I'm pretty sure that the last sprint distance triathlon that I raced were the first and second races I ever raced. It's a fun, but painful distance. All huff and puff and no "Ooh look at that cute bird."
As I described in my previous post I was going no data, no results for this race. None of you have spilled the beans, which I thank you for (especially you mom).
Even though PIC and I decided in the challenge rules that we would allow HR monitors, I decided to go technology free. It's a sprint....less time than a half marathon (I think?) and I figured I could do without. I didn't even change to race wheels, so I raced with a PowerTap on the back, but no data collection devise, I'm still laughing about that one.
Okay, I decided that today I was going to RACE. Really RACE, like just go for it and swim, bike, and run just about as hard as I knew how. It's a sprint, what's the worst that could happen? (I now have the answer to that question)
The swim was pretty good for me. I lined up in the correct spot. I did find myself swimming towards the second turn buoy instead of the first turn buoy about 1/4 of the way into the swim. I saw a kayak quickly moving out of my view of the first turn buoy and put two and two together. Oops! But mistakes like that never really cost as much time as you think they do (at least that's what I tell myself, and it's not like I'll ever know...I love not looking at the results). I swam hard, about as hard as I know how to swim in the open water, and for me I felt pretty good about it. I also kicked the whole swim, which was really fun in my TYR Hurricane, very buoyant. My favorite thing about that wetsuit is the arm mobility. Mucho Bueno!
Out of the water I see (hear) Troy and he says I'm 11th and 1st is about 4 minutes up. The hunt was on!
Onto the bike as fast as possible (I have no idea how fast I was or wasn't in T1) and I was out of there. Feet in shoes, and down in aero, go go go. I passed Melanie coming out of the reservoir. We swim together in masters and are really similar ability so that gave me an idea that I was at least in the right ball park with my swim. Note to self, next time I race with Melanie, I'm totally going to sit on her X-gymnast feet for the swim. I'm sure she will love that!
I just went for it on the bike. I raced, I went hard, I went harder, I went hardest. That sounds bad...
Last night Troy and I watched a few episodes of House (love that show) and one of the lines in it that was told to House on many occasions was "You're an idiot." Well, I'm riding hard and I'm looking up to gauge when I will pass the next person and then I'm putting down my head to "push push push". Then I will glance up again, and then put my head back down. I was trying to ride hard. I have my head down and I glance up and I had misgauged the space I had. As I look up I am pretty much completely on top of this poor man, who it's most likely his first triathlon. Like I am about 2 inches away from running into him, I'm in aero, no hands on breaks, and I'm going a degree of magnitude faster.
I yell "Oh Sh!t" because I am going to crash, and by some small miracle I fly by him, within less than an inch. We don't tangle bars, we don't even touch. But I was ll <---- this close.
Sonja......you are an idiot.
If I ever can find that guy (and believe me I have been trying), he's going to get the biggest apology and care basket I can procure.
Sonja....you are an idiot.
Okay, back to going hard, this time keeping my head up the rest of the ways. I was counting down ladies as I passed them. "You're in 10th, you're in 9th, double pass, you're in 7th, etc, etc." I counted down to 5th by the end of the bike.
I had the most perfect dismount on the face of the earth and came hauling into transition. I saw one bike on the entire rack. I thought about just quitting right then and there and sitting down and patting myself on the back. "Nice bike Sonja, solid effort, no need to run, let's just go have lunch."
Yea, right, I threw my stuff on and off I went running. I didn't even put on sunglasses. I saw Troy again and he said I was in 3rd. I saw Kati and she said the girl ahead was really close. I looked about 30 seconds up and found her. She was haulin.
Speaking of haulin', here is PIC kickin' it into high gear.
I set off to just run as fast as I could. I hit the 1 mile mark and was like "seriously, I've only gone 1 mile!!!!" At the turn around I hadn't made any time on the lady in front of me, and I also saw that there was a girl hard chargin' behind me and she was close. Crap. I dropped the hammer and in 1 mile I was right behind the girl in front of me. I stayed there just a second to collect myself and then made the pass.
Right at the end of making the pass, where I'm starting to loose my uumph, the girl that was hard charging passes me. Crap. Go with her. RACE SONJA. I try, ooohhhh I try. She gaps me. I try harder, she gaps me even more. I ran that last mile with all I could, and we finished very close to each other...but with her in front and me behind.
I didn't have it in me to make a counter attack, or better yet, if it was in me, I didn't use it. The final stretch was full of "goSonja" from lots of friends and family, and Kompetitive Edge teamies (love you guys).
The funny thing about a sprint for an IM athlete is I finish the race, and I'm not even out of the chute when I feel basically "fine". 2 minutes ago I was on the brink, but 2 minutes later, I'm like "what a fun little race".
So, what did I learn from the no technology? LOADS! For one, I loved it. I loved "RACING" and not looking down and thinking "You are going to blow up because your heart rate is 184". It was primal, and organic. I raced.
I also think that if I had the results to look at I would have been happy, complaisant you might say, and I think I would have ignored the lesson of today.
What was that lesson? When I got passed today, that WAS the race. Everything I had done up to that point was just to get me to that point. Getting passed was the crux (if you are a climber). What did I do at the crux? I faltered. If it was that one 5.11 move on a 5.11 climb....I fell. I didn't find the next gear, I didn't launch a counter attack. I would have missed that lesson if I was able to see the data.
It came down to will and guts and determination, and I let it slip away. I am thrilled honestly about it, because I learned a bit about myself today, and the bit I learned will help me down the line.
I also learned that I need to get away from the numbers a little more in racing. I need to try some of this in longer races because it's good for me to enact the "chase mechanism" in me. Sometimes that gets diluted with "I'm just going to race my own race." The finish line has the ultimate last word, and I need to remember to respect that line.
All in all, an absolutely fantastic day, awesome from many angles! AND, my first race on Blackjack the Quintana Roo who was born with a wild streak.
Great job to everyone that raced. It was great to see each and every one of you out there. Oh, and if you didn't get a chance to visit the Kompetitive Edge tent, check them out at either Peak or Boulder 70.3.
Ended up 2nd in the AG...you know what they say about second?