Monday, September 28, 2009
CELT Sprint Tri RR or Being Cold Part Deux
Yesterday was one of my favorite races of the season, and also the last Tri of the season.
I am ready for tri season to be over, but I am never ready to say good-bye to my Maine friends. The CELT tri is fantastic because I get to see so many of these friends--not all (we missed you, Ange! Martha!) but many of them. Also, it is in my hometown of Cape Elizabeth. I had a very good race to boot, I always seem to at CELT, and best of all I was able to witness Alina's relay kick some booty and win 1st relay overall, and I was able to see Ange's little bro, Jeff, win his first triathlon! That dude is going to rock it next year.
The weather for this race has not cooperated for the last few years. Last year it rained--hard. This year it rained-hard-and it was really cold, too. The cold was my downfall. Actually, the cold was NOT my downfall. My downfall was that I thought I was above the cold--somehow super-human and unaffected by it, even though I have Raynaud's Syndrome, even though I'm small, even though I get cold and need a sweatshirt when it's 75 degrees and sunny. I swam the 425 in the warm pool, and then ran outside to T1 in my bathing suit. And I didn't cover up. I raced in my bathing suit. And it was in the uppers 50's. And it was pouring rain.
For the first time in my life I actually suffered from what I now realize was the first stages of hypothermia. Hypothermia is not good; this I learned too. It makes you-- unaware. It's not just that I was out of it; my mind and body actually weren't working right.
I shook violently through the second half the bike and well into the run. I was sick to my stomach, which I attributed to lack of fuel at the time (insane since it was a SPRINT and I was only 25 minutes into the race). On the bike I didn't shift for the last few miles because I couldn't work my hands. During the last mile, I had trouble even handling the brakes because of the shaking--which for those that have experienced it was a bit like the shaking you have when they administer the spinal block during a C-section. I had very strange thoughts in T2 (like, I can't get my shoes on. Well, good effort, Mary. We should probably sit down and stop now.) I spent a really long time putting on my running shoes. Putting them on baffled me. I couldn't figure out how to do it, and they are slip-ons... In this picture I am just starting out. I got the shoes on! I'm not that blue yet. On the run I went off course and into a neighborhood from the trail--on a course I have done twice before, and on a course where runners were around me moving correctly. I was disoriented enough so that when I returned to the trail after going off course, I stopped at every corner for the rest of the race to try to figure out what the signs meant. It seemed normal when out there. When I finished the race I was blue. This is me at the end of the run. Check out those lips baby! I think this picture sort of says it all.... haha! Get me a hot shower or get me the emergency room!
Despite all this I had fun in a weird way. Another strange thing is that the sensation of being cold stopped early on in the run--and I wasn't aware that I wasn't firing on all cylinders during the race until well after the race when I started to piece things together.
It took me until late last night to finally get my body temperature up enough so that I didn't have to wear about 10 layers of clothing. Andy kept encouraging me to get in the shower to warm my core up, but I didn't want to take off my clothing to get in the shower.
So this is the lesson. Don't be a dumb-ass when it's cold and wet. It only takes a few flipping seconds to put on a jacket. I wore my pirate bathing suit that said ARGH on the ass, and that is what I have to say about my dumb-ass behavior. ARGH.
So what else?
I finished really well, anyway! I was third overall, and second AG. I was beat by my friends Katie and Stacy. I knew Katie would beat me (which she did by a good five minutes!) but with Stacy I knew it would be a toss-up. I am slightly faster on the swim; she is slightly faster on the bike; we are virtually equivalent on the run. I knew if I made even a small mistake or spent too long in transition I wouldn't beat her. So yes, I made the COLD mistake, and she took me down! Ah well, you can't win 'em all. Mike, my nemesis, also beat me. grrr. This is annoying because this was our tie-breaker race. I beat him in two races this summer, he beat me in two. Now the score is three-two Mike. BOO! I still think we should count the mid-winter classic 10 miler, at which I beat him--and then we would be 3-3. He says no--only triathlons count. BOO AGAIN!
After the race I had an awesome time chatting and catching up with everyone (after I took a warm shower, that is...) My Dad's good friend and work partner (they are eye surgeons) was there and she was the only 70+ competitor to complete the race. Go Liz!
My friend Steve did the race with his family, and on the way home Andy and I decided that NEXT year we will do the race as a family relay. I will swim, Andy will bike, and Jordan will run or Jordan will swim, I will bike, and Andy will run. We shall see...
It's going to be fun.
For now, good-bye 2009 triathlon season!
It was an awesome one for me.