Ok I’ve got a bunch of pictures and I’m going on vacation next week so it’s now or never (well for another week at least).
Friday was a normal day at work, once I was done, I set out to the race site to pick up my packet and see where my transition spot was.
I ran into a bunch of my tri friends and just enjoyed chatting with them and making sure I knew where I was suppose to go on race day.
Do you want to see where I had to swim???
I enter to the left of the picture. They have a ramp for us to walk down and then hop in the lake. It’s a slanted rectangle. Go out following the yellow buoy, turn at the orange buoys and then follow the yellow back to these yellow flags.
Here is my wonderful friend Michelle, she was my buddy on race day too.
So I stayed for about an hour talking with friends and then headed home. At some point I guessed it would be a good idea to get all my gear together. I started just piling it up. Then I laughed b/c a friend posted a pic for another race, saying “do you think I have everything?” So here is my flat mama Amy style!!
Ok, got everything packed up and loaded into my car. i had extra trash bags, towels and plastic bags for my phone and keys just so that if I got wet, I was prepared for it. No thunderstorms were in the forecast just drizzle. Got my boys to bed and finally headed there myself. I had a hard time settling down and probably woke up every other hour to make sure I didn’t over sleep. Couldn’t turn my brain off apparently.
Alarm went off at 4:15 am and I took a few minites to lay there and play on my phone. Dressed and ready in a few minutes, then I was downstairs getting coffee and my breakfast. Several of us were already texting each other seeing how we were doing. Water bottles filled up, food ready and I stretched my hip, then I was out the door at 5:05 am. I’m the type that i would much rather be extra early and not stressed about that then getting there and fighting traffic, crowds etc. I pulled into the closest parking lot they would let us be in at 5:15 am. Found two MRTT friends almost right away. We headed over to get our spots set up. that’s my friends bike over some of my stuff. next time I would set up my area straight back and not to the side. it worked but i had to dodge her bike. lesson learned.
Ok, so it’s getting close to race time. Michelle and I went down to see what the water temps were like. We also both ate our pre-race gels so we would have the right fuel in our bodies. I had my Apple Cinnamon Huma gel before the race and strawberries was for after the bike. For the first time in this races history, the water temps were cool enough for it to be wetsuit legal. So around 76 degrees. With the air temps in the mid 60’s it would mean it’s chilly. We got in and yes it was cool but not horrible. We got out, ran back to our spots to put our flip flops up and then headed over to the swim start. Can you see us?
You go 2-by2 every 5 seconds into the water. It’s a nice controlled start and then not total chaos in the water. You don’t get swam over or kicked as much as you do with a bigger group start. I started to freak out a little but Michelle and another wonderful friend Shawn were there and reassured me I can do this. It’s that feeling of oh sh&$ what am I doing. We got up to the timing mats and it was our turn. Michelle and I set out. I took it nice and slow/consistent it’s ok to start slow you can speed up or just keeping going at a steady pace. You don’t wear yourself out as fast to save energy for the rest of the race. I just kept telling myself, “swim to the next buoy” and I did. I actually passed people in the water which helps your self-esteem by the way. I made it out in 13:40 min and I was thrilled. I felt good.
ok, off to my transition spot to get ready for the next part. I was able to jog to my spot. At Callaway, I walked most of the way. I felt like I was sucking wind. This time felt better so that was great. I saw Michelle getting ready and we yelled at each other. Then I was off on the bike. I did put my jacket on b/c I was cold coming out of the lake. I’m glad I did. I’m not in this to win, but to do this for me. So if I need a jacket, then I will put it on. I just tried to keep my momentum going on the bike and go fast enough but also use caution b/c it’s wet and it was sprinkling/spitting on us the entire time. I was thrilled to see that I did the course is under an hour. I had a goal in my head that I wanted to finish this tri in under 2 hours.
Got into transition and changed shoes, helmet for my hat, grabbed my water bottle and Huma gel and then I was off. See here is my pose!!!
Do you know what the best sound in the world is???? An entire water station erupting into “IT’S ANNA!!!!!” when I came out of the woods and onto the pavement. I grabbed water from one friend and smiled for a pic from another.
