Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Triple T – Shawnee State Park Ohio - 2013

These are my people, the ones who races this past weekend in Shawnee State Park.

The race was …um …..

I’m still processing in my mind what I think of this race. Here is the video of the race:

2013 American Triple-T Recap Video from Rob Lahoda on Vimeo.

After finishing 4 triathlons in 3 days I feel like my mental block is gone. I’ve had some mental blocks since Lake Havasu. 

Of not being good enough, strong enough. 

But since crossing that finish line on May 19th, after swimming, biking hills, and trail running hills, I have my mojo back.

I meet a woman just before the first swim of the Super Sprint who raced the same Ironman races I did in the same year: Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2009 and Ironman Arizona in 2010. How often does that happen? Never. But in Ohio, meeting like-minded endurance athletes happens every May at this race where they come together to launch their race season.

On paper (or a website) 2 Olympic-distance triathlons seems like a piece of cake. However, the Triple T has other things in mind - the hills give the ultimate test. The hills are hard, but I bike them. I even have a technical problem with my bike that I have to dismount to fix twice. I fix it - no problem.

There is a bike crash and we wait for 10 minutes and I watch as they place her on a stretcher and later learn she was airlifted to a hospital.I hope she is okay. I feel so thankful for my safety on the bike and hope that she will recover and bike again. 

After the 2 Olympic races, I cannot imagine getting back in that water and in my wetsuit, again on Sunday morning. I doubt having the strength to do it. Some times in life, you just have to charge forward and go through the motions. And once I get going, the swim is over and I'm on my bike.

I’m thankful for the laughter with cyclists on the hills and how nuts this particular switch back is today.

I’m thankful for the man ringing his cowbell at the top of the longest, steepest hill before the end of the bike.

On the last leg of the last triathlon I meet Tony from Cincinnati who reaffirms my sanity and gets me through the run.The method to the madness of the half marathon: he is running EFM (Every xxx Mile). This is his 5th Triple T and vows  to run the entire 13.1 except walking the aid stations. I feel defeated from running my pace and walking a lot. I want to walk the hills like everyone recommends but it isn't working for me.

Tony's pace is about 12-13 minute miles, I mimick his feet, slow and steady. It works on the hills and I just kept going. I tell him about my broken toe – he is a trail runner too. He thinks that all the falls on the trail run and the eventual broken toe is due to muscle imbalance and strength issues in my hips and legs. It is what I said all along but no one agreed or told me anything I understood. He tells me to keep on with functional strength, yoga, Pilates.

I get through that run because I walked EFM. At the finish line I feel amazing. I am tired and sore. 

Tony’s teaching and companionship make the day.
After finishing I eat some beans and cookies, and sit in the cold creek, like everyone else. Tony joins me and instructs me to go to Masters for swimming and to take 2 weeks off before training for Ironman Wisconsin.

It’s simply amazing the people you meet in this sport. I’m so thankful.

And to Joanne from Colorado who met me in Columbus and raced with me. Thank you for joining me on this awesome journey.

The volunteers for the race are amazing. The scenery - spectacular. The company of triathletes is inspiring and makes me believe. They make me believe.

These are my people.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kristin. This sounds so tough...ironman wisconsin will be a piece of cake, (as much as an ironman can be, since you'll just have to be mentally tough for one long day and not three. Great job!