"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Race Report: Rage in the Sage 1/2 Iron Triathlon - April 18, 2009

Alphabet soup of titles I considered for this race report. Brought to you by the letter "F":

  • OMFG! (Oh. My. Fucking. God!)
  • WTFWIT?! (What the fuck was I thinking?!)
  • WAATFT? (Where are all the fucking trees?)
And finally, the one that is the most descriptive of my race
  • DFL (Well, you all know what that one means... Dead. Fucking. Last)

I was going to make you wade through a bunch of stuff before you get the meaty details. Hey, I suffered. Why shouldn't you? But what the hell:

Official Time: DNF (I did not make the 8 hour cut off)

Unofficial time: 8:29: 38, DFL

However, I had the most ROCKSTAR status finish thanks to my AWESOME friends and the coolest race organizers and volunteers around. You will be forced to wade through the dirty details to get that story though.

Pre-race shenanigans

I was driving from San Jose, CA to Boulder City, NV to do this race. On the way, I picked up LA Run Buddy in, duh, LA. This made a total of 612 miles of travel each way. Hubby stayed home with the animals so I was solo. We arrived in Henderson about 6 pm on Thursday and proceeded to loaf around for the remainder of the evening. We made plans with Stef who graciously offered to take us on a tour of the course and then grab some lunch before packet pick on Friday.

On Friday, we picked up Stef and got to meet her beautiful animal family. I stupidly left the camera in the car, but believe me, they were adorable and obviously very spoiled and happy! We had a great time chit chatting and exchanging war stories. Thank you Stef you rock!

The merry gang at packet pick up!

Later we met up with the Formulaic Family
(Form, Kelly, their niece Izabelle, and the Baby Form in formation. Ha! I just crack myself up!) for a pre-race dinner. Now, if I may gush for a moment, these are some seriously good people. Funny, gracious, and blast to hang with. These are the type of people that should be making more humans. Throughout my life, I have compiled an extensive list of people that should NOT be allowed to make more humans, but the RBR list of people "Cleared for kids" is pretty short. The Formulaic family definitely gets the Cleared for kids stamp of approval.

Is it wrong to hate a pregnant woman for looking better than you? Does the baby give them immunity from jealousy and general cattiness? I am just asking...

The race (Finally, I know. )

LA Run Buddy and I arrived at 5 am to transition and set about getting ready for the start at 6:10 am

Swim: 1.2 miles (57:53)

I rented a wetsuit for this event since I am in the market for a new one (translation: I am too fat for my old one and it makes me feel like an asthmatic rhinoceros wrapped in saran wrap.) Anyhoo, it was very comfortable and since my coach is evil and made me do an open water swim in the ocean on Monday (yes, two days after Rage! Bet if I PR'd the damn swim I would have got a rest day) and I got to try it out there, so I think I will buy it. At 6:00 we got in for a brief warm up before the start. Even though we did that I had a moment of panic at the beginning of the swim.

One half of RBR brain: Oh shit. Oh shit. I don't want to do this! I can't do this!

Other half of RBR brain:
You are fine! Chill the fuck out.

First half of RBR brain: I don't want to do this! I can't do this! Get me out of here!

Other half of RBR brain: You are fine! Chill the fuck out. Just swim for God's sake.

This Sybil-esque conversation continued for a couple of minutes before I did, in fact, chill the fuck out and started swimming more easily.

I was swimming pretty steady and sighting quite well for me. I was, of course, WAAAAY in the the back of everyone else, but I felt that the swim was going well. I was disappointed with my time which was over 3 minutes slower than Barb's. I choose to believe the swim was long. Shut up Form! I know what your Garmin said. Just give me this one.

T1 (3:43)

Best T1 time ever! I was focusing on this as I have NO wiggle room in the IM cut off times, so I cannot have long transitions.

