Monday, April 18, 2011

Rumpus in Bumpass Race Report: A Tale of Survival

Oh, Rumpus in Bumpass...where to begin?

Side note: if you are offended by use of profanity, you may want to avoid this post. Thanks!

I was pretty excited for this triathlon even though all week the weather was calling for thunderstorms, heavy rains, and wind. Either way I kept a positive attitude about it because everyone was going to be dealing with the same elements. I also had some pretty high hopes for time since my training has been on point for the last several weeks.

Phil and I were all set up and ready to go by 9:30 for the 10 am start time. We said our goodbyes, good lucks and I love yous as we parted ways to race.

The Swim:

This was my first open water swim but I was confident in my swimming and I told myself to just remain calm. My plan was to go out strong, settle into the middle of the pack, follow someones feet if I could find them, and just do the damn thing. When the horn blew for my age group to start I started out swimming hard until everyone separated a little and I had my own space. And then I found feet! YES! The water was murky but clear enough to see my hand infront of me and the feet of another girl. I was remaining calm and counting my stokes and sighting the yellow buoy and feeling awesome....and that is when it all started to go down hill.

I turned my head to breathe and as I put my head back into the water one of the feet I was following so lovingly made direct contact to my face. Pow- right in the kisser (or should I say smeller?). Direct heel to nose uppercut. God damn it hurt but I kept swimming.

I stopped at the yellow buoy to calm down after the hit and as I am bobbing up and down in the water the kayaer says "whoa! You're bleeding!". I am!? I touch my hand to my face and sure enough my nose was gushing blood. She paddles towards me and I hang on to her buoy and she asks me if I am ok and touches my face to make sure my nose isn't broken. Its not. She asks me if I want to go back to shore on the boat. "Do I have to?" I say. She tells me she will give me 10 minutes for my nose to stop bleeding before she makes me get on the boat. After about 8 or so minutes my nose stops bleeding, I thank her for her help and I continue swimming, stopping every minute or so to touch my hand to my face to check for blood. Needless to say, my swim time was not ideal.

I put the shitty swim experience behind me and moved onto the bike...where things only got worse.

The Bike:

It was rainy and windy- not very wonderful bike conditions. I kept a pace I was happy with and tried to mentally reset from the swim. I sung to myself and started feeling better. I passed a guy on a Cervelo and he said "Did I seriously just get passed by a girl on a hot pink bike!?"....yes, sir you did. That was my high point on the bike. Minutes later came my lowest point of the whole race (yes, lower then the nose bleed).

I got off my aero bars and onto my brakes getting ready for the sharp left hand turn coming up. I swung out wide to avoid crossing the yellow line and to give myself plenty of space. I was not trying to be a hero by taking fast sharp turns on a windy and rainy day. As I am turning, a guy passes me to the left and *almost* crosses my front wheel. I panic and lose control of my bike. Me and Pink Lady (my bike) take a powerful fall into a mud pit on the side of the road. Did I seriously just fucking wreck my new bike at the first tri of the season? Lucky both her and I were ok except for a few scratches, bruises, cuts, scrapes and serious embarassment.

Phil happened to be right behind me and see the whole thing. He stopped to make sure I was ok. I kept telling him to go and I didnt want to mess up his race but since he is the best boyfriend in the whole entire universe, he said some sweet words just as I was starting to cry and made sure that I was going to get back on my bike.

The USAT official asked me if I wanted the sag vehicle to come pick me up. I thought about it. I almost threw in the towel. And then suddenly I was filled with rage. No, I am not going the let this fucking race beat me. I dont give a shit about time goals anymore but god damn it I am getting to that finish line.

The Run:

Nothing special about the run. I was sore from the bike wreck and I had to stop twice because I was very close to getting sick to my stomach. Must have been all of the blood, nuclear water, mud, and Gu I ate during the race.

The Aftermath:

I was happy I finished the race. I would have been really upset with myself had I given up. I dug deep to get to that finish line. Even though I am glad I finished, I still feel dissapointed in myself and slightly embarassed by my performance. Although hearing stories from Kate about getting 2 flats during her first Oly, and then Ray reminding me that he was hit by a car once during a tri made me realize that not every race is rainbows and furry puppies. Some races are going to test your limits and they are going to suck- and Rumpus was that race for me.

