Background - In January, I got the bright idea to sign up for the MAP tri. I have completed this tri b/4 and thought I would give it another go around. My friends Bree and Jeff also signed up.
Morning Routine - The morning went as normal. Got up around 0500. Had a time with the Lord asking for His blessings on this wonderful day...and no rain if possible. Drank coffee, fixed a p-nut butter sandwich to eat later and packed up. I felt really good. No tummy issues. I have really tried to eat good, hydrate and sleep so I think that helped.
Setting up and waiting - B/c this is a pool swim, we were seeded with a time. My time was 9:31.20. We had to be there b/4 0745 to set up our transition area. Bree and I rode together and got our transition area ready.
Bree had a good time pumping up her tires.
Just trying to chill and stay in my ZONE!
Then we got all marked up!
Then we waited! Looking good in the swimcap! I was 1st to swim out of our group.
Bree, Me, Jeff
Me swimming like a rock! My main memory of the swim was looking to my left and seeing the pool slope down to a deepness that almost sent me into a panic. My "swimming" was faster, but going under the ropes messed me up bad. Swim Time was 12:34 for 500 yards.T1...Oh no it had started raining. Little did I know this was a small glimpse of what was to come. Note to self...untie shoes b/4 the race starts. T1 time 2:44. Told you those shoes slowed me down!
Everything is wet and nasty...I am freezing..but my wonderful scream team presses on. I am still in T1...See me putting my helmet on? It won't come off until mile 2 of the run...but I will get to that.
And finally I am off to the bike part of the tri.
The bike portion was originally 11.6 miles. However, we found out, TODAY, it had been altered a bit to 13 miles. Out of transition, you go to Statesville Rd and start your 1st up hill climb. Bree and I rode the 11.6 mile course last week and thought it was a pretty good course. But this week, there was a very strong headwind and rain the whole ride. Around mile 7, for me, the bottom dropped out and it started pouring. Around mile 8.5 I noticed that something hard was hitting me...HAIL! Now hail would normally hurt if it hit you and you were standing still. But I was on a bike going somewhere btwn 14 and 25 MPH...depending on the wind, rain, and if it is up or down hill. I felt good during the ride...except for the fact my legs, hands and feet...and whole body was numb. Took a gu around mile 9 and was able to drink a lot while biking. That is an accomplishment for me! Bike time was 46:58 for 13 miles.
T2 - When I dismounted my left calf started to cramp a bit so I slowed the run into T2 to a trot. All in all, my legs felt like they had during my brick. I took off my gloves and tried to put on my race #...my hands were so numb I could not get it clipped...now that may be why the helmet stayed on. T2 time was 1:03. Not taking the helmet off was what saved the time. Ha Ha!
The run was 2 out and back laps then around the back of aquatic center, across the road through some grass to a trail and around to the finish. It was still lightly raining. I started the run and remember thinking that I had forgotten to do something in T2...now what could it be. I passed Jeff and he seemed to be laughing. He was coming from the 1st lap and I was starting the 1st lap. Around mile 1 I started to feel my feet again. Was feeling good b/c I was passing people and feeling really positive that I could PR. Went to the 1st turn around and started back out for my last lap. Around mile 2 I wiped my face and noticed my helmet was still on...I am so crazy. Honestly, I really did not care. I know people were getting a laugh (including Jeff and Brian - Thanks guys). So I took it off and continued to run. Ran behind the aquatic center and it was so muddy I had to walk...people were slipping and falling all over the place. Got to the sidewalk where you cross the road and they sent us through more mud. Rounded the corner and heard Matt and the girls yelling for me from the warm car. Then headed to the finish. I tossed my helmet and went across the line. Run time was 25:58 for 5k! WOW! My goal was 26 minutes.
Total time was 1:29.16. This is around 4 minutes off of my MAP time in 2006...and the bike course was about a mile longer!
Afterthoughts: This was a really fun tri. I do hate it rained, was so cold, and the run course was awful. I hate I had to walk some of the run course b/c of the mud. But like my mom says, "You do not get to choose the conditions you race under". I feel like I did my best. And got to hang out with some great friends.
Things I would change: Well, take my helmet off during the run, duh! Untie my shoes b/4 the race. Change up the swim a bit and not let the girl get in front of me at the end. She got in front of me on the last few laps and slowed way down then I could not get around her running to transition. I would have pushed harder on the run. I just trotted the last 500 yards. I even stopped to yell a Hi to Matt and the girls.
A special thanks to Matt, my girls, Zoe (my JRT dog), Brian, Greg, Lucus, Sommer, and Tim for coming out to scream team. You guys are great!