Race Report – Decker Challenge 2015, Back Story   Leave a comment

Yeah, I know that I’m a million races behind schedule when it comes to writing race reports. Forgive me? I’ll give you a quick recap:

I raced. I swam. I biked. I ran. I won some. I didn’t win a lot. I had a blast. I raced again.

TADA! You’re all caught up now. HAH.

There’s a little back story to this race report, and it kind of sets the stage for the race itself. I have a hard time actually calling it a RACE, per se, which will become more evident as to why in a bit. Anyway, back story:

In October of 2015, I was hit by a car. While running. Now, most of you who are reading this probably know me in real life, so you already know this. If that’s the case, feel free to skip this blog and head on over to the next entry where I actually talk about my race. For those of you who DON’T know me IRL; yeah, I got hit by a car. While running. The funny thing is that it is exactly as horrifying as it sounds while at the same time, thankfully, not anywhere close to as horrifying as it sounds. The details aren’t terribly important, except that I was not nearly as good at parkour as I would have needed to be to be able to come out of that shit unscathed. So scathed, I was, but HEY! I DIDN’T DIE! so, I have that going for me. But my injuries did result in surgery. I ended up needing surgery on my shoulder, and got to spend some amount of time in a spiffy, handy dandy, supportive and sexy sling. I know what you’re thinking, “sexy sling?” Yes, the sling made me sexy as hell. I promise. ROWR. I had surgery, and was in a sling, and was not allowed to run because it turns out that the only thing that holds your arm onto your body are all the little muscles and tendons that I had just had fucking surgery on, and the downward force on that shoulder that running causes would basically make my arm shrivel up and fall off. Or something like that. My doctor explained it to me right after surgery, but I was on narcotics at the time, so the details are a little fuzzy. I just know he was very clear: DON’T RUN.

After about 10 days of no running (or biking or swimming or hammer throwing or mountain climbing or any form of physical activity other than trying to put on a goddamn BRA), I started losing my shit. So I called the doc and asked if I could walk. The answer was a blissful YES. HOORAY!!! So the follow up question was, “Uh. How FAR am I allowed to walk?” Here’s a rough sketch of the conversation:

Me: How far am I allowed to walk?
Doc: As far was you want to.
Me: Well, when you say “as far,” could that be… like… 13.1 miles?
Doc: Sure. I see no reason why not. You’re really going to walk 13.1 miles?
Me: … wouldn’t be the first time. 
Doc: Man, you’re a fucking weirdo.

OK, so the doctor didn’t EXACTLY say that last sentence, but I’m pretty sure he thought it. The thing is that I had registered for the Decker Challenge half marathon back in early September because it is part of a race series that I was competing in. I had come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to run Decker, and I had actually already contacted the race director and asked for (and was granted) a year deferment. But that didn’t mean that I really wanted to NOT do this event. I was seriously down and depressed that I couldn’t do Decker. I love Decker, and it’s a course that is very dear to my heart. I know the course like the back of my hand. I know every incline, every decline, every turn, every pothole. Plus, if I didn’t compete in Decker, I would be disqualified from the Austin Distance Challenge. I don’t need to run an event to stay qualified. I just need to start and finish the event. On top of that, not being able to be as active as I usually am was making me coo-coo for cocoa puffs. Like, put-me-in-the-loony-bin-because-I’m-going-bat-shit wonky.

So I asked the doctor if I could walk, and if I could walk a half marathon, and he said I could and the world was just a little less crappy. I had very clear marching orders: you can walk, but just don’t fall. Aye, aye, captain. You got it. That day (or maybe it was the next) I started walking. Since I had been training for a marathon before that fateful day in October, I was still in pretty good shape, even though I hadn’t been doing much for the last couple of weeks. That first day cleared, I ended up walking about 11 miles. It was MAGNIFICENT. The weather was beautiful that day, it was cool and great walking weather. I just meandered through the city. But I went 11 miles, and had that blissful feeling of tired legs that I had already begun to miss oh, so much.

And that is the quick back story to my race report for the Decker Challenge.

Posted January 29, 2016 by CC in Uncategorized

An open letter to the driver that almost hit me this morning.   3 comments

Dear woman who almost hit me this morning while I was on my bike:

Thank you for stopping and apologizing. As a cyclist, we get a lot of near misses all the time because we choose to ride on the same streets as distracted drivers, stressed drivers, sleepy drivers, etc. Often, those drivers see us as a hindrance to their passage through the city, and don’t see us as actual human beings. We are. And a car can take us out in the blink of an eye. We try really hard (or at least some of us do) to be visible, predictable, and to follow the same laws you do. When a driver gets angry, starts yelling, or even worse, tries to run us off the road, it’s easy to get cynical against drivers.

So, I really do sincerely thank you for taking a moment to realize that you could have really done some damage to me by turning in front of me. I could see that the sun was in your eyes, and that your windshield was dirty, so your visibility was crap (please wash that windshield!) But the fact that you stopped and apologized, and looked completely horrified at what almost happened actually warmed my heart a little. You see me as a human being. I see you as a human being. We all make mistakes, and I’m just so thankful that this was a mistake that didn’t result in some horrible event.

Love, Me.

Posted August 25, 2015 by CC in Uncategorized

Race Report – World DOMINATION (errr… championships)   7 comments

Thank you to everyone for being patient with the lack if information coming out about the race. It was a whirlwind after the race, and I just didn’t have time to sit down and write for a couple of days.

I could pretty much write a book about this race, and the events that lead up to it. But for the sake of some sort of brevity (and its not brief in the least bit…) I’ll just jump into RACE DAY!!!

I don’t really get much in the way of race anxiety anymore; I have the thought pattern of, “there is nothing more to be done at this point” on the night before a race. This race was different… The night before this race was FILLED with anxiety! I set three alarms and kept checking to make us they were all set to AM not PM, I wrote myself a note and posted it on the door to remind myself to turn on the electronic shifters on Armando, I even woke up to check to make sure the brake calipers weren’t rubbing against the wheel. It’s fair to say I slept like shit that night, but that’s okay because adrenaline is a helluva drug.

My alarm went off at some stupidly early hour (ok, it was only 5 AM, so not THAT bad.) The team manager, Tim Yount, had warned us to get to transition early; the ITU (international triathlon union, for the uninitiated) officials had pretty much said that they were going to go through everything on race day with a fine toothed comb. They were being extraordinarily strict about everything (competitors could only wear the most recent country uniform, no temporary tattoos, no stickers on your helmet or bike except for your race numbers, your bib had to be on a race belt, etc etc etc) and it was expected that it would take a zillion years to get through bike check-in. I’m an early bird when it comes to races anyway since I hate the feeling of possibly missing transition setup because I was running late, but Tim had us all concerned. So stupid early it was. Turns out, I only needed the one alarm, because that sucker went off and I hit the ceiling!

