Tuesday, December 09, 2014

IM Cozumel 2014 race report - lessons in triathlon - Swim

because when you DNF you really NEED to take some lessons away from the experience.  and my goals going into the thing were to see if my nutrition worked (oh mai gawds NO it did not) and see what my run was doing (jury still out on that account).  so, i suppose my goals were met.  but i wish i didn't need a DNF to get there.

i wanted to take a little bit of everyone with me this time, since only Jamie came in person, so i wore Sissy's bra, one of Chris's socks she left here and one of Michelle's and Dad's hat.  so you were all here even though you weren't.  :)  unfortunately once i started dressing the morning of the event i realized i'd never worn Sissy's bra swimming and suspected serious chafing as it is not a racerback, so i spur of the moment went with the trisuit for the swim.  which means in T1 not only did i get nekkid, i got TOTALLY nekkid and would have to wrestle Sissy's bra on over my wet flabby skin.  one of these days i'm going to plan a little better.

 i decided to drop the big bucks on the FMTRI numbers this year (might as well do EVERYTHING new) and managed to Fuck Them Up royally.  This is the GOOD calf.  the other one has a U (age group) AND a 3 and one shoulder only had 15 and the other 315.  I was a mess.  i've been doing solid foods during bike rides and figured that would be my nutrition for the bike too, so i loaded up my jersey with what i figured i would need for the entire 180 km...  cue music of doom...

i did end up eating all the Ritz and the cookie and maybe half of teh panditas.  oh, and i forgot until the 3rd lap of the bike that my electrolytes were going to be Nuun.  oops.  by then i thought i was Aquaman and didn't need water but that is a story for later.  i also decided to use a list to pack stuff this year and promptly realized when i got to Cozumel and remembered all the stuff i'd forgotten (and texted Jamie to bring) that maybe lists weren't the way to go.  2nd lesson.  So NEXT year I'm going to be So Well Prepared.  The 5th is the charm, right?

so, ONE good thing about staying in a hotel is that the taxis are SUPER easy to get and hey! the malecon was OPEN (normally we are driving ourselves and can never quite manage to get to the malecon AND hit one closed street after another trying to get to Chankanab) but, none of that stress this year, we just walked right down to the malecon and there was a LINE OF TAXIS (still hard for me to believe that after 3 years of getting to T1 stress in all previous years) WAITING FOR US!  I KNOWWW!!!  it was crazy making in the head. no police to try to "convince" to open the closed road, no traipsing all over town looking for an open road, Booyah!  we were zipping on our way.  jamie and i did our routine "kiss for eternity in the event the Kraken takes me in the swim" and off i headed in a bus to the swim start.  It SURE SEEMED like we  had a walk to rival the marathon from the bus drop to swim start.  but we need something new every year, right?  This year we got fancy dancy chanclas to wear and during this walk i figured out why (as i'd left them at the hotel).  D'oh.  luckily my feets are pretty tough from walking around here barefoot.  one of the perks of not owning shoes, i suppose.

i started WAAAAAAY in teh back of the womens.  i'm really not sure why.  i had expected, after 3 other IMs here, and in this age group, that i would be middle to back of the pack.  and my swim has become slower and slower.  but my drafting has been getting better.  so i jumped on a pair of feet that seemed to be swimming together - a lady in my AG and another lady and swam between them, at their hips.  the hip position is supposed to give the best draft so i figured between the two of them i'd be floating.  but honestly, i worked the swim this year.  i think this might be the first time I worked it.  there were times i thought the pace was too slow and i considered looking for new feet and other times i had to work to catch back up.

i have read race reports of people checking the watches for the time so i thought i'd get all fancy and try that but i couldn't really see it well enough and almost lost my feet.  so i sprinted back up and hung on.  waves were starting to catch us and as they swallowed us i would mentally yell at them to Back OFF.  MY feet!  i had a great time drafting.  at some point (i NEVER know where i am in the swim) my feet started to push the pace and it occurred to me that it was possible we were getting close to the end but since i never go to the before-race (mandatory :)) meetings i wasn't sure where we were in the swim and what the exit was like.  no problem as there was a mass of swimmers i just had to follow.  i was shocked to be directed to teh end - swim sure felt short, but i'm really used to going past the exit for a leg south and north again so i was really happy to just get out.  i figured i was WAY at the back of my AG and pack.  Turns out (after the event i found) I was 3rd in my AG (and especially since i'm the oldest in the AG i expected to be WAAAAAAYYYYY in the back of the pack).

jamie got a KILLER shot of me coming out of the water!  :)  Aunty Chris, please come next year!  :)  and again i came out of the water and passing Ruben Grande (local para athlete) on teh run to T1.    so it turns out after months of not posting i have diarrhea of the fingers so i'm breaking this one up.  only family is reading and i know mom likely will enjoy a longer report....

