That’s usually the response I get when I explain that last Saturday I ended a block of 5 races in 4 weeks, 4 of those being triathlons with the other being a balls-to-the-wall 10k. In thinking about it I usually start singing the beginning of R. Kelly’s ‘Bump N’ Grind‘, except it’s my mind telling me yes and my body telling me no. Or at least slow down for a minute. I’ve posted about most of those races already, but I’ll a few new things happened that gave me some more understanding into other athlete’s minds.
- Open 10k races hurt. A lot. The day before Labor Day, I looked at my TrainingPeaks and saw that my coach had cruise intervals scheduled. I asked if I could run a 10k instead, got the OK, then found one along the roads I used to drive near my parent’s old house. As a plus, it was a point-to-point run, and to the best of my knowledge, was pretty flat. When all you’ve ever done is drive a route, you don’t realize how hilly it really is. It wasn’t flat. But I was able to execute a new race plan and win overall (in the same PI shorts I won my 4th of July 5k in. They have magical powers).
- I have 31 tris to my resume right now (11 so far this season), and while it wasn’t until Rev3 Quassy this year that I started the swim and felt comfortable and like I was racing (opposed to just really wanting to be done with that leg), I’ve never been afraid of the swim. I was taught to swim young, so I never doubted I could complete a distance. But a new thing happened this past Saturday at Tugaloo. I was the first athlete in the water in the time trial start, and was on pace for a 1.5k swim PR when I made the last turn. The turn was back to the bank, and directly into the sun. As I popped my eyes up to sight the swim finish, the glare on the water wouldn’t let me see anything but the lake around me. Being the first in the water, I had only seen two sets of feet pass me, so I couldn’t spot any swim caps or flailing arms, and the glare cut my vision short so there was no sign of buoys. Or land. I panicked. I have anxiety to start with, but keep it under control with a few tricks, but having a full blown panic attack in the middle of a lake isn’t fun. Shaking and gasping with a heartbeat so fast I couldn’t tell when the muscle relaxed, I just did what I could to move forward knowing that the shore was somewhere. I finally hit the bank a good 50 yards from the actual swim exit, stood up, and waded trying to calm down to the ramp up to transition. I never fully recovered, or had put my heart rate so far into the red that I couldn’t make up for it, and ended up finished over 2:00 slower than last year. Still good enough to move up a lot in overall placement from last year though, and finish 2nd AG, another improvement. That issue in the water gave me an inside look into athletes who do fear the swim but get through it anyway. Kudos to them.
- Panic attack in the water…so what’s the logical thing to do? Sign up for a 5k open water swim of course!! That’s next on my list of races. It’s also the first thing I’ve done this year that’s beyond anything else I’ve ever done. I’ve swam the 2.4 miles to finish my full at Beach2Battleship a couple years ago, but that’s the farthest I’ve swam so far. I’m really excited for this 5k swim and the bonding that’s going to happen between me and my blueseventy suit. Oh yeah…there’s a few Olympians swimming too.
- Tattoo number 9 is inked into my arm. No pictures or even a description; you’ll just have to see it 🙂
That’s what’s going on lately. Now I have to go swim then to class. There’s a nap in there somewhere too…mmmm…nap time…..zzzzZZZZ