Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Oracle is fallible

SC du nats
richmond, VA

10k run -- 40k bike -- 5k run

went to duathlon nationals this weekend with the goal of qualifying for short-course worlds in rimini, italy. the Oracle predicted a podium finish; instead i finished way out of the running in 8th place. he was baffled.

- i looked at the results and i saw your first run and i thought 'what happened?' then i saw the bike, and i said 'oh, no.' and then i saw that second run and i thought, 'what the heck was she doing?' what WERE you doing, finn?

he was referring to how i stunk up the first run and the bike, and then came back with the 2nd fastest 5k of all the women, even the pro's.

- did you think you were racing a 5K? - he continued - with a really long warmup?

- i was doing my OWN race - i said petulantly.

the simple explanation is that halfway through 10K my left quad got tighter and tighter, finally seizing up so badly that i had to stop to stretch it out. you must have been panicking - sympathised laf, but there was no panic. i knew the pain, and i thought it might ease up if i gave it time. so while athletes filed by on their way across the Robert E. Lee bridge i gave it time and eventually i could run again, slowly.

i lost even more time in the first half of the bike because i was a bit shattered mentally, and quads that'd been burning all week weren't feeling much better. the lead men rocketed by me as though i were on my trainer, and when a particularly fetching specimen with "severance" white-lettered on his backside passed me i must confess to wandering down a mental detour which involved a lot of "ances": impotence, deliquescence, pestilence and deliverance. [FYI hootchiemama cyrus severance, 28yo from denver, finished 12th.]

the course was slick with rain and there were many casualties: to crashes, flats and dérailleurs that plum jammed on a climb out of riverside; and midway through the bike it occurred to me that if i simply hung in there i might do okay. out of sheer perseverANCE. so i rallied a bit, gained a little more confidence on the torturous curves and finished the bike strong(er).

- but hey, at least your transitions were good!
- the Oracle observed. if i could get all my shit aligned in one race i'd be absolutely fucking deadly... but what would be the fun in that??

after a painless T2 i headed out for the 5K and felt transcendent. i caught a ton of people - what do you expect when they have been working their arses off for the past 2 hours and you've been knocking about in la-la-land? my quad was loose, my hamstrings were open and i could run unencumbered. i passed the 2nd place woman in my age group 100m from the line, on a climb. as i approached the final timing mat i heard julieblue, winner of my AG and 3rd F overall. you're going to worlds, babe! and i am. twice.

though we be fallible, the Oracle and i have got me qualified for short- and long-course du worlds, an impressive feat for april. there is much work to do before belgium and italy, but for the next week or so there's a lot of lazing about, reading of books and tollhouse cookie workouts. and there will be uisge fer shure.


Mayrasmom said...

Glad you qualified, look forward to hearing about the rest of your season.

aquaasho said...

Oh that's brilliant. Well done! You had me worried there for a minute....

finn said...

thanks kath & aisling -- we wuz all worried for a 'mo.

yesterday i didn't go to the Y before work, and when i got home i didn't get on my bike, nor did i run -- i just curled up on the sofa with the dog and read until i fell asleep (5min later) and when i woke up the cats were all yowly because they were hungry and when i talked to them spittle didn't fly from my mouth like it normally does and they did not flee from my big honky feet.

this will not last for very long though.

Subhangi said...

Wow. Congrats and good luck for the upcoming stuff.