This race humbles you like no other race, regardless of your fitness. I actually thought I’m the fittest I’ve been for triathlon (validated by sprint and running PRs) and it definitely whooped my a$$. I definitely did not give this race the respect it needed when I thought I could do between 6-7 hours. I’m proud to have finished this race at all (due to the ~12% DNF) and not care about my time at all. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.
We were able to arrive in Vegas around 6 and check in to get all my things. I also decided to get a race day tuneup for my bike, which was great because they noticed my tires were cracked and had to get them replaced. The best part of the day was being able to sign up Andrew for the IronKids race on Saturday morning. We were a little surprised that the distance was 1 mile but after seeing that the range was from 3 to 15, I shouldn’t have been.
Andrew wrote his name and Alyssa’s name on a bracelet that I wore
Andrew’s race was at 9AM so we headed down to Henderson Pavilion around 8AM. There were tons of kids in their red shirts. Sooo cute! Alyssa stayed with Kim while Marilyn and I ran with Andrew. He ran the majority of the mile, with several walk breaks. The best part was getting a glimpse of his competitive spirit. Everytime we walked, this little girl with her Mommy would pass us and she would tell us bye. Afte ra couple times, Andrew made sure he was ahead of the little girl and kept looking back to make sure they didn’t pass us again. Awesome! I think we crossed the finish line in 11 something and considering we started in the back, I think we did the mile in 10:30. Hands down the best part of the weekend!
After the race, we had to go all the way across town to pick up some Generation UCAN. I foolishly had run out and my order did not arrive in time. I was able to get some from Adam but I wanted the flavor I was used to. We found ONE store in Vegas and fortunately, they had the nutrition I needed for the race.
Then we were able to pick up my bike and head out to T1 to drop off my bike and swim in the lake. I wanted to prepare myself mentally for swimming without a wetsuit due to the high water temperature so I decided to do my practice swim sans wet suit. I swam to the first buoy and back and am very proud to say that it was the longest open water swim I’ve done without a wet suit. Feeling pretty confident without the wet suit now and would really like to follow through on my goal to do a tri race without a wetsuit.
We were able to get to the transition area around 5:30AM, which was great after seeing the huge line of cars trying to park after 6. I was fortunately able to hang out with the family after I had prepped all my gear. I was able to get in a short warmup in the lake before giving kisses to the family and waiting in the chute. Couple funny things happened in the chute. 1. I went straight to the chute after going for a warm up swim. While waiting in the chute with the rest of the athletes, I noticed the lady next to me nudge her friend and point at the puddle of water she was standing in. That puddle of water came from me. I saw her squirm and try to move away from my puddle of pee lol. I’m not ashamed, I would admit it if I did pee but I actually did not pee while standing in the chute Pretty funny. 2. I was standing next to a guy whose goggle strap broke. He was trying to fix it but he was so nervous (sign of a first-timer?) that his hands and fingers were literally shaking. I’m not exaggerating when I say they were visibly shaking. Some other athlete was able to jerry-rig a string and tie his strap but the poor guy was still shaking. We all tried to let him know it’ll be ok.
The swim started out fun as usual. I think within the first 100 meters, someone had already grabbed on to my leg. I was pretty happy with my effort as I was able to do the whole swim without stopping. Usually, I stop a few times within the swim to catch my breathe and gather my bearings. I didn’t have to do that and felt pretty good. I also felt like I could have done that swim without the wetsuit. Noted for next year So towards the end of the swim is where the fun started. We were within distance of the shoreline when I got punched in my left eye/temple. I was so mad I pushed the guy and grabbed his leg. I felt the sting and actually thought he drew blood but realized it was just water. At that point, we were at shore already and Marilyn told me afterwards that when she saw me get out of the water, I looked mad. Now she knew why lol. Once I realized I wasn’t bleeding, I didn’t think about it again.
Pretty straight forward. I was able to dial in my transition routine in the Pendleton race so this went pretty quickly for me.
My goal was to drink a bottle of UCAN in the first hour and another bottle in the last hour of the bike. I thought I would ride a 3:30 and planned my nutrition accordingly. One mistake that I did not take into account was the heat. The heat on the water bottles made my UCAN really thick. So thick I could not execute on my planned nutrition so I had to improvise. I would take a big sip of UCAN every 10 minutes and follow up that up a couple sips of water. I did that for the whole ride, which I thought worked well. I was confident I’d be fine with the hills because I’ve been riding hills a lot but one thing I can’t duplicate is the heat. The course was a lot of ups and downs…mostly ups. Not only that, there was a lot of tailwind. Add all of that to the heat and no bueno. At every aid station, I use up all the water bottle on hydration and throwing water all over me. Throwing the water on me helped a lot since the SunRype tri kit material maintained the moisture and kept me could for an additional 10-15 minutes. All I know is that the last 10 miles were pretty rough on me. I kept telling myself to hold myself back for the run, which I thought I did.
