As with every race, the morning started WAY too early and I questioned why I even do these things. I swear I'll never wake up on race morning and say, "yep, this was a great idea." Am I alone here?
Anyway, we (my friend Kelley and I) left the house at 5:40 am as the transition area opened at 6:00 am. We were there just after the break of dawn to get our body markings. (I was still asleep).
I always hate that your markings reflect your age at the END of the year. Why? I am NOT 38 for another 2 and a half months!!! Humph!
We had plenty of time to set up our bikes and we chose a spot halfway between bike-out and run-out right by the swim-out exit. We racked with a 78 year old man racing and he told us our rack was only for medalists. Kelley and I laughed (I think he was serious).
Pretty soon we walked into the pool area to assess the "situation". I was so intimidated by the pool swim. It's not like an open water swim in that the distance looks so far, but I was afraid I was over confident in my swim abilities and put a too aggressive swim time (therefore start ranking).
Right before the race meeting we saw Bianca, Isabel and Karla coming our way. I told Bianca they did NOT need to get up so early and come out to see us, but she and Karla insisted. It's so nice to have such great friends there to support you!
Pretty soon they had us all wrangled into the pool area and this is where chaos ensued. It was so disorganized, although it should have been quite simple.
Remember when I told you that we all put down our 200M swim time when we registered. Well, they gave us numbers and ranked us accordingly. It should have been so simple, but for whatever reason it wasn't. Finally we lined up in some semblance of order and the first swimmer started. There weren't that many people in front of me and I started to think that my 4:00 time was too aggressive. As each new swimmer entered the pool I panicked. They looked so, so fast. I let about 5 people go in front of me before I got the courage to just go.
The whole swim went so fast. I was so focused on just not getting passed. There was no way to see behind me, but I didn't want anyone touching my toes. Pretty soon (about 100M in) I caught up to the girl 2 in front of me and passed her. I figured the chances of me getting passed were lessening. I powered through knowing it was just 4:00 minutes of my life and I could do it.
I was in the last 50M and I started to get excited that it was almost over. I kicked and pulled as fast as I could. I got to the last wall and had to endure the HARDEST part of the triathlon. I had to hoist my body out of 6 feet of water with no ladder. My arms were so weak. I gave myself a boost and barely got my chest onto the wall. I then clawed and scratched my way on the cement until I could get my knee on the wall and stand up. It was horrible and not graceful, but at least I didn't fall back in the pool. Swim was over.
200m Swim Time: 4:19:36 (56th out of 132)
.... grabbed my bike and I was on my way.
T1 Time: 1:15:96 (27th of 132)
The bike was pretty uneventful. I passed two bikers right in the beginning and then was passed by three men. I kept one of the men in my sights the whole time, but they other two were on Tri bikes and blew my doors off.
I wasn't mad that I got passed by a couple of dudes. I just didn't want to be passed by any females. And I wasn't!!! I kept a good steady pace the whole time. I kept reminding myself that it was a short period of time and I should be pushing myself. I drank a good bit of water trying to rehydrate from the swim. I was parched.
My garmin was all messed up so it wasn't giving me my MPH, but I could see that I was ticking off miles in less than 4 minutes. I knew I was pedaling faster than I anticipated I would and it was only further fuel to keep my legs moving.
Before I knew it, I rounded the corner into the bike dismount and heard Bianca and Karla cheering me on.
7 mile Bike Time: 22:57:98 (37th of 132)
Bianca and Karla ran over with me to transition and were giving strong words of encouragement. I don't think I ever made contact. I was so focused on getting my stuff and getting out of there. I wanted to be quick.
I didn't have Yanx (tieless laces) in my shoes and it might have cost me a few seconds as did the second Chapstick application. Oh well.
I grabbed my race belt with my bib and my headband and got the heck out of there.
T2 Time: 54:84 (62nd of 132). I was proud of this T2 time, but apparently I ranked better coming out of T1. Go figure.
I started running and was so preoccupied with my race belt and getting my headband in and readjusting my ponytail that I forgot to look at my time/distance. I had no way of knowing my pace at all. I could only go by what my heart was telling me. I pushed as hard as I could and told myself it was 2 miles. I could do anything for 2 miles.
The people ahead of me seemed to be going slowly and I was gaining on them, but I wasn't bolting by. I estimated I was running just under a 10:00 minute mile.
But before I knew it I was at the water station, which they mentioned in the pre-race meeting was at the mile mark. I had glanced at my watch after I got my belt and hair all squared away and the from the best I could tell I was running UNDER 9:00 minute miles. I figured I must have computed incorrectly. There was no way.
I was passing people and doing it with gusto. I think I passed a total of 6 or 7 people on the run (including one of the dudes that passed me on the bike) and only got overtaken by a 28 year old guy.
In a blink of an eye I was heading into the homestretch. I could see Bianca, Isabel and Karla and I could hear them cheering for me. What is it about having people you know cheering for you that makes you run faster? I felt like I was slogging along, but I knew I was giving it my best effort and hoped I didn't look too slow.
2 Mile Run Time: 17:28:17 8:44 average!!!!!!!! (36th of 132)
I had set a goal for myself to finish in less than an hour. I figured the bike would take me close to 28 minutes and the run closer to 20 minutes. I had far surpassed my expectations for myself.
Finish Time: 46:44:78 (34th of 132)
To say I was happy was an understatement. I set out to give it my all and I did. It felt GREAT!
Kelley did so awesome. She swam well,
kicked total booty in her transitions,
pedaled her heart out,
and ran like a beast (taking about a minute per mile off her normal run time).
Tell me this woman doesn't look STRONG!
We were just so happy that we both had such a good race. It's nice to perform up to your own expectation and it's even nicer to see your friend do it too.
Pretty soon they posted the results and I could NOT believe it when my name was on the FIRST page. Shut up! I know this was a small race, but my name was on the FIRST page y'all. That NEVER as in EVER happens.
I counted the people in my age group and realized I had finished 6th in my age group (after counting and miss-counting a million times). Still, Kelley and I wanted to eye up the people that had beaten us so we decided to wait for the age group results.
And then it happened.... I WON SECOND PLACE IN MY AGE GROUP!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right folks. What I didn't realize when I was counting the people in my age group on the results page is that I was counting BOTH men and women. I had actually come in 2nd place in my age group!!!
I was so excited I was jumping up and down like a crazy fool. I realize it's not an ironman, but to me it meant a lot. I told Kelley she probably thought I was an idiot acting like a fool. She said she would act the same way if she won.
And then it happened.... The first place winner in her age group was Kelley!!!! She hadn't anticipated that happening and she really did jump up and down and scream too. We were both so giddy and proud of ourselves. Thank goodness we were there together because we definitely were enjoying our little moment.
I'm so proud of myself, not because of any medal, but because I went out there and gave it my all and had a great race. I couldn't have asked for anything better to have happened today.
34th out of 132, 2nd in my age group and 6th female finisher. I'll take it. Thank you Georgetown Super Sprint for giving me a little confidence today.
Thank you to Kelley for going with me, Bianca, Isabel and Karla for cheering their little hearts out and getting up early on a Sunday and Mike (Kelley's husband) for all the awesome photos.