It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

September 06, 2011

The Hyvee Triathlon Race....errrr Spectators Report

Well, those of you who have been following my blog know that Sunday should have been a HUGE day for me.  My first, official, OLYMPIC distance Triathlon.  The Hyvee Triathlon in Des Moines, IA.  I trained for months and I was ready to take on that 1500 Meter swim, 25 mile bike, and 10K run...but alas, it was not to be.  Instead it looks like I'm facing shoulder surgery and an uncertain race future.  I couldn't get in to see the specialist for 3 weeks!  That really sucks.  I just want to know what's going on and how long I can expect for recovery.

From what I've been reading, the prognosis is likely surgery, and the recovery is lengthy.  Although it's arthroscopic - because it is your shoulder (and a very movable body part) - it pretty much means no physical activity besides walking or a stationary bike for 2 to 3 months and no swimming for at least 6 months!!  At least that's what I've been reading.  That will be truly devastating and throw my first marathon and many other races out the window.  Sigh.....I digress...this post is supposed to be about the Hyvee Triathlon.

I decided that in spite of the fact that I couldn't race, I wanted to go to the race anyway.  I wanted to go ahead and pick up my packet and get my free stuff.  This was a $150 I had already invested a lot of money.  I wanted my stuff dang it.  Plus, I thought it would be fun to go watch the pros race.  Unfortunately, we didn't end up seeing the pros race.  I didn't realize that they didn't race until late in the afternoon and we hadn't planned on staying in Des Moines that long.  We did go to the race and watch the Elite Men and Women and some of the Age Group race.  It was fun to see those first few racers cross the finish line and to cheer on so many different people.  I did get to see one of the Coach's from my Women's triathlon class cross the finish line.  She got 2nd overall for the Women in the Age Group Tri.  She is truly an amazing athlete!

I had SEVERAL teary moments throughout the weekend.  I was trying so hard to stay positive, but everything was difficult.  I kept thinking about how I SHOULD be feeling - nervous, giddy, anxious, excited, but instead I felt sad and depressed.  When I picked up my packet I had to say, I'm not racing, can I skip the 20 minute safety briefing and just pick up my packet.  The expo should have been fun and exciting.  It would have been cool mixing in with all the other athletes.  I tried to enjoy myself in spite of it and I did.  I had ups and downs.  One minute I was fine, the next I was not.

Sorry, about the race.  The race itself looked AWESOME!  It was just another reason to be disappointed.  It was such a major production.  The finish line was padded in blue carpet with flowers and banners.  It was amazing.   It finished at the Capital Building in downtown Des Moines and there were enough Grandstands set up for probably 5000 spectators.

The finishers area

The Capitol building
It truly looked like you were at some huge world class event.  And I guess you kind of were.  There were literally athletes here from all over the world.  This was the first ever 5150 Championship race.  The 5150 is a new race series from the people who produce the Ironman race series.  There was a Pro Race,  an Elite Championship race, and then the Age Group Triathlon.  There were 60 pros, about 300 athletes in the Elite race, and about 1500 in the Age Group race.  They said there were over $1 million in prize money and awards for all the races.  The male and female winners of the Elite Championship race won Mini Coopers and some other prizes.  The Elite Cup (pro race) winners won over $150,000.  So yes, the race was a pretty big deal!  It would have been so much fun to be a part of.

The Men's Elite Winner - Adam Webber

The Para Triathlon World Record Holder - he is blind - and he swims, bikes, and runs with a partner!  Crazy!

The Women's Elite winner - Kimberly Pancoast
The packets were definitely the best race swag I have ever seen.  I was seriously glad I went to pick up my packet.  You got lots of great stuff.  You got a backpack, a bike jersey, a stocking cap, a visor and lots of other "stuff" including sunglasses, a shower cap, and some food.  It was sponsored by Hyvee afterall....a local grocery market chain in our Region (which is based out of Iowa).  I even bought a separate race t-shirt.  It says 5150 on the back, spelled out with all of the race participants names.  Mine is on there.  I had been trying to decide if I would use or wear any of the stuff since I didn't do the race, but then I decided I put ALL of the work into it.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I knew I was ready and would have finished.  I didn't earn the finisher's medal, but I did earn the gear.  And I am going to wear it.

Sad Michael...picking up her packet at the expo

The backpack

My name is in the "0"

I wish I had more details to share, but I have no stories about setting up my transition or that huge monster hill at mile 2 on the bike.  I just hope to find myself in Des Moines, IA next year....proudly crossing that finish line and earning my medal!  But for now, I am trying to stay active.  I am still running and biking until I'm told I can't.  That's all I can do.  I am still working toward my marathon in January....I'm just continuing to move on.

On a separate note, Jim got me the cutest necklace ever. It was supposed to be my "Congratulations" present, but instead it was more of a "hope this cheers you up" present.  But I love it!  It has a turtle on it!  I have pretty much been wearing it non-stop since Friday.


  1. Thats is ALOT of swag, Now I have to google to see how far away this race is

    I know your bummed, but its better to skip one race to get better, then to race and potentially miss alot more

  2. oh how heartbreaking... :( Love the swag but I think the turtle necklace is best of all!

