Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Bike

19 weeks of training... 128HOURS, 2,241miles on mini-me. Needless to say, I have NOT yet been on her post race.

Again, I was trained. I ran in the cold in January with 8 layers on. I rode in the heat in June pouring water down my back. I rode 7hours in a freak cold storm (for AZ) and in the rain.

We were in bed the night before the race, and I asked Shane, "how fast do you think I can ride?"

You see, all week long my friends, fellow bloggers that had followed my training on my blog were telling me how ready I was. How well I could do. They were trying to help me get my "game" face on. To get some confidence. Last year I did a 6:32, but I rode scared. I didn't let my HR get above 150 (except on the hills) and I drank WAY too much water having to stop a lot for potty breaks. AND, I didn't train nearly as much, or as fast....

So, my question to Shane was something I needed. I needed someone ELSE to tell me how well I could bike. His response, "Sub 6." My next question, "What do you think I actually WILL bike tomorrow?"

His response, and my new secret goal "6:10." I knew that was somewhere around 18mph, and with my training I knew I could do it.

Unfortunately, my body had another idea out on the bike. Much like the night before (I'm not sure any of us have mentioned this but Saturday Momo, Shane & I all had incredibly bad stomach cramps....) I began having stomach pains right off the bat. I did however feel a little hungry, so I settled my HR in and 10mins into the bike I started my nutrition.

My planned nutrition was 100calories every 40mins, plus sipping on a carbo-pro/gatorade mix of 400cals. It worked like a charm during my training. That would give me about 1400-1500calories in just over 6hrs...

On the first out and back I saw Shane (WAY ahead of me), and Lindsay about 10mins ahead of me. They both looked fantastic....

On my way back into transition I saw Daniel and Melisa.... I think I gestured a wave, but not sure I even got that out. I was REALLY hoping my stomach wasn't going to feel like this ALL day, but things weren't looking good.

There were a couple of times I was bunny-hoping with some other riders. I'd pass them, but as soon as I put any effort into the bike my stomach pain would get worse and they would re-pass me. My HR was hovering in the low 140s, but I just couldn't bring it up. I felt like I was crawling.

Before heading into the hills I saw my sister.. I ripped off my arm warmers so I wouldn't have to carry them. I was comfortable (Being wet & cold out of the swim I put my jersey over my tri-top, added arm warmers AND gloves - WTF?) and knew I would get warmer up in the hills.

The wind picked up as we were out in Hayden. ESPECIALLY on the hills. I didn't remember this from last year.... I felt like were were protected in the hills from the wind, but it was really strong this time. You could see whitecaps on Hayden Lake.

The first steep hill I remembered from last year. Once again, there was a photographer waiting to catch your expression. I knew how bad I looked last year on this climb, so I THOUGHT I put on a smile... You can see here that is about how I felt. A fake, painful smile.
I tried everything I could to get my mind off my stomach. I chatted with people, tried to remind myself of my training, but I was in pain. For the first time in my life I have thoughts of DNF'ing.

I hear stories about people with stomach issues, and saw first hand what happened at IMAZ when people couldn't take in nutrition. The fear started to get to me....

Thankfully, I was almost finished with loop one and got to go back thru downtown where all our fans were waiting. I saw EVERYONE. It fired me up.... I was so incredibly happy to see them all, hear them all. For a few moments I forgot all about my stomach and just RODE. Photographer extraordinaire Jaynee captured how I felt at that moment...
On the second out and back I decided to stop at the special needs bag. I was getting a little warmer and felt constricted. I took off my bike jersey and put it in the bag, then was on my way.

I needed to go to the bathroom, but every honey bucket I passed had lines. I knew I was already behind on my time and didn't' want to wait. I actually thought I might pee on the bike! Having the honey buckets to watch for actually helped pass the time.

I decided to give plain gatorade a try, so I ditched my carbo-pro mix and took a couple sips of gatorade. Same thing, just not happy in my stomach. I tried salt... pills, then some plain salt. Still not helping. So, I stuck to water, and tried to take in my gels.

I saw everyone else again on the second loop and we were just about the same distance between each other (except Shane, he was gaining on all of us) so I figured I wasn't the only one having a tough day. We did basically all our rides together and I knew we were both capable of so much more.

Back through town and I saw everyone again.... For the last 5mins of the ride I just pushed it. I got my HR up a little and used all of their energy to get me into

Where I RAN to use the bathroom. I think I peed for 2mins non stop. And, FINALLY was able to pass some of the painful air that was hurting me so bad.

Bike time: 6:34:21, 17mph

Am I disappointed with my time? Yes, and no. I'm better than that. I'm faster than that. But, given the day, and given the situation I did what I could. I fought the DNF demons in my head. I didn't give way to the pain. I toughed it out. I'm proud of that, proud that I didn't give up. Some will still say it's a fantastic bike time. To me, it's good... but you know we all want to just be able to achieve what we are capable of, regardless of the actual time...

You can do everything perfect. Train properly, have all the fancy equipment, but that's not what the race is about. It's about THAT given day. The elements out there and how you put it all together to become your race. Your day.


Flatman said...

Good girl on getting past the stomach problems. There is nothing like an upset stomach to ruin a nice ride. Very respectable time...way to go!

Supalinds said...

I am so glad you had it in you to battle through the stomach issues. You are a soldier, and this just goes to show - nothing, and I mean nothing can stop you. Your will and determination are leaps and bounds above anyone I know. You were going through hell and you kept on going - still managing a very decent bike split!

And to think, everytime I saw you -you were alway so positive - I fed off that. Thank you for smiling through the pain - I would have haited to see you hurting.

You are capable of better - I know this - you will have your day!!! 2010 BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sharing my first IM with you made my experience so much sweeter. You my dear are a rockstar!!


kt said...

Amazing, girl! I am so proud of you. If it would have gotten to the point of unbearable or dangerous you would have stopped. You are the only one who knows your body and you pushed through. That is brave. :)

SWTrigal said...

Uh, I'll trade bike times with should be proud..on those hills...good job!

Tea said...

The race will be what it will be. I love the pictures! You did a FAB job on the bike 17mph is NOT easy for that distance.

Way to GO!

Supalinds said...

HELLO - where are you?? COME BACK, I miss you!!

Nytro said...

dude, you looked awesome and in my book you're a total rock star. in my book, stomach problems are reasons to call in sick to work... not to mention NEVER GETTING ON THE BIKE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

see? rock star.

Nytro said...

oh... and the whole rock star label? i didn't even read supa's comment till after i posted mine. so, now you know... you really are a rock star!

Erin said...

I ditto the rockstar comments. 17mph? For an IM? And for IM CDA? With stomach issues? Even if you're capable of more, and I'm sure you are, that's nothing to scoff at. It's amazing, and hopefully you're proud of all you did out there...because your blogging community sure is!