Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Charlottesville Olympic Tri Race Report, Preface

The Outlook
I was OhSoExcited about this triathlon. Really!
Just about an hour away from home, lake swim, trail run, small number of participants. All good criteria in my book.
After completing Eagleman a month and a half ago, an Olymic distance seemed so, well, easy! While I had been incredibly anxious about Maylor's Beach last year (my first Olympic distance,) my anticipation for Charlottesville was completely different. I was totally looking forward to it, felt extremely well-trained, and was already imagining it as a new favorite.

The Trip
Got a couple of screws loose on the travel plans. Anna's beautiful new bike doesn't actually fit on her bike rack any more, so instead of riding with her, I followed her up to the race site. My alarm went off at four am, and we got on the road about five. It was dark out for most of the drive, but it was pretty relaxing. I just listened to music and watched Anna's taillights. Much easier than on my way back home when i stopped paying attention for just a second and ended up driving halfway to Lynchburg!

PreRace MisPreparation
Here's where the pitfalls begin. This was my eleventh triathlon, and never before had I experienced any organizational difficulties, much less an Evil Triathlete. Now I got both.
I signed my waiver and proceeded through the packet pickup line. When I showed my license and USAT card, the woman checking called my number out, 220, although I could clearly see that my name had already been crossed off the list. The other woman agreed--220 was missing from the race number box.
"Sit tight," one said. "We'll straighten it out."
"Where's Dan?"
"I don't know who he is."
"He's in the canoe."
The volunteers had this conversation while I sat patiently on the bench.
Then they went back to distributiing packets.
A few minutes later, I asked if there was someone I could find or ask.
"Yes! Do you know Patty?"
"No. I'm from Richmond."
"Oh." And they continued to hand out packets.
Finally another volunteer located Patty, who said I needed to re-register.
The guy hading out goodie bags handed me a registration form. Actually, two.
"May I have a pen?"
More digging around.
I turned in my "new" registration, then waited again while a woman copied all of the information I had just written onto a blank race number, 244.
"Here you go!"
"May I have my race packet?"
The guy handed me a course map and a couple of race brochures.
"Could I get a bag, too, please?"
"We're all out."
Of course they were. Obviously they had handed out all the bags while I was sitting on the bench for twenty minutes.

I moved over to the chip line, where I had to explain my situation to someone else.
"Hold on while I go check," she said. Five minutes later she returned to tell me that my chip would now be fine, but that I couldn't use the stretchy chip band because they were only for relay teams.

Having volunteered at a couple of races this year myself, I appreciate that these people are out there to make the race possible for us, but this was truly a frustrating experience because nobody seemed to have the wherewithal or authority to make any decisions about a mixup, or the ability to find someone who could. Well, I thought, at least this is all out of the way before the race. I was starting to get a little anxious now, though, where I'd been calm all morning before arrival.

I got bodymarked and went back to the "festival-style" transition area, where I'd already racked my bike and set up my transition gear. A guy had racked his bike so that his front wheel rested not-so-gently on my bag.
I moved it over. "I'm sorry if that was in your way."
"Well, you took my spot."
"Excuse me?"
"You took my spot. I had my towel over here, and I was going to put my bike there."
"Well, I had no idea. There was no bike here, and there aren't any numbered spots."
"I put my stuff to the right of where I was going to rack my bike. That's the way it works."
He was being pretty sarcastic with me at this point, so I just said,
"Well, it looks like we both fit here. I didn't mean to ruin your race."
"I was just letting you know triathlon etiquette."

I didn't reply. Just finished bodygliding while I listened to him give some others around us tips on how to race and train for distance triathlon. "So you've done an Ironman?" someone asked. "No. That's the only distance I haven't done," he replied. "I mean, besides this one." Then he went on to talk about the half he had completed. In other words, this distance tri expert had completed zero Olympics, one half, and zero Ironmans. I'm glad he was preaching to me about etiquette!

At this point I realized that the packeteers had failed to give me a swim cap, so I went back over to "my" bench to retrieve it. Plus, I was starting to get worked up about the Evil Triathlete. I know I didn't make that obvious, so I thought I'd point it out!

Thank goodness for TRIgirls! I met back up with Anna, Lynn, Susie, Cyndi, and surprise entrant Mary. I vented, and then Cyndi braided my hair. I hope that was as calming for her as it was for me. Once again I took advantage of her Mom Skills. I hope this may become a tradition!