56 miles (3:52:13)

I am very happy with this bike time. It is a 26 minute PR over Barb's on a much harder course. Rage is one of the toughest 1/2 Iron courses. It has 6125 ft of climb on t
he bike (versus 1700 ft at Barb's). I planned to ride hard on the bike. I wanted to ride as if there was no run to see how I could do on a challenging course.

Elevation profile for the ride. I started the Garmin late, but you get the gist of it.

In the interest of honest reporting, I feel I must include the following:

I saw Form about 20 miles into the ride meaning he was about 10 miles ahead of me he and absolutely rocked the swim and the bike. So when he talks about being slow he is A BIG, FAT LIAR.

I did not see JohnnyTri on the bike, but he came in a couple minutes after Form, and also rocked the bike, so when he talks about being slow he is A BIG, FAT LIAR.

I also did not see Stef on the bike, but she also ROCKED the bike and set a 13 minute PR over last year and had a sub 2 hour Olympic bike time on a hilly ass course, so when she talks about being slow she is A BIG, FAT LIAR

I just thought I would get that out there. Someone has to tell the truth in Blogland.

T2 (3:49)

Ok, not stellar. I forgot to take off my bike gloves and I had to run back to put them away and I forgot my Garmin, so I ran back to get it. Organization issues!

Run: 13.1 miles (3:32:00)

What is that rolling by me? Oh, it is the wheels of my race. They just fell off.

The run at Rage is almost all on trail and it starts through a random field of packed dirt and loose rocks, because, honestly, ALL of freaking Nevada that is not paved is made of packed dirt and loose rocks.

Guess what does not grow in packed dirt and loose rocks? TREES!

Not a single, fucking tree to be found. A mere 15 miles away in Las Vegas those clever Nevadans have engineered a hotel that has a replica of the Venetian canal system complete with gondolas INSIDE the hotel, yet they can not figure out how to plant some fucking trees OUTSIDE?

I am just saying.

Heading out on the run. Photo courtesy of the MOST SPECTACULAR SPECTATOR OF ALL TIME, Kelly!

Needless to say it was getting hot (For the record, weather.com says it was 81 with an average of 79, so Kelly was right and we are all big, fat, whiny babies when we assured her it was much hotter) and there was no relief from the sun that had already fried my inadequately sunblocked skin to a crisp as we proceeded to climb the 1700 ft of climb in the first 6 miles.

LA Run Buddy at the Gates of Hell

Add to that, even at the start of this run, I was just done.

The main reason for this is that I did not eat nearly enough on the bike and with the heat it took too long to recover. I still do not have my nutrition right for these things. As someone that can give a goldfish a run for their money when it comes to overeating, you think I would remember to eat, but apparently I need a new system during triathlons.

At mile 6, LA Run Buddy's knee screamed uncle and she started to suffer more than we already were.

This sums up our morale at mile 6.

At mile 9, the volunteer at the aide station, who we later found out was an ultrarunner named Joyce and a seriously cool person, came up to us:

Sheepish looking Joyce: Ummm, I wanted to let you know there were only 19 minutes left until the cut off.

Us: What? We don't look like we can run 4 miles in 19 minutes? What are you trying to say?

WAY sheepish looking Joyce: Umm,... I.... well, ... uh...

Us: Relax. We are TOTALLY messing with you.

At that point, I tell her LA Run Buddy is injured and ask if can she SAG her in, but I would like to finish. I tell her that I understand I will not be an official finisher and that I have a run belt with water so I can self support. She was kind enough to let me turn in my chip and keep going. She even thanked me for being understanding. She was the one being so cool. I am very grateful to her.


I proceeded down the trail by myself. At this point the course is downhill. I was not moving fast by any means, but significantly faster than before. I just wanted to be done.

I stopped for the 9 trillionth time to dump rocks and sand out of my shoes and blessed Nevada with my characteristic classiness and a "Motherfucker!" exclamation just in time for a
family of three to ride by on their bikes. My timing is truly a marvel. I mumbled an apology, but they picked up the pace to get away from the crazy lady. I don't blame them.