Sherri met me at my hotel at 6:10 so that we could walk to the race site together. Those silly ITU officials were LIARS! It took us an entire two and a half minutes to get through bike check-in. Sure, they made sure that we were in uniform, and that we had our helmets on our heads and buckled (yup, to walk through the gate), but seriously, they didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary. We found our racks, set up our stuff, and chatted with the folks around us. Each country was racked together and then broken down by age group, so I was racking with the ladies that I raced against at Nationals. I have to say, that was pretty cool. I didn’t remember who I raced against until I got into this transition, then it was like, “HEEEEY! I know you!” Everyone was super excited; sure, some women had their game faces on, but most of all, the atmosphere was one of nervous electricity. Once transition was set up, a few of us wandered around to find an open cafe… No coffee and this girl doesn’t get going. At this point, it was about 715, and the race didn’t start til 830…

Sherri and I went for a nice little warm up just before the race.  Since she hadn’t run the course yet and it was short, we just went through the course as our warmup. I had been concerned when trying to follow the course map a couple of days earlier, because the course looked like a drunk kindergartener’s drawing. There was a turn every 50 meters or so, with the longest open stretch being maaaaaaybe a block long. No need to worry, though, this was the best marked course I’ve ever run. It isn’t marked, per se, but rather COMPLETELY barricaded off. You want to feel like a fucking rock star? Run on a completely barricaded off course!

We make it back to the venue with about 15 minutes left before the first wave went. Sprint duathlon is not the most popular sport, so the entire field was split into only 3 waves separated by 4 minutes for each wave, with the men 39 and under going first. Hanging out with a bunch of women competing in an international race for 8 minutes before gun time? Fucking amazing feeling!. So, most of you have seen my uniform, right? If not, there’s a picture below. The point is that my uniform makes me feel like goddamn Wonder Woman. Now, take little, old me, in my Wonder Woman outfit, and put me among 75 other women, ALSO in their Wonder Woman outfits, and put that group of people smack in the middle of a group of 200 women all wearing something that makes them feel like Wonder Woman, and shit gets pretty powerful. People are hugging, wishing each other luck, laughing, chatting… It didn’t matter what country you were from, you turned to that woman next to you and said, “good luck, congratulations on getting here, you’re a fucking badass rock star!” Ok, maybe not EXACTLY in those words… But you get the idea.

It’s a self-seeding start, and there’s no timing mat at the beginning. Everyone runs on gun time, meaning that your time starts as soon as the gun goes off, so the clock starts ticking even before you cross the start line. Does that matter to me? Not really. I’ll take that 5 second hit to my time to seat myself towards the back. I am more comfortable passing people who are slower than me than I am being passed by the SUPER CRAZY ULTRA MEGA FAST women. The announcer says, “on your mark,” then *BANG*!!! I am sooooooo glad I didn’t start closer to the front, because yeah… some of those ladies are mutants.

My goal was to keep my pace, not get caught up in the excitement of the start which would cause me to push too hard through the first lap, because I wouldn’t have been able to hold up for the entirety of the race. I have spent months working on keeping a pace, and that shit totally paid off. That gun sound shot through the stadium and women bolted. W went out the track and onto the streets. Like I said before, the course was exceptionally windy but for the most part it was a relatively easy course. Flat track, then down a block to a u-turn. After the turn, there is one small hill, probably only about a 50 or 60 foot climb over a block. At the top, you take a right and end up on a cobblestone street that has been well-used and has huge gaps between the cobblestones. Basically, this stretch of streets is a fucking ankle breaker and it’s SUPER important that you run carefully and take care where to put your foot on every stride. This surface lasts for a couple of turns, the course flattens out, then the fun begins. The middle third of the course winds and twists though the old city, and is a pretty steep descent. The road that we are following is pedestrian only, only a couple of meters wide, and is lined with beautiful old buildings with balconies that have pots of azaleas dropping over the side. Everyone has azaleas, I swear! The road surface is large stone pavers that have almost no unevenness to them, it’s smooth as glass, and did I mention downhill? So we come off this cobblestone ankle breaker of a surface, then WHEEEEEEEEEE OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS RUN IS AMAZING!!!!!! The first lap, there aren’t that many spectators; it’s still early by Spanish clocks, but it doesn’t matter. I’m running on a barricaded course, through a medieval town, with a smooth surface, downhill, it’s about 55 degrees, AND IM IN FUCKING SPAIN, Y’ALL!!!!!! I’m pretty sure I was averaging about 2 minute miles at this point, because I was fucking FLYING! I don’t know that I’ve EVER felt that much exhilaration on a run! At the bottom of the hill, we hit a regular street, then run by the river and back to the stadium again. At the stadium, we take a half a lap, then head out to do it all over again. The water station is at the bottom of the hill, and instead of giving you a cup of water, they hand out bottles… Full bottles of water, with lids on them, and they’re cold, and the mouth is really small, and I definitely failed miserably at getting any of that into my gullet. But my chest was nice and soaked, so I guess that’s something. I drop my bottle in the litter zone and take off up the hill. This lap, there are more spectators out there, and they’re cheering us all on. Because the course is so tight and windy, it’s pretty tough to know where anyone is, and you’re running blindly. I’m absolutely okay with this, it gives me the opportunity to really, truly run my own race and not worry about anyone else. I’m mostly running by myself, but there’s crowds of people gathering, and they’re all cheering in various languages, and some are trying to say my name as I pass, and occasionally I hear a “GO CC!!!!” from one of my teammates who’ll be racing in the standard later. Seriously, y’all, this must be what it feels like to be a rock star. I was there, by myself at times, with crowds cheering me on, and FLYING down this course. Never have I felt like I was running a more powerful 5k! I come around that last turn and back into the stadium and shoot in to transition.

