Friday, after running painful, slow 2 miles, I got all packed up to head to one of my favoritest places, Austin. There was this small matter of a little triathlon several of us had decided to race. When Dione and Music Mary asked, "How will I recognize you?" I simply replied, "Look for all the pink!"
Triathlon requires SO much stuff!
We then spent some time wandering around Austin and enjoying dinner downtown. The plan for Saturday? Sleep until I wake up! And that's just what I did. It was fabulous! I can't remember the last time I slept in. We had plans to meet up with Dione and Dano at T1, but our inability to find T1 made us miss them. T1 was about a mile from the expo and T2. We eventually found our way there and checked out the swim start. The water was choppy but warm, like bathwater. A comforting 71 degrees compared to the 40 degree air temps!
Lake Walter E. Long, also known as Decker Lake.
I got my transition set and started to blow up my tires when...I realized that I had a flat. Urg. Better on Saturday than on race day though!
Helpful hands appeared from the other side of the curtain. The Cyclist eventually just hoisted my bike over the rails and got to work. Making matters even more frustrating, the tubes I had didn't have a long enough stem. Transition was closing soon and my oh-so-helpful soigneur raced back to the expo to procure the correct tubes.
Waiting for him to return, I occupied myself by taking pictures and texting Heidi, who was in D.C. to smash the Marine Corps Marathon. Mostly taking pictures for other athletes who wanted a picture of themselves in front of all the beautiful bicycles! I love my bike, but I had to put my hands over her ears a few times while I whistled at some of the gorgeous racing bikes out there.
Playing with the panoramic feature on my phone.
Several dudes asked to borrow my pink pump. It's nice to know mine works on spendy race wheels too. :o)
My biked was racked right next to my tri-bestie's identical bike. I figured that was good luck!
We spent the rest of the evening eating some good Austin food and resting. Every time I sat down I'd fall asleep. I was so stinkin tired, could not keep my eyes open. I didn't sleep well though. I was hot all night, even though I slept right next to the air conditioner. Keep in mind, it was in the 40's all night. So running the a/c at all was kind of weird. I woke up feeling barfy and hot. At one point, I stood there in my tri-kit, watching The Cyclist in his flannel shirt and jeans and asked, "Aren't you hot?" He looked at me like I was crazy. Here I was, basically in a swimsuit, sweating bullets and he was in flannel. Um. One of us wasn't feeling normal.
Turns out, it was me. The ride over I felt more and more nauseated. And I just kept sweating. As we walked up the hill to T2 to drop of my run gear bag, I stopped. I said, I need to make a phone call. And I called Katie. It's a good friend that you can call at 6 am! I knew she would tell me what I needed to hear and I almost cried as I told her how I was feeling. Over voice mail. Dang. I almost cried again as I told The Cyclist, "I can't do this. It hurts to even walk and now this. I can't race today - it's not a smart thing."
And with that, I turned in my chip and we got in line for the shuttle so I could retrieve my bike and T1 gear.
DNS - Did Not Start
Oh, that was hard.
It was hard admitting that I'm hurt and this isn't getting better. It was hard worrying that I was might disappoint him. He gave up his whole weekend to schlep my stuff around. It was hard knowing that this race, this race I've been training for all summer, wasn't going to happen. Here's the thing, racing hurt is a bad idea. I shouldn't have run Chicago. I knew that going into it. I knew it at mile 2. And yet I ran. And I jacked up my body. I wasn't going to risk doing more damage. Racing hurt AND sick? Yea, that's not fun. Not only would I be in pain, I would be miserable. We do this to have fun - I'm not competing for a spot in the world championships. I'm not competing to keep a sponsorship. I do this because I enjoy it. Hard decision to make, but only I could make it.
I got on the shuttle without The Cyclist because the line was long and T1 was closing soon. If I didn't get my bike now, I'd have to wait until the end of the race. I sat on that dark school bus, texted my posse and as the replies came flooding in I finally cried. Sat on that bus and cried like a baby, people starting at me, I didn't care. Photos of nutria and hamster emjois popping up on my phone, virtual hugs, text after text - y'all are all amazing. I'm a lucky Pink Girl.
I grabbed my bike, discovered I had ANOTHER flat, sheesh, those burs are a nightmare! So, yeah, I would have started off the bike by changing a flat. I wasn't the only one DNS, I rolled up to two German dudes, one told me, "It's too effin cold to race." Out of transition in the nick of time, I met up with these two. Just plumb ran into each other in the sea of athletes!
Dione and Dano, all the way from Wisconsin. This was a heat wave for them!
Don't let the smiles fool you - we were all freezing.
The Cyclist and I watched the sun come up as the pros took off in the water. What an exciting morning! Is there anything more breathtaking than a sunrise over the water?
We go to see Andy Potts (and the rest of the pros) slink out of the water first. Dang, that's a fast man!
We watched the pros take off on their 56 mile journey by bike.
There were some interesting kits! One women, as she passed, exclaimed, "Brr, effin, brr!" to no one in particular. It was COLD! Especially considering that last year it was 100.
Got to yell for Elaine! So proud of her completing her first 70.3!
Hollered for Dano as he sped by.
Then we packed up and headed back to town. I snoozed for a bit and honestly could have slept all day. Instead, we got lunch at one of my favorite places (Austin is known for good eatin, and we did!) and headed back to Dallas. I slept most of the ride home.
Am I disappointed? You bet. I wanted this race so badly. But I made the right choice. As soon as I turned in my chip, I knew for sure I was making the right decision. I didn't let anyone down but myself. As Ninja told me, live to fight another day. I have bigger goals and bigger races to run. It stinks that my last two races of the season were terrible. One painful the other just hurtful. But that doesn't define me or my racing capabilities. I'm going to focus on healing and getting stronger.
I'd like to be Miss Suzy Sunshine and smile and tell you it's all going to work out. But the truth is, I'm pretty grumpy about it all. I wore my "I give up pants" yesterday and today. In public. I plugged in the heating blanket and snuggled with my kittehs until about 10 am. I had cookies for lunch. A lot of them. In the shower, I cried like little girl. I'm disappointed, I'm sad and I don't know what happens next. And I feel like a selfish little brat for being so upset over a hurt hip. So I'm only allowed to wallow for the rest of the day.
Tomorrow is a fresh start. I've got a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to, that's for sure!
And if nothing else, remembering witnessing this with my most favorite spectator, is worth everything.