I decided that Everything that Could Go Wrong already had, so that I must be in for a great race!!! We headed down to the lake.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


As many of you know, one of my favorite sayings is, "Not with that attitude, you can't." Truth be told, I ripped it off of my brother. He doesn't mind a little plagiarism.

One of my other favorites, and I made this one up myself (very creative, I know,) is, "No self-deprecating remarks." This is actually a rule that I have had in many of my classrooms. "Ms. Hamlin, I'm not a good writer." "I know it's boring, but.."

I find that I "get" to use these sayings frequently with my training partners. I laughed out loud as I read Diane's blog account of Deanna L's self-deprecating, "I'm slow" comments as she continued to extend the length of her ride (at a not-too-shabby 17.2 mph no less!)

Then I laughed out loud again when I got to the next section, where Diane logged her swim workout, needing to "build confidence" that she could actually swim .9 miles in a race, while she completed a 1000m workout at less than 1:05/100m!!! Sounds strong to me...
The diverse group of women with whom I train is filled with people who don't have the attitude that they can't. TRIgirls rock, and I've seen the posters to prove it. They just need to drop the self-deprecating remarks, as well.
Especially if they're faster than me!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Training After Eagleman!

I realized my "positive" post wasn't so much. Obviously, I needed an exclamation point.

Gearing up for cheerleading at Shady Grove next weekend, followed by racing the Charlottesville International Distance July 29. Lake swim, rolling bike, trail run--sweet!

The end of summer school means more time to shower after those weekday brick workouts! Also, now that I' don't have to go straight from VCU to Hondos, I can actually sit down and eat a healthy dinner instead of grazing on french fries, seafood bisque, and assorted fried appetizers at work.

The Camp Hilbert pool is conveniently located sorta close to West Creek. Kay, Anna, Jennifer, and I have really enjoyed this new post-brick hangout! Yesterday, I think Anna and I could even include blowing up our new rafts as another aerobic activity sandwiched in between our 30/10 brick and Swimming with Som.

Oh, yeah, Swimming with Som! After a health-induced hiatus, I made it back to Sunday swimming the past two weeks. Ahhhhh. Love it.

Training After Eagleman.

Okay. I just posted some of my more negative thinking with a question mark. Now here's the positive stuff.

I ran the James River Scramble the week after Eagleman. I love this race, and I think it made it okay for me to run again (ever) after my first half iron.

I have skipped a few workouts, but none of the key bricks. Felt exhausted yet proud of myself after finishing this weekend's brick with Anna.

My Weight Watchers leader once said, "If you've had a bad week, you need the meeting. If you've had a good week, the meeting needs you." I think this is applicable also to training with the TRIgirls. I always come away from a workout or a clinic or the forum or a blog with a better attitude.

Speaking of Weight Watchers and TRIgirl blogs, several girls have mentioned weight loss or maintenace, and Grandison has dubbed July "Nutrition Month." I have gained fifteen pounds over the last ten months (an accomplishment of sorts, considering I was training for/am training for 70.3 and 140.6!) As Jonah pointed out, it's a lifelong battle for some of us to mantain weight, and I tend to slack off completely once I achieve a weight goal or ramp up my mileage.

So, I'm officially back on the boat. Actively paying attention to what I eat, even though there are so many more interesting things to pay attention to! Forget body image; we're talking about my mile times here...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Training After Eagleman?!

Many of us have read bits and pieces about the emotional letdown after a race, knowing that we expect to be just plain tired, as well.

In addition to recovering my first Ironman 70.3 physically, mentally, and emotionally, I find myself battling other transition periods with perhaps even more difficulty.

Aarrrrrrggggghhhh! I am teaching a summer course that meets thirteen times over a period of eight weeks. Only one of my students has been to every class.

No School
The end of my summer class means more shifts at the restaurant. Pray for good tips and no burnout.

Not mental, yet. In the past month, my car has been in the shop twice, my lawn mower was "totaled," my bike went in for some not-too-major adjustments and repairs, and my air conditioning system in the house clunked out. I stand out in my two-foot lawn and wonder, "Will I ever be able to buy a new bike?"

Is it just the heat and humidity? I have had a hard time getting motivated to do all of my workouts. Ironically, for the first time ever, I completing more swims than bikes or runs.