One of my best friends retired from Triathlon this weekend.
She had competed in 22 triathlons in the past four years and she was done.
Sarah's first triathlon was Tinsel Triathlon in 2010, so it was fitting that this past Sunday's Tinsel Triathlon would be her last.
Sarah was faster this year than she was at her first Tinsel Triathlon three years ago.
I shed a couple of tears when Sarah took her last triathlon ride.
Here I am wheeling Sarah out of transition for her last triathlon ride...and I don't look like I am shedding tears, but I did once we were out on the course.
We got out on the road and I told Sarah, "Let's give this a really good ride."
Instead of going all out, Sarah wanted the ride to last. About 4 miles into the ride she caused my right calf muscle to seize up. It was bad and I knew it was because I had not drank enough water the past couple of days, nor had I gotten enough sleep.
You can read my earlier blog to get more info if you want:
I had to slow way down, but I kept peddling.
"Look, Sarah. I am NOT getting off this bike and walking. We are riding the entire course," I said and then chugged half a bottle of electrolytes. I also squeeze a GU into my mouth. I put Sarah in an easier gear and keep spinning my legs, trying to wiggle my toes on my right foot to work out the huge cramp in my leg.
I even grabbed my upper lip and twisted it. Yeah I know that sounds really strange, but my mother taught me to do this as a kid to get rid of cramps. She learned it in a Touch for Therapy class.
The cramp subsided and we took off. I was able to get back into aero position and we caught up with lots of people who had passed us while I had been incapacitated.
We were rolling along at about 20mph and we were almost at mile 8 when BAM....
THE CRAMP WAS BACK!
"Sorry Sarah," I whimpered.
I continued to slowly pedal. I WAS NOT getting off the bike.
I downed some water and I tried deep yoga breathing to send oxygen to my cramped calf muscles.
Some guy rode by me and said, "Don't give up."
DON"T GIVE UP?
If I was going to give up, I would already be walking on the side of the road, trying to work this freaking cramp out of my leg. Give up? NEVER. That's why I was still suffering, I mean, pedalling.
FINALLY, the cramp lessened and I was able to finish the last 3 miles with some power and speed.
In my earlier blog I had stated that I just wanted to decrease my transition times and swim time.
(FYI - T1 faster by 20 seconds/T2 time slower by 22 seconds - I did have to slowly and carefully rack Sarah as thanks for her times she has served me in triathlon competition...Swim time 41 seconds faster than last year. Overall my time was 1 minute, 42 seconds faster than last year).
After my week, I didn't think I had it in me to decrease my run or bike time from last year.
I was right about the run time - it was about 28 seconds slower than last year. But I can live with that.
Sarah, I guess, had other plans for our last triathlon ride time.
Sarah's first Tinsel Triathlon she rode the course in 46:27.
Sarah's first Tinsel Triathlon 2010
Last year she rode the course in 41:58
This year, even with me slowing her down with my muscle cramp, she rode the course in 40:25.
Sarah is retiring because she wants to go back to just being a road bike. She likes long leisurely bike rides with friends and family.
Sarah is right behind me to the left.
This is her favorite place to be...riding right next to my guy's ride.
Sarah is now going to leave the competition to her replacement - a Quintana Roo Dulce - which should arrive any day.
Thank you Sarah!
And don't worry, I have lots of fun rides planned for you in 2013.