The Dragon Defeated Me

Spent the weekend in St. George, attempting to slay the dragon.

Dragon: 1
Jim:        0

 

stgeorgebikemapThe bike, which is supposed to be 56 miles with 4000+ feet of vertical, came out to 54 miles and 3000 feet of vertical per my GPS – I missed some turns in town, but I did what I thought was appropriate backtracking. Oh, well. ‘Tis what it is. I’ve heard that it’s less, and I’ve heard that it’s more, but whatever it is on May 3rd is whatever it will be.

During the last mile or so of the ride, my left leg started cramping, badly enough to cause me to yank the shoe out of the pedal and extend it out to one side, trying to keep it from cramping. This…did not work. Also, my triceps had started cramping a bit, from being bent over the hoods so much; while being over the aero bars is faster, it’s also less stable for steering at speed, and the last 11 miles or so of this ride is downhill, so I was over the hoods with my arms bent – thus the cramping triceps.

I finished up the ride not at the appointed T2 transition (read: at the place where you are supposed to stop riding the bike and start running) but, instead, at our motel, since I wasn’t running that day and saw no need to walk a mile in my click-clack shoes. As I turned into the motel parking lot, I realized that there was a 2 inch lip that I was about to hit, and I was going to hit it at an angle, instead of straight on – so I hit it at the angle, and then (of course) I hit the ground. Pow. Ow. Oh, well, just one more reason not to be a triathlete.

After the ride, I got into a tub of cold water, but the cramps started hitting me again and I was seizing up and splashing the room (and Ethel) and Ethel did not say “Oh, you poor baby – that must hurt!” Instead, she said “Stop splashing water out of the tub!” This kept up for a while, as I transitioned from a cold plunge to a hot bath – the cramps didn’t care. They were agnostic as to water temperature.

When the cramping subsided, Ethel and I did some sightseeing before going to dinner with friends, then I went home and prepped for my Sunday morning run:

stgeorgerunmapThis went much better, as I started out slower (running with a friend, who was kind enough to keep the conversation going on the uphills) and stayed more hydrated. She peeled off at 8 miles, and then I started hammering the downhills (well, “hammering” as much as an out-of-shape 55 year old can “hammer”) all the way back home. It was still slower by 45 minutes than any half marathon that I’d ever done until I left Utah the first time, but “lo how the mighty have fallen”.

I reckon, given the experience of the weekend, I’m still going to try this thing. We reserved a room for the IM/2 Friday and Saturday nights (the race is on a Saturday, but I have no interest in attempting to return that evening – I can just imagine me in the passenger seat of Ethel’s new car, kicking and punching everything as my legs and arms go into seizures. Yeah, that’d make for a fun trip) and I’m getting new electrolyte drink and will be doing some faster runs. We’ll see.

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