I have now officially completed my second sprint triathlon!!!!!! The crazy part is that I got second in my division! I was first in the swim, fourth in the bike (I suck at the bike), and third in the run.
I got up at 3:30am (yes, that is 3:30 - I don't think I have ever willfully gotten up at 3:30 although I have seen it from the other direction quite a few times). I drove to Jennifer's to ride with or follow them to the race. I decided to drive so that I could have my car no matter what. Mike was going to get the kids in Brandon after the race, so I needed a car to get Morgan and I home. I followed them (thankfully as I was so brain dead at that hour). We arrived about 5:30 which was PERFECT. I was on the fourth rack in the transition area. Of course, I got yelled at twice before I ever even got into the transition. The packet had a wrist band, but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it (e.g. right arm, left arm, etc). They also wanted my chip ON when I got there. I had it all in a nice little envelope in my bag. I got marked with my age and number (I really hate that they make your age go up to what it WILL be at the end of the year and I will really hate that next year). I love that they write it on you. It feels so cool. :) I got into trouble for not having my wrist band on AND for not having the chip on. Geez...take it easy. It is 5:30 and I am still new at this! :)
I tried to put my bike on the rack, and it collapsed. Oops. A girl tried to help me, but it was falling down. I went to find someone, and of course, I could only find the man who yelled at me about the wrist band. Lovely. I put on my sweetest face and kindly asked him if he could help me with my rack. He asks if my wrist band is on, and I was SO glad that I could say yes. He helps me get it fixed, and then the nice girl who tried to help before tells me that I am hanging my bike wrong. She is very nice and smiling and tells me that my seat has a hook. So that is what it is for! :)
I look to my left and see that Carmen is across the aisle! FATE! :) She tells me that we are soon to be tbff's (triathlon best friends forever) as we were rbff's (running bff's) for the half marathon. I am nervous, but I know it is Carmen's first tri all together so I try to be good. We go to the restroom, and I go back to the car to get some cough drops. I am coughing a lot. I set out my things in the order I think I will use them. I mentally prepare as if i am coming back from the swim. Then, I think of coming back from the bike. I was pretty happy with it, but I definitely need to get a tri bag. That must be my next purchase. :)
I really need to pee and possibly some other form of restroom activity, so I am nervous. The port-a-potty line was VERY long. i abandoned it when they said that we had 3 minutes before transition closed for the race and there were 10 people in front of me.
We walked down to the beach. I got into the water, and I was surprised that it wasn't too cold. We put on our swim caps and wetsuits. I was a pink swim cap. Carmen was also a pink. :) We waited together. I thought Mike and Morgan must be there by now, but I didn't see them. I left my shoes and shirt on the beach, and I asked Sean to tell Mike if he saw him.
When we were waiting, a man was talking to a lady and pointng out how people were drifting out on the outbound leg of the swim which made it farther from the green buoy. Good point I thought as I watched. I decided to go out on the inside. I didn't go in front, but instead I hung at the back as I was pretty nervous about the ocean swim. I didn't get to practice before the race, so I was afraid of waves, people banging into me, etc.
I should have gone in the front as I had a really hard time breaking away. I got kicked a few times, and I was elbowed a few times. I finally found a track and made some way. Then, I ran into someone else. I elbowed one girl in the head. Oops. I finally got over my nice side and just swam. I didn't care if I hit people, got hit, was kicked, etc. I just kept going no matter what. i was SHOCKED to see the green buoy. ALREADY? WOW! I so should have swam a bit harder, but it was a nice swim. As we came in, I saw a LOT of people standing up and walking out very early. I kept swimming until I couldn't any longer as I know it is much easier to swim than to walk in water.
Then, we had to go across the lagoon. YUCK. It was nasty feeling on your feet and it STUNK. ICK. I saw Mike and Morgan yelling for me as I came out. I was so happy to see their smiling faces. I can do this!
I started pulling off my wetsuit. Then, I remembered that I wore a bra top with nothing over it as I don't have a tri top I felt good about wearing yet. So, I couldn't pull it all down because then I would be walking around in a bra top. That might scare everyone, so i just kept it over my boobs but unzipped and out of my arms.
It was a pretty long job to the transition. My feet were killing me by the time I finished running over the litle rocks and shells on the path. I was SO happy to put on SHOES!
I got into transition, and I took my sham wow to my feet. YUCK. They had nasty lagoon stuff on them. I pulled off the wetsuit thinking about how much I stink at taking it off. I need to practice that. I got my socks and shoes on. I got my helmet on (without trouble this time), and I put my watch on. I grabbed my sunglasses and I was off! That felt prety good. I was third in transition time in my division, but there were only 5 seconds between 2nd and 3rd. The fastest time was over a minute less! Until I can run faster, especially with no shoes, I don't think that transition will get better for a while unless it is a shorter distance from swim to bike.
I started out on the bike trying to figure out how fast to go. Man, that wind is NOT FUN. WOW!!!!! Around mile 3 I am wondering why I do this. Around mile 4, I am so thankful that I am about to turn around. My bike is leaning SIDEWAYS with the wind. I did get into my aero bars and that helped a lot. Next thing I know, well before mile 5, we are turning! WOO HOO! It was SO great to have that wind at my back for a while. I loved the next 4 miles. AWESOME and fun. Then, it got windy again for the last 2. I knew the end was near though, so it was ok. I got into my transition, pulled off the helmet, took a sip of water, put on my visor, grabbed a gu, and I was off!
I planned to run the first mile and then take a walk break. However, I felt so good at a mile, I decided to go for another half mile. At one and a half, I felt so good that I decided to just keep going until I needed a walk. Then, the stairs came. Lovely. The top stair was brutal, but they weren't as bad as I expected. Going down them was fun. Then, we ran on the beach. It was beautiful, and the day was perfect. The wind felt good since I was getting hot, but the sand and wind made it harder to run. I still hadn't seen anyone from my group on the run. I had seen Monica and Brian at transition, so I thought they would be right beind and would pass me. Around mile 3, I saw Holly. Then, I saw Jen coming the other way. It was fun to see them, and I was excited to be nearing the end. At one point, I asked the girl next to me where she was from. She said Atlanta. I told her that the company I worked for was based there at Ravinia. She said it was right near her. At that moment, this 66 year old man who was PASSING us said, "Girls, if you can talk you aren't running hard enough. " I thought that was very funny but probably true. I was really enjoying it though and didn't want to push too hard too fast.
The last half mile I pushed a bit harder. It was so great to hear the crowds. Then, I saw Mike and Morgan cheering for me. It felt SO great to go across the finish. I did feel like I might puke for a brief second after I crossed, but it was quick. I don't know why I get that at the end of runs, but I almost always get it.
I cheered in Monica, Brian, and my tbff, Carmen. It was so good to see everyone finish and to celebrate. The crew wanted to go to some bagel place to eat, so we went. Morgan realizes she has lost her phone. Mike thought it was at home. Morgan said itwasn't. We tried AT&T, but the lady on the phone was worthless and didn't have a clue about the services they have. Finally, they told me that it would take 24 hours to activate the service that can help find the phone. We went back to the race area, but they said that they didn't have a cell but we could check with race director later.
On the way home, Morgan looks up the results on my phone. She says, "Mommy, you got 2nd place!" I was SHOCKED. I didn't even get my trophy with all of the phone hunting! I hope they will send it.
Thankfully, the next day, the race director responded to my email that he had her phone. I picked it up and saved having to buy a new one. WHEW!
I totally loved the race. I had a great day with my tri buddies. I definitely want to do it again next year. Loved it!