Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lone Star Tri and the MS150

Well – my spring events are done and I am so incredibly thankful that they are over with. I have nothing big planned until November - San Antonio Rock-n-Roll marathon and maybe New York – if I get in (crossing my fingers that I don’t!!). I am so looking forward to not having to train, but just do what I like and when I want to.

First up – Lone Star Quarter Iron Triathlon.

It wasn’t pretty but I finished.

The day before the event a bunch of us went out to the swim course and gave the waters a test. I have swum in open water before – oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. But this was the first time I attempted to swim a specified course in choppy waters. It was not fun. I got a tad sea sick out there and was not looking forward to the next day.

After the swim it was back to the hotel to check in, shower, go shopping for last minute items and the TNT pasta party. Then it was back to my room to prepare.

After a night of tossing and turning the alarm went off and it was up and at ‘em. Dressed, ate, gathered my stuff, walked to transition, got body marked, set up my transition area then waited for my wave.

A few hours later I jumped off the pier into much less choppy water than the day before – talk about relief. Swim out to the start line, wait and wait, the gun goes off and I am swimming. Around the buoys, through the pack and eventually I make it to the swim finish. Unzip, pull down the wet suit, lay on the ground and get stripped, up again, grab the suit, rinse the face at the showers, and off to transition.

Get all the necessary gear on and off I go. Friends that had done this event before said it was a head wind on the way out and a tail wind on the way back. Not this time. It was pretty much a side wind the entire time. What joy! I yelled out “go team” to my fellow teammates, stopped and gave a guy some air, grabbed a water bottle from one of the volunteers after I accidentally dropped one of mine, said thank you to the volunteers and eventually made it back to transition.

I racked my bike, put on some new socks and then my running shoes and off I was for a 6.55 mile run. Or so I thought. It took a little while to get my legs back and once I did I felt fine. Then this weird thing started happening. After two minutes of running I would start cramping in an area of my legs that I have never cramped before. I would push through and the pain would get more intense, so I started walking. After a bit the pain would dissipate and I would start running again. Two minutes later the pain was back. Walking again. And this is what I did the remainder of the run – go until I couldn’t stand the pain any longer, then walk it out, then start the process all over again. I ate chips and took electrolyte tabs thinking this would help. It didn’t. I eventually made it to the finish line, but it was definitely not a pretty sight.
Once I was done I rested a bit, bought some goodies, ate some food, drank a bottle of pickle juice, almost puked (that stuff is interesting to say the least!), and then it was back out to the finish to cheer the rest of my teammates in. And of course – no cramping!

Two weeks later it is time for the MS150.

I have been dreading this weekend for months. I didn’t prepare like I should have – you know – long rides that include hills. I did none of those. The longest ride was 45 miles in Houston. And the only hills in Houston are overpasses!!

The day of ride arrives; I finish getting ready for the dreaded event and then head out to Cypress High School where my team decided to start from. I hand over my luggage, we have our team picture taken, I finish getting ready and then head out.

Wow – there are a lot of riders out there on the road. I pass some of them and some of them pass me. I hear sirens, I see a few riders down and I eventually make it to the lunch stop. After some nourishment I am back on my way. I hear more sirens and have to get off my bike at one point to go around an accident, but after a total of 85 miles I eventually make it to La Grange. YIPPEEEEE!!!!

Food, shower then bed and some much needed sleep!

Six the next morning the lights go on and it is time to pack up and get back on the beloved bike again. And I must say that was fun! It took at least five miles for my seat bones to get used to that bike seat again.

I rode the first part of day two with two of my team mates. We took the challenge route, but by-passed the park. I pulled over just after the park to wait for the girls I was riding with and forgot to unclip and down I went. I was laughing so hard that everyone knew I was okay!! The other girls caught up and we continued on our way to lunch.

The wind had picked up about mid morning and the exertion was taking its toll. By the time I got to lunch I was STARVING and devoured my sandwich, chips and some candies and chased it all down with a bottled drink. Needless to say, I did not feel very well after that. The nauseous feeling lasted until about six miles later when I pulled over and stuck my fingers down my throat. I felt so much better after that, but then I had to pee really bad and it was another six miles to the next rest stop. But I made it and it was only another 18 or so miles to the finish. I considered taking the SAG wagon, but the line was long. I ate a few orange slices and drank some water and Gatorade, but my stomach was still not feeling that great and the wind was still showing its ugly face.

I stopped at the next rest stop and prepared to finish the last nine miles. What is nine miles? I can do that!

I don’t know how many times I checked my odometer during those last miles but it was a lot!! 7 more to go, 5, 4, 3, 2 – oh look – I am on the UT campus – there is the UT stadium. And then I do not know what happened. I felt a bump, I lost control and then I was crashing to the ground. First the hip, then the shoulder and then my head. As the policeman said who saw me wreck – “thank you for wearing your helmet.” I must say I wiped out in a very good spot. There were people there within seconds making sure I was okay and getting me out of the street. And then the medics were there checking me over, cleaning my wounds and making sure I didn’t break any bones.

Everything checked out and since I was only a half mile – A HALF MILE – from the finish they let me get back on my bike and cross the finish line. So I finished.

And in case you are wondering – I went over a bad crack in the road and that is what made me lose control.

My shoulder was the most damaged in the fall, but I went to the doctor who gave me some good drugs and I am feeling better.

Next year – I think I will volunteer!


Tiggs said...

dude- i hear ya. I was a volunteer the second day. volunteering rules. WAY better than riding. but of course now I have a DNF nemesis to defeat, so my ragged ass will be out there next year and I WILL finish.

it was so tough. wtg on finishing. i'm glad you didn't get hurt in the wreck!

TX Runner Girl said...

Great job on the tri and the MS150! I want to train for both for next year, but I will be praying for a tailwind on both. :-)

TX Runner Girl said...

Great job on the tri and the MS150! I want to train for both for next year, but I will be praying for a tailwind on both. :-)

TX Runner Girl said...

Great job on the tri and the MS150! I want to train for both for next year, but I will be praying for a tailwind on both. :-)

Viv said...

Congratulations with the tri & the MS150!!