We healed from our wounds but not without some self talk. As E wrote it took getting back in the saddle to help get over the crash. July 12th was Timberman triathlon up north in Grand Rapids hosted at Rutgers Sugar Lake Lodge. Great venue with some 500 participants between the short and the long race. We've gone the last 2 years with the main motivation as a fun getaway with friends. The race was super windy, but e and I both improved over last yr and I managed to bike and run my way to my second win of the year.
On the 17th E had his 38th b-day. His wishes... order a pizza and watch a movie. A nice low key movie "date" night at home. no s,b,r.... just low key. I think the movie of choice was There will be Blood. Good flick.
Also on the 17th, my 87 yr old Grandma had a significant change in health. It was determined thru an MRI to be a stroke. Questions arose... was this the beinning of the end? with 6 kids spread throughout north america, I was called on to send the first family email getting word out.
Sunday the 20th was Annandale, the 10th race in 11 weeks for me, not including the every other week BDTT. Was racing taking a toll? How do you ever know besides when you get a mental case of the lazies (we have another term for this but I'll keep it clean for the unknown audience). Erik and I stayed at Shelly's and she came with us to the race. She is such a fun spectator and has great eyes to watch for people. We left the doggies back at her place for this one. This race is historically hot and humid, but this year had nearly perfect conditions. Erik had a great race, posting his fastest bike split of the season followed up with a sub 7 pace on the 5.3 mle run. Supa-star. I had an ok race. Pre-race I visited the ever-so-helpful KO at the GW tent... What was causing my noise??? Soon diagnosed as a bent derailier with a crappy (way stretched out) chain. Moments later, I was off riding my super-smooth and quiet ride. What fun! I love my little silver bullet - we've been thru much together. Anyway. My race was ok - well, swim time sucked - I never swim well here. No wetsuit swim for elites. Am I that dependent on my wetsuit?? The bike I hammered, but had a hard time finding a rhythm. My time/pace was respectable, but at the time didn't feel quite "on". Time to run - I was in 2nd at the time. 1 mile in I dropped to 3rd - little becky youngberg cruised past at some blazing pace. Then mile 2 came with Marta at my side; we ran shoulder to shoulder til mile 3 when there was this slight up hill and she dropped me. Did she pick it up that much or did I fall apart? Eitherway... I finally finished and held on to 4th and still posted a faster time then last yr.
July 27th was Chisago half iron. My thoughts after annandale were "why did I sign up for this"? I had very litte depth for long training so far. The only half course I've ever done is Pigman in Palo, IA (oh and my very first tri, Tinman 1998 in menomonie). I wanted to try a new course and heard good things about this "local" half. I was totally happy when I found out that the bike course was changed from 2800+/- feet of clmbing to 800 feet of climbing- perfect test for IMFL!!! Erik and I pre-drove the bike and the run on Sat and got a visual for my predetermined transition "home". I felt confident for a solid bike, but the run had some rolling hills and a section of gravel roads. Not my strength, but let's give it a go.
We got our sorry butts out of bed by 4 am to fuel up and hit the road. Temps were going be perfect and winds calm to 8 mph. SA-WEET! I'm getting ready to swim standing with E who was pumped doing photos for the day, and Shelly comes flying down bearing hugs for luck. it worked. Swim was great - calm and good temps. goal: 33, reality 33:18. Great - let's go play on the bike. With the flat course I found a happy light rhythm and just peddled away. I see E at mile 30 and had so far avg 23mph. Super fun day - having a blast out there. Marlo came by at mile 42 and self talk was not to let her get out of sights. I started to work a little. With no real training for this I was hesitant "push". My legs were happy with a steady rhythm. T2 came and I smoked transition and was on a mission, but had to stick to a nuturtion plan if I was going to make this. My hip/IT/glute has been such a knot lately I needed to make sure I listened to my body. Thanks to Jeremy sartain (I think it was giving JM a break for some announcing) the crowd was rialed up as I was the 2nd female thru. Mile one- popping 2 IBPFN. Next stop - enduralytes, gatorade, water. I had cramps coming on... Ah crap... just stick to a plan.
The run was feeling Very steady. I was super confused that by mile 6-7 I learned that I was actually in the lead. How did this happened? Where was Marlo? Who was in first out of T2.? E was at 6.5 taking some scenic pics and I said where's Marlo. (couple aid stations mentioned first female thru- what???) We did not plan that E would be a "split" guy - but holy shit - If i was in the lead with 6 miles to go... who's back there and where? I kept focused on me and nutrition. Aid stations kept saying lead female. I looked at my watch at mile 10 and had a time of 4:15 so far... I was coherent enuf to do math and thought holy shit, I could break 4:40. Soon after, I had a guy on a bike by me and I faintly hear him phoning back to the race sight with the update. That is when I actually believed I was in the lead - roughly 2 miles to go. Running on adreneline! We turned the corner and I could see and hear the crowds and the park with the ever so entertaining Jerry McNeil. This was really going to come together! I felt awesome. I ran strong down a hill, onto the grass around the park and up a brutal hill thru the balloons. Jerry had the crowd so fired up! It was the best finish experience I've ever had. 4:37:13 then he announced it was a course record by 8 minutes, since Marlo's 2006 finish. Erik, Shelly and Jeff were there with big hugs. I wondered if I was ready .... I guess I was. Never underestimate the power of the mind.
Post race, back at his house, Jeff and Shelly made a super yummy grilled salmon that he just caught in Lake Michigan the week before -lots of grilled veggies. Oh was my tummy in such a happy place.
Back to Grandma. She has still been slipping daily, so we went from Chisago/Stacy area over to Wayzata to see her in the nursing home. Mom came up from Sioux Falls on Saturday, so we would be able to see her too. Docs say with virtually no nutitrition going down since the 17th there are only a few days left. Aunt Sue from Mexico flew in last night and will stay for nearly a month.
Wow what a mixed emotion day. I so didn't want to set my alarm clock and just let my body sleep..... so 5:00am comes, I hit the off button and continued my "recovery".
Next race, Turtleman Aug 9th.
For now, there will probably be some down time focusing on family.
Until next time...