RACE REPORT: GATORADE RACE 6
DISTANCE - 750/20/6
RATING – RELIEVED
This is a ‘splat’ (unedited) post.
It’s been a pretty long season, for me – four sprint and one Olympic distance triathlon, three ocean races ranging from 2-4km, all in three and a half months, with my thesis, Christmas, summer holidays and a birthday or three mixed in. I never really ‘lifted’ again after the Olympic distance, and then when my old friend the unstable pelvis started wanting attention again – all it had to do was ask, I’d have taken it out for a coffee or something, there was no need to hurt my poor calf for heaven’s sake! – it was all starting to seem too much.
I didn’t mention in previous posts that all I had to do was finish this race to take out the Athena series because I was ashamed that I had every intention of risking injury, and possibly blowing my Winter Project. It was all a tiring tangle in my head. I really want my WP to work out, but because of all the hoo-ha about getting the Athena category started, I think it’s important to fly the flag and show up to races. And I’d already paid. In addition, I’m still a bit angry about how it all unfolded, so if I could take out the series just by showing up then I was bloody going to. I’m a bling-ho and that’s all there is to it.
Anyway: tired, flat, sore and unenthusiastic, off I went. I used The List to pack so I didn’t forget my bike, anti-fog or nutrition. Nor my wetsuit, which was extremely helpful as it was stupidly cold – the clock on the silo on Punt Road read 8 degrees as I drove past. Do you sometimes think about something you are about to do and sigh at your own bloody-mindedness? *sigh*
The thing about having more body-fat than 95% of the people about you is that they all look much colder than you. Oooh it was hard to take off my shoes and socks to put them into my transition setup! My poor toes, brrr! Crisis #1 struck when I noticed I hadn’t replaced my pump after Noddie ‘helped’ me pump up my tyres the previous night. OK, take off the puncture kit. I flat, I walk. But then I noticed my tyres weren’t as high as they should be – dammit! Off we went to the bike shop marquee to use their floor pump. Crisis #2 – Muggins here had wheeled Minerva out without my helmet, and you can’t get into transition without a helmet! Don’t tell SB, but luckily an official who’d seen me go in earlier was good enough to let me past.
Being a shocking sticky-beak I checked the racks to see how many Athenas would be racing. Just three of us had fronted up, since my poor friend M has had anaemia and was resting – or rather, doing the mini-tri, her version of resting. Then it was (shudder) time to get suited up and down to the swim start. It’s never a good sign when the sand is so cold it makes your feet burn. The water wasn’t as cold as I expected, huzzah! - until I put my face in it – cryogenics, anyone? There was much chatting and gosh-aren’t-we-stupid/brave? among the lunatics who sat shivering in the water cos it was warmer than standing in the wind. Kathy the fast Athena (in the photo in the last post) was there; the poor darl has had a hip injury and wasn’t sure if she could finish the run. She told me after the race that she felt very strongly about the Athena category because she’d had lap-band surgery and knew exactly how hard it was for large women to get into exercise. Fingers crossed her hip recovers completely.
My swim was a disgrace. The tide was pretty far out so there was lots of wading/dolphining involved; it hurt to put my face in the water; I was consumed by a feeling of not-giving-a-rat’s-arse. Then I had to carve through the field, which was tiresome; eventually it occurred to me I wasn’t going to be at all happy with my time and should pull my finger out quicksticks. Wade wade run run puff puff get-this-bastard-wetsuit-OFF! sunnies-helmet-shoes and away we go!
The sun had come up but there was a stiff breeze and my stupid legs stupidly hurt so sooky la-la LBTEPA-evasion tactics had to be applied from the word go. We had three goes into the wind becuase the course was two long thin loops, first heading north from transition, then south back past it and then back again (if you follow me). I concentrated on not complaining, not caring if my legs hurt, and looking forward to the two long tailwind sections. And not thinking about the run! The run is for the run, all you have to do is ride, the run is for the run….. I kept seeing the technical officials and worrying they were going to ping me for something I had no idea about. I do try really hard to move over or drop back when someone passes, but so many people pass me! Pedal pedal pedal…ahhhhh lovely tailwind…thankyou marshall! drink some water eat a gel pedal pedal pedal stop whining just keep your legs going all you have to do is finish now you can walk it in if you flat pedal pedal pedal
T2 was slightly less shite than usual even though I put my socks on. I don't know why, but if I put them on in T1 they always end up wet. I knew I’d want something warm on my feet and I was right. Kathy’s bike wasn’t there (I didn’t know about her flat) so I was a bit concerned and hoped she’d be able to finish. The third woman never showed up at all, which was clever of her.
It wasn’t too cold and we were mostly sheltered from the wind - it was just that my legs had turned to concrete! Ah ha! thought I, you can’t fool me into giving up, I’ve been here before. Just keep going. Keep going. Gosh I’m slow. Why do I bother doing this when I’m so bad at it? STOP that! Head up. Lift your knees. Sing your endless silly song from Playschool that reminds you of Noddie and makes you laugh. Thank the marshals. Drink at the drink stops. Walk the ‘0’ minutes. You know what? This isn’t so bad!
To my relief, my calf was just feeling heavy and tired, not too sore. On and on I trundled. I could see the finish in the distance – it was time to gun it and run hard! Alas, my calf was having none of that - the muscle pulled so hard and painfully I almost stopped dead. Bastard! Don’t you do this to me now! Oh come on, just another 500 metres, that’s all…please? Well f#$% you mate, I’m running anyway and hoppity-skipped, limped and finally trundled my way to the finish.
The first aid tent bloke was lovely and taped some ice on my leg so I could walk around dripping and looking totally hardcore LOL.
I was very glad to see Kathy at the presentations – even with the flat tyre she was only two minutes behind me! We got talking about how intimidating the whole hard-bodied Orbea-riding tri scene could be; it was then she told me about her surgery and all the changes she’d made to her life. I was disgusted to hear that she had not got one single medal for any of her races even though she’d placed every time – not only had she never been on the podium, they’d never even posted her bling to her!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! It was time for a quick lesson in ‘Pushy’, so I went up to the medal table and made sure the Athenas would be part of the presentations – and even then they gave Kathy third place instead of second! WTF? I also introduced her to the RD, a charming and capable person who I’m sure will sort it out. We did get a nice if slightly bewildered round of applause from the crowd (who are these fat slow chicks and why are they giving them stuff? Or is that my paranoia talking?). As series winner – I can’t get over how funny that is! – I got a bike chain cleaning kit and a $50 voucher to a bike shop, woot! I have sent a donation to the Butterfly Foundation.
I was so happy to get back into the warm car, and to find a parking place near where my friends were meeting up after the Run for the Kids, and to catch up, and have a beer, and to go home.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
RACE REPORT: GATORADE RACE 6