Pre-game: This started on Sat with packing all my color coded bags and dropping them off all over the state. I’ll say that as a newbie to longer distance tri’s this was a challenge. After dropping off my run stuff I realized that my shoes were still tied and my socks were in a ball. Lessons learned, lessons learned my friend. Race day, I was up at 3 and the coffee pot was already brewing. Down went a bagel with cream cheese and an apple, lets not talk about how much coffee I consumed. Wasn’t long before my professional 70.3 escort service (cheers to Jeff for getting out of bed for this) showed up to get me to the start. I quickly found my bike and stood in line to have my tires pumped. While in line I re-taped my GU with packing tape and removed the electrical tape. One of the reasons I chose this race was due to it being local and from the get go I knew this was the right choice. Having Ron, Kali and Jeff there from the start helped to ease my nerves, if they thought I could finish then I must be able to. Made it to the beach a little before 6 and very quickly the clock hit 6:30 and I hit the water.
There was a brief moment when I thought about walking off the beach. I realized that I could walk home and text my family and friends it was a big mistake before they were even out of bed. Nevermind, I had a baby last year I could do this. The swim was at Lincoln Woods, a place I never even put my toes in, forget about swimming 1.2 miles. Unlike previous races, I went right in with my wave and dearly paid for that decision. No one told me I was swimming with a bunch of WWE wrestlers, the kicking, punching, elbowing was unreal and never really let up. There were a few moments when I found my groove and then got caught up with the stragglers from the wave before also the same time (it seemed) that some of the faster swimmers from the wave behind me caught up. It got ugly. After a strong kick to the throat followed by an elbow to the head I gave up on sighting and swam for my life; turns out to be a bad move as I finally look for a bouy and see that I’m off course. A lot of very bad words fly through my head and I swim like hell to get out of the cesspool. Next time, I go in ready to fight.
No issues, pretty quick. Never used the towel to wipe my feet. Next time will have a GU here or right when I get on the bike.
Can’t complain about this at all, seeing as how I have a fear of my bike. After dealing with a broken water cage at the very start (note to self…stop trying to DIY and use Providence Bike…no matter how easy they say it will be). I got out there and just had fun. 3 sips of vitalyte every 15 mins and a GU every 45, again lessons learned. I need to tweak this to help with the run but for today I’ll take it. I would have been ok with the bike taking 4:15 so my pace was outstanding from my perspective…remember I’m scared of my bike. I was surprised to see how much of this course I knew from my weekend rides, so there was a comfort factor. It was just a fun time for me, lots of singing to myself to get through the uncomfortable moments and yelling for my life on the downhills. Take away, I need to train more like I race; meaning I need to get over some of my fears and enjoy the weekend rides. I found the course to be well marked and wanted to high five every cop out there stopping traffic for me. Road conditions weren’t really an issue for me, but again that’s where I ride most weekends so I don’t know any better. My only beef was right at the end by the mall, sharp turn and poor traffic control.
I’ll admit it, I got lost. Couldn’t find my place, couldn’t remember my number. Then swore about my socks that were in a ball and my shoes that were tied.
Oh my God, it was terrible. I had said that if I got through the bike and swim, I would be able to get through the run…only barely was this true. It was hot, likely the hottest long race I’ve ever competed in. I realized quick that it was going to be ugly and tried a 5 min run 1 min walk plan. Coming up to the completion of the 1st loop I started to shiver, my teeth were chattering and I couldn’t do the math for the 5:1 ratio. All bad signs, I also started to day dream about how nice an IV would feel. Had there been water there I would have quit. I decided to run to the next water station and take it from there. It didn’t get better, and I walked up the hills. At first with a stranger and we chatted a while, tried to run and cramped up. She went ahead and before I could think about sitting on a curb I found Emily, who had been there for almost all of my long rides. She walked right along side me for what seemed like a very long time. I’m not sure what we talked about but I started to feel much better. When she took off, Rick rode behind me for the rest of the way. On Steeple St, I came through my amazing cheer squad and realized I could and would finish. At this point I was able to do the math and knew that as terrible as I felt I was going to smash the goal I had set for a finish. The last 3 miles were tough and way too hot. I ran till I cramped then would walk out the cramps and do it over and over again. Crossing the finish was great, I danced across the line with a smile from ear to ear with so many family and friends watching I couldn’t count them all.
I love that I finished and had planned on a 7:30 finish so can’t complain. The heat was a nightmare. I went hard on the bike and paid for it on the run. I’m already thinking of the next one. I’m so close to coming in under 7 hours…how can I not try???