So, for the 2nd year in a row, the usually wonderful race conditions of Saint George Triathlon were blown into a million windy pieces. And there we all were again waiting around with pre race nervous stomachs hoping the swim wouldn’t get canceled again. Sure enough, almost an hour past race time, the shivering and windblown athletes were informed that there was no swim(which was the best call at the time) and that the Olympic distance needed to be ready within about 10 minutes to run a 5k, bike the Olympic course, and then run another 5K. Okay not so bad, just splitting up the planned 10K.
But, right after their waves left for the run, the sprint triathletes, were then warned that they had only about 5-10 minutes to also do a 5k, Sprint bike and another 5K. Poor things, twice the run, than what they were ready for. And that is a pretty tall order for some of those people not expecting or ready to run that far.
Now, I don’t know how everyone felt about the situation. I am sure there were a variety of reactions ranging from disappointment, to frustration, to I don’t care I just want to do something and get this race going. For the most part, endurance athletes make the best of the environment especially since everyone at the event has got to deal with it too. But, what about me? What was I going to do? My “A” race, Hawaii 70.3, is only in 3 weeks and I really needed to do was only the original plan of a sprint tri. That was it, all I needed was a little over an hour of threshold training and definitely not spend anymore than 20 minutes running hard. I had way too much training left to do and couldn’t risk running any farther than a 5K and taking too long to get recovered. So, while I was cool with doing no swim leg, now they threw out a double dose of the 5K leg. ARGH! The best laid plans of mice and men!
So what’s a girl with a goal to go fast in 3 weeks for a half ironman to do? Well, I had already looked around me earlier in the morning and realized that it was hot, windy and the bike course was really hilly. Just. Like….Hawaii 70.3! So I thought to myself, “Hmm…I really wish I could just do my last long ride today rather than the middle of next week. I have been inside on my trainer for all my long rides so it would be nice to get adapted to being out. And that’s what was on the training plan to begin with for today, not a race. BUT, I am rested for this race and still hoping to get in a race effort before I go. Even if the conditions aren’t great and I don’t swim, then it will be a great lactate day with just the right amount of work to recover quickly from so I can do long stuff in a couple of days.” I was TRYING to be positive and then got blown over by the announcer’s proclamation of the new double the sprint 5K run plan. I think all the other sprint triathletes were shocked too. In fact, I was so shocked, that a switched flipped in my head immediately and the light went on. “What am I thinking? I am so getting on my bike and doing what I really need to do for the race I REALLY care about. Sign me up right now for a 65-70 mile ride on hot, hilly and windy roads!”
Yep, that is really what I did. Within 5 minutes (and I kid you not!) I grabbed my TYR race backpack, jumped on my bike and turned in my timing chip as I rolled out of transition. See you later guys and dolls, this lady is going for a ride! So ride I did for about 68 miles on terrain and in conditions that are similar to what I will face in less than 3 weeks in Hawaii. The fun part was that for the first hour, I got to ride on the course while the racers were racing. And for the first time ever, I got to watch a bike leg without being in it! Very fun and I got to see one of my athletes,Weston Woodward, riding his way to the fastest bike split of the day and 2nd overall. Even better was that I saw another elite athlete, coach and good friend of mine, Coach Keena, out there too on her bike cheering on her friends and athletes. So I guess I am not the only one crazy enough to drive all that way, see a better plan for their long range goals and decide to go fly kites on that windy day.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WHEN I POSTED HOW I FELT ABOUT RACING,
“No matter where you are at fitness wise, getting out and doing what you are ready for is what should make you happy. Other peoples’ or society’s expectations should be disregarded. They are not in your shoes and don’t know what brings you joy or makes you tick.”
I REALLY MEANT IT!