When I awoke on Sunday morning (the day after the race) my legs were not sore- which made me feel like I didn't give it my all out there. And then I quickly remembered that I left my blood in the lake and my body imprint on the side of the road, had a very sore nose, and have dozens of scratches and bruises as battle scars. I gave it my all given the situations that arose.

I am also having a hard time being positive about the season when it is off to such a rocky start- ankle injury to bench me from the marathon I trained for 4.5 months for and then a really shitty first tri of the season. But it can only get better, right? I hope so because Im not sure I can survive more nosebleeds and mud baths.


  1. It sounds like your race is my worst nightmare come true! but, WOW, great job on pushing yourself and finishing it! The rest of your season will be much better!

  2. You got this, Girl. You need to have the bad days to make the good days worth it. Just keep your eye on the prize---IRONMAN COZUMEL!

    I have a great photo of you finishing Saturday, I'll put it on Facebook ASAP and you can add it to your post. <3


    I am glad you didn't throw in the towel and instead beat this race down. Also, I crashed my bike dismounting at my first tri and got a big road rash scrape on my ass.

    It will only get better from here. You riding tomorrow morning?

  4. It's not the races that go perfect that show you what you are made of. It is the races that go to hell on you and you fight through it and still get it done. Those are the races that show you that you had more in you than you thought. Congrats on keeping up the good fight and getting the better of that race.

  5. Good job sticking it through to the finish - there aren't alot of people out there who would continue on after getting kicked in the face on the swim and shoved off the road on the bike. It CAN only get better from here.

  6. WOW. Major, major, MAJOR props to you for taking this race down after all that. You are tough, girl! And I think now that you have all those firsts behind you you're ready to kick some ass in the rest of your season :)

  7. First, congrats on finishing another tri! Second, BAD ASS story! You freaking went out there and did battle and still finished despite a bloody nose and a bike crash. You should feel PROUD of this finish. In a way it makes it seem more valuable than a race that goes smoothly, right?

  8. way to stick it out. Sorry you had such a rough tri, but you finished and that makes you bad ass in my book!

  9. Ugh, that sounds completely frustrating. Congrats on sticking with it! You faced ridiculously adverse conditions and still finished!

  10. Nicely done out there, both attempting to lure the sharks in the water and then going for a mud spa treatment on the bike! Almost the trifecta!

    Seriously, congrats on pushing through and not giving up - serious props for that!

  11. I think you should know most people would have given up at that yellow buoy. Proud of you and your ability to truck on when things aren't going your way whether it's ankle pain, mud, or blood.

    Also, some of my favorite funny stories to tell are the ones that in the moment I didn't find so funny. Think about how many more races you still have yet to come and how one day you're going to laugh hysterically about blood, mud, scratches, and tears. :)

  12. OH MY GOSH! Girlfriend... this is horrible! First the bloody nose, then the bike wreck. You are one amazing chick for finishing this race! I definitely would have thrown in the towel WAY before the finish line.

    Way to rock it girl!

  13. Hell yeah. Way to say F-you to the race and finishing the damn thing.
    Here's to better races for the rest of the year!

  14. I grew up a swimmer, just like you, at my first OWS tri, first time swimming in a lake, I had the same plan, and the exact same thing happen to as it did to you. As for the bike, ITS NOT YOUR FAULT, a knowledgable biker knows not to pass on a turn and also knows to wait 10 feet before overtaking the line. HE WAS AT FAULT for your crash, he was reckless. And I am so sorry it happened to you.

    The FACT is you FINISHED!!! You finished what you started, and now you have a hardcore story to pass along for years to come.

    I saw a quote last week that I loved

    "From the start, you'll never forget what it took to finish"

  15. I was the official who stopped to check and make sure you were ok. We were riding a bit back when I saw you go down, so it was hard to tell exactly what happened. Congrats on toughing it out and I'm glad to hear you are ok.

  16. You are on your way to becoming an Irongirl. Good for you for getting it done. It's all about the battles that get you there, and not so much the race itself. The first fall on the bike is always a bit scary, but it gets better. I can't say that about the swims though, since that part will always be brutal. Glad your foot held up.

  17. I don't know how I missed this report initially. If only there were awards for guts and mental toughness!