Monday, July 11, 2011

Carlsbad "Duathlon"- better known as hometown DNF

Well, I started a race on Sunday- the Carlsbad Sprint Triathlon. The waves in the ocean were about 5-7 feet. Which is about 3 feet higher than my comfort zone..

Let me back up a bit. 2 years ago, at Solana Beach triathlon, the waves were so big (to me) that the event crossed the line from being "fun" to being "not fun". After that one, I said to myself, "no big wave/ocean starts for a while". In 2010 I signed up for and completed probably 10 triathlons. ZERO of which had ocean wave starts. I picked my battles and decided waves weren't one of them.

This year, James suggested we do Carlsbad sprint tri. It's one I've never done and it's one of the longer sprints in San Diego county (1k ocean swim, 18 mile ride, 5k run). It was one week before Vineman 70.3 and sounded like a perfect tune-up (and a way to avoid the 20kTT/5krun brick situation that Dirk always gives during taper week) . AND, it's 8 miles from home so we could ride our bikes there (very early)
Pre- 6am ready to roll! 

It WAS an ocean swim, but I thought I had toughened up. Ok, let's cut to the chase. The waves were big, not huge. I started in the elite wave with like 5 girls and 100 big burly dudes.
Swim start- Me, James, Tatiana, Heather Jackson. Photo by Michellie  Jones, yes the Michellie Jones
 I ran out with all my might. Got pummeled by a wave and sucked back to shore 1, 2, 3 times. Then the kicker, some dude flew over "the falls' (that big breaking part of the wave) straight on top of me and I was pushed to the bottom for way too long in my opinion. I couldn't breathe and had a panic-attack esque situation going on. When I got up, fight or flight took full effect (I chose flight) and I flew straight outta that water and onto shore.

Yes, people with less swimming "skill" made it through, but I just didn't have what it took. No excuses. I got scccrrrd.  I can be hard on myself, you can be hard on me, and I had one friend tell me to "eat a spoonfull of cement and harden the F up" (TRUE!!) Haha. But, well. I got over it pretty quickly. My eye is on next weekend.

So I went back to transition, cheered in all of the (tougher than me) elite women from the swim, turned in my timing chip, and then went out and did a workout. Hello! I paid for that race and needed to get a little money's worth. Kristin (who also happens to be wave-shy like me) did the same and we went out and did the bike and run course, cheering along our teammates and friends. It was actually pretty fun. Congratulations to Heather Jackson for the win and to my tough teammates and friends.
Me & Kristin making our rounds :) 
When I hit the run, I ran as if I was "racing" and hit some nice paces. I'm stoked for next weekend!

After the race, we biked home
Biking home, d'uh! 
 and then I ran an hour on my favorite coastal trail to chill out and get over it. My first (and hopefully not recurring anytime soon) DNF. Done. Glad it was here. Moving on. And then I went to Whole Foods and got myself a nice big salad and a coconut water, then sat by the pool and had a margarita. A fine day by me even if it did include a bit of failure. James had a rough go at Carlsbad too and flatted out. Boo for the Walshes!

Today (Monday) I was supposed to recover with a swim and an easy run to start my Vineman 70.3 taper (it's this Sunday!). Somehow I ended up on a six hour ride with a bajillion feet of climbing up Mt. Laguna with Julie and Liz. Whoops. Don't do as I do. I will occasionally post smart training tips and workouts. This is not one of them. Good thing my coach, Dirk, is in Germany (he crushed Challenge Roth!) and busy doing German things so likely not reading this. So, taper starts tomorrow. Instead, I christened today, July 11, as KONA training, DAY 1.
Monday riding buddies!

Me & Liz in Descanso, halfway UP. 

And it was a blast. No regrets! I will buckle down and stick to the plan for the next 3 months starting TOMORROW! 


idropboys said...

Still a studd.....

SSB said...

I'll admit it. I called you a sissy for that. Just kidding. When I lived in LA I signed up for one of the sprint races (can't remember which one) and remember everyone telling me how rough the surf was. I remember thinking "what? I'm from Hawaii, I can deal with surf". I got to the race site and saw the surf. I also saw everyone else had wetsuits and I didn't (hadn't even occurred to me that one might be needed). I remember thinking I'd still try. Before the start everyone was telling me I was crazy for doing it without a wetsuit. I stuck my toe in the water and decided they were right and went home. Mostly I was relieved I didn't have to try to swim through the surf. But everyone thought I just realized I would freeze in the water (and i was a super slow swimmer at the time, so I would have been out there a long time).

