The very long version.
Let's start with my bike. My frame was damaged on the way to tri camp last month and I was in Illinois for a week after that. As soon as the shop opened the day after I got home, I was at my local bike shop (*BEST* guys *ever*!). Alan confirmed that altho I probably *could* ride it (and had for the last week), the inherent strength of carbon is dependent upon the fibers being intact. The damage was on the down tube and if I hit a bump hard there was a possibility of it failing. Since I was racing the next weekend, Alan said he'd work on getting me a new frame from Specialized as soon as possible. Unfortunately the new frame didn't come in until Thursday. But Alan really came through and at 9:00 Friday night I went to pick up my "new" ride. Some slight changes in the geometry of the frame, but he did his best to put everything back with the right overall dimensions (seat the same height from the crank, etc). I took the new Ruby out for a spin on Saturday as part of my pre-race brick and felt pretty comfortable.
Really bad, blurry pic of frame damage
"New" Ruby ready to roll
Oh, and amongst my stressing about the bike, I was also sick last week. Yes, again. No, the doctor has *no* idea why. All my blood tests came back normal. Evidently I'm just a weakling in the immunity department.
Saturday night, in some spectacularly bad planning on my part, we headed out to see Sting in concert. When I bought the tickets I completely spaced the dates and didn't realize it was the night before my race. I considered bailing, but decided that wouldn't really be fair to my other half. And to be honest, having already spent the money, I would balk at just letting the tickets go to waste. I tried not to complain too much about being out late or hint too much about leaving early. I'm pretty sure I failed miserably at both. We did leave the concert before the end, but being an hour drive from home, I still only got about 4-1/2 hours of sleep Saturday night.
I was already a bit concerned about my preparedness going into this race. Having been sick, I was instructed to rest all week, so didn't have any workouts to see how things were feeling. Add to that the hip problem and I really hadn't done much running in about 3 weeks. And I definitely knew I was off kilter when I was all suited up for the race and didn't have a shred of nervousness. It was more a sense of "let's just get on with it". Not to say I wasn't excited. I felt ready to go and just wanted to get moving. But the lack of nerves was unnerving.
I felt good during the swim, but probably lolly gagged a bit. In retrospect I think I felt too comfortable in the water, which tells me I wasn't pushing hard enough. I did come out of the water 10/54, but probably could have pushed a bit more.
The new bike felt good, but after looking at the power data, it's obvious I wasn't pushing as hard as I should have been. The mental block with my bike seems to continue. What am I afraid of? I just don't know. I can push myself on the bike tests, but when I get out on the course, I pull back. I told coach that I think I'm afraid to blow up. Her response (priceless, I think) "What happens if you blow up. Do you lose a wheel? Does your head explode? FIND OUT." Given the data from my testing, and the data from racing, it's pretty obvious I'm not giving it my all out there. And I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who can figure out why and do something about it. So although my Olympic in August is supposed to be a "B" race, it may turn into an "A" race. Or at least the bike portion. I need a break thru moment on the bike and only I can take myself there.
The run was a struggle. This was the first hot weather weekend we've had all year, and it got hot with a vengeance and there was very little shade to be had on course. I started off too hard and wilted as the run went on. I would have sworn the last mile was the longest of my life. It was one of those days when I thought to myself, "This is supposed to be fun, right? I am not having fun." And of course as soon as I finished and downed some cold water and had a fabulous on-site, post race massage, I started thinking out to my next race. Funny how quickly the brain packs up the bad stuff into a little box.
Another line of thought post race was how stupid it was to sign up for a half iron race in hot country in September. Maybe that was a *serious* mistake. I looked up the historical temps. 88 on the day of the race is the historical average high. Ouch. But then again, so what. Everyone will be facing the same conditions, and at least I can work towards prepping my body for the heat. Let's just look at it as another challenge shall we? The things I liked about the race when I signed up still hold. It's a small, "local" race. Lake swim, with a fairly flat bike course. Run on packed dirt fire roads instead of pavement. I need to just quit making excuses before I've even started and get to training.
Okay, enough rambling of jumbled thoughts from my tired brain. Bottom line(s): I continue to learn thru my experiences on the course. And my number one goal is to blow up on the bike. Trek sprint tri is next up....let's see if I can get my head to explode.