Where to begin. Race #3 is done and that’s saying something. This was my most difficult race thus far and I’ve done this race before. .92 mile swim, 31 mile bike ride with 1,800 ft of climbing and a 10k run all at 7,000+ ft elevation! I got ZERO elevation training prior….NONE! I was feelin’ it and quite honestly I deserved what I got.
I can’t lose focus of my 2018 goal. Complete 5 triathlons, raise $5,000 for the National MS Society in my 50th year. You can follow the link to my fundraising page to help me reach my goal and I would be most greatful. http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/CASBikeEvents?px=4472818&pg=personal&fr_id=29976
This race also taught me a couple of valuable lessons:
- Make sure I get my elevations training in
- Know the cutoff times of my race…know my shit
- Keep my composure
The lake was low, I’ve never seen Big Bear Lake this low. Because of that the swim had you jumping off the docks and swim into the middle of the lake. Two laps for the Olympic Distance and the swim didn’t end until you crossed the timing mat back at the dock entrance which was about 300 yards after getting out of the water and you still had to make it nearly a 1/4 mile back to transition! The race director negotiated with USAT to institute a “Deadzone” in this 1/4 mile stretch so I took advantage of walking and bringing my heart rate down. My arms felt heavy on the swim and my breathing was strained. I did my best to settle myself down but it’s tough at that elevation. I shortened my stroke and powered through it.
Last year this was the swim in. The water level made that impossible this year.
This is a challenging bike ride let alone in the middle of a race!
The bike had a tough 2+ mile climb at mile 6 and I took it nice and steady. Having done this race before I knew where to take advantage of the downhills. I came bombing done the hill at the turn around and slowed just enough to make the U-turn and the police officer directing traffic says “You got this” as I ride over the pylon and shout back “Bonus points for running over the pylon!” and away I went. I knew I was one of the last riders but I didn’t mind. For whatever reason my feet began to get really hot and this ride could have been 5 miles shorter and I wouldn’t have complained. I get back to transition and begin changing for my run and a USAT Official is shouting at me “Are you going out on the run?” What? Duh? I continue to change. He comes up to me and repeats his statement and says “you’ve missed the bike cutoff and I need you to only do the 5k course”. WHAT?! I ask what time is it and he says “It’s 11:23 and the cutoff was 11 am”. I look at my coach and she says “Do whatever distance you want!” I take off out of transition pissed off and now doing math in my head and rationalizing what’s happening. I’ve done this race before and my time wasn’t that different. Did they not have a cutoff time before? Did they never enforce the cutoff time before? I told my coach I would make my decision at the 5k turn around. I asked her if I would get my medal and she responded “If they don’t give you your medal I’ll steal one for you!” I knew she had my back and would make sure I successfully full filled my goal.
And now the “Race of Defiance” is on like Donkey Kong! I blew through the 5k turn around making my way to the 10k distance. At this point I’m one of the last runners still on the course but I just don’t care. One of the volunteers riding the course checking up on the last of us keeps me company while I tell him my dilemma to which he responds “I love that! That’s something I would do!” I tell him my 5 races, raising $5,000 for the National MS Society in my 50th year and he says “Oh, hell yea you are finishing this race!” Now I’ve got other volunteers cheering me on because they know how important this is for me. I get to the 10k turn around and take advantage of some fluid and away I go receiving cheers from volunteers along the way. Armed with my new “tude” on this race I run as much as I can but it’s hot so I’m mostly walking. Another runner is approaching me……I know him! Fellow Riverside Road Runner member Oscar is coming towards me! We stick with each other to the finish and now I’ve got another race under my belt that I give and get assistance finishing. I love the support of fellow athletes!
Oscar & I celebrating finishing our VERY challenging race!
Our finish wasn’t eventful, there was no announcement for our race finish. But, I had a good story and looking back on my Big Bear Olympic Distance Triathlon experience I’m not sure I would change a thing. I did receive confirmation from the race director that I had been given inaccurate information on the cutoff times and I did in fact make all race cutoff times, but what’s done is done. Again, I learned a valuable less…know my shit!
Coach Kandi told the volunteer handing out medals my delima and this person decided I need the 10k medal too! Sure I’ll take 2 medals!
My husband and my dog were waiting for me at the finish line but in all the drama or lack there of I didn’t get a photo of us…..ghaaaa! (another photo fail!).
I have just under two weeks until my next race the June Lake Sprint Triathlon. This one is also at elevation and I’ve budgeted some time to make it up in the mountain for some elevation training. I don’t want a repeat that mistake!
I have reached 22% of my fundraising goal and I’m 60% complete on my race schedule. There will be a big gap between race #4 & #5, so I’ve got some time. If you feel the need to help me out I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks and I’ll talk to you soon!