Now for the part you are all waiting for with baited breath: the riiiiiiiide. If you know me personally, you already know that Orbea provided me with a sponsorship. For those who are just stumbling onto this incredibly long race report, let me explain. I ride an Orbea road bike when I race. This bike is a sexy, sexy Spaniard, and I am completely in love with him. When I qualified for this race, I was trying to figure out how to get my sexy, sexy Orbea to Spain without breaking the bank… or my bike. I decided on a whim to contact Orbea and tell them about my hot, torrid love affair that I have been having with one their bikes and and told them that they should hook me up with a sponsorship. did I think it would work? Hell no! But it did. Apparently, when you say completely ridiculous things about your bike, someone notices, because they agreed to sponsor ME!!! The deal was that the lovely, amazing people of Orbea would send a bike to Pontevedra for me to ride for this race. I would then ride that gorgeous machine, box it back up, and the shipping agency would pick it up at the hotel and ship it back to the factory. The original bike they were going to send me was similar to the one I ride at home, but there was a problem securing that bike so they changed bikes on me last minute. The bike they sent me? Shit, it’s not a bicycle… It’s a Lamborghini! This bike weighs about a pound, has Campignolo electronic shifters (that I had to have the team mechanic call back to the states to figure out how to TURN ON), and was pretty much made for me. The geometry was perfect for my super long torso and stumpy, yet powerful legs. I put my pedals and aerobars on it, so I was able to steer, power and control using what was I was accustomed to using. I don’t think I have ever, nor will I ever, have the opportunity to enjoy a machine of this quality. And I enjoyed the HELL out of that sexy Orbea! Now back to the report…

I run into transition, and I am feeling good. I didn’t look to see what my 5k time was, I didn’t care. I felt strong and didn’t want to throw myself off in case I had a bad time. I got through transition in what felt like 20 minutes (you had to run down the entirety of the center of the stadium, do your transition, then go back alllllll the way around the stadium out to the bike out spot. I cross the timing mat and the mount line, and IT’S ON MOTHER FUCKER! The first mile is out through the town, over this really kick ass suspension bridge, then out into the hills. I had ridden the course once before, so I knew exactly how uphill that first half was going to be so I started my bike portion with a bit of a quick spin to shake out the run and get my legs ready to cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb.

After a few hundred meters, I drop the gears and start to speed up and turn on the power. The bike course is gorgeous, but it’s no joke. Spain has hills and mountains, and Pontevedra is no exception. Coming out of town, the road surface is shit, it’s concrete with huge cracks and potholes, and a really rough surface. It’s easier to ride than chip seal, but still is not an idea ride by any means. Getting out of town only takes about a mile, and when my gps clicked that first mile out, I looked at my pace. I did that first mile, on shit roads on a slight incline at 22 mph. Did I mention that this Orbea was a Lamborghini? Yes, I know that the motor is as important as the bike, but this was AWESOME! Just outside of town, there’s a change in surface and you go from concrete to newly resurfaced, glass-smooth, super fast asphalt. The next 2 miles has some good climbs, and a cute little town (it’s Europe… All those little towns are cute). There were race officials dotted along the course, and volunteers, and cops, and a few people yelling, including one old woman sitting on her balcony yelling something incomprehensible from what I can only imagine was a toothless grin. But for the most part, it was just me and my bike and gorgeous views (and other competitors, of course… on the bike course you could actually see where everyone was.) Miles 3 and 4 were the bitches. This was where the bulk of the climb came in, and it was longer with a steeper and more sustained grade than anything that we have in Austin. Yeah, I trained on hills, but I just don’t have the access to train for this. 2 solid miles of up, up, up.

At the bottom of the hill, I came up behind my friend and teammate Sherri. She’s a bit slower on the bike than I am, but we were entering th long haul of a hill together. I didn’t have the opportunity to actually get past her before the climb started and I had to make a decision. Here’s the thing. In age group competition, you are not allowed to draft behind other cyclists, and the rules about passing another cyclist on the course are super strict. You have 15 seconds to come up into what’s called the drafting zone (and per ITU rules, that zone is 10 meters, or about 4-5 bike lengths) and make your move to pass your opponent. As soon as your front wheel breeches the line of their front wheel, your opponent must drop back out of the drafting zone. 15 seconds is plenty of time if you’re on a slight incline, a flat, or on a descent, but on a long, steep incline, 15 seconds is an impossibility. I got a penalty at Nationals when I tried to pass on an incline, so maybe I’m a little more sensitive about it than most, but I decided that I was not going to pass Sherri going up the hill. I could have done it, but doing so in a time that would guarantee no penalty would have meant blowing out my legs, completely wasting myself, all while STILL HAVING TO CLIMB, and still having plenty of time left in the race. So I hung out about 10 meters behind her and we climbed. And climbed. Ad climbed. Sure, my final time probably took a hit, but fuck, I don’t care. Here I was, on the hottest bike ever, climbing though gorgeous countryside with trees and vistas, on a beautifully maintained road, and my friend was right there, too. I have no problem that I took my time to savor and enjoy every. fucking. moment of that climb. When my legs were SCREAMING, I looked off to the left, and there was a little village on a hillside, with little houses with red tiled roofs. It was peaceful, and beautiful, and suuuuure, we weren’t the fastest people up that course, but fuck it. (I will say that no one in our little area of competitors passed each other on the climb… I think we were all in kinda the same boat… Pass and kill ourselves? Or settle in for a good ride…) All the while we are climbing, the men were coming down the same hill (it’s an out and back course). These guys were FLYING!!!! I was so, so, so looking forward to that. We crest the hill, and I make my move. My Orbea was so responsive that the minute the grade flattened out even a MINUTE amount, he took off. I passed Sherri, yelled something supportive at her, and took off. Mind you, just because we were done with the big climb, that doesn’t mean that we were at the top, there was still plenty of climb left in the last 2 miles heading up. It just happened to be at a more… reasonable grade. A this point, my legs are a bit jello-like, but I have a grin from ear to ear… I made it up the monster of a climb that has been haunting me for weeks. Ad I did it in style, dammit, and loved every moment of it. I come up to the u-turn, and now it’s time to flyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

I don’t typically have any fear coming down a hill, but the next few minutes of my life were possibly the scariest I’ve ever experienced. I started the beginning of the descent with strong legs. I did do a little spin to shake out the hill, then dropped the gears and turned back on the power. Before hitting the monster hill, I think I was averaging about 25 mph… I am not sure because I sure as shit didn’t feel comfortable looking at my speed on my watch. Then I crested that hill and OOOOOOOOOOOH MYYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD it was like a fucking roller coaster! You know when you get to the top of that first incline, and the little chain that’s pulling you up lets go, and the roller coaster cart drops back onto the track, then there’s that half a second of anticipation, then WHOOOOOOOSH? Yeah. That. Exactly that. I’m putty sure that everyone in the valley below, and all the poor people who were trying to have a peaceful and quiet Sunday morning, and everyone on the race course heard me. I was whooping and a hollering coming down that mountain. About halfway down the hill, I hit my terminal velocity and couldn’t pedal anymore (I was just spinning out) so I just got into as aero a position as I could get without completely freaking out, and held on for the remainder of the ride, tucked and terrified. That lasted about 0.000000001 minutes but felt like an eternity. I hit 40 mph on that descent, and probably held that for a good 30 seconds before coming to the bottom of the hill… Yeah, it was FAST. The last couple of miles coming into town are kinda a blur, because I was pumping some serious adrenaline through my veins from that down hill. I do remember coming back into town, and hitting that stupid, pitted concrete surface and feeling like I was going to be shaken off my bike. I actually had to slow down a bit for fear that I was going to pop a tire, and at this point since I was still going about 25 mph, that would have been pretty bad. The last two turns back into transition were pretty tight, and I had to hit the brakes a little so that I could navigate the narrow little buggers without doing something incredibly stupid like laying down a $13,000 bike… Silly, I know…

