Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hope deferred....

... makes the heart sick."
~Prov. 13:12

As I mentioned yesterday, today was my first triathlon of 2012.  I have a race report for you, but I'll be honest... I was super-disappointed.  So, to appease my guilt over complaining here I am going to post some scenic photos from our recent trip to Colorado. Which, by the way, was a fabulous trip, the first family vacation that we have had with our lovely new daughter-in-law, our oldest son Nate's wife, Jamie!  More photos and details about our adventurous trip will be posted here soon...

Nate and Jamie
Back to my race report...

The weather was fabulous this morning for a race... low 60s and in spite of the extremely hot and dry summer that we have had here, the more temperate weather of the past week allowed the lake to cool off enough that it was actually a wetsuit-legal swim.  Unfortunately, the wetsuit that I had recently ordered was not here yet.  I *never* would have guessed that it would have even been an option to use it today or I would have tried to order it sooner, but the race that I really need it for is my upcoming half-IronMan in September.

The swim was two 750yd laps. Once the first lap is finished we had to get out of the water, run along the beach and then enter the water to swim the loop again.  The distance actually didn't intimidate me at all since I have been swimming so much, but there was a somewhat amusing start.  Due to the extreme drought conditions here, when the race started, we swam about 75yds before having to stand up and walk for 25 yards or so due to the low water levels in the lake!  It was really crazy.

I'm so grateful to report that I didn't have any issues with my heart at all during the swim.  I was able to steadily swim both loops without having to stop at all.  That was a huge improvement from last year.  I honestly don't know if I could have completed that distance last year.  Frustratingly though, I was still one of the last to exit the water.  It frustrates me because, while I am still somewhat of a new swimmer (I've only been swimming for a little over a year), I am not super-super slow in the pool.  Definitely not one of the fast swimmers, but I can hold my own.

I think that, in my caution over my heart issues, I held back quite a bit.  That won't happen again.

I exited the water after my two laps, slipped on my socks, bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses and ran to the "bike out."

The bike course on this triathlon is a two loop course as well.  There are a few good hills, and one bridge that is a bit tricky.  The bridge has a solid floor, but there are two strips of raised boards for cars to cross.  While the width of the boards are close to two feet wide, it is still a bit scary crossing, knowing that a wobble could cause a wreck.

There was one disabled athlete competing today.  He was a bit in front of me as we neared the bridge on his handbike.  I watched cautiously from behind him.  "Oh my! I think that his tires are wider than the boards on the bridge crossing!" I thought.  But he didn't even pause and raced toward the perilous crossing.  "He must know what he's doing." I decided.

His tires were too wide and he completely capsized at the far end of the bridge!  I was so afraid that he was hurt!  I jumped off of my bike and ran across to check on him.  Thankfully he was able to right himself and his bike was ok.  With a wave of thanks to me for stopping, he was off.  I remounted my bike and raced off as well.

A few weeks before we left to go on vacation I had the chain replaced on my bike.  The new chain ended up requiring a new sprocket as well.  I decided to order one that would be a bit better for all of the hills that I will be climbing when I compete in Branson.  The new sprocket arrived yesterday.  Rather than take a chance on racing with a new sprocket I decided to wait to have it installed until next week.

I don't really know what precipitated what happened next, but I shifted when climbing and somehow my chain kinked in two places. I immediately unclipped and walked my bike to the side of the road.  Actually, I assumed that I had thrown my chain, which is easily fixed.  When I saw those two kinks, my heart sank.  I do know some basic bike maintenance.... can change a tire, get a thrown chain back on, etc.  This though, could not be fixed.  My hands simply weren't strong enough to unkink that chain.

I stood there on the side of the road, racers passing me and tears of frustration welling up in my eyes.  I had no option but to accept a ride back to the start and call it a day.  There were three of us who rode back in that truck.  Both of the other riders were on their second flat tire of the day.  I felt so embarrassed because I simply couldn't contain my tears.  I am typically a very steady person, but for a variety of reasons, this DNF (did not finish) brought about a level of despair in me that I never would have anticipated.

Just being honest here, I have cried off and on all afternoon.  That also frustrated me.  I mean, my goodness, it's not like someone just died or even that I was injured or that my heart acted up.  I think that my deep, deep frustration stemmed from the fact that this is the third year that I have tried to compete in triathlons.  This was the first race in which I was not injured.  The simple fact is that I care *way* too much about this for my ability level.

It also frustrated me that my response was *so* intense.  Do you ever do that?  Just cry out of frustration over crying and caring *so* much?    sigh.

It's ok.  This too will pass and I do know that in the whole scheme of things this is really less than super-minuscule.  To me, right now though, the truth is that it does matter... a lot.  So, just being honest... that's the real me.