About a mile out from the finish (BTW, you could see the finish from about 2 and 1/2 miles away due to the aforementioned darth of trees. A little brutal at that point. Believe me) so anyway, about a mile from the finish I see Form driving up. I am sure it was to check the trail for my lifeless body, but he played it off like he was there to cheer me on.

Form: Woo hoo! You look great!

(Yeah, right buddy. Remember, I told you he was a big, fat liar.)

Form: Come on in! The announcer is still there!
We are all waiting for you.

Notice I did not respond? I was overcome with gratitude. I just met this man and his family and they had help orchestrate this big finish for me. Me, the non-official finisher. I started to
feel that tired, hyper-emotional cry coming on. I even considered for one brief second moving to Nevada to be near these amazing people. (Don't worry. It was brief. No trees, remember?)

As I ran down the finish chute (a packed dirt trail. Go figure) The announcer was yelling my name (thank you Izaac. Seriously, thank you.) my friends were cheering, and big group of the kids that were volunteers ran in with me.

Me and the Jr. High School softball team. I am pretty sure I am crying here. Photo courtesy of the MOST SPECTACULAR SPECTATOR KNOWN TO MAN, Kelly!

It was amazing. I just wanted to finish the course, yet I got so much more. They even gave me a medal.

I felt like I had won the damn thing.

I love this woman. She continues to join me for these torturefests, even though I have yet to choose a race for us that is not hell.

Amusing yet, humbling post race story

After the race, we went to soak our legs in the lake (yes, over a year later I FINALLY took Shirelyperly's advice. She was 100% right. My legs felt great the next day.) and we met up with a local teenager (I had vowed to avoid them all spring break. I should have held to that vow) he was asking us about the race.

Dumbass teenager: Do you know who that 'Stacey' was that came in last and everyone was yelling for?

LA Run Buddy: Yeah, it was her (pointing to me)

Dumbass teenager: Oh, I thought it was some mentally handicapped person or something.

Gotta love those teenagers.

*post race dinner with Bloggy buddies and next steps coming soon. I tired. This was WAY too long.


Lou said...

I LOL-ed at the end of your report. Despite your non-official finish, you did awesome, and if it were me, I am pretty sure I would have bailed at mile 9. Way to go!

Stef0115 said...

Okay I feel compelled to say something here: while I no longer think of myself as slow (and therefore will not lie) I have NEVER, EVER ridden 56 miles out at Lake Mead in under 4 hours.

YOU ARE A BEAST -- girl you killed that bike course. Next time I am out there riding for time I am thinking of YOU for inspiration!!!

I am so glad you did that on the bike even if it affected your run. Cause, obviously, things worked out. Your report had me in tears girl.

It was so awesome to meet you I'm so glad we finally got to race together. Here's to more racing together in the future!!


Lindsay said...

this was awesome. you are amazing for sticking out these insane and intense workouts/races week after week! (or maybe you're just making them sound worse than they really are, which you do a great job of making them sound like god awful events btw.) i was totally lol'ing at work. 99% of the time when i say i am lol'ing i'm not really doing the -ol part but today, i pretty much was the whole time. i almost spit my water out on my keyboard when i got to "stopped for the 9 trillionth time" part, i'm sure work would have loved that. serves me right for thinking i could take a sip while reading one of your posts.

anyway congrats on finishing the half! a major feat whether or not you made their cut off or not. you are still a finisher to me.

Formulaic said...

What a freaking awesome RR. I should have expected nothing less, when I compare it your Race.

You prevailed when others would have given up. That is what makes the Ironman a "Iron"man.

Perseverance when all others have failed.

You got this thing in the bag.


You can't deny that you are tough. I mean look at your workout log. Still going strong right after a race! You go girl!

Lindy said...

Y'know...you really DID finish, so f*** that DNF crap.

