Growing up, one of the things I heard a lot of was Dr. Seuss books. I specifically remember The Sneeches, The Sleep Book and Horton Hatches the Egg. As a nod to the last, I think the following pretty much sums up my Wauconda experience. “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.”
For those of you who haven’t been reading my blog in the past, what that refers to is no DNFs. I’ve said it, and I meant it. And unless I’m physically injured, I’ll stil finish even if means walking the bike back (see Pleant Prairie blog).
Peter and his wife Carol were very kind to let me stay at their house so I didn’t have to mess with Chicago transportation fun. So I was thinking Wauconda would be a great race for me, especially since I’d have a full night’s rest going into it. However, at about midnight, I woke up sick. What immediately went through my head was ‘how do I get back to passable so I can race?’ 3 hours of ‘fun’ in the bathroom later, I was feeling better. We headed off to the race, and Todd and I set up transition. This included adding a flat kit to the bike after Pleasant Prairie.
While the walk over loose gravel in bare feet wasn’t fun, I thought we were all set for a great race once we got to the start area. And the swim went really well – out in about 20 min range. We moved to T1, then the bike without issue. That is until we were about a mile out. At that point, the rear tire went flat. As we had a flat kit, I thought we’d only lose a couple of minutes. But when Todd looked in the saddlebag, the tool that the CO2 cartridge goes into wasn’t there. So we lost at least 15 minutes waiting for the support vehicle to come along with a bike pump.
We got back on the bike course to finish the last 13+ miles, and I know I pushed it too hard. We had lost a good deal of time from the flat, and I wanted to try and make it up. But by doing so, I overstretched/pulled something in my lower back. This made it hard to run throughout the run portion overall, and near impossible at times.
We did finish, and while I don’t see official results yet, there was still improvement from Leon’s (subtracting out the flat time). And as frustrating as yesterday was (especially to have flats 2 races in a row), there were still several learning points.
1) Always check and triple check everything in your gear. And once you’ve done that, check it again.
2) While you may gain a little back by overexerting yourself, you’re going to lose 2-3 times as much in a later discipline. Nothing wrong with pushing it, but if you go too far, you can ruin a day.
3) That there are always going to be some challenge during a race. Whether it’s wather, a course change or something else. Deal with it, find a way to move forward and keep racing.
And while it’s frustrating to have a flat issue two races in a row, it’s just that. I’m not upset or disappointed. I am grateful that I’ve had great guides to help get things back on track and support me. The support of my teammates also helps greatly when these things happen. And yes, I would have walked the bike another 13 miles to finish if the support vehicle hadn’t had a pump.
Even though things didn’t go as planned, I am grateful to everyone who helped to make this race possible. Especially the person who provided the sponsorship so I could race.
Back to training and back to focusing on the next race. Naperville on 8/7 is the next Tri on my schedule.