Sometimes you get let down, totally out of the blue. What you'd imagined was dependable and reliable let's you down and all of the sudden it seems like you should have seen the betrayal coming. What stinks is that I'm left wondering what I did wrong? I thought I gave enough love, though, if I really analyze my actions I can say that I haven't always given my all.
I am, of course, talking about my bike and I. I thought we were friends and I took care of it so it would take care of me.
That's why I'm sad to report that it let me down on race day!
Guess I ought to start with the beginning:
I had forgotten that in the summer here Dark O'30 is not really all that dark! And, despite weeks of ugly/wet weather, it was tentatively looking like a nice day. I was all packed and had out just my tri-shorts, bra and singlet. I had 2 pieces of toast w/PB and ½ a banana which is my every day breakfast. The Captain dragged his party animal booty out of bed with me and we headed down to Lake Sammamish.
The day was continuing to clear up and life was good, MUDDY, but good. I was in flip-flops and walked over to pick up my packet losing a shoe to mud puddles with nearly every step. I got my body marked and headed into transition where I proceeded to set up as streamlined a process as possible.
The Cap and I waited on the beach while the first sets of waves took off for the swim. I'm not sure if it was my wetsuit or the early time or nerves or what but my tummy was giving me a bit of a hard time. It may have been that I was laughing about The Julie Moss Incident the night before and this was my payback. Whatever it was, I had to use the restroom twice before my swim wave; and knowing how much I hate messing with the wetsuit once it is on shows how necessary it was.
A sign by the starting mat said water temp 59. BRRR. When my wave walked into the water I was concerned, when the whistle blew and we were off (and my face went into the water) I was panicked. It was COLD, I tried swimming normally but it wasn't happening. I opened the neck on my wetsuit to help my erratic breathing and tried swimming with my head out of water. When this seemed too hard I tried a combo of breast stroke and fly kick but this was very slow. Finally, around the first buoy, I was able to swim with my head down. By the middle of the long straight I was in the groove and I feel like I really picked it up between the 2nd buoy and the finish.
My feet were frozen! It was really hard getting my socks on because my feet were totally numb. Otherwise, T1 was all good and I headed out onto the bike.
I was so grateful for the weather as I headed out on the bike. I am definitely skittish on wet roads so the clear skies and sun were a very welcome sight. I got into a really good groove on the bike and was building a decent pace (avg ~17mph) on the way out. I was impressed with myself and my ability to shift around and maintain speed on the mainly uphill course. As I was going up one of the small hills I pulled out my water bottle to hydrate a bit. While trying to use my mouth to open it the entire cap pulled off and the bottle and its contents spewed behind me. I tentatively yelled back to see if I'd splashed anyone but the rider behind me just laughed.
I thought this little anecdote would be my craziest story from the ride and was satisfied with that as I hit the turn around and headed back to the park. I was feeling great about the ride. Around mile 11 there was an unmistakable thump-thump-thump feeling in the rear. I resisted because I didn't want to have a flat but a few feet later I pulled over.
A flat in the rear. During a race. UGH! I was proud of myself for staying calm and assessing the situation. My rookie/stupid mistake was that I first tried just filling the tire with one of my 2 CO2 cartridges. DUH- it went flat again. So then I set about the business of changing it. This went off fairly well even though I somehow only had 1 tire lever. I was almost set to go when a race official came up; I was getting ready to fill my tire and realized I didn't have enough CO2 (the stem on the new tube was short and I didn't hook it on tightly so I lost a bunch of air). She didn't have a pump. She left me to go tend to other breakdowns (although, without any gear was she really just giving moral support?) promising to stop by on her way back if I was still there. I was a bit stumped, I cleaned up my tire changing mess and tried to figure out how to proceed. Then, like a beacon in the dark night, a cyclist came riding down the trail below the road. I yelled to him to see if he had a pump. He did!
I was saved!
I pumped up, thanked him profusely and was on my way again.
I hadn't pumped it up enough and had to stop about a mile later and borrow a pump from a family out for an afternoon ride.
I was just glad to be back. This was pretty quick.
Issaquah is a semi-trail run and it had been raining for the past week pretty good. The giant mud puddles by the registration table were representative of the run course. By this time I was pretty giddy just to have made it through my little bike incident and decided I would just splash through the mud puddles like a kid in…a mud puddle. When you stepped down on the trampled grass a spray of mud would fly up. I was glad for the core strength I'd built up on my 26/30 days of shredding, since I think it helped me avoid slip sliding on the small and slippery footbridges scattered throughout the run.
I finished! My sweetie was waiting for me at the finish line where we enjoyed Brats and homemade cookies and chocolate milk.
Not my best performance ever but I came away from it with a different sense of accomplishment.
I am SUPER leery of my bike now which is unfortunate since we are riding the 25 mile course of Cascade's Flying Wheels ride. This will be my (and The Cap's) first ever cycling only event. i was very excited, now I am waiting for my bike to apologize (I did buy it a mechanical pump and some new tubes as a conciliatory gesture).
Amber 1:59:22 Swim:0:08:11 T1:2:58 Bike: 1:20:30 T2:1:04 Run: 0:26:39