Monday, November 26, 2012

YMCA Thanksgiving Reverse Sprint & The Aftermath



Still wearing my Ironman wristband, I woke at 1:30 am on Thanksgiving day. I could not get back to sleep. Unlike Ironman, I had been prepping for the YMCA Thanksgiving reverse sprint triathlon. It's a one hour race. A 2 mile run, 12.5 mile bike and a 400 meter swim. The swim being last is my mortal enemy. If you think I am slow in the water you are right. At least I didn't drown.

I had breakfast and loaded up on anti-histamines and throat lozenges. I had been sniffling and aching since Ironman. It sort of made me feel like an oxymoron. Or just a moron ... to be sick after such a "look how tough I am" event. I arrived early enough to get a decent spot in transition. I loaded up my spot with my gear and headed back to the car for a nap. I actually did go to sleep for a bit. Around 6:00am I emerged from the car and parked myself at the end of the pool area and waited for the race to start.

I had a brief warmup jog with Sharky. My legs felt fine, which was a surprise. What did not feel fine was my breathing. My chest felt like it would explode. Everything was shallow. I knew I was screwed before the race started. I tried to loosen it up and relax. I tried to think positive thoughts. BANG! There's the gun. I looked at my pace about a quarter mile in ... I was on a 5:40/mile pace. Okay. This works. That's when the wheels fell off. Mile one was a 6:50. Mile 2 a 7 something. I was already out of the race. (I had been running 12 minutes for 2 miles in training).

My bike was surprisingly good - time-wise - considering how inconsistent it was. I felt slow and cumbersome with only bursts of the speed I can generally muster. I had been biking 12 miles in about 30:25 in training. I guess I was close to that because the bike time includes both transitions and I went 33:44.

I hit the water with all the power of a feather. I literally SANK TO THE BOTTOM and stayed there for a moment. I don't think I am the only dude that is negatively bouyant but I guess I need people to understand my lack of bouyancy. Here's an example: When I jumped off the pier at Tempe Town Lake for Ironman I grazed the bottom of the lake with my left toe. I was wearing my wetsuit AND trying not to touch the bottom of the lake. It is 12 feet deep. Yeah - it's that imbalanced. I love 50 meter pools though. I can get in the little bit of swim groove that I have and stretch out a bit. 11:06 for 400 meters. I was gassed. Funny enough - I didn't stop the entire time - but my turnover on my swim stroke was sluglike at best.

59:14 total time.

What did I learn?

Ironman fatigue is real.

Do not expect OR EVEN ATTEMPT a top-notch performance during illness.

If you race while you are semi-sick - you will likely get SUPER SICK. I spent the following day at the doctor's office and in the bed (Sinus and gland infections). I am just now (4 days later) starting to recover.

Life is a journey and a learning experience. I am just dumb enough to have constant turnover for new subject matter.

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