This weekend I went to a bachelorette party, stayed in a super rape-y motel by myself, and oh yeah, raced Wildflower too.
Everyone thought going straight from a bachelorette party and wine tasting to a triathlon was insane. But drinking wine and racing tri are basically the two things I do best. So. And it’s not that I thought I was necessarily going to get raped at the Economy Inn; it’s just that the odds were not as close to zero as I typically prefer them to be. (Steve: It had 7.5 stars. Me: Out of how many? Steve: Uh, 50.) So. Maybe the people in the room next to me weren’t meth heads. Maybe the two big guys standing right up on me in the tiny dirty motel check-in, while the stupid motel manager wouldn’t stop asking, “Wait, so you’re all by yourself? So, no one is with you? No one even dropped you off?” (WHY IS THIS CONFUSING!?!), were perfectly nice guys. But I slept with the light on and my bike propped against the door, which didn’t have a chain lock.
The race itself was fine. For all that I hate Wildflower, I like this new two-run course better. The water was clean this year and the new course is more insane and wacky and isn’t that why you do Wildflower anyway.
The only problem was that I couldn’t find my shoes after I got out of the water. I ran up and down the boat ramp and spun in circles and swore an insane amount. I even thought about trying to do the 2.5-mile trail run barefoot. Which would have been a bad idea. When I did find my shoes, I just took off sprinting. By the time I realized I was going too fast it was too late, so I just kept running fast and I didn’t even die. Maybe I should try running faster all the time.
Then, I biked sort of terrible, but better than last year, and got all discouraged in the middle. It’s hard when you know you’re not going to make up the minute you lost. And only being able to keep down half an oatmeal in the morning caught up with me. (This is a new thing, by the way: wanting to throw up so much before a race that I can’t eat.) By the end of the bike I was thirsty and hungry and hot and knew the run was going to be ugly.
Spoiler: the run was ugly.
It was fine at first and I tried to make a pass on this UCLA girl stick, but I couldn’t. I don’t know what other people think when they’re running shoulder-to-shoulder with someone, but I just kept thinking: Well, she’s going to break me eventually. I was not in a good place, so I also kept thinking: It’s just four miles and I can make it four miles. Somewhere in the last two miles, that became a question actually. I ended up 5th collegiate and 8th overall. And, even with whatever, I was still about three minutes faster than last year. So it’s not that I’m not in ok shape right now…
Which brings us to why you should have a ‘no signing up for stuff in the three days after a race’ rule.
Today, I did a lot of Googling. Like a LOT. Like every Ironman-distance race of any kind anywhere.
I have no plans after June (actually, for real, in life) and I’m liking triathlon again and I’m faster than I’ve been in awhile, maybe ever in some ways, and that’s off very low volume, even for me. All that means that I’m super tempted to see what I can do for real, actually for real, not also while working 60-hour weeks or doing a graduate program in 10 months or fighting injuries or whatever.
And there’s some kind of weird adrenaline thing after a race which went well but not perfect, where you know you have more in you. See also: Why I did NOT want to sign up for anything after the LA Marathon.
Ironman Louisville anyone? Or Muskoka? Or the Spartan Race World Championships in Tahoe? Or maybe age group nationals? Or, something else?