Yesterday was the culmination of the (sanctioned) triathlon season here in the Pacific Northwest.
I had grand plans to perhaps do a Half Iron triathlon (and and there were the two marathons I was going to do to earn my “marathon maniac” status)
But my training this year was “epic fail”.
Of course, the goal I set at the beginning of the year was an Olympic distance triathlon which I did complete (three of them actually) It just didn’t feel like “enough” once I completed my first one in early June.
I started out by barely surviving the holiday season (our busiest season at work and the beginning of my Mom’s medical drama)
I had to take several weeks off of training at the end of February when due to the aforementioned mom and job stress, layoffs at work, and having been sick I bonked on the Chilly Hilly ride with a heart rate of 215 (totally sick with cold/flu, stress and sleep deprivation induced).
February through the end of July, my mother was in and out of the hospital and there was much drama, lying, and resurgence of childhood issues including abuse.
And then there was the drama leading up to my mother’s death and the news that her body had been found and all the legal financial pressure dumped on me as the sole survivor. (not to mention having to deal with her friends wanting this or that, and vulture real estate agents)
After that, I got the flu, then I got a nasty sinus infection, then I tried to break my ankle falling/crashing my bike in the transition area at the Bonney Lake Triathlon three weeks ago.
It was a rough year, and I spent so much of it sick, stressed out and grieving that my training was completely inadequate.
I still raced through it all. I knew that my times would suck and that I’d be prone to injury if I pushed. But I needed to move (when I wasn’t sick)
Yesterday I completed my third Olympic triathlon (which I was hoping would be my first half iron distance) at Black Diamond. My 11th triathlon this year, and my 14th triathlon ever. (I started this silliness late last season)
When I drove through Enumclaw early yesterday morning, the thermometer at a local bank read 37 degrees (F) friends who were at the park (Nolte State Park) said that the thermometers in their cars read between 33 and 36 degrees.
That’s just “butt cold”
The lake (Deep Lake at Nolte State Park) was steaming when I arrived.
I needed to get there at 6:30 AM in order to get one of the very limited parking spaces at the state park; otherwise, I’d have to park 1 ¼ miles away in Cumberland and take a bus (not likely, I’d have ridden my bike and hauled my gear) to the park.
By the time I got my transition area set up, my feet were numb from the cold. I walked back to my truck, cranked the heater and hung out there until the start. It takes a lot time for the sun to hit an area surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and old growth forest.
My teeth were chattering (even in 3mm neoprene) when this picture was taken
The water was a “balmy” 64 degrees which sadly, felt good to get into.
I got the snot kicked out of me during the one mile swim (someone even hit my injured ankle). It was like swimming in a washing machine full of boulders. The start area was very wide across the shore, with everyone heading to a tiny point to round the first buoy.
*this shot from last year’s event… Check out how close the buoy on the far left is to the shore (it’s a small lake) No… not the one to the left of the shore, the one behind the shore… We all had to jam into that tiny spot to get around the first buoy (oh, and this shot shows about 1/3 of the swimmers in an average wave…)
I keep saying this, but I have got to stop starting in the back of the swim. I end up getting stuck behind slower swimmers, and there should be a rule that those who breast stroke should start in the back-it’s difficult to safely pass a breast stroking frog kicker.
I had a rather unimpressive transition from swim to bike and hit the rolling hills of the Cascades for what must be one of the most spectacularly beautiful bike courses I’ve ever seen.
The temperature “might” have been up in the 40s by then, but I’m not so certain. I did put on my The North Face Cipher jacket to cut some wind chill on my wet tri suit.
A woman who rode next to me for a time said, “What about that crazy swim?” Apparently she got the snot kicked out of her as well.
The 25 mile ride was challenging without being too difficult. My Garmin shows 1,410 elevation gain, 1,140 feet elevation loss (my Garmin says negative 191 feet of flat. I’m not sure how that works, but let it suffice to say that it was not a flat course)
My legs felt like mush by the time I was done with the bike ride.
I had another unimpressive transition (I was so out of it by this time that I put my bike shoes back on instead of my running shoes so had to change shoes again) to the 10K run.
I was very concerned about my lack of training and injured ankle (it wasn’t sprained but with the kind of trauma it was subjected to, I’m suspected that it would be more prone to injury than normal so I took it very easy on the run, quite a bit of which was on trails.)
The important thing here was to finish uninjured.
I met a very cool woman on the run portion (we also chatted a bit on the bike ride)
Here is my new friend Natalie and I after the race.
I actually managed to eek out a 3rd place finish in the Athena/40 and over divison. There were five women registered. I don’t know how many actually finished (the results page was borked at the time I posted this report) but I’ll take it.
Any finish you can walk away from right…
Here was the course…
My goal this year was to finish an Olympic Distance triathlon.
I completed three. I even (still don’t know how this happened but it’s still showing on the USA Triathlon website) got All American Honors for the Moses Lake Olympic Triathlon. (I think the rest of my times were too slow to even show up on the rankings as that is the only one I could find)
I completed a total of 11 triathlons this year.
And I got a lot of shiny things 🙂
I’ll take it.
And I’m planning on 2010 being a MUCH better year!
But I’m not done with 2009. I’ll be running the Seattle Half Marathon, the Norpoint Turkey Trot and some of Bob’s uber fun races down in Elma.