I'm really happy today. For me, I love the day after a race, when all the details set in, and I get to further enjoy my race high.
Going into race weekend, I felt a little uneasy. I couldn't really do a proper taper, because I'm in the middle of marathon training, and I slept lousy the entire week. The race was on Sunday, and Friday night I think I slept a total of three hours, which bugged me out because I know it's the sleep you get two nights before a race, that really counts.
Saturday morning Jeannine and Gina and I headed out to Oneida Shores, to check in our bikes, pick up our race packets, and check out the expo for Iron Girl Syracuse. During the ride over, I told Jeannine that I was bugging out a bit, and feeling nervous. I know that it was the fear of the unknown, but I started to feel better once we got our bikes and got on line to check in. I saw several of my friends, and chatted up the woman who was racking her bike next to me, about the best spot to place my bike, well, S's bike. I put it towards the end of the row, closest to where I would head out to the bike course. I figured I would rather run farther after the swim, to avoid having to maneuver my bike through everyone.
We listened to the course talk, and learned where we needed to go for each leg of the race, then we headed home. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with the kids and Mike, getting my gear together, and doing laundry (which is rapidly becoming a daily thing). Then I got goofy with my new swim cap:
I had my usual dinner of pasta, sauce and bread, and I was in bed by 9:30. I knew I was going to be tossing and turning, but I think I dropped off around 10:30, and slept pretty well until 3:30. I figured I could fall back asleep for another hour, but as soon as I thought of the swim, that was it. I got out of bed at 4:30, and took Frankie for a short walk, I knew I was up early when the newspaper delivery guy came by and dropped off our paper. I made my coffee, bagel with peanut butter and grabbed half a banana, then I waited on my front steps for the girls to pick me up. We decided to leave a five, we wanted to park at the lake, and not have to take the shuttle, so we left early.
It was already crowded when we got to transition, and the sun was just coming up:
I laid everything out, and was drinking some nuun, when I looked up and saw my friend Kelly coming down the row. She gave me a hug, and for a second there I got reeeeallly nervous. She was in my swim wave, so I told her I would try to get towards the front of the pack, because I planned on swimming as soon as I could. I heard other people saying they were going to walk as long as possible, and I wanted to get in front of them.
We thought the sun behind our heads made us look angelic.
Transition closed, we headed down to the lake, to figure out the swim, my wave was at 7:25. Jeannine and Gina were in the wave ahead of me, so after they left, I kind of stood there, getting nervous. I was the only one in my wave in just a swim suit, everyone else had on wet suits or tri suits. I had a couple of minutes until we had to get in the water, and I heard someone call my name, it was my friend Norine! I went over and gave her a hug, and told her I was freaking out a bit. I was so happy to see her, we ran the marathon together last year, and I felt so much better after talking to her.
Then it was time to swim!!! I got right in, the water wasn't very cold, I kept my head up while I swam, just so I could get my bearings, and be comfortable with my surroundings. There didn't seem to be many people in my wave. The swim was a rectangle, and after I got past the first buoy, I put my head down, and got into my swimming groove. I kept my stroke nice and easy, and found my breathing pattern, and pretended I was back in the pool. The swim went by fast. As I was getting out of the water, I looked up and saw Kelly running onto the sand, she's hardcore, and I knew I had done well because I was only a couple of minutes behind her. *there are rumors floating around that the distance was farther than 600, but I didn't wear my garmin in the water, so I don't know for sure.
Swim: 600+ meters, 15:49
The run from the lake to transition was long, I dipped my feet in a baby pool to rinse them off, and kept my eyes on the medal bars holding up the screens along the chute, I didn't want to stub my toes or wipe out. I
ran right past my bike, backed up, and found my stuff. Helmet, sunglasses, shorts on, socks, shoes on, GU in the top of my suit, then grabbed the bike, and headed to the exit.
T1 4:31 (I laughed out loud when I saw my time. What the hell was I doing? All I can think of was that it was that long run from the beach)
This was the third time I had ridden S's bike, but I was comfortable on it. I did have to play with the gears throughout the ride, but for the most part, it worked great. The course was fairly flat, and I was actually passing people, and I got to call out "on your left!" several times. I tried to keep my speed at 17 mph, but I worried the whole time about getting a flat, I passed a girl who was changing one and felt bad for her. We had to go over some deep railroad tracks two different times, they were some big bumps. At about mile 12 we went over a bridge with this crazy grooved metal road, if you could call it that. I thought "this is it, this is going to blow my tires." but luckily it didn't. Then it started raining a bit, but it felt good. I fished the pack of GU out of my top, and sucked it down at mile 15.
Then next thing I new, we were nearing the end of the course. The roads weren't closed for the race, and I saw a cop yell at a mini van that didn't stop, and at another point, a car went through the group of us, and a girl was stuck on the wrong side of his car, and couldn't get over to where she needed to be. Not cool.
I LOVED cruising down the chute into transition, with everyone yelling, and ringing their cowbells (although whenever I hear a cowbell, I always think of that SNL episode with Christopher Walken and Will Farrell, and he keeps saying "more cowbell!").
Bike: 18 miles, 1:06:53
I got my bike back where it needed to be, and for some reason, I was trying to take my helmet off in the back. Then I remembered to unclip it in the front. I swapped it out for a visor, then struggled a bit to put my tank on. I got to the end of the row, looked at the spectators standing there, and yelled "where do I go?!?!?!" they started yelling and pointing, so I headed right back to where I came in on the bike, which was pretty close.
T2: 2:03 (okay, that was better)
I kept feeling like I was forgetting something, and I fumbled a bit with G-unit, switching it over from bike mode to run mode, so I wasn't really running as fast as I should. Then I looked up, and saw my friend Sheila there! So I hugged her, then started moving again, then I saw my brother in law Rob (Jeannine's husband) and niece. After that I had to buckle down and run, which I did, although it was getting pretty muggy out. I couldn't seem to regulate my breath, but I was moving at a 9:20 pace. It was an flat out and back along the lake, and again the road was open to cars. Halfway through I felt like I was getting a cramp, it was just hovering there, waiting to blow. I saw S with his kids, and I yelled out to him that the bike worked great, and towards the end I saw his wife K, she had already finished. The last half mile I felt myself slowing down, especially when I came upon a rocky, gravely stretch, and I was determined not to wipe out. Next thing I knew, I was in the chute, I gave Mike a high five, and crossed the finish!
Run: 3.2 miles, 29:54 (not my best, but I wasted time with G-unit, and getting out of transition)
I met my goal of finishing under two hours, my time was 1:59:10. I was 98/184 in my division, and 444 out of 1047 finishers.
Me, Jeannine, and Gina, with our medals:
Me, Mike and the kiddos:
I was pretty skanky when I got home:
I spent the rest of the day at the pool, having a bit of champagne, and a grilled cheese and pretzels. Jeannine ate her burger so fast I swear it was gone in 60 seconds. Mike bought me a cake and ice cream, I scarfed down a half a pint of mint chocolate chip, and admired the flowers I received from my BFF Jennifer:
This morning I got another gift from Luke and Eliza, they let me sleep until 9:00!!!!!!!
This was the perfect triathlon for a first timer, Iron Girl was well organized, with great volunteers, I thanked as many of them as I could.
Thanks to everyone for all the luck and supportive comments as I trained for my first triathlon. : )
What a day.
I'm still smiling.