You rock, I started laughing about the time of the "tired, hyper-emotional cry" because I've been there andhad to mentally slap myself across the face a few times, too.

Way to go! Now you know you have to go back next year, right?

Kelly said...

Didn't you know you're not suppose to make a pregnant lady cry!! Thanks for all the nice words. I trylu love cheering people on in tri's, especially my friends, and you are a friend!! I personally have been last and rock bottom mentally more times than I can count and the support I get helps, so I want to share :-)

But you are so strong!! What seperates you from me is I would have given up on the run, period. But you didn't, you had a race to finish and you finished. Amazing!!

Now, are you ready to come out and train with us in August when its a 110+!!?? That will break even the strongest :-)

Diana said...

Laughed from beginning to end of this one! I can't even imagine how 1/2 IM would go for me. Way to stick it out and FINISH!
Love the teenager!

Isela said...

Your report was awesome and you made me cry. Who the f cares if you finished last, it is the heart that you put into these things that count. You inspire me. Keep going!

Kim said...

Hey, great race!! Good for you to keep going!!! That was very, very cool. And the teenager-lol, that was just the topping on the hot fudge sundae.

Willie said...

How the fuck did I miss this post until now! This is a true RBR classic! I never knew you were mentally handicapped.

Classic, truely classic. You suffer like no one I know. Thanks for letting us laugh at, I mean with, you.

Anonymous said...

Best race report EVER!


Southbaygirl said...

An asthmatic Rhinocerous wrapped in saran wrap? How the fuck did you think that one up?? I'm lying down in my camera truck giggling at my phone as I was reading your report! I do believe the kicker was the mentally handicapped line!! Ok the stuff in between I loved as well! I didn't love the fact that the treeless desert was taking names-and I know you were not the only person to not finish!! I checked the results!! You were not alone!!!

I think you did a great job!! Notice I wouldn't even join you for this race because I used some lame ass excuse about sheep herding in Escondido with Velcro....actual reason-who in their right mind would run, let alone, swim, bike and run in the fucking desert!! Doesn't desert mean SUN and HOT??? Hmmm-hell NO!!!
So the fact that you went out there and did it!!! YOU ROCK!!! Did you hear me....YOU ROCK!!!

Jo Lynn said...

Oh my gosh! You WERE suffering about as much as me. Lord! I'm glad they gave you a medal. I remember you saying at the Napa marathon they wouldn't give finishing medals to some people. That's just WRONG.
Sorry, I won't be joining you at Big Sur. I'll be in Yosemite. I can't believe you are doing a marathon so soon. We are tough little cookies, aren't we? Or is it masochists that we are? Whatever. YOU ROCK Girl!

Aron said...

your race reports are seriously THE BEST :) love them!

CONGRATS! WOW that sounds like a tough course, and to me 81 degrees might as well be 100 - its TOO HOT! especially with no shade out there in the dessert - yuck!

I lol-ed at your trail hussie comment today :) I will be back to LG trail - loved it! So I will definitely let you know next time :)

CONGRATS again - you are amazing!

The Stretch Doc said...

What a great RR!! Love the pics and the Gates of Hell!!

It was so glad to have met you. I am looking to San Fran, but my coach has already nixed it for me, so I might have to sneak in, shhh..

You were awesome out there for finishing the course, its tough, no doubt about it. Your gonna Knock CdA out without a doubt.

too funny on the Big Fat Lairs.. but I am slow :>))


Ordinarylife said...

I love reading your race reports! They are awesome.

And I would not worry, teenagers probably think that everyone taking part are mental.

Vickie said...

OMG, I just came across your blog. Hillarious post about a tough race. Loved the dumbass teenager comment. Did you say you were a mentally handicapped person (for doing the race of course)?? You write like I think. I am far too serious. I enjoyed it. And congrats on sticking it out to the finish.

StephB said...