Heading back into transition, I’m grinning, I don’t care about my time, because I just had the ride of my life. All I can say it, wow… Wow!!! I rack my beautiful Armando (yes, I named him, even though I shouldn’t because when you name something, you get attached to it) and swapped my shoes out. Putting on my running shoes again, the tongue gets caught, and I lose a little time because I have to take the fucker off and reset the tongue so that I don’t completely murder my feet on the last lap. Then BAM! Off again. I feel good, I feel strong, I feel like I can only push it for a couple more minutes before my body gives out and I fall over and die. Perfect timing for that feeling, because I only have 1.6 miles left to go before that beautiful, beautiful finish line. Out of transition, down the street, up the hill… I’ve run the course so many times now that I know every nook and cranny and cobblestone. Right turn, left turn, flatten out… There’s hundreds of people outside the barricade, all cheering and yelling my name. Down the hill, through the old town, tight right turn, slight rise through the plaza… I’m hurting, my knee is taking a beating, my quads are screaming, my hamstrings feel like they are ready to pop… Down the last hill and to the river… The longest stretch I’ve ever seen, it looks like a million miles from here to the stadium (in reality, it’s less than a half a mile). I’m pushing hard down this stretch, and the team manager, Tim, is yelling from behind a barricade. He hands me a little American flag and screams, “this is the final push! 500 meters left! Goooooo CC Goooooooooo!” Who knew that a little 25¢ flag and a few choice words would hold the power of the universe in them? I try to pick up the pace, but I don’t have much gas left in the tank. Around the corner and into the stadium… Just a quarter lap around the track to the finish chute then 100 meters to the finish line. I think the announcer yelled my name, but since Spanish speakers find my last name impossible to say, I am not sure. All I know is that I am coming home to that finish line, there are about 20 other Americans and some Brits and some other finishers all standing there to cheer me in. I cross and get hugged by a zillion stinky and gross competitors. My friend and fellow central Texan, John, is there and so are the people from the Mexican National Duathlon team who I had befriended over the last few days. I try to breathe, recover a little, then see Sherri come barreling down the final chute. After cheering her in, we just stand there, dazed and a bit dazzled, hugging, slapping high fives to others, and soaking it in. We did it! Competed in the top level of amateur duathlon in the world. And rocked the SHIT out of that race!

Did I win? No. Did I have the best race I could have had, feel like I pushed it as hard as I could, and had an amazingly great time doing it? You fucking bet!

Months of training, pulling off a couple of fundraisers, more support than I would have ever thought possible all paid off. It was INCREDIBLE.

I don’t have my stats available right now, but I know I finished in 1:25 or so, well below the 1:30 I had arbitrarily given myself for a goal time. Also, I didn’t come in last in my age group, I was 23/25. But even if I had come in last, I would have been fine with it. Someone has to come in last, and this race was all about the experience, and what a fucking experience it was.

Oh, and for the record, I PR’d my 5k (the first leg of the race)!!! My previous best 5k was 25:59, and I finished this one in 25:15 and STILL had a long way to go before I was done.

Thank you all for the immense amount of support, for the love, for the encouragement, for absolutely everything that you all did to help me get here. Without each and every one of you, I could have never made it here.

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Posted June 3, 2014 by CC in Race Report

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Retro Race Report – Oil Man Half Ironman 11-3-2013   Leave a comment

For those who don’t want to read because it’s long, here’s a recap recap: IT WAS FUCKING AMAZINGLY AWESOME AND SO MUCH FUN AND HOLY SHIT I CANT WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN.

OK. Now onto the real report. Let me start by saying that I couldn’t imagine having a better HIM experience ever. Sometimes, you just get lucky with… well, everything, you know?

I slept SURPRISINGLY well the night before this event, and woke up with a start literally TWO minutes before my alarm went off. Hooray for the end of daylight savings and an extra hour of sleep! After my oatmeal and peanut butter breakfast, I grab my faithful steed, Rafael, and head down to transition. The transition area was about 3 minutes from the front door of my hotel, which turned out to be just enough time to realize that it was FUCKING COLD and that the beginning of this race was going to be rough. When I say cold, it was 40ish degrees, which by Texas standards is dead-of-winter cold. At least I had a wetsuit to put on, which helped, but mine is sleeveless, so by the time my wave start came, I was a rubberized popsicle.

The start was a beach start (you know, where everyone starts on a beach and there’s a mad dash to get into the water, and then you just start pummeling and getting pummeled for the first 100 meters until everyone calms down and gets into the rhythm of their swim? Yeah, that.) This was a first for me, and I was concerned that the running start into chilly water was going to give me a heart attack. I was happily shocked when, since I had been standing on wet grass in 40 degrees, the 68 degree water felt like a warm bath! “Hoho! This is going to be GREAT,” I think to myself. For once in my ENTIRE racing career, I was right about that! The swim was GREAT! The first 15 minutes were choppy, but not bad, but as we turned the second big buoy, the chop started picking up. By 25 minutes in, we were in full-on waves coming at us from the side. No problem, just breathe on one side, and time your breathing to the crests, and you’re fine. The last turn puts us with the waves at our back, which not only gives you a bit of a push, but also is so much fun to swim in. Why? BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE A FUCKING DOLPHIN, THAT’S WHY! If you time your strokes just right, you can come out over the tops of the waves, ride them juuuust a little, and come down like, “I’M A DOLPHIN, BITCHES!!!!!” Sure, I probably played a little too much and could have been a more focused, but fuck it, it was SO MUCH FUN!

