Sunday, September 27, 2009

Still Among the Living...

I’m happy to announce that I am still among the living upright. I survived the SLOW SALTY DOG Triathlon yesterday. It was quite the ordeal, and this morning I’m really feeling the effects. In fact, I think that a 93 year old woman could outpace me on a walk right now. Most of my muscles are Stiff with a capital “S”.

Yesterday, the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri started at 6AM at the swimming pool. Diane and I found ourselves waiting for the doors to be opened along with several other early morning swimmers. By 5 min. after the two of us had claimed a lane and were off. The swim really went well. It only took me 1 hour and 7 minutes to do the 1.2 miles. I really surprised myself, and felt good afterwards. I finished almost 3 laps in front of Diane, and Sofia who had arrived late was still swimming as I headed off to Diane’s house. Maybe I was going too fast? I know that I’ll probably over analyze everything over the next few days.

The bike which we started at 8AM from Diane’s house. Nice; I had about 45 minutes to dry my hair and put on my bike gear. It gave me a chance to partake a second granola bar and a second GU packet. I periodically forced myself to eat and drink during the whole event. My fellow bike club member Ron was waiting for me to begin. He had emailed that he wanted to ride along with me on the bike portion of the Tri; the sweetie.

Diane had arrived after a bit and told us to go ahead; Sofia would still be a bit before she showed. Off Ron and I headed north the route which would later be the run portion of the SLOW SALTY DOG. We took it at a mild easy pace of 13-15 mph. I wanted to ensure that I had something left over for the run. At about mile 18 into the ride, Ron had a flat. We pulled over to repair. As Ron was repairing his flat and I eat another granola bar; the gals (Diane, Sofia, and Kim) passed us. I told them to continue on, and that we would catch up.

Oh, those famous last words. The tire changed; Ron and I stepped up on the speed to try to catch up with the gals. We picked up the average to 18-20mph. But we never did see the girls. We got down to Draper Park, the southernmost part of the route, and stopped for a few minutes. I finished a water bottle and refilled it. Then off back we headed to the north. We had figured by this time that we must have somehow passed the gals and kept an eye for them heading south as we were headed north. But we never did see them. As we got closer to Diane’s house we were a bit short on mileage so we looped around through some neighbor hoods to get the needed 56 miles.

Finally, at Diane’s house, I thanked Ron as I put my bike in the back of my car. It was really nice to have someone to talk with during the bike ride. Now came the running part and I found myself alone. As I changed at Diane’s house, I had some peanut butter, a GU packet, and a granola bar. Oh what a combo! I put on my head phones; a water bottle along with a couple more GU packets in my fanny pack, and off I went.

I walked the first blocks, and then I tried to run. I say try because I was starting to feel everything by this time. My arms and legs were feeling heavy. What I was doing was a “wog” as Diane and I had called it. It’s kind of a fast walk- slow jog type of thing. I managed to do almost 5 miles of this total during the whole run portion. Otherwise, I just did a brisk walk.

Almost 4 miles into the run I saw Sofia and Diane. They were a part of the route that I had all ready done. We waved and I yelled that I think I would be doing more walking than actual running. They laughed and said that they would probably just walk most of the thing also. I continued on but thinking back now I should have gone over and joined them for the rest of the event. A couple of miles later, I stopped at a Shop-n-Go. I purchased some Gatorade and water. Up towards the University of Utah I went, with busy traffic of a football game in process. This slowed me down quite a bit, and at one point I was going opposite of all the foot traffic. It was an upstream battle, and I was losing. I had a few guys carrying cases of beer stopped me and told me to turn around to join them for some pre-game fun. I smilingly thanked them and continue on.

With about 3 miles left to go, the heat of the day and the ordeal really started to wear me down. My pace slowed. My feet were really starting to hurt. I concentrated on one foot in front of the other. At a mile left, I sent a text to Diane. I turned the last corner and there was Sofia and Diane all ready done with their medals on. They had arrived about 15 min. before I did. How did they manage this when they were almost 2 miles behind me? They had been able to change up the run course because they had their GPS wrist watches on. They kept to shadier flatter streets, and had even taken two laps around in an air-conditioned Albertson’s grocery store. I’m sorry but I just thought that was totally wrong! Lapping around a grocery store as part of a Tri? I could even imagine them enjoying ice cream bars while they did it! Gee maybe I was doing it wrong? I should have driven over to the air conditioned mall and joined the mall walkers? I will admit that I was a bit frustrated when I heard all this because I couldn’t have done this. I had no GPS or device to tell me how far I had gone. Thus, I stuck to the original route.

I could barely manage to move when I arrived at Diane’s house, and meanwhile Sofia was almost bouncing around like a cheerleader. I found this very irritating to say the least. From talking with Diane she said that Sofia was getting peppier as the event went on. Strange, and very annoying! Gee, I guess I didn’t get this gene. Darn it anyway.

I was SO glad that I had gotten a hotel room for the night. There was no way that I could have made it up the three flights of stairs to my apartment. I managed to eat a couple of brats and drink a diet coke. I was off to the hotel. Shortly after checking in I took a long hot shower; then, down to the hot tub to soak for a soothing two hours. Just when I thought I would be a cured prune for life, I got out and went to the hotel restaurant for a late dinner. Then it was off to bed by 9PM--- a VERY early night for me.

But as I think on it this morning, I find myself asking questions like—what I should have done in the training? Am I just not cut out for this type of endurance stuff? Then I think--- well, I only did have three months in which to train for this and considering that it was amazing that I finished. So take it easy on yourself! Now to make arrangements for a full body massage…. Ahhhhhhh!


  1. Hi congrats to all of you ladies!
    In answer to Biker Jeanne's questions:
    Since their was no time to shoot for for completion, the way to konw if you swim too fast is this - if you have to stop and rest at either end of the pool ever is te answer. If you have to rest during an untimed swim them you are definately swimming too fast for yourself. In an untimed swim you can't compare yourself to others times. Te above criteria is the answer for each individual.
    Another answer is this: If you can swim 600 yards on day one then you should be able to swim a mile in six weeks and a mile and a half in nine weeks. You would only need to swim 3x per week.
    If the above is difficult it's easy to solve by using "the tricks of the trade" such as leg dragging since quads use up so much oxygenwhen you swim, for example.
    congrats again

  2. Thanks Laura-- for the hours of talking me through the swimming, your support all through out, and those fantastic medals!
    You are a true keeper as a friend!