Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Muskoka 73.0 report

This race was hard. This race was amazing. This race was a PW.
Despite this race being my worst result in terms of time and placing, I am walking away from this race feeling as though it was a hugely positive experience.
While 'winning' is always nice, success doesn't always mean coming in first.
I can honestly say that I will be taking more away from this race than any other half
IM that I've done and that, in my opinion is a success.
It started with the morning prep. I just wasn't feeling the desire to go and rip it up. I was there and was happy to see my friends, but I just wasn't feeling the hype that I normally feel going into a 5 hour race. I also had this weird feeling that something was going to happen. I have been racing tris since 2005 and have been lucky enough that I have not had any kind of mechanical issue on the bike. I knew my time was coming... it was just a matter of when. For some reason, I felt like it was going to happen in Muskoka. Maybe I set myself up. Maybe I'm psychic. Who knows (yes, I will tell you your future - for a nominal fee).
The swim was awsome. I found some fast (male) feet. This was new for me. I was working but it was very controlled.
My time was not fast, but I was within 3 minutes of Mirinda C. and that`s the closest I`ve come to her so I`m okay with it.
The run to transition was a long steep one. A foreshadow of what was to come.
I moved quickly through transition and was out on the bike. BRRRRR. Maybe racing in a swimsuit was not such a good idea - definately not in AZ anymore.
The bike was tough. Like 7000ft of climbing, 94km tough. But I felt good. I was moving pretty comfortably through the miles but still didn`t feel like I was in `the zone`.
It was probably around 30 km that I felt like my front tire was going flat. I kept riding until I knew it was going flat and when it was close to rim on road, I conceeded to having to stop and change it.
I thought it might have been a slow leak and maybe I could refill it and keep going. I used one CO2 cannister and instantly found out that was not the case.
I changed it pretty quickly and pulled out another CO2 to fill it. The tire filled but the valve was `f`ed, and the air came back out. I took my last CO2 out and tried again - same result. By now, I was cold and starting to think I would be better off being a spectator instead.
I stood there, in my bathing suit and watched a million people go by. I decided that I would catch a ride in the sag wagon and call it a day.
Instead of a van, I was greeted by a man in a motorcycle. I asked him where we were going to put my bike.
He said giving me a lift wasn't an option but he had a couple of CO2`s.
This time, the air stayed in. Lucky me.
I have no idea how long I stood at the side of the road. I didnt have a computer, but it was long enough for me to want to sit (lay) down on the side of the road. It was long enough for my body temp to drop to `uncomfortable`.
I got back on my bike and TT`d for the next 60 km. I think I pushed too hard.

I started the run and immediately went to the `bad place`. Both of my calves were cramping and I was moving ssssslllllllooooooowwwwww. I wanted to walk. I wanted to stop. I wanted to swear and cry like a baby. But I kept going.
This awful, black vail stayed with me until around the 5 km mark. Then, I passed a girl who said she saw me on the side of the road. She told me to `never give up`.
I decided right there to put on my big girl pants and worked my way out of the rut.
I put myself in the hurt box and did my last 10 miles in 1:11 and negative split the run.

I took away many valuable lessons. 1 - being 8 pounds heavier than race weight hinders performance - especially on the run(30 seconds, per pound, per mile can really make a difference) and I now have the motivation to cut back on this:

(only available in Canada, and I got my fill while I was home).
Two: I got to practice changing a Zipp flat in a high stess situation. 3. I can pull myself out of a very dark place. Four: exertion cramps can go away, even if the exertion doesn`t. 5. this is not the best activity to revisit the day before a race:

Six: My Mommy, Daddy and sis are the best spectators ever.
7. Never give up.

Next stop, Soma.


Jennifer Harrison said...

Hey Chrissy! Congrats on your race and it is SO hard to go thru all those emotions in a 1/2 IM and try to keep things together - GOOD FOR YOU for sticking it out on a tough day! THAT is what it is all about! Congrats!

IronLa said...

Dude, you are one tough cookie...or should I say Jos Louis! I can't believe they don't have those in the states. Anyway, well done. Still waiting for my flatty during a race. fingers crossed it never happens...