I would love to start this blog by telling you how I got to transition in the morning; set up, and headed out for a swim.
I would love to write about a chilly but strong swim, and exiting with or near a PR swim, cruising through transition and onto the bike.
I would love to write about a better bike than last year, which was pretty good by my standards, another cruise through transition and onto the run course
And I would love to be gleeful as to a new PR run, showing all the extra emphasis I had put into my running was paying off.
But, none of this happened. In fact, I didn’t even start the race. You see three weeks ago, as I headed out for my peak 12 mile run I had some bad luck.
Just 500 yards or so in, my left foot landed on a rock and rolled. I stumbled but maintained my balance. After a couple of minutes I tried to run. I went between ¼ and 1/3 of a mile. Just when I thought I got lucky, a sharp shooting pain in my foot. Of course I tried again and got about 6 strides before it happened again.
By the time I got home, I had what looked like half a tennis ball on the top of my left foot.
After a trip to the orthopedist, I was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the cuboid bone. You can see the x-rays here.
So it’s an air-cast, and crutches. The doctor cleared me to swim with a pull buoy and no walls, but that is about it.
However, I still came out to the race. You see I had more invested in this race than just myself.
My friend Sugarmagnolia asked me to help her with her training. So I became “coach.” Now she has done several triathlons, and one 70.3 (Superfrog), but never with a defined training plan.
So I created the skeleton of her plan, and sent her each week’s workouts one to two weeks out, so I could adjust the workouts based on progress, results, and her life needs. She has a really busy life, see her blog.
I also had another friend racing, Andrea, doing her first 70.3. She prepared herself for the race, but I did give her an outline of a training plan. And I met with her almost every Sunday morning for open water swims, or on rare occasion when we had rain, we swam at the pool.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I wanted these two to have a great day, how much I wanted them to succeed. How hard I was rooting for them.
I met up with Sugar’s family, we saw her come in off the bike. We applauded, yelled, and cheered. Of course, I went into coach mode. Make it a FAST transition. Don’t get a manicure, GO! (She did good, and before I knew it we saw her coming back out on the run)
We saw her again around the half way mark of the run. She said she didn’t want to do another loop. I can’t print what I yelled out this time.; but most of you have heard the expression HTFU. Magnify that! Then, we saw her again. Finishing. Smiling. Success!
All the while I was using athlete tracker. Andrea had gone through mile 26.4 on the bike strong. But I was concerned as I didn’t see her come off the bike, and tracker didn’t show her in indicating I missed her. And how does one miss a hot pink helmet?
Right around the time Sugar was half way through the run, I got a text from Andrea that she pulled out at mile 45 of the bike with issues including dizziness that would have made riding 11 miles a risk. She was in good spirits and came down and rooted for Sugar with us.
Overall, I am very proud of both of them. Knowing not just the training and effort that went into this, but all that was going on in their lives during the training and all the life challenges, they did great. Their names are linked to their blogs. Both will do race recaps as well, and they are good writers, so check them out! I have a new respect for those that coach many athletes. You really become invested in your athletes. You feel their pain, anguish, and rejoice in their success. It is harder than racing, because you have ZERO control on race day.
Thank you Sugar, and Andrea for allowing me to assist you in this journey. You guys are awesome.
As for me, cheering is stressful and hard. I really would rather be racing. Hopeful that the foot gets better and I am on the start line at IMAZ in November. With maybe a short one or two locally in the summer so I can toe the line and get the race juices flowing.