Sunday, September 25, 2011

Call me CRAZY But...................

Some call me crazy but most that know me well say "thats just Jen." Just 24 hours after flying half way around the world cramped up in a tiny airplane economy seat and on a 12 hour time change, completely sleep deprived and not even a week after and still in recovery from competing hard at Worlds i partook in the Savageman Festivities here in my back yard at Deep Creek Lake. If you don't know of it, look it up. AS many say -"not a course to do 'for fun.'" After worlds my body and my mind were done! fried. The thought of racing again anytime soon was not creating that drive inside me as it normally does. But, to have such a great event take place in my home town, i feel it important to participate and support it. So i did....I had signed up for the international race on Saturday and i agreed to be the runner for my father in laws team on Sunday in the half ironman distance. which means yes, i am setting myself up to race the race of my life half way around the world, 6 days later and a day after 24+ hours of travel doing another international tri and then the next day running a very challenging hilly half marathon...HA!!!! what was i thinking!!!! That is what went through my head on Saturday morning as i looked out at the lake reallllly not wanting to get in! I was not in the Savageman to win or place, just have fun and be there with everyone. But that Saturday morning i was struggling mentally - not wanting to do it again. Get in to some cold water on a cold morning and swim bike and run. The only thing that got me in was that it did not matter to me how i did. Even if i wanted to try my hardest, my body could not give 100% that weekend. It was physically and emotionally impossible. But hey, i will do my best and have fun doing it.
I made it through the swim. fun...not so much. My neck was so tight from the flight that the first half of the swim i spent trying to crack my neck, probably looking somewhat goofy! then the 2nd half of the swim all i could think about was how sleepy i was and just wanted to go to bed! (remember, my body and mind was 12 hours ahead, so i was ready for bed). Swim went well all and all though. I finally got my time back down under 30 minutes, but was still 3 minutes slower than when i did this race 2 years ago (last year i dropped out since it was a week before nationals and i did not want to push hard one week before my important race).  Got out of the water and took my time in transition. i was not going to get hypothermic again, or experience it. So i toweled off, kind of looked like i was fresh out of the shower, drying my hair, my back etc... heeehee.. Put on lots of layers and went out for the bike. I think about 2-2:30 minutes slower than 2 years ago. The bike, i took as get in a good workout. i tried my bestest. but my legs still did not have much in them, from the race at worlds but also the travels. but I have a ton of body awareness (too much at times) and could tell things were not firing as they should. But i had a great workout on the bike, about 3 minutes slower than what i had done in training on this course and very happy with what i did this day.  The next transition, wasn't quite as slower than usual but i did wear running shoes that i actually had to tie the laces. again, not something i would normally do in a tri. but it did not matter this time! i was having fun. And i really was. It was such a breathe of fresh air to do a tri this way. Then to my favorite!!!! The RUn. Oh how i have such passion for running! I can't explain it in words. It is my passion, my saving grace! I always love to start the run! started it up , but OUCH! here is where i felt the traveling cramped travels and the previous weeks race. For the first time though, i felt the worse on the run. My quads were killing me, my calf injury was pressing and well, i just hurt. To be expected. I went out for the run and was told i was in 7th. but before 1.5 miles into the run i was running next to a bike that said #2 female. HA. well, normally that would get me all excited. And don't get me wrong, i was. But it was more like a love hate thing. I more was like "damn, i just got marked and now have to keep it. So i ran to keep that spot. Didn't need to move up the the #1 spot, this day was not about me shining, but now that everyone is seeing me run by the #2 bike, i felt i should keep it. And that i did, i crossed the line as 2nd place overall. I was about 3 minutes slower on the run than 2 years ago. 3 seems to be the trend in this "recovery" race. Was exciting! Did not expect that at all!!! chuckled for sure! Would love to do this race fresh and without an important race the week after. Not to try and win it, as that really is not what i am about, but to see what time i could get. In my head i should be able to take 12 minutes off my time as i was 3 minutes slower in the swim bike and run and transitions from what i have done before at this race or in training. but that is what is in my head, who knows if i could take that much time off for real! maybe next year, but below you will read more about that. Unless i have lost you already from this already too long blog. ;-)

Sunday, well, my body, my mind, probably going through the "thank goodness we can rest now she is done".....NOT.....ha, still have a half marathon to do the next day. If my legs could talk, they would have been calling me "bitch!." for sure.  Hee. UGH. as much as i love to run, Sunday morning waiting to do my leg of the half ironman, my legs were over the top not well and my mind even further there. I ran 20 feet to get my water bottle and my legs were numb, almost caved in and brought me to the ground they were so tired and sore and achey. My calf was done and everything else there with it! Last year, i did this relay and since it was 1 week before national i ran it comfortable and at marathon pace instead of all out. So at first i figured, well if i can do that and feel comfortable my goal this year was to run the same as i am not fresh and i wont be comfortable. but when i ran for my water, i quickly changed my goal to just get across the finish line so my team finishes. My father in law and Dan are the swimmer and biker, they have been a team since the Savageman started with the runner changing out each year. And i am pretty sure every year they have missed placing by one or 2 spots. So when  Dan came in on the bike as the first relay, i knew i had to atleast keep us in placing. UGH...which means somehow someway somewhere i have to find it deep down inside me to pull out something to be able to run better than "just finishing." And i did. I don't have a clue how i did it but i was able to run 2 minutes faster than the year before in a 1:35 on a very hilly course. very. at about mile 9, i had friends tell me how far back the next relay was as my injured calf was not doing well and i needed to slow up my pace to keep it from what felt like it was going to snap, along with my right hamstring and my left achilles. Areas that were still aching from Worlds and the travels. Luckily i was 5 minutes up on the next team which allowed me to ease my pace so i wouldnt be benched from any activity that involved my legs for the rest of the year. We stayed in and took first place for the relays. I did that for my father in law. It was truly for him!!!! That want to do for him is what gave me the energy and somehow the strength to pull it off. I really did have so much fun with it too. And of course, makes me want to know what i can do on the course had i been fresh and not sleep deprived. Can i break a 1:30 on that course? i don't know. Not easy to do, but feel i could. But to find out means not doing the tri next year and only doing the relay. Ugh. So now, by next summer i need to figure out what i want to do at the Savageman. I shouldnt have a race the week before or the week after. So that allows me to focus on excelling at Savage. but on which do i focus. This is what i and my coaches had issues with in school. I love it all! In addition to wanting to see what i can do on the international tri and on the half marathon run, i wouldn't mind going at the Savage half Ironman Tri again now that i have more experience, even with running. But i can't do all 3 when trying to see what i can do at full capacity, i will have to decide!!!! The half marathon in a relay, the international tri or the half iron tri??????

1 comment:

  1. You are a machine Jen....congrats!!! Just did my first sprint tri @ Dewey...flat is where it's at for me ;) got the bug though and just signed up for another in South Beach. Hopefully I'll be back to DCL in a couple weeks for some good workouts w/you!