Jun 9, 2009

Cleveland Triathlon 2007

Race morning was very similar to any other pre-race morning. However, I was lucky enough to be able to stay in my own apartment for this one. No traveling for this one. Unfortunately, I had to wake up extra early because I had to get into transition an hour and a half before my race started. The morning rituals went well. Parking was hard to find, but I felt good and was excited to race hard. Watching the sunrise over the lake was calming, but nothing could really settle me down. This was the race I was working for all year long. Every hour spent training was towards this race. Every Friday night I sat on the couch resting was because of this race. This was my race...I had everything to lose. Warm up went well and I felt extremely lose. Before I hoped into the lake, I was lucky enough to catch my family. Seeing them before I race is always nice. Diving into Lake Erie right by the Rock Hall is the most disgusting thing in the world. The water was "bath tub" warm and my waist down was tangled in seaweed. Lets just say I wasn't the only uncomfortable one. The Elite athletes went off right before my wave, and we were told we had one minute until the horn. But, the guy working the megaphone was a fucking idiot. Instead of giving us a countdown, he randomly sounded the horn. 50 confused and startled athletes were off...this was it. The swim was painfully long, and I never found my true rhythm. Twice I swam into a volunteer in a kayak, and the asshole swimming on my feet wouldn't stop grabbing my legs. I must have kicked him in the face 15 times. After 20 minutes of swimming in Lake Erie I felt ill...I exited the water in 24min, a personal best. However, the warm water made me feel really sick. My transition was slow, but I was eager to make up time on the bike. That did not happen. After two miles, I threw up a little while riding. If anyone has done this, they know it is not pleasant. I couldn't get my legs moving fast enough, and I needed calories. Unfortunately, I substituted my Gatorade for an extra water bottle...that was my worst mistake. I had my worst bike split ever...I came off in 1:09:00 and I was still a minute behind the leader in the 20-24 age group. My run was painful...that is it. The worst pain ever. You know you can't slow down or stop, but every part of you wants to. This is why the mentally strong athletes prevail. This is where a triathlete needs heart...I didn't have any. I almost caught the leader around mile 4. He was 20 seconds ahead of me. I watched him every second of that run...He was mine for the taking. Coming up to E. 9th hill around mile 5.1, he was right there. But, again I had no heart. I could have caught him at anytime during the race, but he was a good athlete and I knew If I did, it would be a battle to the finish. That guy ended up beating me by 20 seconds and I was devastated. I had run the 9th best run out of everyone that raced.... I finished the 10k in 40 minutes 11 seconds. But, It was not enough. My overall time was 2:15:00, a respectable time...but still 5 minutes off my goal for the year. I finished 12th overall and 2nd in my age group...but I felt like I came in dead last. It has been 3 weeks since the race and I still feel terrible. I have learned my lesson, I have experienced how it feels to be beaten, and It will never happen again. Maybe that was the type of race I needed to be that much better next year. We'll find out...

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