All week long I was hyper. My workouts were short and zippy with a lot of fast swimming trying to force a good swim split out of me. I was calm and excited, not even remotely stressed or worried about splits. I was just ready to go out there and go HARD. This is a new found confidence when it comes to racing, and I'm not gonna lie, I like it. It sure beats worried about the outcome. When you follow your training plan, eat well, and most importantly NAIL your recovery, then come race day you get to showcase it all. There are things we can control (attitude, pacing, nutrition and grit), the rest is not up to us.
Friday and Saturday leading up to the race I began feeling lethargic, crampy and waking up with massive headaches (the hangover with out the booze!). This all came to light when I woke up Sunday at 4am with (sorry guys!) some girl issues. The rest of the morning I was really uncomfortable, my body temperature was off and my stomach was a mess. This is not something that happens very often to me, but boy was it kicking me in the ass today!
I had a pretty good swim. I gave up looking at swim times in this lake a long time ago, so when I saw a 2+ minute improvement over last year when I got out of the water I was happy.
On the bike which is where I was expecting to see the most improvement over last year, I was just FLAT. My first loop I had NOTHING and was really struggling to push hard. Thankfully, experience and a really smart coach have taught me that when it happens to be a "girls issue" kinda day... extra calories can be needed so I immediately popped a gel. Sure enough it worked and I was able to pick up the pace a bit on the second lap.
I rushed out of T-2 and headed out on the run. I spent the first mile laughing that no matter how hard I felt like I was running my pace wasn't even close to my half marathon pace. I spent 3 miles trying to get comfortable but I was still just FLAT. I wasn't hot like I should be, my legs weren't on fire. I just had no gas. My stomach was throbbing and I just wanted to lie down. At mile 4 a guy on my team came by and told me to hop on like I'm on my aerobars. I pulled in behind him and tried to stay with him, but just had no other gears. He did lift my spirits though and I kept him in sight telling myself in 16 minutes it will all be over! At mile 5 my nausea got the best of me and I threw up in my mouth. Less than 10 minutes I said!
I saw a girl on an out and back that beat me last year in the last 1/4 mile and took 1st place by :08. I gutted it out just waiting to be passed, knowing I had nothing to respond with, but thankfully crossed the finish line before anyone else behind me, but still having no idea (or care!) where I landed.
It was such a weird feeling. My legs weren't tired, I wasn't gasping for air, I was just DONE, and so happy to not be out there anymore. While some may disagree with me because I did end up with an age group award, this race was not a good day for me. I did everything I could with what I had yesterday, but it was not fun, not comfortable, and most importantly I KNOW that it was not an indicator of where I am and what I'm capable of. It's been a long time since I've had a race when my body just didn't show up to perform, and I know that it happens. I know that it wasn't in my control. I'm just really really REALLY grateful this wasn't June 29th :)
I stuck around all afternoon hanging out with my friends and teammates at the awards. Our team did amazing and cleaned house! Most importantly, my athlete and friend Sippy, had a fantastic day out there, nailed her pacing had a GREAT race.
I have to admit it's a really good place to be in when you can move on and not worry about what happened. Yesterday was just a little piece of the puzzle I'm building, and I'm confident that my body was just not up for giving it all and I'm perfectly ok and respect that! I feel a whole lot better today, but still really tired so I'm just taking it easy.
Next up, the Boston Marathon. I actually (finally) started to get REALLY excited about the trip today ;)
And, of course, it wouldn't be a good, or a less than good race without some bling for my dogs :)