Same as T1…nothing really special. If anything, one thing I would do in the future is add a clean pair of socks to the run gear bag so I can change socks if needed.
This is where the wheels fell off My goal was to run 10 min pace for the first 3 miles, 9:30 for miles 3 to 10 and then go ballz out for the remainder. That was my intention until I saw the run course and decided that being able to run 10 min pace the whole race would be an achievement. I was able to see Marilyn, Kim and the kids before I headed out the run, which was great. The run consisted of 3 loops and the first part was running downhill. I stayed at 10 minute pace for the 1st half mile and then cramped on both my left inner thigh and right knee/IT band area. I actually had to stop and stretch out before heading out again. I think I ran the first couple miles 10-11 minute pace and my body decided it didn’t want to run up hills. I tried to run but the body wouldn’t listen.
I decided at some point that I would walk all the up hills and run all the down hills. Was OK for the first couple loops and was in so much pain I couldn’t keep up that strategy. It was so hot and I tried to keep cool by getting water to drink and throw on me every aid station. It was getting harder to run also because I was just sloshing around in my shoes. Felt the blisters on both my feet growing per shuffle lol. Saw a lot of people walking (but already saw a lot of people finished as well). It was during the run that I decided that finishing this race is a big enough accomplishment for me. I also realized that even if I do not PR from my previous race at Silverman, I would be glad to just finish. I talked a lot with the volunteers and other racers walking around me.
Marilyn, Kim and the kids created camp on the backend of the loop. I was able to see them several times and was glad to getting kisses from the kids. The best part is Andrew asking me why I’m walking and not running. Thanks Andrew lol.
One thing that I need to tweak as well is the nutrition. Since I thought I would be running a 2 hour run, I did not take ANY nutrition at all in the run. By the time I realized I would be closer to 3 hours, I didn’t want to risk putting anything in my stomach and getting GI issues. This was definitely a bad move.
Love this pic because it looks like I am literally crying
That race was so painful. I knew the lack of nutrition was going to catch up to me and it caught up to me really quick. We went to Claim Jumpers to get some post race food and I felt so crappy I could not even keep my eyes open. I ended up not being able to eat anything at the restaurant and went to the car to take a nap. I compared it to the haze I experienced during the Ironman run. I was literally in a fog and I had to stay in the car while Marilyn and Kim took care of getting our stuff packed and ready to go. Note to self, never go back home the same day of the race. Even when not driving, the ride back is brutal.
Now remember that punch? Marilyn and Kim asked me why I have eye-liner on and quickly realized it was black eye. That black eye caused much more damage than I thought it would. Starting Sunday night, my jaw started to hurt. Throbbing and pulsing pain. I was able to endure it all Monday until Monday night, when I couldn’t even sleep due to the pain. Marilyn suggested I go to the ER, which I did. I waited for an hour to get checked in by the nurse and was told there were 14 people ahead of me and at least a 2 hour wait. In addition, she kept giving me weird looks because all I could say was that I was in pain and it centered on my jaw. Anyways, decided to go to me general doctor on Tuesday to see if he could help. He thought it was either TMJ or strep throat. He took blood work and throat cultures. In addition, he prescribed norco and muscle relaxers. They did not help at all and my lab results came back negative.
So on Thursday, I decide to get checked out by my dentist. I’m still in pain but this time, the pain is just focused on my left jaw and teeth area. Dentist took some x-rays but did not find anything. He was actually making fun of me for making up the pain. Glad I like him or else I would have socked him He did have an idea. He said that I have a nerve near the area where I got punched and theorized that my nerve somehow I got affected. At this point, I’m open to anything since no one can really explain my pain.
As for actual race results, I was happy to just finish and PR from my previous race.
These were my 2009 splits:
Swim – 50:12; T1 – 6:36; Bike – 4:13:38; T2 – 5:12; Run – 3:07:59
So basically took off 3 minutes in the swim, 13 minutes in the bike and a minute in the run. Not bad for 5 years worth of training huh lol.
Anyways, there’s this picture that I want to purchase. Sums up the day. Hurt, beaten, mad, dejected and still trudging along. Plan on putting this bad boy up in the pain cave as a reminder to keep on pushing. Definitely passing on this race next year as I want to do Vineman (not sure full or half) but definitely signing up 2016