Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Chisago Triathlon - Volunteering - a new perspective.

Last week, Kris and I both received and email from MN Masters Swimming indicating that Chisago Triathlon still needed volunteers and they were offering a free entry into the 2015 Triathlon in exchange for volunteering. We both have a participated in the race before, most notably when in 2009 I blew up on the run after turning myself inside out trying catch up with Kris on the bike. And then in 2010 we were signed up for the Sprint and never made it because of our epic bike ride late into the event and were too tired to get up the next day. So the idea of getting a free entry to try again had some appeal. Unfortunately, it meant getting up at 3:45am to get ready and drive to Chisago. 

Once we checked in, our first job was body marking which was a lot of fun, I have never had that assignment and it was nice to chat with all the athletes before the race, when most of them were still in high spirits. Highly recommend volunteering as a body marker. After that we were moved over into transition and I was assigned the Mount/Dismount line along with Doobie (Hopkins Royal Triathlon Race Director), Kris was assigned down at the road for the turn in/out of the parking lot. I also had a fun time with this assignment. Truth be told, part of my USAT Official came out and although there were no penalties to be given out, I made sure to be plenty loud making sure everyone respected the orange line. The one thing that surprised me was that even though I was being firm with the mount/dismount line, most participants were quick to thank me for volunteering which was really nice.

The one problem with volunteering at a Half Iron Triathlon is that with no relief you are at transition until the last biker comes back, which in this case was slightly after the 4 hour bike cutoff. When you get up at 3:45am, it makes for a very long morning.

We brought our bikes with us and we had planned to get in our 90 minute ride after we were done volunteering (and brunch) but after a handful of miles, I noticed that my left crank was really loose and on the verge of falling off. We stopped and I tried to tighten but it only lasted about a half a mile of our ride back to the car. There is nothing quite so surreal then having your crank come off your bike but still be attached to your bike shoe. So as it became apparent that I would not be able to ride back to the car, Kris rode back on her own to get the car and come back to me. Good thing my car is now a Automatic. Got the ailing bike into the back seat, I was afraid the crank would fall off during the long drive home and we were on our way.
(Now he got just a tiny hint of what happened to me during Gear West Du a few years back.   I still get worked up thinking about that race.  One of the few times in my life I new I really, really lost it!)

The other piece that I failed to mention is that both Kris and I were EXTREMELY sore in our quads. And I kid you not, it felt like we had run a marathon the day before and not just a 5K. For any of you who have run a marathon, you know the feeling, climbing stairs up is a challenge but walking down stairs in next to impossible. I know that we are out of shape and we did push it a little but this is ridiculous, there is no way we should be this sore from a 5K. As I write this Blog, it is Tuesday and I am still very sore and stairs are still a challenge. I am cringing just thinking about having to run for 10 minutes tonight as part of our scheduled brick.The price we pay for letting ourselves get way out of shape.
My bigger fear is the hip/leg/IT band.  I've decided to go back and chat with my PT again to see if we should look closer at my spine and hip because I'm really feeling like that could be the root cause but it is actually turning out to be just a muscle imbalance issue so I just need to foam roll more and do my core/hip exercises.

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