Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank you sir! May I have another? (aka CapTex Race Report)

ouch. My psyche hurts. It is very sore from the race this weekend. Surprise! I know.

It is clear now that I am a complete headcase when it comes to CapTex, well really, just swimming in town lake. That damn swim beat me AGAIN this year. Rather, I beat me again this year.

It started out fine enough. The temperature wasn't THAT cold, since I'd been swimming in barton springs. I didn't feel like my wetsuit was choking me, since I'd been swimming in that in barton springs. I found a nice starting spot when my wave (finally) went off. It all seemed to be going swimmingly well actually.

My first panicky moment came after the initial little sprint at the start while everyone was trying to just get started and finding their groove on the swim. My heart rate was a little elevated, but I remained calm, slowed my stroke, rolled a little extra so I could take in some nice, deep breaths and carried on my merry way. I thought to myself...ok, good..was getting a little excited, but I'm ok now...let's just swim. And I did. I was hanging somewhere around the first 10 in my wave, just picking our way through the water and dodging some stragglers from the wave ahead of us.

The next panicky moment came at the turnaround because everybody bunches up at the buouy. I had actually chosen the inside lane because I breathe on the left and I wanted to see everybody while I swam...I didn't want to be surprised by someone pummeling me from my blind side. While this works great in a counter-clockwise swim, CapTex is clockwise...so I'm on the inside at the buouy where EVERYBODY ends up. shit.

I got tagged on the foot, some chick pushed me in the middle of my back, I took in some water during a breath from all the white caps of everyone turning, and started to get excited. There goes my heart rate...yikes!! I quickly swam away from everyone, slowed my stroke, rolled a little extra, took some big, clear breaths and was able to get myself back together. Phew. Disaster avoided, again.

So now I'm thinking...sweet, I think I'm good. I'll just meander down the back stretch, take my time and wrap this thing up. And then as I'm just tooling along, I hear this little raspy rattle in my chest. It is small at first, then it keeps getting bigger and louder. Shit. I'm going to have to cough and get this stuff out of here because I feel like I've got crap in my lungs. wait. crap in my lungs. It's getting harder to breathe. Less oxygen, more crap. shit. shit. shit.

I stop....tread...cough...cough again....can't get it out....my wetsuit is too tight..I can't get a big enough breath...shit...shit..shit...cough dammit...I can't... (heart rate begins to increase)...ok..just swim..you'll be fine...take two strokes...come up coughing...can't breathe...too much water inside..water outside...shit..shit..shit....just keep moving forward...I breast stroke, but come up sputtering everytime I try to take a breathe and put my head under...son of a bitch...I can see the finish...I can hear them calling people's names out of the water....Tracy Lord...shit...Laurie Allen...shit...Stacey Carroll...shit...cough..sputter..cough...cough..I'll never catch them now...hell, I'm gonna die out here I just know it.....Dammit, D! Just freaking Swim!...It's less than 400 meters...put your freakin' face in the water and swim....I can't...do it now D...I CAN'T...DO IT NOW DAMMIT...I CAN'T......I CAN'T...I CAN'T....DAMMIT...DAMMIT..DAMMIT... You SUCK D....I know...What the hell are you doing?...I'm panicking...well, stop panicking...I can't, my heartrate is through the roof, I'm panicking, I'M PANICKING...ok, so you are panicking, fine then just keep moving forward while you panic...ok...I don't care how you do it, just keep moving forward... ok...forward, here we go....I can't put my face in the water...fine, don't...just keep moving forward... ok..forward...forward...forward...I can't believe I can't swim...just shut up and swim....didn't I just swim 2 miles straight the other day...yes...and now I can't swim 1500...yes..I suck...yes, you do, but keep moving...I want to stop...too bad...I want to cry...so what...keep moving and get out of this damn water....ok...forward..forward...forward.

I finally reached the swim exit and the volunteers literally dragged me out of the water. I felt so many things at that moment. Relief to be out, Saddness at my performance, but mostly just plain pissed off that I couldn't talk myself off the ledge of panic that third time. I felt weak. Not so much weak in the body...weak in the head. I couldn't even look at my friends in the face. I felt ashamed..they came out to cheer me on and this is what I do. I was completely defeated. I walked slowly up the stairs making my way to transition. A volunteer nurse came up to me. "Are you ok?" he asked. I'm not sure how I responded. He followed with "I'm a nurse, I can help." Not unless you are a shrink, you aren't going to help me with shit right now. I shook me head, and let out a feeble, "I'm ok."

Erin came up to me next as I was walking. "You ok?"
"Yea, I'm fine."
"You want to stop?"
YES! my mind screamed...but somehow "No" came out of my mouth. I didn't even recognize the voice. I was like, who said that? as I slowly peeled off my wetsuit, dried off my feet, put my socks on, slipped into my bike shoes, put my pink shades on, donned my helmet, buckled up, slid my bike of the rack and slowly walked towards the bike out.

Talk about muscle memory. I really have no clear recollection until I was pedalling over the south first bridge when the mental dialog began again.

Wait..I thought I was quitting....no, there is no quit, just shut up and ride....you have one loop to get your act together....eat, drink, be merry....yea, right...is there any queso in this bento box? I need comfort food...there will be as much queso as you want after....but now, we ride!....yee- mother freakin-haw.....I suck...whatever...this sucks...whatever....you have half a loop left to wallow....dammit, dammit, dammit....ok, I'll ride..but I'm not going balls out because I still have a 10-k....whatever, the run will take care of itself, don't worry about it now...well, I guess I can just walk it like last time....whatever.....

I discussed myself around the four loops and actually jogged back into transition and got ready for the run. I hated seeing all the bikes on the rack in my age group, but oh well..what can you do.

Let's just walk this ok....no....I can't run, I'm not feeling it...I don't care, get moving...ok, I'll run for a little bit....ok, run to the aid station....ok....walk through, get water, get gatorade, throw some water on your head...ok....now, run to the aid station...ok....walk through, get water, get gatorade, throw some water on your head...ok...now, run to the aid station....

That was pretty much how I made it around 6 measely little miles...Boston Qualifier...hah.

I tried to find some humor towards the end when I passed Panther et al saying, "Did I mention how much I hate this race?" with a smile...when I really just wanted to cry.

I managed to run, well jog, across the finish line.

On a cheerier note, I actually PR'd! Can you believe it? (Yes, the last outing was worse than this one!) My time in '06 was 3:59....this year was 3:14!!

Maybe next time I can break 3 hours.....

wait...next time? who the hell said that??


MikeW said...

congrats on finding enough in you to keep moving along. I woulda walked off the course after the swim.
i'm really proud of you!

Now start shaking it off. You'll be back.

Shorey said...

You don't have to wait a full year to redeem yourself. You're forgetting about Austin Tri - it's also in Town Lake & you broke 3 hours easy last year! You can do it again!

Mark said...

Wow! So disappointed with a 45 min PR!? Great job on getting it done regardless, a great workout for your mental game and you won that little battle. Good job, D.

Erin said...

Thanks for saving all your mojo for Couples. You're a good friend like that. ;)

shubbe said...

I'm sorry it wasn't the day you wanted, but good on you for pushing through when all you wanted to do was give up. That says a lot about you.

I was so hot and tired and braindead out there, I don't remember what I said to you on the run, but hopefully it was some flavor of encouraging. And coherant.

Lulu said...

I was so very impressed with you D - when you walked into transition I thought it was over for you. Then I watched you get changed, grab your bike and go. At that moment I was amazingly proud to be your friend. You did great despite the bad start and you should be proud of your determination.

Dionn said...

Thanks you guys. Y'all are seriously awesome.