Saturday, August 17, 2013

The un-race report: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead

“Who do I give my timing chip to?”

Them are crap words. It was hard enough to say them two Sundays ago and to my own somewhat surprise it’s REALLY bumming me out staring at them on my screen now. Schmitty doesn’t like to get melodramatic with The Triathlife. The Triathlife is all about sunshine and unicorns and rainbows and super terrific awesome triathlon stuff. And for cheese and crackers it was just one race. One frickin frackin race

But here’s the thing. “It was just one race” was an easily justifiable after-thought in my twenties. And I casually shouldered right by “it was just one race” in my thirties. But now that I’ve crested into decade four, “it was just one race” is too hard to shake. The next race has always meant an opportunity to go even faster. To perform even better. At some point those opportunities will have to pass into the reflection of life’s rear view mirror. Fast is rented by the young. There comes a time when we have to turn in that lease. It pangs my gut to think I just wasted a summer's worth of really solid work. I made it within site of the mountain peak and then had to turn around and go back down.

So why did I turn my chip in?

4 days before THE A RACE of my year and out of nowhere I get this freak foot injury on a throw away workout. A workout that I could have easily skipped but ego and guilt pushed me out the door. Not even a sign from God (a sudden summer squall/storm) was enough to save me from myself. So out on a brick run a little foot tightness went from irritating to ‘POP’ and Schmitty went from running happily through the rain to gimping home soaked and cold. Overnight the pain went from bad to worse and I went from limping to not being able to walk at all.

But give Schmitty some credit for being Schmitty-strong. I could have easily bagged the entire race weekend. There was no way I was going to run. But come race morning it was still game on and I gimped the mile plus walk down the beach to the swim start (point to point swim). My new "race" goal was to catch Jen whose wave started 28 minutes ahead of mine. So I toed the line, swam like a rock star (through some of the worst churn and current that I’ve raced in) and then went out and aced the bike -- a bike PR at half iron distance by some 8 minutes. High-five!

By the way I just missed catching Jen. She was killing it.

And boom goes the dynamite! - Special shout to Jen who finished with yet another Half Iron PR.

Super Spectator Award - To the Joe and Emily Schmits (and Ethan and Tyler and Emily's 'rents) for spectating their first triathlon. Saw them at the swim exit and two times on the bike. No easy task indeed. Go Team Schmitty!

The Triathlife Post Script:
As I type this over two weeks later I still don’t know exactly what is wrong. Still painful. Still limping. X-rays were negative for a break. Yes a stress fracture doesn’t always show on x-rays. But from what I understand it takes a lot of stress for a stress fracture (hence the name) and the variables just don’t make sense for that to have happened to my left paw. Finally able to see my orthopedist on Monday. To be continued….

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