Monday, July 4, 2011

More Than a Feeling...

Photo thanks to Karen Wrighthouse

More than once I have been told, "It's more than the feeling". Coach has told it to me after workouts where good results happened despite feeling bad, other athletes have told me how horrible they felt despite setting PR's and winning the race, and once a pastor told me, "Bree do not trust your feelings, they change and can trick you".
I have "felt" like absolute junk all last week. Legs burning on all the workouts, arms barely getting out of the water during swims, (okay, that might have been due to choppy conditions in the ocean to be fair), and I wanted to nap. The week rolled into Kainoa's 5th birthday and my focus became "all about Kainoa". Ignoring the fatigue and focusing on giant cakes, candles, and making sure he feels the love. That also meant water slides.
Saturday we ran up stairs and slid down water slide after water slide for most the afternoon. Sunday came and with it was the annual Hapuna Rough Water Swim. Of course water slides are not the best thing to do prior to hoping for a PR in anything, (even a training day), BUT they are part of being a mom. That said, my body "felt" in no mood to go fast. Mentally I wanted to race, I love this event, physically I just felt like a truck hit me. Warm up was all of 15 seconds, that was in part a practice for next weekends REV3 Portland. Pretending the water was bitter (its said to be 62 at the moment), I wanted to see how the lack of a long swim prerace would do for me in case I can't brave the icy 62 for the usual warm up...
Prerace I needed to set a goal, I love goals, especially when I feel junky. Goals keep me pushing on and working through the junk "feeling". I checked the course records on the massive perpetual trophy thingy. 20-29 set by Becky Gibbs in 18:31 something like that, 30-39 set by Hillary Biscay 18:48, and 40-49 Karlyn Pipes in 18:14 or something insane. Okay, well I'm 31 now, cant go for the 20-29 and I'm not 40 yet so both of those were out of the question. And ah, Hillary's...that's not even funny to pretend I'll swim for that. But I needed a goal, so I went for the 30-39 course record.
This was the 34th annual Hapuna Swim, its a big deal of a swim for our state and the mainlanders who join us. On this particular ocean mile I'm usually a 20 minutes and some seconds. The first couple times were much slower and 2009 and 2010 I finally broke the 20 min. mile at Hapuna (19:45 and 19:40). So that 18:48 had me "feeling out of my mind" after doing the Math...
Ready, set, go, and I was dropped. My legs let go, my heart was out of my chest, my breathing was sunk, mentally I felt "done". I let go of the goal, sad to confess that, but seriously I was feeling so bad. I kicked like a maniac, pulled with my lats, back, arms, maybe even my feet, I'm not sure but I was going as hard as my body could and cussing the stairs yesterday. Feeling junky all the way around the buoys, holding feet when I could, making myself pull others when it felt "not smart", ran up the beach with 2 others in the second pack and of course felt like stopping for a nap on the way to the finish shoot, don't worry I didn't.

...then, the time. 18:50! I was 2 seconds off the 30-39 course record! My name could have been on that perpetual trophy with fish! And once again I was told, "Bree, you can't trust your feelings". Then that song from the 80's played in my head, "more than a feeling". Its so true, going fast doesn't always feel easy or fun or good. In my case, it felt so bad, like I was not even swimming! Could have sworn the current was taking me out to sea too!
I've got to remember this during the next race, feelings don't always count!

Kainoa swam too. In fact, this photo looks EXACTLY how I felt, as if I was dragging my legs! After the swim race we were back on the slides. Of course climbing the stairs felt even worse than the day before, but for the birthday boy I could manage. The life guard told him not to go down face first, clearly he has my listening skills when it comes to water slides! I saw the entire action go down, he started feet first when the lifeguard sent him down, after the first bump he pretended he caught too much speed, then he shot down to his belly...that's my boy!
...and like most island days, we were rescued with bananas and rainbows! It's now Monday and the focus has shifted from Birthday weekend to race week. Wednesday it's time to fly out to the next race, of course there will be no water slides involved. This week will be lots of stretching, feet up, chilling out, and preparing to "feel better". Believe me, I know that the play takes a lot out of the body and of course when race day comes each of those precious seconds count towards a paycheck and supporting the sponsors with results I'm proud to call my own. But I also know that my life time job is motherhood and time with my son is what it takes to be good at that. I definitely appreciate all the comments on how I could be "so much faster, better, stronger", if I didn't live the way I do, I'm sure that might be true for some, not me, I would miss out on motherhood and that is something I won't give up on my journey at being the best triathlete I can be. SO for now, this is the best I can do...

Happy 4th of July,



marian said...

congrats on a fast swim!
i swam in blue lake on friday, in my wetsuit, but could have done it without. of course nothing is like blue hawaii water!
and - blue lake is anything but blue :-(

Lynn said...

Great time! You have your priorities right and are a GREAT mom!

jackie said...

I do not agree that you would be faster or better if you were not a mom. Being a mom is what it's all about!!
Good luck in your next race!!

Lucy Francis said...

what a great result and a new PR for you!! next time you'll smash the record I'm sure.
Your muscles may have not been fully rested but your conscience was clear and you could concentrate on pushing even though it felt very hard.
By the way, Karlyn Pipes is responsible for making me swim faster.....I love her workshops!
Happy (late)birthday to Kainoa