeine in a week and so that is not the cause. As you can guess, lights are out at 9pm and until about 3am I am thinking of all the scenarios, all the good ones ( hmm...did I really think about those?) and all the bad ones ( what if our swim is cancelled, what if i really was supposed to rack the bike I mean it said MANDATORY in the papers, but the race director said we could do it in the am...what if i have a panic attack in the water? What if my shin hurts when running right peroneals were killing me after all the standing and walking on CONCRETE friday and saturday...what if what if...does my fast air work? I have never used it? what if i get a flat?) Yup seriously. The good thing about all this "chatter" and i do mean it, is that despite not having a playmate to help diffuse the nerves, i really have no anxiety about who i am racing against. I mean if i looked at every fit chick in my rack or I looked at all the bike porn I COULD be intimidated. But i know that fast women come in all shapes and sizes and honestly I know that just like in tennis, If i play my game, I take care of my shots/stick to my plan, then i will do the best i can on that day. So who cares what they do. I guess that pre-competition anxiety has always been a part of me thru all the tennis i played, but thankfully it is less with racing.. after the gun goes off!

Jen told me ( respectfully) to SHUT MY MIND OFF ( I think i had a better way to say that but i wont write it here) and to let me body do what it knew how to do. And Rich ( my Rich) also talked me down as i sat in transition at 6:10 am ( yes our wave went off DFL....Dead F-ing LAST) at 8:15 but we had to be out of T at 6:40. oh yea. And worst of all was again i was the middle schooler tagging along out of tranistion looking for a white cap, or a group of white caps to kill another hour ( standing, again!)

So...the middle schooler graduated after the swim start and got a life of her own so dont you worry. More tommorrow:)

Below is a picture just before i graduated and got my Go!!! on.

PS...I didnt see many pros, actually I kinda hoped they would be waiting for me at the finish! I mean really? :)


Angela and David Kidd said...

Okay, your entire thought process is just hysterical. And I love the analogy to the middle schoolers. I'm also impressed you went to the race meeting. I have never been to a race meeting for a single race I've done. I think it would totally freak me out to go because unlike you, everyone else always intimidates the hell out of me.

Trigirlpink said...

The last wave? I hate that. ugh... I would have needed breakfast again.... waiting for Part 2.......

heck.. forget that. Cut to the chase!!! You had a smoking run. *The icing* I say!!

I can just hear Jen, "Ok Sparky, shut your mind off"

Molly said...

I heart Southwest - I try to ONLY fly them when I'm going somewhere in the US. I'm flying to Nashville and DRIVING to Knoxville next week to avoid going on Delta.

Sounds like normal pre-race jitters to me. Those "big" races can be so serious and intimidating. Great job!

Chris said...

I'm a current Dartmouth student, and I'm just starting to get into multisport. I look forward to hearing the rest of the race report! I hope things went well!

p.s. Southwest rocks. I haven't flown anyone else for years now.

Michelle Simmons said...

Can you send an email to Southwest and tell them to start flying to hawaii? I used to LOVE SWA when I lived in AZ. :)

You write good race reports. And you haven't even started writing about the racing yet. :) Looking forward to tomorrow!

Beth said...

Southwest will always be my love! :)

Starting in the last wave has to be the worst! But you obviously made it work for you! Great job to your sis!! Can't wait to hear the rest of the report! :)

TriGirl Kate O said...

Glad you made it off the ledge and into the water! Can't wait to read installment #2.


Ange said...

I'm cracking up.... YOu wrote your feeling well...and I'm laughing because you are JUST Like ME at races! I'm a Totaly Spaz!!! total nut job. Probably MUCH worse than you!! I'm sure I am.
Can't wait to

cheryl said...

I can't believe you get nervous, you seem so steady Eddy. Last year I had 2 races where I was the last wave. Before I did the first one I thought it would be awful, but once I got going I actually liked it. Always people to shoot for ahead of you... all good until they run out of fluids at the aid stations. But I think they are all learning that lesson. ok, can't wait to read the rest of the race report to see how you did! JK, I know how you did ;-)

Rebecca DeWire said...

I know how this story ends (and you totally smoke the course) so it is surprising to hear how nervous you were! SWA is OK as long as you aren't allergic to peanuts! I don't understand why they insist on still serving that snack.

runningyankee said...

i heart SW. esp when they give out the good snacks! you managed to put everything away and assemble a fantastic race. that says alot for what you've been thru over the past few weeks. i would have been right there with you watching steel magnolias and eating rice cakes in teh hotel room. cheers :)

Jamie said...

Hi! So fun to read another report of Galveston :) Great job and look forward to install no. 2! Jamie V.