Heather’s IM CdA race report

IMGP1793 I normally don’t lack motivation but the week after an Ironman is a real doozy!  Both Trev and I are acting like chicks with really bad PMS (Post  M-dot  Syndrome) swinging from happy and pumped to train, to cranky and hungry and tired at the drop of a hat. Gotta love how extreme exertion for 9+ hours messes with your hormones!

Anyway, I am supposed to write race reports (we promised Chuckie, and I guess people find it interesting), but as you know if you follow this blog regularly, I tend to drop the ball on that one!  I spend a lot of time analyzing the race in my head and writing notes on what I did well, and what I need to improve, so I get a little sick of even thinking about it.

But without further ado, here it is:

My bib number was #1, which was pretty cool. Usually the pro men get the low numbers but I was the only returning champ so I got to look at the super-motivating numero uno stuck to my stem the the whole ride!  It was funny having #1 on the run, though, when I wasn’t in first position. People would cheer “way to go number one!!” and then someone would correct them saying “she’s not first, she’s second/third”… and then “but she’s wearing #1”, “oh she won last year!?”. Ha ha. It’s not like we switch numbers mid race people!

heatherswimThe swim  – twas rough. I stayed super conservative at the start to save energy and ended up swimming slower than I felt I could the whole time just sticking on feet and staying with Kate Major. Trev was on my feet first lap, I was on his the second.

The bike – felt good. I didn’t don arm warmers in the thrill of transition which was a mistake because I was very cold.  I also had a mechanical that wouldn’t allow me to get into my biggest gears – the bottom two rings randomly popped loose on my cog set – so I couldn’t ride hard down any hills so I definitely lost a lot of time there. Took some major mental re-focusing to get over that, keep riding strong, and re-pass Kate Major. I was glad to have put some time into her before the run, and it was interesting to have another competitor around on the bike. heatherbikeUsually my Ironman rides are long, lonely endeavors and pacing is different when you have others to gauge your effort off of.

The run – was ok when I wasn’t solely focused on trying not to shit myself. It was so cold that I underhydrated on the bike and the stomach was NOT happy. I was gaining consistently on Tyler the first lap, and staying ahead of Kate, but I had to make several porta potty stops and I couldn’t really eat anything so I was losing time, catching back up, losing time, catching up…
heatherrunI was pretty happy with how strong I was able to run all things considered. I really wanted to hit 3:15 or faster and it I think it would have been doable w/o the GI stuff.
A bit of a mystery there… perhaps a lot of lake water swallowed, inadequate hydration… magical new sensitivity to the race foods that have worked well in the past…

Drug testing – very important to do because I want to compete in a sport where the athletes are clean, but still, not pleasant at the time when you are cold and exhausted and all you want to do is to shower and lie down.

Here’s how it works: you have to select a sterile cup and lid (sealed in plastic), wash your hands without soap, and then be exposed from your midriff to your thighs and the official has to watch you pee in a cup. If, say, you have really bad diarrhea, the official has to watch this too and you can’t even remove yourself from her sight to clean up.  The officials are really cool about it and they do all they can to make you as comfortable as possible, but it is still highly unpleasant. I tend to suffer from stage fright and it doesn’t help when you are dehydrated. I only got a partial sample the first try – you need 90 ml – so I had to drink more and wait around to pee yet again. In the meantime there were lots of forms to fill out and write down every supplement – protein powder etc – that you’ve take within 3 days of the race. It is all very secure and official, with locking-lid lab bottles and codes to trace your particular sample.
I would never take a performance enhancing drug, but you still get all paranoid – like what if my veggie greens, electrolytes, protein powders were somehow contaminated? What if was so dehydrated and in such a state of muscle breakdown that there were high levels of proteins in my urine which could lead to a false positive (as per an article in Inside Triathlon a few issues ago)?  A few months ago I put cortisol cream on a bad rash that I got on my hand from touching poison oak – cortisol is a steroid right? oh my god…
It’s all very draining really.

So too, perhaps, is reading this long blog entry that wasn’t intended to be so… sheesh.

Ciao for now. Happy recovery.

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~ by trevorandheather on June 30, 2009.

One Response to “Heather’s IM CdA race report”

  1. Last year I won a prize pack at a local sprint tri for correctly knowing who was the female winner of IMCDA 2008. I was so hoping you would repeat in 2009 and take home the win. I had a few friends in CDA doing the race and said the swim was rough also. I am learning in my IM training that GI issues are somewhat unpredictable and hard and frustrating when you know you have the fitness and strength to race well.

    I am doing my first IM at IMC this year and hope to catch a glimps of you somewhere on the course. I should be in T2 right about the time you finish in 1st place. 🙂

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