Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sullivan Triathlon

April 29th, 2007

"That should be an easy win"
-Sullivan Triathlon (400 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 5k run)

This phrase was put into my mind when going out to Sullivan, IL for my first triathlon of the season. Being a professional duathlete going up against some local triathletes should be a breeze of a win. Well, this was not the case. Going out to Sullivan, a 45 minute drive from my U of I school, I was expected by many to win the race. The truth is that I actually was expecting to win the race too with a solid effort.

I drove out to the race with my dad and dog, Roxy in the wonderful 80 degree weather. It was sunny, warm, and quite a contrast from the Powerman Alabama weather two weeks ago. It is beyond belief how the weather has been changing so rapidly these past few weeks! At the race site, I swam a few laps, set up my equipment, and was ready to go.

The swim was in an indoor pool of 400 meters. Each swimmer started individually with a 10 second gap between each one. The race director seeded each swimmer by an estimated 400 swim time, so I was the 33rd starter for the race with a 6:15 estimation. Well, after watching the first few swimmers in the pool, I knew I would have to have a pretty amazing race if I was going to win. With my weak swimming background (swimming for a few weeks with no technique), I knew I would have to have a good bike and an amazing run in order to pull it off. The first swimmers completed the swim in a time of around 4:40. It made me realize how much work I need to put into the pool if I'm going to be successful in the sport. I finished my swim in a time of 6:28. Not too bad considering I have no clue how to do flip turns and must stop at the wall each time and then push off to go to the next lap. I recall swimming 7:30s a year ago for my 400s, so my time has dropped some, but not nearly enough.

After a quick transition, I hopped onto my bike and was off. This is were the problems arose. The previous week or so I was experiencing some stomach problems. It felt as if there was a knot tied in my intestines. Well with each pedal stroke, I was exerting some strong pressure on my middle stomach and it hurt! I forced myself to concentrate on the bike and just produce a fast smooth cadence without putting to much power into the stroke in order to minimize the pain. I figured I might still have a chance to win the race because with a strong run, I can come back. Well, the rest of the bike didn't go too well considering I lost a lot of ground to the front leaders.

Another quick transition led me to the final run of the day. I took off and ouch! My stomach tightened, and I knew the race was over. I barely ran for 100 yards and I was walking. I have never not finished a race, and I wasn't going to let a small sprint triathlon be the first one after all the training I do! I took off running and the pain got worse! It started to creep into my back so that my whole midsection was a tightened up mess. I figured out that in order to not have to walk, I just had to jog and not push myself at all. I was running 6:20 miles, the slowest I have ever gone. I should easily be at around 5:10 pace. I finished up the race and found out I was 5th overall. It was quite disappointing knowing that I had such a poor performance in a small local race. My main concern was not about the race though, it was about my grueling stomach. There was something seriously wrong and I needed to get it checked out. I decided to make an appointment to see what was wrong.

Test results came back....I'm dehydrated, have low blood sugar, and have a gastrointestinal virus. The virus goes away in three weeks, so basically I have about one more week and it should be gone. I sure hope so because this is not a good way to lead up to the Duathlon World Championships. I will keep everyone updated with more news and updates on the season. Check back!

-the bread

No comments: