Sunday rolls around, and I'm suffering from Total Body Breakdown.
TBB is when you are BEYOND soreness. Soreness has turned into pain. I wake up, and I realize that I'm in trouble.
I mentioned in the previous report that it's COLD. Sunday morning was warmer (33 degrees), but add in the fact that this is a triathlon, and we're supposed to hop on our bike soaking wet....well, the day is going to be tough for everyone.
I get up and have some breakfast, trying to figure out what to do. Do I take a *DNS*? Do I go and support my friends who will be there? (Including Coach Mike and Jeff---both of whom did the 60ish Tour on saturday).
I decided to give it a go. Looking back, I think this was the wrong decision made for the wrong reason. I shouldn't have done the race.
I get in the beep beep and turn on the heater to HIGH. I turn on the heated seats. I'm doing everything I can to try to alleviate the pain and loosen up my muscles. My back upper and lower is killing me. My arms are wiped out, but the worst part is my legs. I have never experienced pain like this, not after marathons, not after half irons.
I don't know what to do.
Mistake #1: Starting the race. I shouldn't have done it.
The water temp is 64 degrees (which for me is perfect swimming temps). I get overheated very easily while swimming because of that I swim sleeveless, and the colder the better. I wasn't concerned about water temp as much as getting on the bike.
As soon as we started, I was struggling.I had no power. I couldn't swim. I let everyone take off ahead of me and just maintained my own stroke. I felt like I'd been out there forever when I hit the first buoy. I tried to look at my watch but I couldn't see it.
3/4 of the way through the swim, and I stop. I'm exhausted. I feel like I've been swimming for an hour. I'm having trouble breathing. I'm staring at the finish. All I could think was, "I'm not going to make it. I'm going to DNF on the swim. I can't even believe this." I tread water for a little while longer. I just need to go slow. Get to the shore and decide if I'm going to get on the bike.
A normal oly swim time for me is 24 minutes. My swim: approximately 33 min.
I got out of the water. I can't even reach my strap to get my wetsuit off. I must have looked like I was going to fall over because some guy grabbed me and asked if I was ok. I nodded and kept walking.
T1: As one of the CU Tri kids said, "The longest transition in the history of transitions".
EVERYONE is changing clothes, adding layers, socks, pants, etc.
I put on a jacket with a hood, socks and gloves. I can't get my gloves on. My hands are wet and numb. I can't even feel my fingers to get them into the gloves.
The whole time, I'm thinking, "Just try the bike. Give it a go."
Mistake #2: Getting on the bike.
T1: Had to be around 6 minutes. It felt like 10, but I don't think it was that long.
I get on the bike within a mile(?) there is a hill. It is super short but super steep. At that point, I realize I have nothing left in my legs. I almost fell over sideways getting up the hill.
I'm shaking (with cold), and I have nothing in my legs. I can't see my garmin times or distances because I can't push the buttons with my gloves on.
I have no idea why I'm doing this. I hurt. I have no power in my legs. I should have turned around. I kept thinking 40k....on a bad day....I should be able to do 1:20.
Throughout the ride, I'm doing the calculations to figure out about where I am. I figured that the multi-time on my garmin should be at about 2:05 when I finish the bike. (Remember I didn't know how long transition took).
The bike was hell. Around mile 5? Coach Mike blows past me going the other direction. Are you kidding me? He's almost done. He only started 3 minutes before me. How slow am I going?
I just want to get off this bike. I just want to get off the bike. I keep going in and out of aero to try to stretch out my back. I can barely support my own weight on the bars.
I pulled into T2 at 2:10.
I strip off my jacket, gloves and decide to run. It looks like every bike is back.
I can't even call what I was doing "running". I'm telling you. I can't even begin to explain the pain that I was in.
At a half a mile into the run, I can't run anymore. I considered turning around.
Mistake #3: I should have turn around and quit at that point.
The people at the race were so nice. They kept saying "almost there."
What they didn't realize is that I wasn't even close to being almost there. I was just starting my first loop.
At about 1.5 miles, Jeff passes me. He doesn't even recognize me. I don't say anything. He looked GREAT and very focused.
The run for this race is pretty much single track. As a walker, that means I keep having to get out of everyone's way. I just wanted to find a rock and sit down.
As I'm thinking that, a guy runs by and yells at me, "GET OUT OF THE WAY. Some of us are RACING."
A few seconds later, I see Coach Mike, and he asks why I'm walking. How do you take everything that has happened over 2.5 hours and sum it up in 20 seconds? You can't.
I don't even know what I said, but I feel tears welling up. I turn away just as I felt tears rolling down my cheeks, and I keep walking. I knew right then that I couldn't go on. I just wanted to go home.
By the time I got to the finish, I got my act together. I told Jeff that I was taking a DNF. He said, "I'll walk it with you."
I couldn't walk anymore. If I could, I wouldn't be stopping. I was already over 3 hours. Another 5k was going to take me another hour at the pace I was walking.
It wasn't the outcome I would have chosen, but I'm ok with it. I know a lot of people struggle with taking a DNF. (Trust me. Read the comments on my FB wall). But I don't have a problem with it. If you've never had one, you can't understand. This "race" was part of a challenge. I just didn't get there. It's not the end of the world. It's the end of my season.
Once I made the decision, I felt so much better. I just wanted to go home and start recovering.
The weekend was just too much for me. I wasn't "physically" ready for what was involved on Saturday.
The biggest lesson that I learned is that I'm not going to be so agreeable to doing these challenge weekends. It brought back memories of all those races that I've done over the years and not being prepared for them. I've suffered through so many half irons and even olympics where I was out there for hours upon hours. I don't want to go back to that place.
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." --Arthur Ashe (Thanks LBTEPA)
Challenge weekend is over, and I'm moving on.