Sunday, September 22, 2019

I Forgot How Hard That Was - Harvest Moon 70.3 Race Report 2019

Last weekend I did my first triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 miles bike, 13.1 mile run) in five years. It hurt like hell. I don't know if it's cause I'm five years older or just a pussy, but that took a lot of mental and physical fortitude.

Since the Dirty Thirty 50k in the beginning of June, I switched gears from trail running to full triathlon mode My workout life became swimming, biking and running. I returned to the pool full of its pubic hair, used band aids and senior aerobics (hey, pussy posse! Remember me?). I rejoined the cycling world putting in miles upon miles every weekend, usually followed by very hot runs that turned into death marches. I put in my time and had no clue how it would all shake out.

I look happy, but I had just made my third trip to the porto potty
 and was fearing how my colon would hold up

Race morning was too early, as most race mornings are. I spent lots of time literally choking down my calories because I cannot eat that early. I gagged on my jelly and butter sandwich. Plus, I had spent the entire day before volunteering for race set up, which involved lots of heavy lifting and walking and time in the baking sun. This was not a smart idea.

It was cold at the Boulder Reservoir. 46 degrees to be exact. The very last thing on the planet I wanted to do was get in the water and swim 1.2 miles. I was literally shivering as we waited on the beach in my sleeveless wet suit. I hate being cold more than I hate almost anything except vomit. Vomit wins.

This is my friend Jeanne. We are the same age and very well matched for paces on the bike and run
My goal is to beat Jeanne.

The swim went not that well. By the first buoy I was gasping from the cold and could not catch my breath. I told myself to get my shit together, to take deep breaths. I did the breast stroke for a second and got on my back to catch my breath. I thought, "Just go because the sooner you get this done the sooner you will be warm." One buoy at a time. Made the turn around and headed back to the shore.

Here I go with my cone head

Swim: 1.2 miles 40 minutes

This is how you get beach waves in your hair

I started the bike and waited about 30 minutes before I started eating. Then I ate every hour. 3 gels, one Honey Stinger waffle with peanut butter, lots of water and some Nuun. Also, 4 salt stick tablets, which I taped to my bike so I wouldn't forget. The bike for me is a dance of holding back to save my legs for the run and pushing enough so that  I feel competitive. The route was two 28 mile loops. I felt strong. But, the whole time I dreaded the fucking run. It was hot, almost 90 degrees. I was already tired and how exactly was I going to squeeze out a half marathon? But I knew I would.

Bike 56 miles 3:08 

I swapped out my biking shoes for running shoes and my race helmet for a visor, then hit the road. To me, one of the most despicable feelings in the world is when you get off the bike after a few hours and attempt to run. Your legs are made of jello and your mind is mental mush.

I knew the run would be a grind to be taken one mile at a time. Thankfully, there were aid stations about every mile. I had given up eating at this point, but when I approached aid I'd yell "ice, water, coke!" I'd dump the ice in my (non existent) cleavage, pour the water on my my head and drink the coke. Seemed to be a good combo. I slogged through those miles mentally ticking each one off as I went.

Finally - the finish line chute and Ken are in sight!

Run 13.1 miles: 2:17

It felt good to sit down. I tried a beer, but no go.

Then I was completely surprised to be...

1st in age group with a total time of 6:13.

Getting up on the podium block was the toughest feat of the day.

That is some serious sweat on my ass

I truly forgot how tough longer distance triathlons are. Now...more training for the running races I have in my future:

  1. Bourbon Chase Relay in Kentucky: October 17
  2. A brand new trail 50k in __________  Stay tuned for where this will be.

  • It's at the end of November
  • It's not in this country, or on this continent
  • It's hot as hell
  • The country is bordered by three different countries 
  • Its coast is on one gulf and one sea
Can you guess??? If you do I'll send you some gum. Really, I will. I just got a bunch of thirst quenching gum for while you run. 

Thanks for reading, friends!