Monday, December 08, 2014

pre IMCOZ 2014 - in which the norte does not defeat us

such a boring title but it was a very laid back race this year with only Jamie on course (extended family back in the US and kids not interested to come to Cozumel this year) and honestly I didn't even enter the event until 2 weeks out.  i am not planning to skip over the past few months and hope to catch up on that but already it has been a week since the event and if i'm going to learn anything from it i need to get it out before i forget all of it.  this, being my 4th IM distance and entering it only 2 weeks before the event, maybe i took it too lightly.  i know i was much better prepared than last year (1 month post typhoid) and the year before that (norovirus) but this year I had planned a No Excuses race.  i had been faster in all 3 events all year and really thought I had 13 hours in the bag.  or under.  under would have been GREAT.

but it turns out you actually need to TRAIN for an IM.  who knew?

i went into the HIM in September lightly trained - i've been doing very well on the bike all year and had that mentally checked off all year long.  even after having to take July off, even after missing out September (the month of quinceañeas) i felt i had the bike in the bag.  and as it turns out, i did.  the swim was a question but not that much of a concern since they changed the route to a float and the run...well that was a question.  i have been targeting an IM at the end of January as my IM and had only 3 runs of 15km or more BUT i had taken a full minute off my average time per kilometer.  and i thought that just might get me through.  basically i was looking at IMCOZ to be a teaching moment an experiment in nutrition and pretty much a PR in the bag.  No excuses this year.  i was healthy and pretty well trained.

so race week ended up being during a norte.  not such a cold one as we've had recently but i was worried that it would burn off and we'd be back to normal weather after weeks of nortes and i'd be completely not acclimated to the newly warm weather.  but that didn't happen.  so yay going into race day.  jamie and i stayed at a hotel this time and remembered why we don't stay in hotels.  :)  we've gotten used to always being in a house, me having a room to go to in order to work and having a whole kitchen at our disposal.  while the hotel was lovely and romantic, we both decided it is back to houses for us.  i can't remember the last time we were in a hotel - has to be the last time we were in the USA, so at least 5 years ago or more.  maybe we're just getting old and crotchety.

however, for a hotel, it was quite nice.  we were at the top of the hotel on teh 3rd floor the first few nights and then for the last night moved to the top floor.   we had amazing views and lots of wind to keep us cool at night (since jamie rivals a heater regardless of temperature in bed).  we had balconies on both sides but honestly never used them.  we did enjoy a TV though (since we don't have one at home) but really missed the noise of an AC as it seems we've become adjusted to white noise all night and the dogs and roosters made the first few nights of sleep, well, sorely lacking in that department.  i'm not sure i can remember a worse night of sleep.

but, we had free breakfast (eggs, empanadas, pan dulce, fruit, horrifically awful coffee, etc.)  Jamie MaGuyver'd a coffee filter from a plastic water bottle, we got filters from our car (which had been left on Cozumel in September) and with hottish water from the water dispenser we were back in coffee heaven, and at our disposal.  and life was good.  life was sweet.  life IS coffee.  but i'm getting ahead of myself.

since we had left the car (van) in Cozumel in September (even before the HIM, I KNOW!!! CRAZEEE!!!) we both took the passenger ferry over.  i headed over after the girls got out of school and Jamie came over after their horse lessons.

i'm not sure we'll ever take the passenger ferry again.  the seas were rough enough that he experienced marineros (no clue why they didn't take their own boat) spewing all over the cargo hold they were sardined into (by then the ferries must have been PACKED) and my seat mates were on their phones (to their loved ones in the event they didn't make it?) telling them about the "ferry de terror" (which i think translates in any language).  once i got off the ferry i made it about a meter away from the dancing gangplank, laid down on the ground and waited.  and i wasn't alone.  Jamie had a similar adventure but by darkness we were both enjoying our room in the hotel and the luxury of Tee Vee.