Friday, October 28, 2011

The Importance of the Potty Break Routine

Tri season #5 is now in the books for me. I did three tri’s this year, finishing up at Hickory Grove Aug. 29.

In reality I only did two triathlons because Hickory Grove got switched to a duathlon. I found out the day before the race that they had cancelled the swim due to high ecoli counts. The Department of Natural Resources issues a warning when ecoli counts rise above 126 ecoli colonies per 100 ml of water and again when it reaches 235. The count at Hickory Grove was 790, or over three times the limit considered safe by the Iowa DNR. I definitely did not want to be in that water!

My race buddy, Brita, wasn’t too excited about this change in plans. She was having hip/hamstring issues and did not want to do two runs. I was in training for a marathon (and also not a very good swimmer) so I liked the idea of a duathlon. I suddenly felt much less stress!

As we waited for our run “wave” to start we joked with our fellow MWXers how a duathlon totally changed our pee schedule! We all pretty much had a routine of peeing in the water before the race. That was replaced by running to the porta-potty and hoping you didn’t miss the start of your wave!

We began with a 1-mile run, followed by a 15.5 mile bike and then a 2.1 mile run. I was in one of the last waves to begin so there weren’t that many people on the course as I finished. To entertain myself during the final run I counted the number of people I passed—seven in total. I don’t know that I was any faster, but marathon training had given me better endurance.

I did one more running race before my Nov. 6 marathon. I decided to do the Indian Summer 10-Mile as a training run. It’s a trail run around Lake McBride. I thought it would be no problem since I had run 18 miles the weekend before.

I guess I got caught up in the adrenalin and went out too fast in the first two miles. The marathon is all about pacing so I was disappointed that I made a mental mistake like that. Once I entered the woods I had trouble breathing. I don’t know if I was allergic to something, but I struggled the rest of the race.

Did you ever have that dream where you are racing and they shut down the course? Well, I have. As I came up on the last water stop I found that they had already packed up. Normally I would be wearing my fuel belt with water bottles on a 10-mile run, but I thought there would be adequate water. Knowing you can’t have something makes you want it more, so I suddenly felt dehydrated. This was not a good day!

On the last mile Jody, my coach and mentor, appeared to help run me in. I literally felt like my body could not run at all. What was happening to me? I was six weeks out from my marathon so this really upset me.

I finished and they gave me a gift certificate or what I called “The Loser Award.” They had already handed out the race awards and much of the parking lot was empty. I went into the bathroom to change into warm clothes, but it felt more like I was hiding. I was really down on myself.

I had to shake it off, chalk it up to a bad run and move on. I guess that’s what “keep tri-ing” is all about! Whether it’s a bad race, an injury or some other type of setback, we just have to get up, dust ourselves off and keep going!!