Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Five Things I Learned at the Vineman Aquabike

Five Things I Learned at the Vineman Aquabike:

1. An Aquabike is no joke. Just because you aren't running a marathon at the end of the race, doesn't mean you should slack off all season long. Knowing that all I had to do was swim 2.4 miles and then bike 112 miles kind of led me to slack off a lot in the last 10 months. Don't get me wrong, I still worked out. I biked with my friends on Tuesdays, and ran on Wednesdays, and I did all the long bike rides and runs with the team on the weekends, but I hardly ever looked at the schedule, and just kind of did whatever I wanted. Bad idea! By mile 90 I began to feel weak and nauseous. I felt I needed more calories but I didn't want to consume anything. By mile 95 (the last water stop) I was in tears. The volunteers were very concerned and encouraging, and promised I would be able to make it up Chalk Hill. I did make it up, but spent the last hour of the ride in tears.

I don't know if you can tell...but under the glasses I was still crying after I finished. 
2. Sometimes you just need a hug. When I was done, I was still crying. I think it was just so hard and I had been so scared I wasn't going to be able to finish that I was super emotional and I needed to release it all. After crossing the finish line I walked down the shoot and saw Dennis, our team manager, who saw I was crying and just hugged me for several minutes. It helped me realize I was done and that I never had to do anything like this again if I don't want to.

3. It's so important to have a cause. At mile 95 when I was sitting at the last water stop dreading going up Chalk Hill, I thought about how my body just wanted it to all be over. But my mind knew that I had signed up for this event to raise money for cancer research and so many people had believed in me and donated to me and I couldn't give up until I crossed that finish line. They believed in me, so I had to believe in myself. I don't know if I could have finished on my own, but I made myself finish for all those who had supported me and believed in me.

4. 10 years of summer swim team do eventually pay off. As you can tell, this wasn't the easiest race for me, and I hadn't trained the way I should have. But thank goodness for all those summer mornings I had to wake up and swim for an hour and half before it had warmed up. Two weeks before Vineman I realized I hadn't been swimming much, so I better try to practice a little. I spent 3 days a week (for two weeks) swimming in the pool and in open water. After that I was able to swim 2.4 miles in 1 hour and 11 minutes! There is no way that I would have been able to slack off so much and still swim that fast if it hadn't been engrained in me as a kid. Lucky me! Now I just need to make sure I do all the biking and running training that I need to do before my next race.

I was really happy with this part of the race. Maybe I should just join a masters swim team.

5. Endurance events are NOT and individual sport. Yes, they say it's an individual sporting event. But there is no way I could have ever done this without the support of my friends and family and boyfriend. Even though I wasn't in the best shape, I was obviously in good enough shape to finish the race, and I owe that to Jasmine and George. Both of whom wouldn't let me give up on my hardest training rides this year. I would have cut all of my century rides short this year if it hadn't been for Jasmine slowing down to stay with me to make sure I didn't cheat and go home early. And George wouldn't let me sit and wait for him at the gas station during our 65 mile ride that had more than 5,500 feet of climbing. I wanted to give up all those times, but George and Jasmine wouldn't let me...because of them on race day when I wanted to give up, I knew that I could keep going. They were with me in spirit telling me to suck it up and finish.
Mile 10 of our first century of the season: Primavera. Look at my fake smile. I already wanted to give up, but they wouldn't let me! Thank you both so much!


  1. I love you when you're hardcore and I love you when you're a little bit tired!

  2. Sometimes you have to have a bad day, so you know how good the great days are! And that is an awesome job on the swim! Good job Embo!!