  3. Sorry you couldn't race. I have a half marathon that I'm no longer racing in because I've not been running for a month due to a blood clot in my artery in my leg. But I'm still going for the girls weekend to cheer on my friends. Today is going to be my first day back running

  4. Wow. That is the best race package I've ever seen. And, I think you're right about using it. You did all the training and work. The race was just supposed to be the victory lap, and you got that taken away. The swag is just a consolation prize, so you totally get to use it!

  5. Wow, that's a lot of freebies! I'm so glad you got to enjoy a little bit of your hard work. You did work hard, so sorry you didn't get to race and that you're facing a big recovery. I LOVE the necklace. Beautiful.

  6. So sorry you are in this spot! I really admire you for getting out and cheering everyone on--that's something I can't bring myself to do while sidelined.

    Love the necklace!

    New URL:

  7. Sorry to hear that this weekend didn't go as planned for you, and that you may be facing surgery and a lengthy recovery. As tough as it is now, though, this might be for the best. I don't know, I always try to look at things as a positive so hopefully you do get something positive from the whole experience.

    I know one thing - when you race that Tri next year, you sure as heck won't be taking that for granted.

  8. Well Michael, I have to say, all that stuff looks awesome that you picked up! It was like deja vu reading this for me! Remember when I missed the Flying Pig Half Marathon, went to the expo, got all my cool stuff then went out in the car and cried. Crying and loss for what could have been on race day IS NORMAL and to be EXPECTED! It means you care enough and busted your butt enough to get ready and that it meant a lot to you! If you weren't a mess I would be worried :)

    Now, after all those pics and your description of the event, I wanna do this next year! Big time! It looked AMAZING and so well put together!

    That's a crazy nice necklace and I'd wear it too all the time! I wouldn't take it off (except for a shower).

    You're awesome and before you know it things'll start getting better. They might not even be as bad as you think. Seriously!

  9. Sad you could not race. Damn shoulder. Why couldn't it have lasted a few more weeks then break down? You did earn your swag and nice swag that it is. I LOVE the necklace Jim bought you. So thoughtful. Hoping for a quick recovery.

  10. Uff, I really hope you can recover quick and don`t need to wait that long.
    About the presents, they look awesome. Great that you go it ;)
    By the way, what marathon are you planning on January?

  11. One of the hardest things to do is watch a race you had to withdraw from.
    I hope your arm heals soon, Michael.
    Lovely necklace - very thoughtful :)

  12. I am so sorry you couldn't race but you did put in the effort and do all of the training. It is only the race you missed.

    Love all of the swag and the neclace is perfect. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. My Dad has had both of his shoulders operated on (40 years of pitching) and it is a slow and long process but he has recovered and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  13. Yes, you definitely deserve to keep and wear/use the swag! I know we will be hearing the recap of this race next year from you. :)
    Beautiful necklace...very thoughtful gift.

  14. That necklace is a good motto. Your journey of healing will be slow and steady, too.

  15. hugs to you on such a rough weekend. It WILL get better!

    Great Swag! And love that necklace!

  16. that is a really nice necklace. I love it. the!!!! Merry christmas in September!!!

    I am so very sorry you are injured and I would have cried also. Of course! it is normal that you are bummed by all this. you will bounce back. you have to believe it.

  17. Sorry :-(

    On the other hand, I love Jim's gift for you! What an awesome husband and supporter!

  18. Jim's so sweet - and he can pick an awesome necklace.

    I can't imagine how disappointing that would have been for you. Next year!

  19. The necklace is beautiful. You WILL win the race against injury, too. I'm glad you are sticking with the biking and running. That will do you good as you wait this out.

  20. LOVE the necklace! So sad you couldn't do it. That is some seriously sweet race swag. Wear it for sure.

  21. You are seriously a trooper for going to the race to get all the expo swag. And that is some serious swag, way better than any running race swag that I've ever gotten before.

    I've now gone to 2 race expos (SD half, SF half) that I was unable to do the race, and just like you and I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster of emotions. It just seemed like I should go to get the race number, get the swag, and see if I can meet any blogger friends or running celebrities. In the end I think the positives of going to the expo outweighed the negatives, but it is not the best experience.

    Watching part of the race must have been tough, there is no way I could have watched part of a race, I would have lost it at that point.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery, and are back on the training route soon.

  22. Oh, and there's no way I could wear any swag out in public from a race that I was unable to do, because if someone asked me a question about the race I wouldn't want to say that I got injured and couldn't actually do the race. I know everyone is different, but it would be too painful for me to have to answer questions about it.

    And I've also been to a Hyvee store in Minnesota before, haha

  23. I'm so sad on your behalf, but that swag is certainly something! All the best with the shoulder, hang in there, you will be back. Thinking of you!

  24. Ah crap. I'm so sorry.

    But I agree with BDD. Better to take care of it now and ensure a long racing future!

  25. You definitely earned the gear and bummer about needing surgery. That was a lot of swag for a race, none of the races I do even giveaway a tenth of that much fun stuff.

  26. UGH, I am so sorry about your shoulder! As one sidelined for a year with a heel injury and had to sit out many, MANY paid races, I know how difficult it is! Fingers crossed the surgery gives you the relief you need so you can come back fighting stronger!!

  27. I'm so sorry you couldn't do the race :(

    But I have to say, that is a beautiful necklace!! I want it! : )