Beth said...

Well, I've never had a rule about ocean/big wave swims before but I might now!!! YIKES!! Luckily these opportunities don't arise too often in western PA. :) See you soon!

MissFancyPants said...

I just learned how to swim 4 years ago when I started this sport. My husband said he wouldn't be able to deal with me doing an ocean swim, told him he was very lucky, I'm ballsy but not stupid. I am scared to death of ocean swims and you are not any less of a woman for not doing it. See you soon at Vineman's nice shallow swim :)

Frayed Laces said...

Hmm I almost had a DNF this weekend too, but my boyfriend refused to let me sissy out. I don't have good excuse like big waves though. Instead I had a lot of pathetic excuses. Nice to know it happens to the best of us.

Running and living said...

I say, yay for getting that DNF out of the way. Noone in their right mind (including you) should call you a sissy! Come on! You train and race like a fierce woman! I am glad you made the best of the race and did not let the DNF get to you.
More fire in your belly for Vineman:)

elizabeth said...

I was there, they were brutal if you hit them wrong. I am going to believe some people hit all the waves perfectly and thus had great swims.

I didn't race elite so I had a solid 30min to warm up after you started and I got in, got knocked down over and over and over again. That taught me I better go easy, keep my HR down so I can hold it for extended periods of time since the waves were beating me up. Pretty sure those first 200m took me longer to swim than the middle 600m and then coming back in I thought I got caught in a riptide (right term?) and was at the brink of a panic attack as soon as it let me free. Then the waves knocked me down while I was trying to stand up. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get on my bike!

To be honest, it makes me feel better knowing I am not the only one freaked out by that swim. Best of luck next weekend chica!! NO waves there! :)

Charisa said...

Big waves are scary. Big men landing on top of you with big waves involved and holding you under is super scary. Good call - glad you had a good day despite. You will crush VM this weekend!

Kona Shelley said...

You are still my hero and the great thing is that you started and you'll finish tons more races..safely!!! You are a smart cookie!

Rose said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this. I feel like such a freaking WUSS about the ocean. Never mind being born and raised at the beach in OC, the ocean TERRIFIES me. Everyone else seems to enjoy swimming in the deep, scary water, but not me. I can manage to scrape out a mile or two, but I don't like it. I'm ok on race day, but my training swims in the ocean can feel like punishment.

I really like your good attitude and that you still got a workout in! If you're not having fun, there's no point, right?!

GoBigGreen said...

I agree with julie:) Crap I got bodyslammed by a big dude at a race last fall and it was cold..I panicked, nearly sat up and did the kayak "wave." So no worries. I think you did the right thing bc i am always a fan of sticking to your gut instinct!
BTW love the H20melon stuff more and more!

Amy@Sassy Scarlett said...

I still think your tough as S#@*! Any water that is not a pool scares the crap out of me!

Libby said...

oh my word. if the shore break is big enough for someone to go over the falls on top of you, that is completely insane. wow. a good one to get some bad luck out of the system and get you stoked for next weekend. no doubt you will kick ass at vineman, way to start that taper week!!
oh and totally laughed at skipping dirks 20k/5k repeats the week before the race. I will have to try that to get out of 'em one day. welcome to kona training!

Zippy said...

Go hard, go early, go DEEP. Two big handfulls of sand until the wave passes and then CHARRRGE!!!

You'll get it next time. ;)

Best of luck to you and James at Vineman.

Running Bums said...

Great to see you guys having fun and not taking a bad or scary day too serious! I know you both will kick some major ass next weekend! :)

SixTwoThree said...

Can totally empathize and I'm not nearly as brave as you in the waves yet!

Wassdoc said...

I'm amazed that you kept trying! Then, a 6 hour ride during the week of a 70.3, amazing!

jackie said...

Thanks for sharing, you could have glossed over it but you didn't and that is admirable. Big waves are scary esp. with some big dude on top of you!

Yasi said...

I went on a ride Sunday morning and was thinking about you and the race for most of the time (also wishing I could have raced instead of done that ride!). Sorry to hear about the swim, but good on ya for gettin out there on the bike + run!!

PS. Went to Berry Happy yesterday, and was in fact very happy with it!