Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nowra Olympic Triathlon.

Don't wait for extraordinary
Seize common occasions and
make them great.
~ Orison Swett Marden ~

Having been thrown a curve ball on my journey to Ironman Port Macquarie, 2013 - I decided that rather than let it get the better of me and just lay down and tap out, I was going to still take the opportunities that I had planned and run with it. Well not literally but figuratively.

Let me explain.

On my last post I do believe I said I was going to get the verdict on my sore shin. Well, a bone scan has been booked for this coming Friday to exclude the possibility of a stress fracture of my anterior tibia or Periostitis traction (ie shin splints). Both of which I do not want, but both could explain as to why it hurts to run or jump on that leg. So, whilst I wait for the scan and the results, I have not been running but I have continued to swim and cycle. And now I can add water running to the mix for which I am ever so thankful for. Sounds like it is going to be fun and I am literally in the water 5 days (between swimming and water running). I think I am going to grow a set of gills shortly. Not that Im complaining. I love the water.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post - Nowra Olympic Triathlon. I had signed up for this Triathlon I think at the end of last year with the intention to try and squeeze in as many Olympics as I could before doing Ironman. But with the possible diagnosis of a stress fracture and being told not to run I was thinking that maybe I should just pull out from it. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to realise that I could still do part of it, so long as I felt comfortable with the idea that there was going to be a DNF at the end of my name. Of that I didn't care. So off I headed down south with my hubby to stay with some very dear friends Paul, Jennie and their gorgeous girls at Jennies parents home away from home. Paul was racing too.

The morning of the race we woke up to rain. I dont mind racing when it's wet, it cools me down. I ate my usual pre-race brekkie - toast with honey and a good cup of black coffee. And before we knew it, it was time to head to the race. Paul and I set up our stuff in transition and caught up with some friends Erin, Nicole and Clare. It was great having Stephen, Jennie and the girls there for support. Also saw Ben (Erin's hubby) there too. I love hearing my name be yelled when Im racing. The usual pre-race jitters (upset tummy) got the better of me which meant I missed the pre-race briefing so as I headed down to race start I had to ask someone as to how many laps the swim course was. Turns out it was one - thankfully. I'll tell you why shortly.

I made my way into the water and was quite surprised as to how warm it was. I did a quick out and back warm up and then found Paul before he headed off for his swim as his wave set off before mine. And then it was my turn. As usual my heart started to beat loudly in my ears and I just wanted to get started. I positioned myself up the front but to the side - turned out it was the perfect spot for me. As the siren sounded, I took off and took the lead with 2 other ladies. For once I played my swim strategically and positioned myself behind the second lady. It was a fantastic spot. Now I know why people do it - I hung for dear life to her that was until we started to reach the green turn around bouy. Then something happened. She disappeared.

I started to feel that I was working harder and harder and the turn bouy was difficult to get to. I made it - JUST and then I found that instead of going directly straight to the next bouy I was swimming uphill diagonally to it. The current had picked up - BIG TIME. I worked my toosh off to get to it and then as I finally turned the current literally dragged me back to swim start. Somewhere between the start and the 1200m I also noticed that we were sharing the river with jellyfish. And not little ones either. They were big, fat, gnarly ones. In my head I kept telling myself "you have swum with jellyfish before at Yeppoon" & "big fat jellyfish don't sting" - WRONG. As I turned the last bouy to come into shore I copped it fair and square from my left shoulder down to my elbow. A searing burning pain and the first thing that came to mind was "hurry up - swim faster". I didn't want to get stung anymore - it hurt alot. 

Coming out of the water I started to do a little bit of a jog to T1 - the pain in my lower shin reminded me that I shouldn't be doing that. So I did this funny little jig that could have quite easily been put in the skit "Ministry of funny walks". I heard Stephen call my name but couldn't see him and then as I approached Jenny she asked how the swim was. I think I said it was good. Certainly for once I actually felt alright exiting the water even though there were a few challenges.

SWIM : 27:33

As I came out of T1 I was really looking forward to getting on my bike. With my strength training and WT sets from SpartaPt I have started to feel strong on my bike again. I do believe the only time my speedo went below 32km p/hr was when I was turning a corner. Other than that I tried really hard to keep my cadence high and the speed up there. Twice I saw Paul and tried to get his attention out on the bike course - but he looked so focused. Finally on the way out on the second lap I yelled out to him and he gave me a really big grin. Then on the way back 2 really fast girls passed me and I thought to myself "you don't have to run, so what the hell are you holding back for. Gooooooooo". So I cranked it up a couple of gears and tried to hang on (within legal distance) to those 2 fast girls. Thanks girls for making me go faster. So with this little pick me up I ended my bike leg on a fantastically fast note for me.

BIKE : 1:15:18

As I ran out of T2 - I crossed the line and then went straight to first aid to get some ice for my leg and then caught up with Stephen, Jennie and her gorgeous girls and Ben and his little cherubs. With my job done it was time to cheer on the rest of PTC. I later found out that Clare wasn't able to finish due to her bad Jellyfish sting. Her arm had massive raised red welts on it. Paul scored himself a first place in the Clydesdale division - his medal is AWESOME. So proud of you Paul. Erin looked superb out there, always smiling and did a great race as did Nicole. I wasn't able to catch up with Susanna - Jen from Sparta's new client but I heard she did great too.

After all was said and done - it was so nice to hear Paul say he was really proud of me. A) I look up to Paul as a great swimmer. He is like a great white shark in the ocean. Strong and powerful. B) Paul is like my brother. So to have my surrogate brother tell me he is proud of me makes me feel very special indeed. Thanks Paul.

It was finally time to go back to Paul and Jennies home to rest, relax and enjoy the remainder of the weekend till we headed home the following day. I had such a wonderful time and it was great to get away with hubby. Thankyou Jennie, Paul and girls for your wonderful hospitality and for sharing your little slice of heaven with us.

Oh and before I forget - I scored myself a pair of Hokas. OMG - they are awesome. Talk about feeling like you are walking on clouds/marshmallows/foam.I look forward to wearing them whilst running, but in the meantime I shall reap in the benefits of less impact whilst I am walking.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage