Well, I'm still trying to figure out quite how I feel about this race, it was VERY tough mentally. Even though I made my goal time of 3 1/2 hours, I feel somewhat defeated. Panic attack issues again. I've been struggling with this on and off since last season and can't really figure out what sets them off in the races. If anyone has any experience/advice with this-please share! This was my first Olympic Tri so I really didn't know what I should expect time-wise.
I felt fine for the pre-race. Hydrated a lot on Saturday, got a good night of sleep. Ate a bagel and peanut butter at 5:00 and a cup of peaches. Then a gel and bottle of fluids 30 minutes before the swim.
The first few minutes of the swim was fine, got out of the 'mix' of bodies. But then for some unknown reason I had a panic attack, 1st time I ever had one in the water. It took me a few minutes to get over it. I did breast stroke and even side stroke! Every time I'd put my head back in the water I felt uneasy. But then it went away and I felt great the rest of the swim. I had timed myself in the pool for 34 minutes and that was with a stop break in the middle. So I was hoping for 30 in the race but ended up at 34 which was fine considering the time I spent getting under control.
Almost wiped out on the mud. Then put my bike shoes on without taking my wetsuit off, oops!
The biking was the part I had the least amount of training for this year, I only rode the course 3 times so was not expecting anything great, and with the road conditions thought I'd make it in 2 hours. I just took it slow and did a lot of down hill breaking. During the bike I drank two bottles of 'stuff' (mixtures of heed, electrolytes, amino acid). I'm beginning to think I had too much liquid and not enough solids? Still trying to figure out the whole nutrition part. But I really felt nice and easy on the bike-no sign of any anxiety.
Coming off the bike I felt great since I was ahead of where I thought I would be, and since the run is my best event, thought I could really pull off a better time then my original guess. But right after the first bridge, I had a panic attach and puked twice, then at Gatorade Hill, had another one and puked a couple more times. Ended up walking all the hills and finished at a slower pace then I did my 1/2 marathon-CRAZY!.
Thank goodness for all the MMTC folks out there cheering. I REALLY needed the boost to get me to finish. There were many times this race where I almost stopped. I only hope it gets easier with each race. I have another Olympic Tri in two weeks!