Sort of a race report

Yesterday, I did half of a triathlon.

(Someone asked which half. The first one.)

I’ve been a little bit tired lately. Not tired of training. Not of running and biking and, sometimes, not of swimming. But worn out of all the other shit. The stressing about it, the having to figure out all the little things, the cramming in the calendar, the making the calendar, and double-checking it. The I want to go for a bike ride, but it doesn’t fit and is hurting my knee, so I need to go back to the bike fitter, but I need to bring my other bike also in order to do that, but the other bike doesn’t have cranks, so I need to buy a bottom bracket to switch the cranks out. Aghhkcneln,rmv…

And that’s how everything’s been going lately.

It’s like Erin was saying after I did the half the race yesterday: starting a new job and buying a house are like two of the most stressful things. At least I didn’t have a baby too.

So, I felt terrible before the race. I felt like I want to quit triathlon; I hate this; I don’t want to be here; I don’t want to do this. But whatever. Sometimes you feel terrible and still race awesome. Who knows. It’s a mystery. So I went even though I felt terrible and I thought it would work out.

I was supposed to be in the elite wave, but when I got there they had me in the 25-29 age group. I was like ‘hey, that’s not right,’ because I figured I should start in the right wave and I figured all the other elite girls would be in the elite wave and I figured when there is an elite wave and you have an elite license you’re not supposed to race in an age group (there’s pretty specific rules about that), but I am a dumbass it turns out. And the one or two other elite girls didn’t race in the elite wave. They were put in their respective age groups.

Which meant I got to the start and it was 7 elite guys and me. As I started to realize this while I was heading to warmup, I felt an overwhelming wave of nausea and crying.

Being the only girl with 7 elite guys, fyi, SUCKS. Actually, it really just sucks if you’re not an awesome swimmer.

After the first 100y or so, I swam by myself. I was ahead of one elite guy (YES!) and I just kept swimming along and along, talking to myself. I made it to the finish with only one guy from the 29 and under men’s wave (which started 4 minutes after me) passing me. I figured that was good, but who knows?!? I was totally by myself. Maybe I swam the slowest ever. Maybe I swam totally off course. WHO KNOWS.

Then I got on my bike. By myself. And biked along. By myself. I could see one guy about a half-mile ahead in the distance, but then I couldn’t see him anymore. I didn’t even get passed by any more guys from the men’s wave behind me for awhile. So, I was just biking along. Feeling terrible.

I was doing pretty well for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, it was just a struggle. I couldn’t keep my power up at all. The numbers were just terrible. I felt uncomfortable on my bike and not strong, like I was all over the place. I could get in a rhythm, sure, it was just a slow sucky rhythm. I was really struggling. And I was really unmotivated.

There’s enough other stuff in a race that goes on, that you don’t need to be trying to convince yourself not to quit the sport too.

I’m going to quit the sport after this race. I’m going to cancel all my other races for the next month. Maybe I should just quit now. No, that’s dumb. I’m already here. Maybe I shouldn’t quit the sport. Stop being stupid.

And, as a side note, the swim course was longer and the bike was slow because of the wind. But I didn’t know any of this. I figured I was just sucking more.

After going back and forth and fighting with myself for about half the bike, I just pulled over and stopped.

And I leaned over on my handlebars. And I just started sobbing and shaking hysterically. I cried for 10 minutes and I couldn’t stop.

Eventually, after I stopped bawling, I was like well, I’ll just get back on my bike and finish. That lasted about 5 more minutes. Then, no, no I’m not finishing.

I’m on an indefinite break now. With no planning. And no scheduling. And hopefully everything will come back soon.

I thought I was feeling a lot better today and that the break wouldn’t be that long.

Then, I was reading a couple articles about the Dipsea, which also happened yesterday, and I started to tear up. Awwwww, she stopped and helped her competitor up after she fell. Sniff, Sniff, she proved everyone wrong when she earned her shirt.

Maybe, a good sign of when I’m ready to come back is when newspaper stories don’t make me want to cry.

9 thoughts on “Sort of a race report

  1. Hi Kelly,

    Hang in there! Remember, you’re still “elite” and well above and beyond most of the planet physically.

    My first Mt. Bike “trial” race at Big Bear before I had kids, I actually tried to tune my bike myself and tightened the gears up so that I only had one chain ring working… It was hysterical. I couldn’t shift the entire race… I went from 5th to way the @$#(%( back very quickly. My second race, I didn’t know we had to do two laps of the course, and I just stopped, thinking I won!!!! LOL… We all make stupid mistakes. After having twins, I can’t spend the time on my bike that I used to, but I am glad I did every minute of it. As you said, you never know when you are going to come out on top. Just don’t ever stop trying!

    -Colleen

  2. Hope you feel better soon! I think once you are able to get settled in your new place and at your new job, the outside stressors will be drastically reduced and you can get back to feeling good and racing awesome!! How ever long that takes – I’m sure you will know when you are ready!

  3. Where the heck was this evil race? I’d like to be sure to avoid it myself.

    Super sorry to hear about the crummy day. You definitely have way too much going on and it would be nice to give your body and your brain a bit of a break. I bet it’s not going to take as long as you’re worried it will. We’re pretty resilient beings.

    That said, a new job (especially one as demanding as yours) and a new house are full time jobs. So is triathlon. So give yourself time to get settled in the first two and third will come back to you.

    Big hugs

  4. I can’t believe you got all knocked out of sorts at the Tri for Fun. Where was Steve in all of this? He usually provides something unique and something magical or he crosses his arms or just gets you a pasty and ice cream. It’s temporary. Think of this period in the season like a bad patch in the race. you’ll come around, if not you’ve always got Steve.

  5. Hey Kelly,
    Hang in there!! You are by far one of the most resilient athletes I know!! Things will most definitely get better after your new job/home get settled! Rock on girl!

  6. It happens to all of us! Sadly we are not machines and can’t do it all… take a deep breath, eat some brownies, chill out in front of the tv. You’ll be back before you know it!

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