Today was the Superfrog Navy Seals race. (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run in the sand). I was a little worried. I hadn't had much chance to swim with the travel to MI, the extra work, stitches in my finger..... I also spent a lot of time off the bike to swim and run more. I struggled to make peace with the fact that the results would be what they would be. I was going to have to deal with things in a positive frame of mind. Guess I worried for nothingit because I trumped last years time by 19 minutes. As the Seals would say "Uh ya"
The swim was a little, actually a lot narely. Especially compared to last years glassy swim. The course was changed from two longer laps to three shorter laps. Meaning three surf entries. It was really choppy and the current was really strong. Tim is a surfer and knows how to take advantage of the rip.You can have it pull you out. He taught me this and how to duck dive below the breaking surf. It was a mass start which means everybody started together so I followed Tim out and copied how he navigated the surf. This helped me a lot. I think I swam my fastest 1.2 miles ever. Swimming back in was a bit tough because the waves were breaking chaotically. A couple broke on me, which wasn't too fun. However, that goes with the territory. You have to just dive below the break and trust that they will pass. I learned in my first ocean swim there is no place for panic... to panic could be life threatening. You can't flail about and depend on assitance. You need to be responsible for yourself. If you think the waves are too big you need to stay on the shore. That is a decision you need to make that day. I have great repect for the ocean. My theme song for the swim was "I will raise you up" because I decided it was God lifting me up and gently setting me back down in the swells.
This years bike segemnt was much different. The bike was two miles longer. Last year there was no wind until the last 12 miles. It was really windy today I went 12-15 mph faster going north than south. Some of the wind gusts made me feel like I was ski racing. When people have strokes they often revert back to there native language. I heard my native tongue of race talk saying "keep it on the snow" and "down hill ski, down hill ski,down hill ski," as my bike blew sideways under me.Uh- oh I must have stoked :)
I had fun on the bike. It was like I was dancing at a party. At Wildflower, I tried to beat the wind and wore myself out and had a rough time on the run. I stayed calm and didn't overgear or overexert into the wind. I swallowed my pride and used an easier gear. I decided that the wind's character is like one of the men from "Grumpy Old Men" This time I got him, I outsmarted him by keeping a consistant cadence and heartrate. When the wind was behind me I let it rip. I got my nutrition and hydration just right. I didn't get tired on the bike. I just got excited for the run. I felt ready.I was determined not to give in a walk at all like last year. Also I think I had a lot of fun on the bike because I was passing a lot of fit men on my little pink bike. Nothing is more fun that that :)
I took my time in transition, throwing on my hydration belt and MP3 player . This is the one race where they allow you to wear headphones on the run. I wasn't in a hurry I know from doing this race that you need to regroup in transition becasue the next 13 miles will feel like a death march. Not this year for me. I didn't fade. I enjoyed running to my tunes. Last year my MP3 player died the moment my foot hit the sand. I also had been with only one contact since mile 12 of the bike. It was then I came a bit unglued. I hit the breaking point and things were really tough. This year the course could not break me. It was raining. This pleased me. It would pack down the sand and keep me cool. The run went much better this year. I did not get tired. Unfortunatly my IT band started hurting. (Think... feeling like somebdy is knifing your knee and hip.....this is where it inserts). At first it though maybe it was a cramp and I could out run it. I took an electolyte tablet but it got worse. I was reduced to a shuffle. I gritted my teeth and trudged on. I would not walk. I had a sneaking feeling that it would hurt just as bad and I would just be out there longer.I was not concerned about my pace. My body wanted to go faster but I wasn't going to be able to execute today.I didn't let it frustrate. I believe it will all come together for me someday. If it only happens once in my life please let that day be Ironman.
As a rounded the last corner of lap # 5 and headed on to what I named "The Trail of Tears" the Seals yelled "#139 take it home, your almost done" Those words were sweet music in my ears. I wanted to sprint to the finish. Thanks to the ITBS there would be no sprinting today. Finally the finish came and I was proud of my efforts, level of endurance, and mental stability. I felt I did a good job controlling the variable I could. I don't think there is much I could have done differently. I will probably take a week off maybe two from running to rehab my IT band. I don't want it to become a problem. It's basically treated by rolling on the foam roller (pain roller) and getting the knots out) It caused by tight hips which I get from riding, running, and standing for long periods of time at work.
Tim had a great race. He went really fast and had a lot of fun. It was fun seeing each other on the course. I am proud of him and glad we share so much. Tim's Mom and Dad came down and did the relay. His mom has bad knees and can't run but she always wanted to do a triathlon because she likes to swim and bike. She swam nationally as a kid growing up on Coronado. She even trained in the pool on the Seal base because her dad was a submariner and worked out of that base. I think that's kind of a special experience to come back to your roots and accomplish something you've always wanted.