Catch up Race Reports

Hi! Long time, no see. So sorry for the radio silence; life’s sure been busy. This site is named for a good reason, isn’t it? It’s all about prioritizing the good stuff in and among the best. First comes coffee, then family and loved ones, next is work (have to pay the bills, right?), then training, and then comes fun website stuff. Dead last is housecleaning, laundry, and shopping as evidenced by the current state of my house. Pictures unavailable!

But I want to do a quick catch-up on some races I did over the past few months, and I need to do it before this weekend! This is important because 48 HOURS from now, I should be exiting the swim portion of my first Ironman 70.3–Raine, WI!  I’m so excited and so nervous. Equally. Well, to be honest, the excitement outweighs the fear just a bit. Just enough to get me there.

So, back in April, I did the mini I-challenge for the Illinois Marathon series. I did this same race duo last year–a 5K on Friday night and a 10K on Saturday morning. This year I saw it more as a workout or training opportunity as I was already focused on the HIM. My times were decent and I was happy with the days. The best part is that my daughter Natalie did the 5K with me–her first race and she beat me! 😉 And Stacy, my trusty race/workout partner and dear friend hung in there for both races. Here are a few pictures:

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I also did the Esprit de She Naperville Sprint Triathlon on June 11th. I love this race because it’s all women, an extremely supportive environment, and just a beautiful location. The Naperville, Illinois, Riverwalk is a breath of fresh air.

Stacy and I got to Naperville the day before and had our priorities just right. Leave the trunk loaded and find a Starbucks immediately!

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Race day dawned bright and clear. The water was 76 degrees and felt like bath water, so I opted to skip the wetsuit. I approached the swim, actually the entire race, with complete confidence. I mean, I pretty much had to nail it if I thought I was on track for a half-Ironman a few weeks later.  Well, things did not go exactly as planned. Bet you saw that coming!

The swim … now, I’m a decent swimmer. I swim 2500 yards twice a week, usually. But of the four triathlons I’ve done, in three of them, including this one, I locked up the instant my face hit the water and I can’t exhale. The Chicago Triathlon was the worst–that .5-mile swim took me almost 40 minutes! The one time this didn’t happen was the only time I was able to get in the water for about 20 minutes right before the race and get acclimated to it. In that race (Olympic distance), the swim was perfect. If I remember correctly, I did the .9 miles in about 36 minutes and had fun doing it.

Well, this Esprit de She went exactly the same way. I could turn my head and breathe in, but as soon as I tried to exhale underwater, nothing would come out. I ended up choking my way through the entire swim. So, the swim portion went awry and I choked through it. Still finished in about 16 minutes, but I was struggling and fighting for air the whole time. It took a long time to catch my breath and I was barely breathing well even by mile 3 or 4 on the bike.

Why does this happen? There’s a real thing out there where people deal with this in open/cold water. Also, I have an autoimmune condition that reacts intensely to temperature–I think my body just gets shocked by the temperature change and it takes me a while to acclimate. That’s why it’s so important for me to get time in the water before the race.

Then, at about mile 11 on the bike, I got stung by a bee. Of course I’m allergic, so it launched a full-on asthma/anaphylactic response just as I was about to start the run. I ended up walking most of it because I could barely gasp for air. The race guards hovered the entire time because they could tell I was in trouble. They really wanted me to stop, but I wasn’t having it. As soon as I was done, I used my inhaler and took some Benadryl and was fine.

Plus side, I cut last year’s time for this same race by 5 mins, but I’d been hoping for more like 15 or 20. All in all, it was a good learning experience, and I can’t wait to do it again next year. But it did kind of shake my confidence for the HIM. A few weeks of good training solved that…mostly.

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Well, there’s my catch-up. Next week, I’m sure I’ll have a LOT to share. Have a great weekend, I know I will! :)

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