I know this is long overdue, but I’ve had other stuff on my mind. The short story is a combined set of lessons. First, that one should never not try their bestest when in a race. So I tried my bestest. Second, there’s only so much an almost 40 yo can expect off of less than ideal training volume and 3 races over 4 weeks. So then I blew up. If you’re still interested, a little more detail follows.
It was one of those days that wasn’t going to be super fast no matter what. The swim was slow (no wetsuit and slow times in general). The bike seemed beset with cross headwinds for a huge majority and then I didn’t do myself any favors by getting a little behind on my salt intake (then dropped all my salt) leading to some obnoxious cramping that led to me humming to myself to try and ignore the pain. The run was cursed with the heat of a thousand suns beating down upon us. It was probably humid too, but I don’t remember for sure.
For all that, I was still doing all I could to hang on to 2nd. However, the heat was just too much and I was not having fun. My top two goals for the day were to (1) have fun, and (2) get a fast enough time to qualify for the long distance national championship in Mytle Beach later this season. A bonus goal would be to nail a fast time, but that ship had sailed.
So, anyway, there I am out there suffering and baking on the nearly shadeless run course asking myself why I was doing this. Was I having fun? No. Should I walk? I want to walk. Am I truly feeling bad enough to walk and not regret it later? Well, I finally decided that the answer to that last question was a resounding yes at 9 miles. I walked for a whole mile until I was cooled off enough to jog my way in.
I have to say that the walking and jogging part was the best part of the race. Then I was enjoying myself. Smiling and waving and encouraging the two ladies who ran by me. Once in this better frame of mind, I noticed the suffering on most other peoples’ faces. I was certainly feeling better than they were! Goal #1 achieved. The best part? I still managed a 5:05, which is easily fast enough to achieve goal #2.
Done and done. Now a nice break until July, when I race again at Triangle Tri.
Oh, wait, one other thing. I learned something interesting about myself, for which some of you less hard core race types my want to avert your eyes for. Here goes. I can pee while running. Now, I’m not hardcore enough to pee on the bike the way some of you do and there’s a strong likelihood that having naturally born a 9+ pound baby is partly to “thank” for this skill, but at least we all now know that I wasn’t dehydrated.