Transition to the bike was tough. Remember that whole “it’s 40 degrees?” Yeah, well, it had warmed up to a *balmy* 45 degrees by then, which meant hopping on the bike wet, and cold. Not my favorite conditions, but oh well. I thought about throwing on a jacket, but knew that within 20-30 minutes I would regret the decision. So off I go! The beginning to the bike course was AMAZING! The roads were smoooooooth, we went through about 5 miles of ranch homes, then plunged into the pine forest, and I was FLYING! My first hour was at about 19 mph, even though we had lots of rolling hills. Mile 24, we turn off the main road onto a little county road which SUCKED (chipseal… why oh why Texas do you use so much chipseal?) and the next 5 miles was a slow uphill. At the end of this stupid road, we u-turn and come into a water stop. I was really nervous about being able to grab a bottle of Gatorade, since I’ve never done it without getting off the bike. I had total success on the first try! I held that bottle overhead and whooped with joy! Took a swig, and then went to put it in my bottle cage when it slipped out of my hand and plummeted to the ground. I could have cried! I DROPPED THE DAMNED THING! Oh well, I still had one bottle left, and another attempt at getting liquid in 15 miles. So off I go, hoping that the long slow 5 mile uphill will translate to 5 miles of FAST EASY downhill! Not so, says the elements! Just as I turn, the wind started picking up, and that lovely downhill turned into just another slogging stretch of country road. We had a head wind from that point on for the remainder of the bike ride, so the second half was not nearly as awesome as the first, but it was still pretty amazing. The temp had risen to the mid-60s, which was LOVELY and made for the perfect day to ride. The back half was a little lonely, The people I had been leapfrogging with for most of the race either had stopped for the bathroom, or were stronger in the wind than I was and I was a little lonely Tough Cookie, all by herself. The last turn brought us back into the resort, and the streets were lined with spectators, which was really heart-warming. 56 miles, in the bag!

Into transition again, and out in a fairly respectable time, even though I had to backtrack because I had left my inhaler on the bike. And after last week? I’m not going ANYWHERE without that thing!

The run course was weird. It was a loop that went up a street, then u-turned and down the same street, then over a block and up a street to a u-turn and down the same street, and over a block and… well, you get the idea. Basically it meant that you had an opportunity to see a lot of runners while you were on the course. OH, also, it was a small loop, so we had to run it 3 times. I thought this was going to be disheartening, but is was GREAT! The run course was crazy flat, and the weather was a perfect 65-68 degrees. I ran 2 minute intervals with 1 minute walk breaks, and averaged about 11 min/mile. Again, I probably could hae been more focused, and been a little speedier, but I was having a great time. I got to see ALL of my teammates out there at some point, we high-fived, and cheered each other on, and just had fun! When I started, the REALLY FAST people were still on the course, so, I got to run with some rock stars for a bit. On the second lap, the herd thinned some, and by the third, it looked like any normal race, where you are only running with the people who are your same speed. The spectators were magnificent! There was so much energy on the sidewalks of those streets you couldn’t help but grin the whole time. There was a group at miles 5/9/13 that were just so damned supportive, I wish I had stopped to get their address so I could send them a thank you card! The last push into the finish was a sliiiiight downhill, which was all I needed to pull off one last sprint for the finish line. I have to admit, I cried. A bit. But that was honestly the most fun I have ever had in a race, and I don’t think that I stopped smiling, except maybe on that crappy road in the country.

So there you have it. First half Ironman in the bag.

Stats:

Swim: 45:37

T1: 3:06

Bike: 3:23:34 (16.5 mph)

T2: !:53

Run: 2:24:26 (11:02/M)

 

Posted April 14, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

Retro Race Report: 3M Half Marathon 1-19-2014   Leave a comment

I have never run a half marathon. Seriously. I know what you are thinking, “but but but, you have done like 4 million in the past year alone!” Yes, I have PARTICIPATED in a bunch of half marathons, but I have never RUN one. I have walked a bunch of them, and for the better part of the last 5 years, I have been doing interval running. Last year, I completed the 3M Half in 2:12 running a 2:1 interval, averaging 10 min/mi. Yes, you can book it doing interval work (my coach ran a 1:55 half marathon with a 2:1 interval, she runs FAAAAAST!). Anyway, I decided a few weeks before this race that I was going to run it, and only walk during the water stops. I also decided that I was going to try and break 2 hours. Oh, and I was going to do this without music, and running by myself. Why? Why the fuck not? If you don’t give yourself slightly ridiculous goals, how are you ever going to challenge yourself?

This is the first race in a while that I’ve had any race anxiety for, probably because until then, I had never actually run further than 5 miles straight. The night before the race, I went over and over my race plan in my head. I ticked out my cadence for a 9-9:15 minute mile while I was going to sleep (cmon CC… you know you can do this! Just keep your cadence at tick-tick-tick-tick).

It was a perfect morning, 50ish degrees, slight wind out of the north, downhill course. After warm up with my Tough Cookies, we headed over to the start area, and I looked for the 2 hour pace group. I still can’t believe that I am seeding myself in a 2 hour pace group! (More on this later… I need to devote a post to my damned inability to accept my new reality without feeling like a total POSER). The announcer does the count down, and we’re OFF! As soon as we pass through the start line, the 2hr pacers TAKE THE FUCK OFF! I mean at like an 8 min pace! All I can think is, well, I guess I don’t really need to be paced. I have my metronome-like cadence stuck in my brain just like an ear-worm of a song that refuses to let go. So I fall into pace, tick-tick-tick-tick and just run. Mile 1 flies by in 9:22, a little slower than I wanted, but I knew I’d make it up later. Mile 2, 3, 4 I make up the difference and lock in a good even pace. I’m just listening to the chatter around me, people stressing over their paces, snippets of conversations, all of it just kind of like a buzz around me. I realize a few miles in that I’m still not used to running in the main pack of people, since I’ve been a back-of-the-pack runner for the better part of my running career. I also realize that you don’t need someone to talk to when you’re actually focused on the run.

Side note: About mile 4.5, I see this woman whose shirt pissed me off… it just said, “Don’t be last” on the back, and I wanted to sweep her legs out from under her for being a bitch. I wanted to pull her over and say, “you know. SOMEONE has to be last, and here you are being all elitist and shit and what you should be doing is being supportive for all of us! Even the last person on this course is a fucking rock star, and KICKING TOTAL ASS just for being out here!” I, of course, didn’t say any of this. Mostly because I couldn’t talk because my heart pounding out of my chest from exertion.

I keep going, one foot in front of the other, tick-tick-ticking along, keeping pace, feeling strong, but focused. I mean FOCUSED. I mean, like ain’t nothing gonna distract me from my pace. Around mile 9, we start an uphill stretch. It’s about a mile long, and it’s torturous. I feel the weight of my feet slamming into the ground, and am finding it impossible to find my tempo again. This isn’t a difficult hill by any means, I’m just already tired, and starting to doubt that I can actually run this whole damned thing. I spend the entire 9:42 of that mile convincing myself to not stop, to not walk, that we will be going downhill soon and I can make it up. There’s a woman next to me who’s singing Katy Perry (I think… It sounded like “blahblah blah pant pant blah pant pant pant), which totally makes me smile.

Slogging up the hill, I SWEAR I hear the TARDIS coming up behind me, and I’m so ready for the Doctor to grab my hand and say “Run!” to which I would reply, “but I already AM running!” (Sorry to non-Doctor Who fans… To get the reference, immediately go watch Doctor Who!) Anyway, it turns out to be an older fellow, probably in his 60s, who’s making this awesome push up the hill, and panting for his life. It was awesome.

