17 June 2009

Mooseman Half Iron Race Report

Clearly, I’m behind. Mooseman was over 2 weeks ago, and I’m just now getting around to the post. I’ve been dragging my feet, because to be honest, I didn’t want to recall how bad of a race I had. Lucky for you, blogosphere, you get the extra short version:

Swim: 35:18

The swim course is a rhombus of sorts. I lost a good amount of time between the two furthest points. I’m not good at swimming in very very choppy water. If I’m not in a wetsuit, I’m fine… but if I’m in a wetsuit, I get some variation of sea-sick. Not fun. I enjoyed the 59 degree water however, unlike many people. Newfound lake is also one of the 10 cleanest lakes in the US. So clean I probably drank a little too much of it since I wasn’t hesitant about what I might be ingesting.

Bike 3:49

A full 40 minutes longer than I wanted to be on the bike. Mooseman is a relatively hilly course. I came prepared with a newly installed compact crank. Mooseman is also known for its sketchy pavement. And by sketchy, I mean terrible. Well, except for the first 6 miles, which have been repaved. I started off strong on the bike, feeling good after recovering from the near cookie-tossing session on the far side of the lake. I eased right up Devils Hill. On the backside of the course, there are some nice descents. Well, they would be nice, if it wasn’t for the aforementioned shitty pavement. At some point, a crosswind caught my 404’s when I wasn’t paying attention, and it threw me around a bit. By a bit, I mean a lot. On the shitty pavement. I already have a fear of crashing and head trauma, and with it being almost 6 months to the day of my dad’s death, I lost it. By the time I hit the bottom of the hill, I was balling. I didn’t want to be on my bike, and if there had been an aid station anywhere close, I would have dismounted and turned in my chip. I continued to cry. I thought about my dad. The fear of crashing/head trauma finally caught up to me. I wanted off my bike. I was thinking about how I could sell my bike/tri stuff, and make at least $2000. That would cover my investment into Ironman registration, my hotel room, and recover other sunk costs. That is how much I didn’t want to be on my bike… and it was serious thinking, not just “oh I should sell my bike and be done with this sport.” But, I kept pedaling, because the only choice I had was to do so, or sit at the side of a cemetery. The tears slowly dried, and I made my way back to loop 1. I was still having issues with hyperventilating, and hadn’t eaten/drank in at least 45 minutes. As I came in for the second loop, the electricity of the race drove me out onto the second loop. I got up Devils hill again, and continued the climb to the summit. Once I reached the summit, I quickly wondered “What Was I THINKING”? I quickly went through round 2 of hyperventilating and the fear of crashing. I was more prepared for the crosswinds on the downhills this time, and made it through safely. I was mentally diminished at this point, and figured I’d rack my bike and stop.

Run: 2:23

But I didnt. I realized I couldn’t hurt myself on the run, so I’d go out and get it done. Besides, there were too many teammates there. Off I went, and I got my legs pretty quickly. Miles 1-2 went by great. MIle 2.5, ::gurgle… gurgle:: Stomach’s not happy. I throw down a gel and 1/2 a glass of water at the aid station. As fast as I threw it down, it came right back up. Awesome. I walk, sipping water again, trying to get my stomach to calm down. I can feel I’m way under-fueled at this point, and throwing up the gel was the exact opposite of what I needed. I walked some more. Shuffled a little. Walked. Aid Station comes up, I sip on Pepsi. The Stomach (now a proper noun at this point, demanding I respect it) decides it does not want Pepsi either. I Pepsi’d some foliage on the side of the road. I walked… shuffled.. walked. Next aid station, after letting Stomach know we had another 9 miles to go, and surely it did not want to convulse that many times… I took some orange gatorade. Stomach approved. I shuffle a little. Stomach decides it still is okay. I drink the rest of the cup. Waited a minute, fully expecting a revolt. It didn’t come. I picked up my pace, and I ran. I ran fast. I stopped to pee, so at least I wasn’t dehydrated. I crossed the finish line. I cried (into my new Mooseman Finishers shirt and towel)

My time was faster than Kinetic, but not much. I hoped to break 6 hours. I hoped to take one of the top two slots. No luck. It was the hardest race I’ve done. Not topographically. Mentally. I joke about quitting triathlon after Ironman, selling my bike, and taking up scrapbooking. Joke. I was serious when I was on the bike. I guess that goes to show, you shouldn’t make decisions while riding that don’t pertain to navigating the course or eating.

Outside of the race, I had a GREAT weekend. Got up there Friday, swam, cheered on racers in the Oly on Saturday, got a great brick in. Monday, a few of us hung out on a dock in the lake, chattin, drinking wine, eating leftover cheese, grapes, chicken, and pretzels. If you ever have the chance, Mooseman is a FANTASTICALLY run race. I mean seriously, TOP NOTCH. and Bristol is absolutely gorgeous. The community was out in force supporting the race, which was awesome.

I had a very hard time accepting how this race went. I’ve accepted, and I’ve moved on. My focus is Ironman. I’m excited. I really look forward to it.


MaineSport said...

I was there Saturday. You're right- it's a tough bike course. And to overcome the mental challenges can be brutal, especially when your lack of nutrition plays games with you. That's a huge win in my book.

Eric said...

great report and good luck on the rest of your training

You beat 1's of you fear at the race

Lesser is More said...

Just keep your eye on the prize. The goal is to make it to the starting line of LP healthy and confident and the rest of the day will take care of itself. You made it through another race and a tough one at that. Just another deposit in the bank. Keep it up!

Kelly said...

Sorry about the crappy race. I've kinda resolved myself that at some point in our lives, we all have a really horrible race. I hope mine doesn't come soon!

Rainmaker said...

Good for you for not quiting. I can't image how tough that must have been for you, but it takes that kinda pushing through to get through the Ironman - and you've clearly displayed that you have it. Now it's just a few more weeks to simply knock it all out on LP. You'll do just fine. :)

And congrats on the race!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this report. I had trouble with the bike as well during my race on Saturday....I'm blaming the hills!

I appreciate how you share your feelings about your dad. Every time I start to write you a comment they seem insincere and/or hokey. But I wanted to let you know that I'm sending good energy your way as you prepare for all the big events coming up.