I Thought This Was Going to Be My Race

I thought Trek was going to be my race this year.  I was confident, prepared, and excited.  I was ready to PR in a serious way.  As we were walking to the race site this morning, I looked at Goose and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool to get a 5k PR at the end of a sprint tri?”  I was feeling that confident about today’s race.

Relaxed and confident.

I entered the swim in the middle of the pack.  I figured it was time, and it would give me a chance to experience a swim with people all around and get bumped around a bit — good practice for Steelhead.  And I’ll admit that I didn’t really like being in the middle of the crowds.  Despite that, I swam my little heart out and was out of the water and into transition in 18:16 — nearly five whole minutes faster than last year’s time!

I flew into transition and moved quickly.  I was so speedy and so excited to get on the bike that I nearly left my helmet behind!  (Oops.)  The first part of the bike was exciting and fun.  I quickly noticed that my bike computer wasn’t working.  I had forgotten to check the sensor after traveling with the bike.  (Another oops.)  I thought about stopping to fix it, but then I said, “Lauren, this is your race.  It is just a sprint.  Pedal hard.”  And I did.  For about 7 miles.

Around mile 7, I could tell that I was getting way too hot.  I was drinking and fueling appropriately for the conditions, but my body wasn’t having it.  I slowed a little, but pushed on.  Just after the mile 8 marker, I stopped on the side of the road to, well, puke.  It was unpleasant to say the least.  After that, I slowed some more.

According to the official results, my bike was 59:47, which they are calculating as a 14.0 mph pace.  I’m a little confused, because I thought it was  a 12 mile bike course.  However, the 12 mile sign was definitely not less than a mile away from the transition.  So maybe the bike was a faster pace than last year.  The jury’s still out.

At any rate, by the time I got to the run, my body was not having any of this “triathlon in the heat” business.  At first, I tried to joke with myself that it was time to “puke and rally” and I ran.  Bad idea.  Completely nauseous again.  So I gave in.  I stayed as positive as possible, pushed as much as I could, and listened to my body.  My body said, “Sloooooow down.”

Slow. And lots of water. Lots.

And so, I ran a 5k in 47:17.  The opposite of a PR.

I’ve been doing some research on ulcerative colitis and its non-digestive effects on people on the Chron’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s website.  The more I read, the more I wonder if some of my racing issues are due to (or exaggerated by) my ulcerative colitis.  I’m putting together a long list of questions for the doc.  We’ll see.

Today, despite a less-than-PR race, I’m grateful for a few things:

  1. My amazing, incredible, confidence-building swim.  18:16, holler!
  2. Maintaining a positive attitude despite less-than-ideal racing conditions.
  3. Rockstar Goose and my parents, who are always there to cheer for me.
  4. The little girls who were hanging out in the water, fully clothed, when I went to cool off after the race.  They were cracking up at themselves for swimming in clothes instead of bathing suits, and they made me smile.

Best spectators ever.

How do you stay positive when a race (or anything important, for that matter) doesn’t go according to plan?



Filed under Living with Ulcerative Colitis, Triathlon

6 responses to “I Thought This Was Going to Be My Race

  1. Wow, that sounds like a painful day. congratulations on your swim PR, that is wonderful!!!! Tough to race in the heat!

  2. Who gives a hoot if you didn’t PR! (Okay, I know YOU do…I’ve been there too.) But give yourself a hand! You rocked a triathlon in the heat of summer! Just to even attempt that is a MAYJAH undertaking! I know it is so cliche to say, but there IS always next year. And if you can’t wait until then, you can always find another event on trifind.com.

    Have you ever tried any duathlons? What is your favorite leg of the triathlon?

    • Lauren

      Thank you! :)

      I have tried duathlon, but I hate it, actually. I hate the run/bike/run. It makes my legs mad. The more I get into triathlon, the more I find that the swim and run are my favorite parts.

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