We crest the hill at mile 10, and start the steep downhill final 5k to the end. I’m hurting. I’m at about 1:32, and starting to seriously doubt that I’m going to make my 2 hr goal time. This girl next to me goes, “well, shit! A 5k is hardly worth waking up and breaking a sweat for!” My response is, “We –pant- can do –pant- anything for –pant- 30 minutes, right?” FUCK YEAH WE CAN!

A steep downhill 5k sounds like fun, until you think about how hard it is on your knees, your hips, your lower back, everything. Coming up to mile 11, everything hurts. At mile 11.5, I start trying to realistically figure out how fast I have to run in order to hit my mark. My watch says I’m at 1:46, which gives me 14 minutes to cover 1.6 miles. Let me give you a quick warning, trying to do math at a time like this is IMPOSSIBLE. Somehow, continuing at my fairly steady 9 minute pace for 1.6 miles added up to 16-17 minutes (don’t ask… I don’t know how that worked.) So I started to talk myself out of pushing it.

Tangent: Do you know who Sheryl Sandberg is? She’s the COO of Facebook, and the founder of LeanIn.org. She promotes the idea that women need to take control of their own destiny and lives by leaning in to it. Leaning in is the philosophy that you should pursue your ambition and change your personal conversation from what you can’t do to what you can do. Leaning back is what happens when you start saying, “I can’t I can’t”. Clear? Check out her TED talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html OK, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

SO back to mile 11.5. I find myself leaning back. Hard. I mean, the brakes are practically squealing. I haven’t stopped running, but I have somehow convinced myself that ther is NO way I can hit my goal, so I might as well just fucking walk and let my poor legs rest. This is the point that I have never, in my entire career, broken through. I’ve always stopped. I’ve always walked; I’ve always let myself take that break. And this time, I had to ACTIVELY not convince myself that I couldn’t do it. This time, I had to lean in. And I did, with a vengeance. I literally leaned forward, I sped up the tick-tick-tick in my head, focused on my form, and ran.

I ran mile 12 in 8:50, and tried to sprint the last 0.1. Coming across the finish line, I look at my garmin and see 2:00:38. I burst into tears. Not only did I run the entire thing, I actually almost hit my goal! That measly 38 seconds (officially, 36 seconds) can pretty much kiss my ass.

After finishing, and feeling pretty damned Tough Cookie and BAWG like, things started to get really weird. My friend finished a few min later and asked, “Did you see the Girl Scouts selling cookies at mile 11?” Uh, no… Must have missed that. Another friend asked me if I saw her cheering for me. Uh… no… Missed that, too. All day long, people were asking me if I saw this and that, heard them, saw the capitol behind the finish line, heard this band, or saw that sign… My answer was the same for all of it. “Uh, no. I don’t remember much about my surroundings for a lot of the race.” What I can tell you is how I felt for the better part of the race, what hurt when, how clear my mind was, how I would slow down and lose my form the MOMENT I stopped keeping my cadence in the forefront of my brain. I realized after the race that this must be that whole “being connected with your body” that a lot of runners experience, the true runner’s high. It was fucked up, man, I tell you. Fucked up. And I can’t wait to try and hit that point again.

Oh, and for the record, I am a little sad about missing my mark by 36 seconds. Just means I have to sign up for this race again next year.

Posted April 14, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

Race Report: Galveston Half Ironman (3 of 3)   Leave a comment

***If you want the whole gruesome back story leading up to this race, feel free to start with the first two installments of this really fucking long race report.

I wake up; it’s 4:55 am. 5 whole minutes before my alarm is due to go off, but my inner clock says, “IT’S RACE DAY, BITCH! UP AND AT ‘EM!” The hotel was being a bunch of jerkwads and wouldn’t let me do a late checkout, so I had to pack up EVERYTHING before leaving. I’d already decided to pare my half iron down to 2/3 of a half iron (aka 1/3 full ironman, if my math is right), and sometimes, I have to save myself from myself. The night before, I had pulled my running shoes out of my tri bag and put them in the car separately from everything else because I know myself really, really well. I knew that if I came off the bike and felt GREAT, I’d throw all caution to the wind, slip on those lovely shoes and run. And probably tear something along the way, and be out for the rest of eternity. So my evening self was completely ready to save my mid-race self. That morning, I was putting things in the car and thought, “maybe… just maybe I should put those running shoes BACK in my tri bag…” But I was a good girl, and left them where they were. Eat breakfast, pack up the rest of my shit (good GRIEF, it’s amazing how much shit I took for ONE NIGHT away!), grab a cup of coffee and head to the race site. I get there a little bit late and only have about 25 minutes to set up my transition area, which doesn’t really bug me, because I have that shit down to a T by now. I set up my meager transition space, grab my wetsuit, my cap, and goggles and head to the start.

Side note: I love triathletes. We are a bunch of weirdos who are all in this weird little world and all work really hard to just make it to the start line of these fucked up competitions. Some of us are super HARDCORE about everything, from training to food to equipment… you name it. You will always see the guy who has the $15,000 bike all tricked out who will talk your ear off about the latest and greatest aerodynamic water bottle. Standing right next to him, you’ll see the girl who eats pizza and drinks beer and trains on a mountain bike and probably hasn’t run more than 10 miles in her LIFE and is still out here testing what her body can do. And at the start line, we are all equals. (I’m not speaking about the pros here… They aren’t our equals… They are just fucking nuts.) At the start line of a tri, everyone is chatting, everyone is yammering with each other, we all talk about how silly we are for doing this to ourselves, and express that constant inner nagging of “what the fuck was I thinking when I signed up this shit???”

