Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not Faster, But Still Learning (Part 3)

**And now, back to our regularly scheduled race report**

As I said, I made a choice to take on an extra gel in the last 5 minutes of the bike, and I pushed the pace ever so slightly for the last 40 minutes on the road. I thought I could have a good run, and I knew I could make up time over last year's horrendous T2 time, and if Kona Shelley blew up on the run because she pushed the bike too hard (like THAT'S never happened) I had a shot to reel her back in.

So, I came in quick, racked my bike, ditched the helmet, changed my shoes, and ran out of transition carrying my hat and nutrition belt. T2 was 1:36, absolutely smokin' as compared to last year's "dinner and a movie" time of 3:54.

And the first mile was pretty good. My legs didn't feel all wonky and I focused on trying to maintain good turnover and decent form. I ran the first mile in about 8:30, doused myself with water and kept on.

But then . . . see . . . the thing about safety tabs is . . .

While SOME people just rip the safety tabs off all willy nilly, see, my safety tabs are kept in a secret government installation under a mountain and behind blast proof doors. Inside the mountain is a secure room -- think Mission Impossible secure -- where the safety tabs are behind a welded, titaniam cage and the key is behind emergency glass that you have to break with a hammer. If you do that, big men with short haircuts, sunglasses, and automatic weapons come to protect the safety tabs.

Anyhoo, by mile 3 it was getting fairly clear that the safety tabs were going to remain in place. Part of this is because I'm a wuss. I don't like pain, and when I get into a certain amount of it, my pre-greyhound brain starts telling me I'm not going to be able to finish. To this day, fear of not finishing governs a LOT of what I do on a racecourse. I need to work on that. And I will. After Ironman Wisconsin, Coach T and I are concentrating on 5k race training, which is all about pain and NO SAFETY TABS.

Added in the mix was that foot banging episode -- either that or some other type of foot issue -- which had me feeling as if my socks were bunched under the ball of my left foot or I was running on a marble. Running down hill on a marble -- yeah, that was great.

Added to that was my nutrition plan rebelling on me. I had been training consistently with NUUN and Perpetuem and e-gels, but something about the combination or the way I slammed that extra gel had my little puppy brain telling me that if I took one more swallow, I would get to see all that nutrition in my bloated stomach.

So, I did a half-marathon in the blistering heat just sucking on ice chips like a woman in labor. Although, let me be perfectly clear: I would rather do a half-marathon in the blistering heat than ever go through labor.

All the same, I kept an eye peeled in the event I saw the tell-tale red jerseys up ahead. If I had a chance to take them down, I was prepared to risk a safety tab or two. Eventually, when climbing the hill to the energy lab, I saw one, and it was clearly Triboomer. I kept an even pace, seeing that I was gaining on him. When I caught him, I asked after Kona Shelley's whereabouts (or is that where-a-boots), and he told me she was way off the front. So, I knew the goose was cooked. When I saw her on the turnaround, I conceded. There was no physical way to catcher, and then to put 5 minutes into her to make up for the wave start.

But I could stay with Triboomer . . . maybe. We traded the lead or ran together until we got to the last three miles, and then the foot issue and my non-nutrition state was starting to wear on me. I closed the safety tab vault and risked that he would put 5 minutes into me (to make up for our wave difference) in the last 5k. And he almost did. I shut it down in favor of being able to train this week, and because I'm a wuss, and finished just a few seconds in front of him in a total elapsed time of 6:34:26. Only negligibly faster (although with much less effort expended) than last year's time of 6:34:45.

The long and the short of it is I got caned by a multi-Ironman finisher (no surprise there), but I can beat a one-armed 46 year old Ironman who got docked with a two minute penalty.

So, I've got that going for me.

Which is good.


Brent Buckner said...

Thanks for the report. A big deposit in the metaphorical bank!

TriSaraTops said...


Nice Caddyshack reference!

I needed that.

Good report!

21stCenturyMom said...

You done good. That's Texas speak, eh? Oh wait - I'm all confused about language but not about your performance. Congratulations.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

It's nice to know that more training does lead somewhere - in your case, less effort. I find this reassuring.

I share your safety tab issue.

You also beat an old mommy doing her first half, so you got that going for you too!

Bigun said... have a lovely singing voice and can tie a bow tie - these are also things that you have going for you...

TriBoomer said...

This one-armed-46-year-old-Ironman will race with you any day, dawg. It was good to run with you.

Stay tuned...

Jessi said...

Just getting caught up on the race report - sounds like it was an epic day!