Awesome race report. I love that the announcer and everyone stayed for your big finish.

Don't worry about the teenager - my husband once got the "you give me strength!" comment from a grown woman who thought he was retarded because of his limping and bionic knee braces. Yes, we are still making fun of him, but he's run 3 non-limping marathons without the braces now so that's how I know you have the IM in the bag. : )

Adam said...

Great race report.

Sarah said...

OMG. I heart you. This is perhaps my most favorite race report EVER. Girl, you are my HERO. You earned every inch of that dang medal!!!

IronSnoopy said...

You DID win the damn thing.

It's a tough place to race - I grew up in those there parts. I coulda mentioned the part about the no trees. My bad.

Honestly, you did finish and you proved you have what it takes. It's one hella tough course.

I'm really proud of you. :)

Southbaygirl said...

Well Ms RAGE..did you register for San Fran?? I want to do Big Sur!!! I feel like I have zero time and energy to run!! It pisses me off!! But I guess earning money is a necessity since my kidlet will be going to college this year!!

Jo Lynn said...

I registered for SF Half.

Aka Alice said...

You are seriously my hero...running last week in Vegas must have been hellish. You did finish. That's all I know.

I laughed at your "cleared for kids" stamp of approval. I think we ought to be able to dole the "not approved" stamp out at graduation... The dumbass kid at the end of your post would CERTAINLY have earned one.

norms said...

Congrats on the race! My boyfriend did it and it was a tough one! (ironluke). John (johnnytri) is a friend of ours as well! Good luck on your IM and thanks for helping animals!


ps...how can I get in on doing a tri to benefit the humane society?

ShirleyPerly said...

DFL, officially DNF, who cares? You kicked @ss on this horrendous bike course and finished that tree-less son-of-a-b*tch run on your own. CONGRATS!!!!

Really, how much more difficult can IMCDA be with lots of trees, cooler temps and about the same amt of climbing but over twice the distance?

REST, RECOVER and get ready to ROCK again. One of these days you need to come out to FL and do an easy race with me :-)

Unknown said...

You are amazing. It takes a lot of tenacity to finish under those circumstances (hot, no trees, chip removed, officially a DNF) and yet you did it. That's why they gave you the rock star finish. You ARE a rock star.

Great bike time. If we ever ride together I'll get to call you out for being a BIG FAT LIAR on being slow on the bike.

Well done. :-)

Southbaygirl said...

hey....Roadbunner is running Big Sur as well tomorrow-check out the blog: http://roadbunner.blogspot.com/

René said...

Very impressive and funny as hell!

IronWaddler said...

You have a huge heart to hang in there! I am impressed. I know the feeling about cutoffs.

JenZen said...

WAY to stick it out and finish! And WHAT a finish. I was tearing up reading about it. JUST FREAKIN' AWESOME!!

(You totally shoulda smacked that teenager...)

Calyx Meredith said...

RBR - what an amazing RR!! You and LA Run Buddy are such troopers! Way to power through that bike course and way to show mental strength on the follow through and finish. You are a rockstar - a TOTAL rockstar. I'm jealous that you got to hang with Mr & Mrs Form (and baby to be!) and Stef!! Sounds like it was a great experience. Now if only we could get you over here on this coast for the B2B! :D

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

I'm a little behind, but I loved your report! You Rock as alwasys. I will think of you as I train in the hot humid summer of Maryland for my first olympic distance tri.


I just spit out my drink from laughing at your report! Let's hope CDA goes better--we know there are trees!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

Great race report! I love your finish! Way to stick with it.

Anonymous said...

Ok I had to laugh! I live in LV and I'm training. I run the Rage course for training and I HATE it. It freaking sucks, and you think it was hot, trying running that during the summer, it makes me suicidal.

Love your blog! I’m a new follower!

Aaron Cunningham said...

Congrats on finishing a tough race. DFL is still finishing. And gutting throuogh to that finish is just effing amazing!