Grab a cup of coffee, this is a long recap! It’s done! And my sister and I had a fabulous time (nerves and all). Went to bed last night somewhere around 10:30 with a 4:15 am wake up call (ugh??). At around 1 am – big thunderstorms rolled in, which woke me up and kept me awake for a while, so I was not the most chipper of people at 4:15.
Had my standby breakfast of oatbran + banana+ protein powder, which I cooked last night. I also ‘borrowed’ some nutty PB and Nutella for the top. This is an amazing fuel to eat a couple hours prior to an event.
We got there plenty early, it was chilly and windy! We checked in and got marked with numbers (#8 here!) and found out that we were both in the first heat. Good thing there is that I knew I wouldn’t finish last LOL! Not with 8 heats or so to go. There were somewhere around 450 people?
Picture of the reservoir we swam in:
This is from the bike transition area. I couldn’t take my camera to the swim area! Not waterproof. That hole in the fence is the chute we came out to.
Here we are all racked up:
My sister and fellow triathlete!
Wearing my jacket, did I mention it was chilly? We were there early, so the racks weren’t crowded – but then it looked like this:
Then it was swim time! First heat was women age 40-45 and there were 23 of us. I was so nervous at first, but I looked at the distance and thought “This isn’t so far”. Haha. The water was surprisingly warm, I was pleased because once I got in, I didn’t think of the temperature again. We did an “L” shape in the water and I was okay until I got around the first turn and realized it was farther than it seemed. Not to mention that 3 minutes into the swim, the siren sounded for the next heat. I knew I was slow and would be overtaken by a good chunk of the heat behind me, and sure enough I was. Someone actually swam over me! They were on their back and didn’t see me, and of course I didn’t see them coming. The worst part of the swim was about 3/4 of the way through. There was all this seaweed and when I would bring my arm around I pulled all this seaweed with it and had to yank my arm out. I fought a little bit of panic there, because that was never in my mind’s scenario. And the bottom was nowhere to be found, so I don’t know how long that stuff grew (ewwww). Finally made it to the end and got out of the water feeling very off-balance. That was weird, so I stayed in the transition spot for a bit to get my bearings and adjust.
Then hopped on the bike. This is where I was in my element. I chugged along, although a lot of people were passing me. That’s what happens when you are in the first heat and all the pros start after you – they pass you! But that’s okay. There were some hills and I am so glad I do a lot of hill riding. I really enjoyed the ride, pushed it pretty well, while conscious that I had a 3.25 mile run after it. John caught me on video early on! Shiny gold helmet!
There was a stiff headwind for most of the ride, which made it really tough. I love my thighs, they had to work hard today! I had coconut water in my water bottle, and let me tell you – this stuff is awesome! It’s not sweet like Gatorade, so I could drink it easily and I swear I felt the hit from it right away (more potassium than a banana!). Hit the bike transition chute, and decided to snap a picture as I was running my bike to the rack (we had to dismount):
Slugged a Stonyfield yogurt smoothie at the bike, then made the mistake of grabbing some water – which put too much liquid in my tummy. Run time! John got me as I just started the run. I actually look like I am going fast until someone blew right by me LOL!
There was a down hill run at first, which was really hard and jostled my stomach way more than I was comfortable with. I had some concerns about the yogurt staying down, but once I got down the hill it was fine. It was probably 1/4 mile hill, which I realized that I would have to run *up* right at the end of the race. I did not have a watch on, so I had no idea of where I was at all, but I knew that the run would have a turn around half way out and we would come back the same route. I settled into a comfortable pace, which I knew was slower, but decided to take the pace my body told me to. My legs felt fine for the transition, which shocked me. Guess rest days work after all!
I ran the whole thing. I tried to go faster once I hit the turn around, but just couldn’t get a whole lot faster. Then I hit the hill and managed to run the whole way up. The crowd was getting loud there and people were cheering us on, some kids came out and slapped my hand as I ran by. Top of the hill into the finish!
I cried when I got to the end! I finished in 1:46:01, and my goal was to be under 2 hours. I am so thrilled and exhausted, but not as tired as I thought. All that training did me well and I never felt at any point that I would not make it or have trouble, even though it was really hard.
Flexing our triathlete muscles!
I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow. Thanks so much for all your support!