Two weeks with no blogging! What!?
I was staying super busy so I could not think too much about the triathlon. People would ask, "When is the race?"
I'd calmly say, "May 19th."
"Are you nervous?" they'd ask.
"Squirrel!" I'd reply. (That means I changed the subject.)
I think I went in fairly calm, at least on the outside. I felt physically prepared and I had talked to a lot of people and felt pretty mentally ready as well. But underneath my calm exterior, I was STRESSED! Just ask poor Ashley who had to spend the 15 hours preceding the race listening to me rant about 16 year old Pizza Hut servers.
Once race day arrived, I was pretty excited. It was awesome having our whole team there and of course, we'd be nothing without our fearless leaders, Star & Keith Ritchey! They baby stepped us through the whole experience and I really don't know how it could have been smoother.
I had set a random goal of 1:45 for myself, and ended up with a 1:39:12, so I was quite pleased. (Best of all, I beat Ashley for the first time ever! So what if it was only 30 seconds?) The race was really much harder than I expected, mostly because of the elements. I actually stayed pretty calm during the swim. I told myself I could switch to breast stroke rather than panicking and it totally worked. It allowed me to breath and keep my eyes on the buoys. I may not have been as fast as I would have with freestyle, but I didn't freak out, which was key. Believe me, there were plenty of people freaking out during the swim part! 500 people makes for a pretty strong current and open water is nothing like a pool!
I was thrilled to get out of the water without ever having had to touch the bottom (ew!). I saw Ashley leaving transition as I came in, so my goal on the bike was to catch her. She has a hybrid bike and I have a road bike, so it gives me an advantage. The ride seemed really long and we were in full sun with a pretty nice wind the whole time. Plus, I'm not coordinated enough to drink water while I ride, so there's that. However, around mile 10 I had Ashley in my sights. I whizzed past her and that gave me an extra adrenaline boost to pedal my heart out for the last two miles.
She must have picked up the pace too because she came into transition right behind me. I needed to catch my breath so I waited on her so we could do the run together. We were both red-faced and beat, but we hit the road. By now it was probably close to 9:30 or 10:00am and it was HOT. Oh my, was it hot. We were still in full sun and it made the run extra tough. We both needed a few walk breaks. Ashley's calf was bothering her so I ended up having to leave her. Boo.
At the second water station I saw my friend Lee and her kids and they totally cheered me on, which I totally needed. Then another teammate caught up to me and I ran with her for a bit, which was nice. Then there was a tent with sprinklers set up around mile 2 which was heaven sent. But still at the last water stop I asked the kids to throw the water at me rather than hand it to me to drink! It was SO hot! (And I was carrying my own drinking water.)
When I finally got close to the finish, lots of teammates & spouses of teammates were cheering me on. At the last turn I saw Star & Keith who told me to finish hard, so I did. I sprinted past a 16 year old and a 63 year old!
At the end they gave me a towel that had been soaking in ice. It felt so good! There were a few seconds where I thought I was going to collapse and maybe soil myself, but thankfully it passed. Ha! I went over and cheered for Ashley and then together we cheered on the rest of our teammates.
It was pretty damn awesome.
I kind of can't wait to do it again.
If only tri season were in the fall!