Monday, November 1, 2010

Kona Girl -- Part Two!

I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet and post a few pictures. Really, who wants to read a race report? I'll just tell you about a few of the things that stand out in my mind.

-Just because you're passing people left and right on the swim doesn't mean your FAST!

I should know. I seeded myself about 75% on the way back. I fully realized that the average person would finish this swim closer to 1:00 than my hoped for 1:15. I had nothing to prove in the swim and really didn't want to battle the chaos. As I swam, I felt very calm, in control, and like I could do this all day. That should have been a clue. I WASN'T WORKING HARD ENOUGH!

-I can be mean when I have to be.

Never, ever have I done this before. But, some guy (and I'm assuming it was a guy because 73% of the field were men and I couldn't feel fabric on the chest) was climbing all over me. I mean he was literally on my butt a few times. Get off! I pulled the old mule kick number. I bet up my knee and launched a kick as hard and fast as I could landing it right in this person's chest. I mean really, is repeatedly swimming on top of someone necessary? Get off! That was the end of him. Thankfully.

-1:22 swim is NOT good.

No sugar-coating this. That pretty much sucks. What is one of the top priorities for the winter? Get this swim straightened out!

-Changing tent volunteers are simply THE BEST.

If anyone ever questions where they should volunteer or where they feel their impact will be most felt, I can tell you in all certainty it's the changing tent. After I did a complete clothing change with my volunteer's help, I went to the potty in the tent. This was not a "pee on the bike" day.

I realized while peeing away that I had forgot my glasses in my T1 bag. Crap, I thought. She's probably already taken my bag back to the hangers. I'll have to go find it and waste a lot of time doing that. This transition was already long enough. Now it will be worse. As I came out of the potty, guess who's standing there with my bag and glasses in her hand. My angel of a transition volunteer! I'm telling you these people are THE BEST!

This guy's not the volunteer!

-I am AMAZED at the power of nature.

I started the bike ride feeling good and solid. I was conscientously trying to keep my wattage down. I had been told by coach that the course was mind-numbing. I was trying to prepare myself for the psychological battle I knew things would turn out to be. All that said, I wanted this to be a race. I wanted to go hard and pass a few people! The bike is usually a strength for me and I typically have good feelings about it.

What started out as a drive to battle other competitors quickly turned into a drive to battle nature. I distinctly remember when the flip switched. It was about at mile 40. My body was starting to heat up and we were smack dab in the thick of the Queen K and lava fields. I knew I wasn't yet close to the ascent to Hawi and the heralded trade winds. I lost the connection between my power meter and hub. I was getting no data. Shortly thereafter, I dropped my chain shifting from the big to small chain ring. I had to pull over, stop and fix my chain.

I remember thinking how 'this sucks' and I'm going to have to do the rest of the ride without my power meter. I was thinking my battery was dead. I don't know how the psyche flip-flopped but it then turned into a race not between me and other girls but between me and the heat and wind. I heard tell it was about 100F in the lava fields. The trade winds were scary. And yes, like I've always heard the wind literally felt like a blast from an open oven door. I had a few near misses when my bike careened sideways and I thought I was going down.

I just started to think 'this isn't fun anymore' and that I wanted it to be over. I was further bothered by this thinking because, I usually do pretty well on the bike and this made me want to conserve some of myself to prepare for an equally difficult run. (BTW-I'm not sure what went on with the meter. But, I turned the meter back on about 10 miles up the road and it worked just fine. On the ride back to Kona, the meter lost connection again about in the same spot. Interference with something out on the course? I'm not sure.)

-Another goal is to toughen up my mind when the going gets physically tough on the bike.

I've lost something here over time. I need to learn to deal with hurt better and learn to run following that hurt.

That's it for now. I'll finish this story in a few days. Thanks for reading.