Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sweat, Dirt, Grease, Bugs, Salt, Gel and Sunburn

Ah... the joys of being a triathlete. This lovely list is the things that were present on my body after my 4.5 hour ride and 30 min t-run yesterday at Moraine State Park.

There were some really good things about the day, which started early (8:00am) for the 2 mile swim. For example, my wetsuit did get cleaned by my oh so wonderful husband (hopefully he reads this and see's his shout out!), and it DIDN'T SMELL (seriously, a miracle). I actually made it through the swim, which looked incredibly far from the shore (out, turn around last buoy, come back). The water was nice and calm on the way out, and I was to approach this as a smooth, semi-hard training day, not a race (which I actually did, amazingly enough). As soon as I turned that buoy corner, the water was very rough and seemed to hit me in the face on every breath. I had to stop & re-group a couple of times, I could not even remotely see the shore, or the line in which I was supposed to be swimming (people were dispersed in all directions!), but I just kept putting my head down and trying not to think of the little bacteria I kept swallowing. I had heard from numerous people that this was not some clean place, so I needed to swallow as little as possible. All I could think of at that point in the swim was FAT CHANCE!! The shoreline kept coming though and I just tried to be thankful for the chance to swim in rough water and persevere, which was a good feeling when it was over! I looked at my watch to see around 56 mins when I was done. Fine, good, got it done.

Beth was already riding on another part of the lake so I just jumped right in my car in my suit to get to the next parking lot where I could change into my bike gear. I had twenty five mins to do this which I figured was PLENTY of time. Well, lets just say I am directionally challenged, I had a good run down from O before they left, but I still was second guessing every turn I made. I would go one way, think to myself, "was it this way, or when he said curve around did he mean this other way?" Needless to say, it took 25 mins and then some for me to even find the parking lot (which any normal person could have found in like ten). So, I rushed out of the car (after changing while I was driving (driving very slowly, & carefully - sorry Mom), and then got out my bike to get it ready. A minute later Beth pulled up right on time like she was supposed to. She didn't hurry me, but I didn't want to slow her down either since I was late so I rushed around to get my bike in order - nutrition - check, pump tires - check, helmet - check, shoes - check, bathroom break - check, I'm missing something.. hummm.. o well.. ready to go - check!!

Later on I realized I was missing a must have, sunscreen. I had it with me, but hadn't put any on and the cloudy morning we started off with was long gone. I just decided I was Italian, I'd be ok.

Two miles down the road I switch from my small gear to my big gear in the front and bam! throw my chain. I fix it with Beth holding the bike, grease ALL over my hands, no towel to wipe it on, and we ride on.. unphased. The next hills comes and goes and bam!! it does it again!! We both know there is a problem. I can either ride the whole thing in my small ring, or we can go back and try to fix it. The problem was we (well, I should have) didn't have the tool we needed to adjust my front derailleur. Beth thought she did, so she headed back with me (what a friend!). She never complained once!

When we reached the car, we found the tool, adjusted the derailleur slightly, and then ran through the gears, checking to see that it didn't drop...and it didn't!! Low and behold...hallelujah, we fixed my bike!!!!!!!

It was a small miracle in my mind, I am telling you, that bike worked all day after that.. perfectly. I was so thankful and it made the ride that much sweeter... so much that I let out a WHOO HOO after I switched gears the first time and it worked! We had a great ride and I barely noticed that I was getting cooked like a fresh meat on the grill.

I did put on sunscreen when we came back to the car to meet O and for Beth to start her t-run, but by that time it was waaaayyy to late! I headed back out for another hour & a half, and although my plan was to ride 75 miles, after 4.5 hours I called it a windy, hot, hilly day and said, "enough!" It was close to 4pm as I got off the bike to do my t-run and I thought of how I just wanted to be done and enjoy some other parts to my Saturday. Immediately after, I thought of Kona, and how I would definitely still be out here at this point so this was good practice for a long day and I should stop complaining and wishing I was showered and at home with a big plate of spaghetti (which I did about 6pm!). I also thought about the people who wished that they were training, and couldn't (for whatever reason, injury, children at home, other responsibilities) and I decided to stop thinking that way and be thankful. Good thought turnaround, and I had a great little run before heading home.

Lobster Back
By the time I jumped in the car, I was covered with sweat, dirt, grease, bugs, salt, gel and very sunburned, but I was happy with a great day of training with friends. When I was swimming, I didn't give up, when we were out in the middle of nowhere with a broken bike, we refused to give up on riding, when I felt like stopping to call it a day when I dropped Beth off, I didn't. Just as Elizabeth wrote about her Saturday craziness, you have to overcome obstacles in training so you can do the same on race day. Things rarely, if ever, go perfectly. So, you have to enjoy the days when you overcome. Thanks for the blogs out there that remind me to do that!

Today, I had a great two hour long run where I stayed completely in my heart rate zones for the entire run (which hasn't happened in awhile, don't tell Doc), so I was sooo happy about that. Tomorrow starts another week, but a short one! Almost HAPPY 4th everyone!

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