Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dr. Jekyll Meet Mr. Hyde - Big Pig Race Report

Well, I knew Big Pig would be more of a challenge than Racine, but I didn't quite expect the day I had on Sunday. The two races couldn't have been more different - including the distances! Racine was a perfect day (weather, physical state, mental state), the swim was short, the bike was fast, and the run was good. Big Pig was a horrible day (weather, physical state, mental state), the swim was choppy and visibility was bad at times, the bike was BRUTAL, and the run turned into a battle of will to just finish. So rather than write a race report that rehashes the most difficult 6.5 hours in my triathlon life, I think I'll instead list out some of the things I learned from the day. Maybe they will help someone else down the road. In no particular order:

> No matter how hard of a day I have, finishing always feels better than quitting.
> Nutritition will make or break a race longer than an Olympic.
> Races in tough conditions are won mentally, not physically.
> I need more experience racing to understand how to fully adapt my strategy when conditions are less than ideal. I am still new at this.
> Swallowing Heed is almost as hard as swallowing pride.
> Bad races are only bad if I don't learn something from them.
> Knowing the course ahead of time helps me mentally get through the day, especially when the day is not going well. (I heart Newhall)
> Passing people going 8mph is still passing people.
> Running is always faster than walking. Really, it's true.
> Even if it is downpouring rain before the race, put on sunscreen. It just might end up sunny and blistering hot on the run.
> Stick to Raspberry Creme PowerGel. It tastes good both when going down and coming back up.
> Hold onto that cup just a little longer at the aid stations - it works really well to disguise the fact that I am puking.
> Taking the extra few seconds in T2 to body glide the armpits saves me from the very painful chafing I experienced at Racine.
> No matter how tough a day, having the support of friends and family at a race is just awesome. No matter what, they always think you did a great job and are proud of you. Thank you Laura, Rachelle, Becca, Steve, Jamey, Kelli, Jon, Diane, Margie, Cathy Y and everyone else out there cheering us on. It means more than you know.

And with that...my triathlon season draws to a close. I wish it had ended on a better note, but I learned a lot and will be a better athlete because of it. Big Pig is now behind me. It's time to focus on my new challenges for the fall - cyclocross racing, some road races, and sherpa duties for IM Coz!


Kelly said...

Thank you for the recommendation on which gel tastes the best coming up. I have struggled with that in the past. Way to push through.

Molly said...

Sounds like a good learning day! And those pay off in the long run too.

Enjoy the break and the shift in training!!!

Maria said...

way to be a role model by getting something positive out of a rough race.
cyclocross? how badass! let me know if you're going to do the race in Iowa City (usually in Nov), i'll come cheer ya on!

Greyt Times said...

What a crapass day! You were so tough out there to stick it out and finish. Not everyone that started the race can say that. I'm super proud of you for that. The mental game is half (if not more) of the battle. Sounds like something an ironman would do...... ;)

GoBigGreen said...

Hi! I was there and feel like i wrote your blog report for you. I have never done that race and had such great hopes for a great 2nd HIM as i am new to this as well. Congrats on finishing and good luck into the fall cross season.

Sherry said...

HUGS, Kristen! What a super tough day, but lots to be learned... and thank you for sharing.

I think sometimes we all forget just how NEW to this sport we are and with each increase in distance it's like starting at ground zero. On a positive note... it can only get better from here! Nowhere to go but up (save for a monsoon, crash or some other weird act of God).

Way to tough it out. I'll be remembering that at Augusta. :o)

Sherry said...

Oh, and....

Congrats on the new felt roadie! Woo-hoo!!!!! Nice machine!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I laughed a lot on your list and then kept thinking - oh yeah, me too... I hate chafing! Ouch! I use that body glide everywhere! Tough races sometimes stink but I know the further I distance myself from them the better I feel for having persevered... and that's exactly what you did! That's what is most important!