As we are lounging around in the hotel getting ready for the drive back, I thought I would take the time to describe my wonderful experience of yesterday.
Wake up 5. Jess and Rose did a coffee run and gave me a few minutes to chill on my own. We headed to the race start and I was quickly intimidated by all the really fit looking people.
After some final checks on Blain, headed to the transition area.
Head to body marking where I had a very nice lady who thought I was 848, not 841, so turned it into a heart. How cute.
Then it was to the swim. Now my wave went off at 7:10 and watching 2 waves ahead of me was extremely beneficial. Now I have had my fair share of experience in open water, however, very little prepared me for this swim. We were standing waiting for the gun to go off. The race director said "Get ready to have the greatest race experience of your life!!" We all laugh and the buzzer went off.
IT WAS TOUGH!!! I have never felt so beat up in the water. 1.2 miles of being smacked by waves/swells. At times I would breath to the right and get hit, I would look around and see no one else, and there was NO sighting! Part of that problem was orange buoys, pink caps, and lifeguards wearing red tops. Not good. By the last leg of the triangle, when you had the push of the water, it was to a point where you couldn't swim because it was too shallow. Needless to say, not my best time, however I am SOOO thankful that I am comfortable in the water. But you could tell everyone had a rough swim.
T1 went fine. I was by a port-o-jon which was great for changing! I am not going to win so I go for comfort. I changed, finished dressing and headed out. I did forget my gloves, ran back, and then headed out.
Bike. Where to start. First of all, what causes swells?? WIND. So after a rough swim, because of the wind, what do you accept on the bike?? WIND! BOO!!! The first 10 or so miles were directly into the wind, with a slight incline. SO NOT FUN! When you are pedaling hard, dying and only going 10 mph, it' s just not a good sign.
We took a few turns and finally got some wind at our back with a slight down hill and flat. That was fun!
Another few turns, headwind, and downhill is fun, but not the extra I was hoping for. Hit the half way point and saw how dark it was getting... Hit the big hill, eventually made it up, felt a bit dead, and then it started. The rain. It was at first a light drizzle, kind of nice after the hill. But then it didn't stop. And got worse, and worse, and worse. So for 25 or so miles, wet wet wet. There was some thunder and I just wanted to finish. I slowed down a bit, because I had no brakes and as afraid to go into aero.
When I looked at my bike computer, after wiping it off, I realized my speed was pretty good.
I was on the way back and feeling pretty good.
Overall, 15.5 mph!!!
But here is the thing, my goal was 14 mph, closer to 4 hours, not 3 hours 35 minutes. So with the rain, I wasn't sure if Jess and Rose would be there. I saw Rose, but no Jess (and no pictures because they weren't expecting me that quickly). As I head into T2, I hear Rose on the phone.
Jess was napping in the car!!
T2 went well, easy to change and get started, even thought it was still coming down.
One word can describe the run. WET. It rained the entire 13.1 miles. But when I talked to Coach the night before and told him about the weather forecast, he just said "smile, there is nothing you can do about it". For some reason, that is just what I needed to hear, and that is what I did starting on the bike and carried it through with the run.
Overall, I am really happy with what happened. I don't think there is anything I would have done different, accept change the weather to be cloudy with no rain.
I can not thank Jess and Rose enough for all they did for me. And Kristen, Scott and all the family who were there at the end. This was a great race for me and really good feeling leading into Madison in 54 days!!