Friday, November 10, 2006

SOMA Triathlon

The weekend before the SOMA triathlon, my mom sister and I met up in San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon. My mom and I walked the half marathon together. We had no goals other than to spend a leisurely morning doing the event and to enjoy our time together. We carried a cell phone and periodically called my sister who was running the full. To our amazement, despite a tougher course and knee problems, she was able to PR! Her finish line photo says it all and we are so proud of her!!

Since I had such a nice weekend up in San Francisco, the following weekend I wanted to give my husband a chance to sleep in and relax. For this reason, my husband did not go to Phoenix with me for the SOMA race but my sons did. At first I was worried about having them there right before my event, but it turned out to be the greatest thing ever. The night before the race they helped me mix my bottles and prepare my gear. For two (almost five year old) boys who are normally super active and slightly crazy, they were actually helpful. The morning of the race I woke up and got dressed and went through my gear one last time. My guys looked so cute sleeping in their bed that I was a little hesitant to wake them. Finally, I had to get them up. I pulled back their covers and said "Who wants to see Mommy do a triathlon today?" Not suprisingly little bub tried to crawl back under the covers and asked if I could do the race a little bit later when he wasn't so tired. Big bub surprised me by hopping out of bed and announcing that it looked like a good day to see mommy race. (How cute is that?) As we walked to the race site, people kept stopping to ask us if we were a relay team. We decided I would do the swim, Big Bub would bike and Little Bub would run. Someday... Once we got to the race site, we met up with my friends Erin and Brenda as well as my Mom and Dad. This was my Dad's second triathlon and his first half ironman. I thought he looked noticeably nervous, but then again so did I! My mom took the boys to watch the start of the race and we all did more last minute prep. Dad's wave started before mine so we watched his start. Brenda, Erin and I all started in the same wave. Erin is a much faster swimmer so she seeded herself towards the front while Brenda and I were further back. My swim coach gave me the advice that I should go out harder than I think I can. I did this, but about five minutes into it I had a little panic attack. I felt tired, and out of breath and couldn't imagine finishing the whole thing. It was really bad. Then I remembered her second bit of advice to not let negative thoughts creep in, to live in the moment and think positive. So, I told myself to keep up the pace and just see what happens. I did that and was able to relax. By the end I felt really great. Not only was I passing orange caps (the wave in front) but I was also passing pink (two waves in front)! I was a little disappointed that my time wasn't a few minutes faster, but overall I was happy.

I was excited and nervous about the bike leg. I was excited because I love the bike portion, but I have been dealing with a nagging knee pain so I wasn't sure how well I would do. The bike leg was three loops, so right after I started I was passed by the faster riders in the early waves. A group of about 6 tightly packed riders rode by and I thought about saying something about what a nice pack they were, but restrained myself. A couldn't help smiling a moment later though when a motor bike rolled up and reminded them that this was "not a group effort." It was sure nice to see the draft marshals out working.

Predictably my knee started hurting about six miles into the race. I tried not to let it bring me down but I know it effected my power. I saw my mom and kids twice during the race which was awesome. Having their support there meant so much to me. Each time I saw them I was thankful I decided to bring my boys and so grateful my mom was there to cheer for me and play with them. I saw my Dad one on the second loop and he looked great. He was significantly ahead and I knew there was no way I could catch him. I was proud that he was having such an awesome race. I also saw my friend Brenda on each lap. Although I started the bike leg a few minutes ahead of her, she closed the gap on each lap. We entered T2 together and started the run together. We have done a lot of our weekend training together so it was definitely comforting to have her with me.

Brenda was feeling bad on the run but I encouraged her to stay with me. Even though she kept saying she felt awful, we were able to keep up a pretty good pace. When I began the second loop of the run my mom told me that my dad was just ahead of me. She also said that he had crashed on the bike and was looking pretty bad. We caught up with him shortly after that and he definitely looked injured. Apparently he had tried to throw his water bottle away while still in aero position and lost his balance. He crashed on the second loop but managed to do the rest of the race despite injured shoulders, hip, and ribs. His helmet was also severely cracked and his rear derailler was broken so he couldn't switch gears. Man my Dad is tough! When we caught him on the run we asked if he wanted to run with us. He encouraged us to go ahead and he promised to keep going. We saw him a few more times along the run, and although he was noticeably limping, I always saw him running. (He claims he walked, but I never saw it!)

After awhile Brenda encouraged me to go ahead because I was feeling so strong. In fact for most of the run I felt incredible. I was passing people all the time and offering words of encouragement. Mile 10 was my wall though. I don't know if I ran out of nutrition or what, but when I got to mile 10 I suddenly just wanted to be done. I starting slowly noticeably but couldn't do anything about it. About 200 yards before the finish line I saw my family again and they ran to give me high fives. It was great! Shortly after that, Brenda caught back up with me and we crossed the line together.

Swim: 42:36 T1: 2:08 (I peed in my transition area!) Bike: 3:13:10 T2: 2:41 Run: 2:10:04 Total: 6:11:51 The race was a totally awesome experience and I was so happy with my time. I know now that I have the potential to break six hours. Considering most of my training for the last few months have been base miles at low HR, I think I did very well. After the race I got the crazy idea that I should just drive home that night. I showered, ate some Baja Fresh and loaded the boys in the car. My plan would have been only semi-stupid, except I didn't know that a portion of I-10 leading out of Phoenix was closed. What should have been about a 5.5 hour drive became 8 and I was completely exhausted by the time I got home. Posted by Picasa


Blogger Fe-lady said...

You rocked that course! Yeah girl! Hope dad's shoulder is feeling better. He is going to FLY during the tour next weekend I bet!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Comm's said...

I wish we could have met up at Soma. We can definitely get a plan going for IMAZ

8:48 AM  
Blogger tarheeltri said...

That's so awesome you get to race with your mom and dad, not to mention a HIM with your dad! It's great to know you can break six in a half, too. Funny thing... I tried to drive back home from IMFL in one day when we originally planned on two. Needless to say, bad idea. Great reports! What training plan were you following?

3:12 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Congrats. Those are fantastic times.

1:07 PM  
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