Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wildflower 70.3 should really be named "Wild Mother F****er"

That was probably the hardest thing I've ever done!  That was an absolutely brutal course, and then add in heat, headwinds both ways on the bike, a run that was more like a hike up a mountain, and then a bad swim.  I'm just happy to have finished!  They ran out of water with 20 miles left on the bike for the slower people.  That was awesome.  My feet were also in excruciating pain during bike and run because of the rough gravel that we had to run up from swim.  I didn't mind an uphill run from swim but the fact that there were no rugs or anything made it very painful. 

Here's the breakdown:
The swim didn't even go well and that's usually where I can do decently.  10 minutes slower than my normal time.  I couldn't breathe right off the bat and my right shoulder seized up immediately and stayed that way (even as I type it hurts to move my neck).  I don't know if it was my wetsuit but it may have been.  I need to figure that out before Rev3 OOB August 25th!  It wasn't a panic attack or anything as I am very comfortable in the water.  So not a great start.

The bike, again, was brutal.  B-R-U-T-A-L.  There was a headwind the entire time and I really didn't think it was possible to go up that much without going down...but alas, it was.  The two big downhills were nice, but with the wind I had to brake a bit so I didn't get blown over.  I made it all the way up Big Nasty so that was a small accomplishment.  I think finding a 56 mile hill and riding it as much as possible would be good training for this course. I'm still a little baffled that they ran out of water with at least 20 miles to go for the slower people (A.K.A. ME!)sucked, but I had enough in my Speedfill to get me through, thank goodness I got water at each aid station just to top off before they ran out.  A triathlon that has been going for 31 years that has that difficult of a course absolutely needs to make sure that they have enough water, especially for those at the back of the pack who are struggling!

The run.  Oh the run.  I got to transition and was limping off the bike, happy to have made the cutoff but unsure how my feet and knees would handle a half marathon.  I was in pain with every step, but eventually that went away.  Honestly, I walked about 60% of it and ran when I could.  I just kept looking at my watch saying "I am going to finish this course if its the last thing I do!"  It was a race against the clock, a first for me, and hopefully a last as well, but considering it was an uphill hike the first few miles, my time isn't all that bad. LOL.  There was a girl named Ashley I met maybe near mile 7 or 8(?) who I ran with the rest of the way and she helped me finish in time. 
I don't know if I drank too much water but I felt sick almost the entire run.  I think I just got back to a "normal" color pee today (Monday) so I'm not sure too much water was the case.  The last 2 miles was sheer determination.  I wasn't even in that much pain I was so focused on finishing in time.  Thankfully that downhill helped my last mile to the finish, although I think if I hadn't of been so determined my quads would not have held up.

Never been happier to see a finish line!!!!! One perk to finishing at the back is that I got the finish line to myself:)  My friends were there to cheer me on and I got my medal and I got to stop moving forward with a time crunch....best part of the day.

There was a girl we were with this weekend who is a Mom and she said that the course was harder than childbirth.  I think that says something.  There were also a lot of seasoned Ironman athletes saying that with the course profile, and the conditions Saturday, that it was as physically challenging as doing a full Ironman.  At least I now know that I will finish IMNZ:)  HAHA.

I definitely had to remind myself how lucky I was to be able to feel pain and how many people would give anything to even be that miserable just to have feeling in their limbs and body again.  
I got to see some great friends this weekend and meet some awesome new ones.  Totally worth the 7.5 hour drive:)

Overall, I think a Mark Twain quote sums it up perfectly.   
"I'm glad that I did it.  Partly because it was well worth it and chiefly because I shall never have to do it again." 

I'll go cheer, but unless I get good at hills and start enjoying them, I don't think Wildflower will be in the cards for me again.