I spent August really working on my bike, I knew this was where I could gain the most for the race! I went into the race feeling reasonably confident about the swim and bike, but really scared about the "RUN."- then mother nature decided to throw me another curve ball - a heat wave in New England!
I've raced 2 races this summer with full blown migraines & I really didn't want this to be another one! Friday I was so busy preparing for my parents to visit, trying to catch up with work so I could take a few days off after the race, that I FORGOT to hydrate! By Sat AM I had a headache.... I kept thinking, great - here we ago again! I kept on top of it and was ok by Sunday AM! Up at 3:30AM and in the car by 4:20 with my Peanut Butter bagel in hand -woohoo, I was ready!
I felt great! When I got to the race site, got my number, then met Alexis - she said "you're going to have a great race, they lost MY number." This meant I passed Mr. Murphy onto her! Poor Alexis had to stuff her bike on a unmarked rack, then was forced to MOVE it again 10 min before the swim start!
So, onto the SWIM- .9 miles completely around this little lake. It was very shallow, some parts I could touch the ground with my ARMS while swimming! I can't imagine how tall people did it! I saw some people walking,
There was a really long run, AROUND transition to get to my bike, but I managed and off I went! The ride was beautiful and fast! I got a bento box and had some Gu Chomps with me. I have my air traffic control dashboard with me and finally figured out what numbers drive me on the bike (cadence, speed, and average speed). Ever 15 min I would eat a chop and I kept my numbers in check. This enabled me to keep a full 2 mph avg higher than I had been! - VERY happy with my 26 mile bike! --
I'm still a terrible climber. Even though the hills were tiny, I'm still slow. Every time I slowed down someone would say "hey awesome job, looking good" or something like that, and not until later in the race did I really appreciate that they MEANT it. I totally thought "ugh, they're thinking 'poor fat slow girl."
I popped in another GU and just WENT, around mile 20 just found this burst of energy! Some guy yelled out "woah, you look fresh as a daisy?!" -- interesting I thought, maybe I figured out how I need to fuel?
I passed a woman that had been in front of me the whole time, and just yelled out "hey, you're faster than me, and have been this whole race, come-on, you can do it" - so we cat and moused it the last 2 miles. In Transition she yelled "hey thanks, I needed that." - of course she then RAN.. I knew I wasn't going to be able to run 6.1 miles!
The heat was starting to rage by this time, I have no idea what temp but it was in the 90's. I started out with my run, which is about 14min mile. I did that for 1 mile then walked, I can walk the same speed so I decided to just walk! I noticed this guy in front of me, fit and appeared to be struggling. He would walk/run/walk/run. I rounded a corner about mile 1.7 and he was sitting in the grass on the side of the road. I just walked over, gave him a hand and said "lets go, only .3 to the next aid station, you're walk/running what I'm just walking @ the same speed, I bet you can just walk this." So he got up, and told me that he had just not fueled properly today. He was bonked for sure! I said "they have Hammer Gel at the station, grab a couple, see if that helps." - so he did, and we kept walking, and he started to feel better...
About .25 from the finish line, a police man said "hey its only a short distance left, finish strong!" so he said "ok lets run" --- as you can imagine he ran LOTS faster than I do, so off he went, and I just puttered along. He noticed I was missing and STOPPED and waited for me! When I caught up, he said "I would have been a DNF if you didn't pick me up off the ground." - So we crossed the finish line together!
These are the things I love about this sport! You really do meet the best people!
And now I've completed an Olympic Tri!