I am so, so, so happy I raced today. All year long I had sworn off Deschutes Dash. My only memory of it last year was struggle, frustration, defeat, negativity. Had I never gotten back in the saddle, that’s where my memories would still be today.
I’m learning to adopt the mantra from my new job — start where you are. I have always bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to triathlon. Mainly because I know I can do more, or at least I have gone further or faster in the past. I wasn’t truly starting where I am today. A place I badly need to be.
All things considered: my foot injury, my new job, a change in my work schedule, adapting to so many positive changes, I decided to give myself the time and just start where I am, and go have a great race!
Just like with physical training, mental training and practice is necessary to show signs of improvement. That is an area that I was very weak on last year, and an area where I worked really hard over the past 12 months. Today it paid off.
My swim was not very fast. But that’s okay. My goal was not to go fast. My goal was to go confidently and happily. And for whatever strength I had, not to finish last. And I didn’t.
Out of the water, I was anxious to get on the bike. I have been biking a lot lately, logging more than 220 miles just getting to and from my kick-ass job. Today I named my commuting bike, because all things awesome should have a name. He’s officially The Green Monster. Ties my roots to New England, and I know how powerful this little monster has been for me.
I got on the bike and immediately felt like I was advanced compared to the competiton. Out of the gates, I started hammering and passing people. I made up a ton of time on the bike, picking off people left and right. Any time I passed a male triathlete I knew I was doing well because I started 5 minutes behind the last wave of men. It was a boost. I just kept hammering. The bike was 6 miles mostly uphill and 6 miles mostly downhill. I spent more time in my aerobars than I ever have before. I found strength I didn’t know I had, and I hammered.
Off the bike, my feet were numb
. I had no feeling in my left foot and about half feeling in my right. It was a difficult transition, and I knew the run was going to be the hardest part but I just did my best. A lot of people passed me, but I worked very hard to not let that get to my head. I just kept going, putting an honest effort into the run. One numb foot and then the other. Eventually at mile two, feeling resumed, and I got my stride and cruised on into the finish.
start of the run leg
I need to inject a story here. One that is so under my skin I feel like telling the world. I was on the run, and doing fine. I tripped on a bumpy piece of pavement and a spectator — a gray-haired man probably about retirement age — got right in my face and clapped to cheer me on, and asked if I was okay. I was fine
. I didn’t stumble or fall. I just snagged my foot. As I passed him, he slapped me on THE ASS.
I yelled out to him, in these exact words, “Do NOT slap my ass. That is fucking RUDE.”
Forgive me, Father, for I cannot be polite to inappropriate a-holes. Who the hell touches someone who is racing? And who under God’s creation slaps a woman’s rear end?!
Moving on. I finished!
So here’s the thing. If you work with a coach, a coach will most likely analyze your results to help you understand where you can improve. I looked at my results and ignored the 7th place in my age group (of 24) and went straight to the bike. I finished 3rd off the bike. 18.1 miles per hour average pace (1st did it in 18.6, 2nd in 18.4). I banked some serious time on the bike.
Overall Results — AG
Out of the swim, I was in 16th place. Sixteenth!
Swim Results — AG
Off the bike, I was in 3rd place. That’s some serious gain there!
Bike Results — AG
But look at the run times! My time is 7th in 31:39. Look at all the people (7 total) who finished behind me with significantly faster run times). Clearly I need to work on my running but this shows how much time you can bank on the bike, if you bike hard. My foot has been injured for 2 months, and I haven’t been running at all. So this is where the “start where you are” mantra came into play and all the mental workouts I did .. I was struggling but just kept pushing.
Run Results — AG
- 16th/24 in the swim
- 3rd/24 on the bike
- 9th/24 on the run
- 7th/24 overall.
I haven’t looked at transitions. That’s not important to me right now. It will be someday, but not today.
I am so happy to see how well I did on the bike!!
Happy, Happy Katy!