So yeah, this is just like any other start line. We are all on a dock, getting ready to hop into the 67-degree brine of Offatt’s Bayou and it hits me. I’m not ready. I haven’t swam in open water since November (save for one little piddlyshit 1200-meter swim a few weeks ago) and really, my swimming has been dismal all winter. But here I am, so fuck it. I’m going for it. I jump in and spend the next three minutes trying to position myself so that I’m somewhere in the middle of the pack of swimmers. The start was signaled by a cannon, which I’m sure the neighbors were just fucking THRILLED about, since there were umpteen gaZILLION waves starting from 7 AM. And BOOM! We’re off! The swim heads out into a good front/cross current, and it’s a bitch of a current with lots of chop. There’s a storm happenin’ and a lot of wind, and that bayou was a-rocking and a-rolling. There are 128 women in my field, so the start is every bit like trying to swim in a briny washing machine, with arms and legs and waves and salt and everything flailing. It took me about 500 meters to get into my rhythm which it turns out was just far enough to get me to the first turn. I’m not sure if I couldn’t get into my rhythm because of the current or the washing machine-like churning or nerves or what, but the minute we turned the buoy, I settled in and just…. swam. It felt great! Salt water plus wetsuit plus a little leftover oil from the most recent ecological disaster of Galveston Bay (kidding… there was no oil that we were told about) equals SUPER BUOYANT FUN TIMES. The turn was tight enough hat it put the current behind us, so I focused on my stroke, and really didn’t worry about my speed or my placement or anything race-wise. I just swam. We came to the second turn, which put us with the current coming from the left. This required sighting between every breath because it was strong enough that I was getting pushed off course CONSTANTLY. But do you remember the last bit of OilMan where I was flying through the water feeling like, “I’M A FUCKING DOLPHIN, BITCHES”? Well, I thought that was because the current was coming from behind, but it turns out, I think I just get that feeling at the end of a long swim! Here I was, getting pushed off course by a pretty damned strong side current, and I still felt like a FUCKING DOLPHIN, BITCHES! It was great! I came out of that water feeling strong and happy and ready to tackle the bike. Look at my watch: 45 minutes. The same as OilMan. Huh! Not half bad for NOT FUCKING TRAINING.

Transition’s a breeze, and I grab Rafael and squeeze through the melee that is transition area. At the mount line, I hop on and we’re off. After the first few turns, we head out onto the open road that runs along the seawall of Galveston beach. I realize that there’s no wind noise in my helmet and I’m able to keep a 24 mph pace without really even trying, which all equates to a BEAUTIFUL tailwind. If this shit keeps up, I’ll finish the first half of this ride in just over an hour, but coming back will thoroughly SUCK ASS because that lovely tailwind will be a KILLER headwind. Thankfully, at about mile 15, the wind shifts, and becomes a pretty steady, 15-20 mph crosswind. Not ideal for a bike ride, but a helluva lot better than having to turn into a 20 mph headwind. I get into my groove pretty quickly, and the miles melt away. Galveston island is flat, I mean PANCAKE flat, the only “hill” is a bridge at mile 23 or so where you have to “climb” to about 40 feet above the sea level. The whole time, I’m just looking over at the beach like, “MAN! That’s a BEACH right there! I’m just taking a ride along the beach!” It was fucking AWESOME! We only got rained on a few times, and yes it was a hard pelting needle-like rain, but it wasn’t the TORRENTIAL THUNDERSTORMS that were forecasted for the day. I get to mile 28, u-turn, and head back. That cross wind is easily 20-25 mph at this point, but that’s okay, because I’m still just riding my bike along a beach and cruising along at a happy little 16-17 mph. The only sad part about this ride was when I heard the “clank clank crash* of my sunglasses falling off their little hiding spot in the back of my trikit (sea spray and sunglasses don’t mix. I had to take them off at about mile 15 because I couldn’t see shit.) Boo. I loved those sunglasses…

As I come in off the bike, I go to rack Rafael, and am thoroughly in race mode. Remember back a few paragraphs when I said that I knew myself well? Yeah, I know myself well. I felt like a fucking rock star at this point and would have ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY put on those shoes and run. I came off that bike, racked him, and looked at the empty spot on my transition mat where my running shoes and race belt should be and realized that, just like that, it was over. No finish line. No medal. No cheering crowd. No “LIFE, MOTHERFUCKER” feeling. It was done. And I cried. Only for a short bit, but the feeling of elation that I had on the bike was oh so quickly replaced by a feeling of disappointment and failure. I DNFed. And even though I had set out that morning to DNF (did not finish), when it actually came to the moment where I had to take off my timing chip and hand it over to an official and give them my race number, I was heartbroken. I had planned on getting a medal anyway, but at that time, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a medal that I hadn’t earned.

I went into the finisher’s tent, grabbed a slice of pizza, and went to the medical people who do post-race work on poor, tired muscles. I sat down on the table, and the PT guy who worked on me raked into my IT band with a Graston tool (don’t ask… it’s torture) and said “HOLY SHIT! I thought was raking into tape! That’s one tight IT band right there!” Yeah, I know. I’m a mess. He worked through my IT band, my hip flexor, my quad, and all the soft tissue around my knee. And I cried again, not just because it hurt, but because my pride was a little battered from walking away from a race. When he was done, I got up, stretched, and realized that no matter how much my pride hurt I had made the right decision. I had come through the race (mostly) injury-free, and felt strong and could now focus on my next round of training.

So there you have it. My 2/3 of ½ ironman race report. My official unofficial aquabike time was 3:54:49. Break down was as follows:

Swim time: 45:39

Swim place 47/128

Transition 1: 2:51

Bike time: 3:06:29

Bike place 61/128

T2: N/A

Run: N/A

Final place: DNF

Posted April 7, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

Race Report: Galveston Half Ironman (2 of 3)   Leave a comment

***Some of you are privy to the drama leading up to this race, and some aren’t. For those who know the full back story, or don’t give a shit about the back story, feel free to skip to post 3 of 3 to start the actual race report.

Fast forward to Saturday. I drove the 4 hours to Galveston, the entire time sure that I was going to bag the race completely, which caused me to feel incredibly heartbroken. I love the half iron distance! It’s far enough to really have to train for, and to really have to focus on, and to warrant eating a full fucking pizza when you’re done (if you’re so inclined… which I am!) Sure I hadn’t trained NEARLY well enough, and sure I was banking on my base level of fitness to get me through the race, but I still had every intention of doing the damned thing, you know? I get to Galveston, and find the race site, and everything is OH SO TOTALLY IRONMANED OUT! It’s like “Ironman THIS” and “Ironman THAT!” and “Ironman village” and there are sponsors and tents and stuff and expos and more stuff! I swear, an Ironman branded event is the fucking DISNEYLAND of athletic events! There is an electricity in the air like you wouldn’t believe, and people are all smiley and happy, even the hard-core pros are walking around like “OHMYGOD IT’S RACE WEEKEND!”

Walking through the outdoor expo area, I see an injury clinic and miraculously, there’s no line to get in to see a doc. So I walk in, and about 2 seconds later, my kneecap joins me (it’s been having a field day meandering around on it’s own. I’d really like it to stay where it’s supposed to.) I explain the WOES of my knee to the dude, and he’s like, yeah… let’s take a look. I lay down, he starts messing around with my poor, poor leg, jostling the legs around and messing with the kneecap. –Any pain? –Nope. This is the story of the whole exam. He tests my strength on a couple of muscles then has me sit up. Then, this miracle worker of a guy gives me the best news ever: my ligaments are fine. They are nice and tight, no weakness through those and nothing to worry about with the structure of how things are holding up. My problem is a weakness in my VMO (that pesky inner quad muscle) and what I’m feeling is that it’s not able to hold my kneecap in place, so the kneecap wanders, then the outer quad fires to pull it back into position. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww. He then shows me how to use KT tape to support the kneecap and keep it from going on a walkabout (because, really, who wants wandering kneecaps???), gives me some exercises to do and says I’m good to go, but that I shouldn’t run. I already had started toying with the idea of just swimming and biking this thing, then bagging the run. I bounce that idea off of him, and he agrees that this is not a terrible plan, and actually biking is a great way to strengthen that VMO, if you ride in a certain manner.

