Monday, July 14, 2008

TT's, Sweeping and Lessons Learned


i woke up Saturday morning at 4:30 and immediately hit snooze for 10 minutes. as the alarm sounded one more time, telling me to get my lazy ass out of bed, i thought "hmmm...why are you getting up on a Saturday at 4:40AM?!" three words for you - COACH. SAYS. SO. thus started my TT testing for my first half ironman training season, which by the way will accumulate to my first half ironman in wait for it...wait. for. it. - 3 months. yes you read that right. i am giving myself 3 months to train and race my first ever half...

katieb are you serious?!

why yes, yes i am.

why would you be so silly? you haven't done anything since the marathon except a couple of rides and runs here and there? and need i remind you that you were out FROM KNEE SURGERY the ENTIRE year prior and gave yourself 2 months to train for the hilliest half marathon around on the hottest day of the year WITH an ugly IT injury on top of the knee pain AND THEN proceeded to give yourself 2 more months to train and finish your first marathon! are you a glutten for punishment and pain?!

why yes, yes i am.

katieb, let's think this through for just a bit...i mean c'mon, three months when your longest ride to date is 38 miles?! this could be a recipe for disaster and i just want to be the one to tell you so. i am only looking out for your best interests here. i mean, i love your spirit and your fight but 3 months...really?!

well yes...really.

and there you have it, the seed was planted and the damn thing has gone and fully bloomed in the center of my psyche...there's no changing my mind, i've already bought the plane ticket and found the coach and weaseled my way into a race entry...yep, katieb - finally back at it (racing that is - not fly fishing or knitting, just incase you were confused this time around).

so, back to the i drove over to the God forsaken island of boredom and pain, i noticed a rather large STR8UP truck sitting on the side of the road. "how odd. that's a liquor company. they must know i will need a drink after this sham of a 12 mile time trial i have no business trying to complete." that was my first clue to the shenanigans about to i am getting my gear on and my bike ready to go, i notice a hell of a lot of traffic coming onto the island and let's remember here people that it is only 5AM - ON A SATURDAY, and when i say a lot of traffic, i am talking at least 30 cars passing by in the span of 8 minutes. that was clue two. i decided not to warm up because, well, that's how i roll and immediately began to pick up my pace to what i thought was a decent speed. had i installed my brand new bike computer that i just bought for this exact occasion correctly, i might be able to tell you what this "decent" speed was, but no. no i am so far gone from being anywhere near the vicinity of "electronically inclined" that i could not even reach the destination if i traveled for 12 straight years. its a good thing i brought my HR monitor and started the timer, although there's a whole 'nother problem within itself because although the data is now somewhere stored in the little miniature brain of the Polar time piece, i have no idea how to retrieve it... and come to find out by my pathetic time results, i was also about 12 years away from what you would actually call a "decent" speed on this planet. so - as i'm riding i am met with at least 3 guys trying to get my phone number (at 5 AM), at least 5 gargantuan 18 wheelers with names plastered on the side of them like Jack Daniels (at 5 AM), one group of 5 very dirty old men that screamed "go green go" every time i rode by (at 5AM) and 4 drunk drivers who almost ran me over, backed out into me, or tried to swerve around me (at 5AM)...mind you ITS 5-freaking-AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

three more words for you - OVER. THE. LINE - yep, i decided to do my time trial on the first day of the annual drunken carnival attraction of young and old men who "wet their whistles" all weekend long and then proceed to play with their balls...

i did manage to remember all three lap times and let's just say, they were not pretty. i did have to come to a complete stop on two occasions during this jaunt so in my defense, i'm not quite as slow as the numbers reveal, but pretty damn close.


i finally finished the three laps, packed up my bike and gear, waved goodbye to my new fan base and headed over to the TNT session where i volunteered to sweep the ride. my first time to sweep and i'm neither a mentor for this particular team or even a member of this particular team...but i figured it was time to put in my dues seeing as how i seemed to have weaseled my way out of the duty when i was actually mentoring and apart of the team. i felt pretty lucky to be able to participate in this ride with this new crew of tri newbies. this is a ride that is intimidating to say the least and i was excited to get to "push" some of these guys past their comfort zones, into unfamiliar territories, and be there in the end to hug them and tell them they were rock stars. to sweep, to really be in the back, at the true tail end of things, with the very last person is hard. i never fully understood the comment "it was one of the hardest things i have ever done" until Saturday morning as i am going 3 MPH through the winding, rolling hills of Rancho Santa Fe. it was a constant struggle between my mind and body. my mind knew i needed to stay back, offer encouraging words, swallow my pride and just be there to support those who needed it, but my body - oh Lordy did it have a completely opposite take on the situation. it just wanted to go, to push through the hills, to soar down the descents, to just be there to ride for myself....fortunately my mind won this battle and i kept myself in the big chain ring the majority of the way there and the entire way back. i decided if i wasn't going to get a fast ride out of it, i would get a strong one. the thing is - i started here, at this exact spot two years ago. the absolute slowest on my first TNT team and i still remember who rode with me during this exact session, up Hernadez Hideaway and through to the very end. and although i've been feeling pretty ashamed of my very pathetic time results on my swimming, biking and running - i started right here and made it through, got immensely faster and i will do it again. now its such a cool feeling to know i've done that for someone else.

in the end, i went slower than i thought was possible, climbed the Herrandez Hideaway monster without falling on my ass, and really helped two people reach down deep for something in themselves that neither of them knew they had. there were tears of joy at the end, many heartfelt thank-you's and i-couldn't-have-done-it-without-you's, hugs and high fives. it was such a great feeling to know i helped them achieve a feat they won't soon forget...until Iron Mountain that is. but i'll be there for that one too, not sweeping mind you, but there nonetheless to cheer them on.


1) do not go to Fiesta Island for a time trial during Over-the-Line
2) do not wear a distinguishing color, like say green, if you happen to find yourself there on this type of occasion, especially not one with your name plastered across the back of it
3) when in the midst of an actual time trial, you should probably actually go so hard you can't walk afterward to get the real effect of the said trial - or so i hear
4) sweeping is a hard job, but the rewards at the end are worth so much more than the actual workout. i am so grateful to Melinda and Carol for letting me join them on this ride (and Trent for sticking in there with me to see us all to the end)
5) always have good friends to meet you afterwards to eat, drink and be merry
6) get the new Zoot Racing Flats...forget the bad rap until you actually try them for yourself - granted, i only got to run around the block in them AND i was slightly intoxicated from #5, but they were fantastic and i can't wait until have my very own pair
7) stop drinking - i made a pact with myself and now i am brining you into it for accountability - no more drinks of the alcoholic nature will pass these lips from this day until race day and if you see me try to sneak one, you have my permission to slap me silly. my liver and my body need a break and i am ready to give it to them...a break from drinking, the real work is just starting
8) complete ALL TT's given to you by your coach or risk the chance of him calling you out and bringing to your attention that you haven't completed them because you know you're weak and just do it. it can't really get any worse but it can and will get better :)

1 comment:

gunnbr said...

Excuse me??? NO DRINKING????? Seriously? Okay--if that's what you want, I'll try to keep you honest about it...

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