Right after that I had a friends husband (who was there volunteering the day before and wanted to come check out the race) heckling me saying I better run faster. I turned around and threw water on him and my friend Jodi. She yelled, “you got me!” and I gave her a huge hug and then set off. Yes I know I needed that water but it was worth it to throw it on him. haha!!! I set off. I did really well maintaining a constant pace at 12:30 for the first mile. I came over to the other side of the lake to the boat docks where the next water station was and heard another chorus of “IT’S ANNA!!!!” wearing a neon green skirt helps a ton 🙂 I didn’t know I had friends at this water station too!!! I kept running constantly until just before the turn around at 1.3 miles. I then needed a walk break. Walked a minute and then told myself i have to run back to the boat dock and then I can walk while I get water. I did, as I came out of the trees and could see the water station, the cheering squad erupted again and my friend Kim saw me and gave me a big hug. I needed that!!! Well my heckler (Steve) was back, telling me he was going to chase me down and make me run faster etc. I actually had no energy to answer him right then. This middle mile became a hot mess. I walked and ran, my legs were toast and tight in a few places. Looking back I would call this my wall. It wasn’t’ a huge wall, but in the way none the less. I didn’t like how I felt. Now I was worrying that Steve would chase me down and what would he do??? Had to push that out of my head and just keep going. I started singing songs on my Ipod play list. You aren’t allowed music on any portion of the course which sucks. I need my music when I run. Helps to keep my brain from sabotaging me and have something to concentrate on. So I’m coming up this long slow hill that is the worst part of this course. I am almost to the top when I hear “Anna you better move your A&$, I’m going to get you!!!” It’s Steve, he found me. Now he is an awesome endurance athlete and super fast. So I’m not surprised he was able to catch up to me. I apparently still had my smart mouth even though I was ready to be done b/c I answered “Well good you can pass me and then I can look at yours!!”
So he gets right behind me and starts yelling marine corp stuff at me. I got mad and shoved him off the cart path which then resulted in him saying “Good be mad at me!!” then we started talking about music and other random stuff. He told me he needs to share his play list with me and it’s a shame you can’t have music. I did tell him I am singing songs in my head from my play list. Also said so what, you want to share your music so that I become Steve Crazy!! He liked that. So now my head has figured out something. Yes he can be harsh, annoying or whatever, but he was now helping me. We just started talking about random stuff which is always a good thing for me. I also wondered why of all the people he knows racing today, why did he pick me to come chase down, annoy and ultimately help me get to my goal??? I don’t know why and that’s ok. Kind of cool when you think about it. But don’t tell him, it might make his ego bigger hahahahaha!!!! We hit the downhill part and I was able to speed up which also resulted in Steve saying “see you can go faster” and I answered only b./c we are going DOWNHILL!!!! He also gave me tips on how to get up the last hill i have to run up right before the finish. So take smaller steps and move your feet faster. in other words down shift into a lower gear and take smaller faster steps. We came across the bridge at the lake and I saw (and heard) my friend Jodi!!! She got these shots.
Here we are. He is laughing at something and you can see his arm in my shot. This is the last flat spot before the final hill and then turn to the finish. As we were running up the hill, he was talking to me. I said several times “I hate you Steve!!!” but I kept going. Made it too the top, saw another friend, turned and headed into the finish. I gave it all I had and I’m proud of myself for that.
Total time: 1:54:23 I DID IT!!!! I BEAT 2 HOURS!!!!
Seriously think that if Steve hadn’t chase me down, I might not have met my goal. Crossed the finish line, they took my timing chip and put my medal around my neck. I had a whole bunch of friends at the finish. One walked up and first asked “are you going to puke?” I said no and she said “ok then I can give you a hug” hahaha it’s a valid question.
We did it!!!! (my friend Karen is in the yellow and her hubby is behind her to the right in the bottom pic!!)
ok here is my run
Very proud of myself and feel like I did the best I could (with the weather) and now I’m ready for the next adventure.