ELATION! JOY! HAPPINESS! I’d been on a downward spiral of WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH for DAYS thinking that I’d totally fucked myself up and that I wouldn’t be able to race at ALL and still be able to train for Worlds. The wonderful thing about doing just the swim and bike is that the recovery is about a day and a half, not a full week like it is for the full event. So yeah, win-win, right? I’m practically SKIPPING through the rest of the Ironman village (but not really, because even though my knee is all taped up, I don’t want to be a COMPLETE idiot and tear something NOW.) I get my race packet and my $300 shirt, which by the way, I have to trade out for a MEDIUM, rack my boyfriend… errrr I mean bike, and head back to the hotel. Time to get all my stuff together, go eat dinner, and get some sleep. *sigh of relief*

Posted April 7, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

Race Report: Galveston Half Ironman (1 of 3)   Leave a comment

So, some of you are privy to the drama leading up to this race, and some aren’t. For those who know the full back story, or don’t give a shit about the back story, feel free to skip to post 3 of 3 to start the actual race report.

It’s been a helluva a spring. I’ve been training hard for months and months and months, and I’ve had a pretty incredible year and a half of races and events. What I’ve been REALLY BAD about, though, is taking down time to let my body heal, and now my body is bitching at me for it. First, in January, I tore something in my quad. I say “something” because like an idiot, I never went and got it properly taken care of and just took 2 weeks off completely. I was afraid that a doctor would tell me that I couldn’t run the marathon that I had already signed up for (and had trained for) that was 3 weeks out from the injury. Yeah, in retrospect, that was fucking stupid. But we all do things that are fucking stupid sometimes and then pay for it later. What I BELIEVE I did was some awesome microtearing of my quadriceps tendon (the one that holds your quadriceps to your kneecap and keeps your kneecap in place). The reason I’m pretty sure this is what I did is that I have a beautiful dent in my leg where there used to be tissue. This dent will probably never go away, and I’m sure that at some point, that sucker is just going to rip right off from the kneecap and I’ll be down for a while. Yeah, not the BEST plan I’ve ever had, but there it is. Anyway since that injury, I’ve been “taking it easy” which for me means run 2 races (a 15 k and a marathon), limited myself to 50-70 miles a day on the weekends, swimming MAYBE once a week, doing some cross training, and sitting on my ass when I’m not working out. Needless to say, I’m not good at this whole “recovery” thing.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago (March 22nd, I believe). I wrecked on my bike. Now, I don’t mean a BIG HUGE HORRIBLE I’M-GOING-TO-THE-HOSPITAL wreck. More like a tumble. I was going up hill and passed a couple of guys, then came back too far to the right and hit gravel. I don’t know how familiar you are with road bike tires, but those fuckers are TINY. And they don’t play well with gravel. Just like that, BAM, I went down like a sack of potatoes at mile 40 of a 62-mile ride. I banged myself up pretty well, although I don’t have much road rash (a feat that my friend said is proof that I’m magic), but I did pull some muscles and give myself some amazingly gorgeous bruises. The muscles I pulled were all on the opposite side from where I went down, which means that allllllllll that stress went into the same leg that I’ve been (poorly) rehabbing for the last 3 months. Now, on top of a weakened quad and quad tendon, I have a strain in my periformis (deep butt muscle) that’s pinching a nerve and bruising and strain on my VMO (inner quad). Add to that a tighter-than-normal IT band, and you have knee issues just SCREAMING to show up. And show up they did. 3 fucking days before Galveston Half Ironman.

Side note. What my quad tear “recovery” DID do is make it kinda hard for me to get into a good training groove, which then made it hard for me to get geared up for and focused on this half. Also, made it hard for me to feel super duper confident in my abilities to do this thing.

The Wednesday before my HIM, I went and did some speed work at the track and felt GREAT. About an hour later, my knee started feeling weird. By weird, I mean like it felt like the MCL (inside ligament of the knee) was slipping out of place, and the kneecap was sliding on over to the left in a most obnoxious way. There was no pain, just an “ewwwwww, this feels grooooooooooss” feeling, and it was happening with ever 5-10 steps. Needless to say, with 3 days to go to my 70.3, I was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT! I’m pretty sure those were the exact words I used to my coach when I called her Thursday night “OHMYGOD TZATZIL I’M FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!” I rested, iced, compressed and elevated the shit out of that knee on Thursday and Friday, and decided to bag the race completely. I also decided I was going to go down there anyway, because I paid for the race and it was the most expensive race I’ve ever paid for so I wanted my $300 tee shirt, dammit!

Posted April 7, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

A New Website!   Leave a comment

I’m working on building a website to help promote my fundraising to get back to Spain. This time, I’m heading there for Duathlon World Championships!

Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll be rolling out my new site soon!

Posted February 2, 2014 by CC in Uncategorized

Howdy desde España!   2 comments

After what feels like a zillion hours, I made it to Madrid. I learned a few things on the way:

1) Lufthansa does not issue boarding passes for flights that originate in another country on another carrier. In other words, I got my boarding pass for my first two flights (United), but was told that I would have to get my final boarding pass from the Service Desk in Frankfurt.

2) A 50 minute layover is not enough time to figure out what the hell that meant. Especially when your plane arrives an hours late. And even if I wasn’t late, the Frankfurt airport is so wonky that it’s impossible to get anywhere in under an hour.

3) The Service Desk at Lufthansa has awesome customer service.

4) My evil little plan worked. Sort of.

I had booked that short layover with full realization that I might not make the connection. The only other option was a forced 4 hour layover in Frankfurt. My logic was this: if I missed my connection, then SURELY they would put me on the later flight. No harm, no foul. I was right, but I shouldn’t have bet on it. Turns out, I got the last seat on that flight and the next flight to Madrid is tomorrow. But I made it, and I found my cute little (cheap as hell) hotel. I haven’t had a chance to explore at all, but from what I can gather, I am right in the middle of old Madrid.

It’s shower time, y’all. And then food. And more than likely a glass (or bottle) of wine. Then sleep.

Posted June 3, 2012 by CC in Uncategorized