Life goes on though.  I'm headed out to run tonight with Abbie and Jacob and tomorrow morning I will get up at 5am to swim again with my masters swim group.

I did learn some things today... I learned that my heart can take the excitement of the start of an open water swim... I learned that some smoke-lensed goggles would be helpful when swimming into the sun and trying to sight buoys.

I also learned that I care about this more than I realized.

 Thanks so much for praying for me, friends.  I am deeply grateful.  Next time I think that I need to ask for prayer for my bike as well as my heart!

Tomorrow we officially begin school here and my training will only intensify the next few weeks as I finish preparing for IM Branson.  So with a full heart ~ grateful and yet sorrowing,

I will close this post.  Hopefully I haven't been too depressing as I have honestly shared from my heart.

God is good and His ways sure.  I'm regrouping and going forth.... I've got a bunch of swimming, biking and running to do in the near future.

Getting everyone settled with school will take me some time this week~ we have *bunch* of new things that we are taking on this year, but I am planning on checking in soon with additional stories and photos from our Colorado adventure soon.

{{{{{hugs}}}}} my friends....


  1. Susan, earlier this year I was racing in a selection race for the world age group championships. All I had to do was finish the race, irrespective of place and I would have qualified.

    Sadly a few minutes into the bike leg I suffered a malfunction I couldnt repair. I remember crying the whole way back to transition and for a day or so afterwards.

    What is important for you, is what you do next. You've already identified things that you've learnt from the race whic is great! Now do you keep training, and look to that next race? Or give up, and not do reis anymore?

    Things will always happens, that's how life is. But it's how you learn from them, and the person that you become from them that counts.

    1. Oh Bron!

      I can really, really empathize with you! And I wasn't even competing for anything as wonderful as the World Age Group Championships! Are you done racing for the year? Oh, I do hope that you have that opportunity again next year!

      And yes, I am still continuing on… training for my first half IM~ Branson 70.3 on Sept.23. I'm doing fine with it all now~ Sunday was a bummer, but I'm learning from what happened and am moving on now. I've got a bunch of training to do in the next few weeks!

      Thanks for your encouraging comment!

  2. Congrats on being able to compete in the triatholon. That's a really impressive accomplishment. I've never done that, and I"m not sure I ever want to...but I know it takes lots of dedication and discipline.. :) :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California,Heather :)

  3. Sweet learned much and you taught us much! Thankful you saw that you real heart could take it and your other heart.....learned a little more about yourself. I can just imagine that you will take all that info and do a really enjoy your race the next time. Loved reading this and love you bunches more! We can all see ourselves in one another..... when we let everyone know who we are! Thanks for letting us see how brave you are!

    Hugs, Linda
    P.S. Oh by the way your pictures were wonderful!

    1. {{{hugs}}}} Linda! You are so sweet, my friend. And you are right, I did learn some things~ a bunch of things, actually. And yes, one of the best things was that I saw that my ornery heart could take the stress of an open water swim! Thanks for your encouragement!

  4. OH Susan I'm so sorry :( I know personally how frustrating it can be when things go wrong that seem so out of your control. Try to be happy for the fact that you were having a good race...I just know you would have done great. Keep training and holding your head up high!!

    1. Thanks Michael! I know that you do know how frustrating things like that can be. (Hope your back is doing better, by the way!)

  5. Oh Susan. I can only imagine how devastating that was. And even more so, knowing that God is sovereign over every detail, including kinked chains that are so tightly kinked they can't be undone. I am with you. I understand your reaction - and frustration over the tears. Been there - over different things - and done that. Hang in there. It's not for naught. He loves you so and delights in you. He is sovereign and He is good. In all things. Keep running the race - physically and spiritually. You are an incredible woman and I am so thankful for the time I get to spend here! You're precious. Hang in there.

    Congratulations on Nate and Jamie's marriage! Seeing them makes me smile and recall those sweet (and difficult) early years in my own marriage.

    1. Thanks Jenn! You encourage, my friend! {{{{hugs}}}}

  6. So sorry Susan to hear about your race :( I can't imagine how frustrating that was for you. But as others have said, you have learned much from this race and can act on that information :) God is good and gracious sovereign over all things including your race. His ways are not our ways but his way is perfect. Keep on keeping on!

    1. Jenny, for *sure*... God is good~ always. *Love* the adventure of following Him!

  7. Sorry to hear about all your health problems. When did your son get married? I don't see anything about it on the blog.

    1. Alison, Thanks! Actually, Nate and Jamie decided to elope. : ) Thus, no pics for me to post!


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