Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ok, ok, ok

I've been delaying posting my race report from Steelhead simply because I don't feel like rehashing it. It was one of those times that when things started go wrong, it was only the beginning of the end.  But here you have it...and then I will quickly move on the excitement that lies ahead next week!
Weather: Cool and very wet. It was pouring rain from the minute I got out of bed. Not exactly the way to get me in the competitive racing spirit!
Swim: Thankfully I held true to the TYR moto from the beginning of the swim. I got out in front right away and stayed "always in front." At the half way point I looked back to see a girl 10yds back. She had been there most of the way so I decided to slow up and work with her. Staying in her draft was like floating down a river-easy! But the second I moved along side I was working I opted to work on the drafting skills and stayed tucked in her draft until the last buoy where I took over the lead and pulled us to shore.

Bike: I can't go into all the details because I simply refuse to rehash it all. I mean I have a bigger and better race coming up and the past is the past ;) But short story. Rain. Decent head wind. Mile 20 my front wheel wasn't rotating. I had no clue how to fix it, as it seemed to be a problem with the hub. I rolled on, a bit frustrated. 
As I passed girls from earlier waves they started to hold onto my, two, three, four, five. Ok, seriously?!?!? At one point I swear there were 10 of them, and predominately chics. (usually I feel like it's the guys that get caught up in groups). The only time I could pull away was on the small (very small) "hills." But the pack would come back and cling on again. Now I was doublely frustrated. Wait, make that triple. Because my heart rate also wouldn't go up. I figured this might happen with all the higher volume IM training, but it's still frustrating when it happens. Can you see the frustration in my face?!?!?!
Then only a few miles to go I flew by a girl. There was a moto behind me, but I figured he wasn't a ref since he had passed me about 3 times when there was a train behind me (and did NOTHING). Well he pulled up, flashed the red card and continued to tell me I didn't make the pass fast enough. If I get a penalty I'll take it like an athlete...IF I am guilty of the offense! But when I asked if he had a stop watch and timed my pass he proceeded to receipt the rule and tell me it took me 11 seconds. Hmmmmm, clearly he was yet another WTC volunteer ref who didn't know the rules. I was irate. I, like so many athletes and industry peeps, have a laundry list of annoyances with WTC. They are overselling the races (money hungry?!?!?), not paying refs (money hungry?!?!?!) and then not even training them properly. This is unacceptable. We train too hard, and spend way too much money in this sport for this crap. And it isn't even like they were giving out a ton of penalties out there. In fact I checked and only a handful were given all day. Ok, ranting done, because I could go on and on. 
                                  Dad, thanks for the pic of me standing still and watching ppl fly by me.
Good news, my bike split wasn't horrific once you subtract the 4min penalty. And better news: I cld have held that effort for another 56miles!
Run: After spending 4 mins in the penalty tent I was out of it. I couldn't make up that much time, and worse I was mentally frustrated/exhausted and it translated into my body giving up as well. I didn't care if I was passed, at times wanted to stop or run it in even easier than I was running, and even found myself in the port-o-potty twice (not something that ever happens for me). Although my time was decent (1:33) my mental attitude was atrocious. 
I usually am happy and have fun out on the run course. This race was different, I was mentally over it. Looking back, maybe I needed this. 
It was fun to have Beth and James out there racing with me in my home state! 
And thanks Mom and Dad for hanging out and cheering all morning! My dad said "this race reminded me of all those weekends we spent at swim meets. It was an all day event just to watch you swim for a few minutes." 
Ya, this wasn't exactly the Kona race viewing experience ;) BUT we had a pretty awesome week together following the race. Pics from our week to come. Tomorrow, I promise ;) 

In an Ironman, things typically don't go well from start to finish. It's about dealing with things as they come and staying positive! Steelhead70.3 was a reminder of this, and I'm happy it came then instead of next weekend. I can't wait to be tested, both mentally and physically! Richters Pass, Yellow'll be in my dreams. 7 SLEEPS!