Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sunken Meadow State Park - 10 km Race, Monday night 7pm, June 22, 2015

In all the years of participating in running events, I have always found the Sunken Meadow 10km race as the most challenging. Every year I struggle and never seem to learn, or develop a strategy for taming this course. People talk and write about "Cardiac Hill", a narrow, V-shape, rutted uphill, which whether muddy or not, presents many challenges.

Take out the violin and play the sad music, since the bike fall on June 6th, 2015, I have not been the same. Confidence is still there, but the recovery has been slow. The scabs on the right hand, knee and shoulder, are still there as reminders. But the internal pain of the right shoulder nags every time I try to lift the right arm above the chest level. Thus, I have not been able to ride a bike or swim.

Last week, after the Hecksher State Park 5 mile race, I only managed to do one 1-hour practice run, and now that the left hand wrist has ballooned due to carpal, I am on medication to reduce, both, the swelling of the left wrist and right shoulder.

The generic version of VICODIN, and VIMOVO have literally stupified me. Knowing this, a full day ahead of the Sunken Meadow 10 km race, I didn't take any capsules, and drank a lot of water to see if I could flush it out of the blood stream. Well, after last night's performance, that didn't work.

The night was hot,and the running field was crowded, both, known factors. I ran the first mile in 8:15 pace, and the second mile in 8:30 pace. Still not bad. Afterwards, the wheels, or should I say, the legs weren't there. The legs seemed to stiffen, rather than loosen with the race and the heat. 

Not only did I struggle with "Cardiac Hill", but with everything thereafter, that I had to walk, and walk, to my internal dissatisfaction as an athlete. I didn't enjoy watching runners pass me, but I had nothing to give. Not even at the Finish Line where I like to pretend that the short sprint through will significantly improve the overall time helped. 

I guess I shouldn't be disappointed at being disappointed, which is what the Sunken Meadow 10 km has represented in all my attempts. 

Abundant excuses aren't necessary, I just need (like a t-shirt read) - Shut up and run!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Cedar Beach Sprint Triathlon - Before and After Photos (Happy Times and Painful Times)



Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cedar Beach Sprint Triathlon - Recap (day after)

Although I fell off the bicycle in the second lap, I am glad that I was able to finish at all. Circumstances could've have been different, if for example, I wasn't wearing a helmet. I don't think that I would be able to write all this today, although I do have this headache from the fall that doesn't go away except with rest. I also don't remember exactly why or how I fell, but in doing a little forensic investigation of my bruises on the right knee, right elbow, right shoulder, and the scrape on the bike's break assemble, I will surmise that I slipped or skidded on something.

I struggled on the bike portion right after the swim in the frigid, wave less, waters of Cedar Beach. When I finished swimming half a mile, I was very wobble walking off the water onto the shore. I was lightheaded that I walked all over the green mat into the T1 transition area. I knew from prior experiences that the wobbliness off the swim leg would go away, as I did also had problems in taking off the wetsuit (purchased one day before race event) right at the ankles. And I didn't want to puncture the brand new wetsuit with a nails in my quick anger. I lost a lot of time in the T1 transition, which confirms why a triathlon in the warmer months eliminates the need for a wetsuit, even with the incentive of additional buoyancy that can speed things up.

The hills in Mount Sinai were not that steep, but right after the swim leg, I struggled that even with the highest gear I had to stand up to pedal uphill, and pant. Lost more time here. I didn't want to switch to the next chainring in case it didn't land and I would have to get off to readjust the chain. There were some downhills that weren't steep, but yet I picked up a lot of speed. In the first bike lap nothing out of the ordinary happened. Then, towards the end of the second bike lap, after some quick downhills, I fell off the bike. Not remembering how or why, I was surrounded by EMT cleaning the bruises. They asked me if I wanted to go the hospital. Feeling nothing broken or unbearable pain, I signed a Release Form to continue and finished the bike portion. At this point, time didn't matter, even when the chronometer on the bike gave me the illusion that I had a chance to be in the top 3 of my age group. Results later confirmed that I practically finished last in the age group. But for those who would simply read the results, who have never known that I had survived crossing the FINISH LINE in the Run Leg with a decent pace, with bruises and blood all over the elbow and knee.

I wanted to get the gauzes replaced by the EMT at the Finish Area, but no one came right away. I looked for some food, and there was a sponsor supplying some BBQ flavored chicken in a bun,but it didn't appeal to me.

Good thing I had some bananas and a Cliff bar in the car.

Hopefully, years from yesterday when I look back the results, especially during Bike leg, I'll remember that I lost a lot of time from the fall.

However, a Lessons Learned from this event is that I need more conditioning. And I thought that all the training up to this point were enough.