With a chill in the air and dew drops on the grass and bikes, race morning had arrived.
I was constantly refreshing the screen on my computer on the Set Up Events Website waiting for the registration to open. I knew I had about an hour so I quickly headed off for a trip to Target. while shopping for the ever important beauty products, my phone rang - the wolfpack fight song - my brother's personalized ring tone. Registration opened early! Eek! I'm a target! I scurry over to a corner and read him my credit card information so he can sign me up! Shew. Mission Accomplished. I rushed home and the forum was going nutty with everyone trying to log in and register. Finally- we were all in. I was going to do another half ironman.
The days passed of spening hours on the trainer and lifting weights at Maramarc.
Meeting the girls for early morning runs.
These are the memories of triathlons that I can't put into words in a blog.
Friday, May 2nd
Greg and I drove down to the middle of nowhere. Seriously.
White lake is outside of Clinton.
Clinton is outside of Fayetteville.
Fayettevillle is outside of Raleigh.
somehow - we got cell phone reception in them there parts. I can't knock my home state, but man there were thick accents.
The whole way down my stomach wasn't feeling so good. Not nerves which I defintiely was feeling, but sick feeling. Oh no! I ate my pb and j and pretzels and drank my gatorade, but really I just wanted to puke. (nice thought huh)
We arrive at the race site - the FFA. mom and brother were there waiting for us. Packet pick-up was the fastest ever. The stomach started feeling better. Yay! I saw a lot of my girls painted cars and everything.
Greg, the Brother, and I shimmied into our wetsuits and headed into the lake for a swim. The water was nice. Not too cold - but not too warm either. We worked on drills and I even showed my brother my not-so-graceful butterfly drill I was learning. then we met up with more friends and finally made our way to dinner...Hibachi!
Full bellies and the bags are packed...time for a good night's sleep.
Saturday, May 3rd - Race Day
the water was nice. Margo, Kate and I were in the same wave - the silver caps!
the gun goes off and so do we! I think of my drills and start off hard to get through the group. I settle into my pace and take my time. I try to find people to draft off of, but everyone's in front of me. Oh well. I swim buoy to buoy and they go by before I know it. In the beginning I have to settle into breathing and the wetsuit. Ok I get that in check. As I am in the middle section once again my hair keeps getting stuck on the velcro strap and dang it hurts and it's annoying. I pause a few times to get that under control so I can focus on my stroke. I did pass one boater...now I appreciate you being out here for us. really, i do. but please turn off your engine - I can smell and taste the gas in the water. I am heading for my last portion back to the dock. Really? already? I feel like I just got out here. As I run to trainsition I pass Greg, Erin, and Emmie and Greg yells that I am right on time. I look down and see 44 minutes on my watch. I wanted to finish in 40-45 minutes - at least I broke 45 minutes.
Time - 44:52
Pace - 2:07
A/G - 17/21
I quickly hop on the bike and I'm off. Going downt he first stretch and people ar epassing me like I am standing still. I look down and I am doing roughly 20mph which is great for me so I try to tune out the speesters flying by. I focus on my nutrition plan and try not to think about my average. (I have a bad habit of looking at it throughout the ride) Then as I close my bento box I hit the button and my computer is showing me my cadence and not time. I need it to show time since I eat every 15 minutes. As I click the buttons to get it back it passes my average speed - 19.8! Heck yeah I think to myself! If I can hold this up for another 36 miles I'll be golden! then the firt right turn comes. BAM! The wind strongarms me. I think it might actually bring me to a stop. I actually wished I was bigger so maybe the wind wouldn't be able to blo wme around so much. another girl and I hopscootch around eah other throughout the course egging each other on to pass each other and push harder. I try not to push too terribly hard, though- I heard the last 15 miles are the hardest and I don't want to kill it before finishing! Finally another turn. I think to myself how happy I am going ot be to not have headwind anymore! I turn right...and I think the wind might push me over sideways. Geez Louise - what is this nonsense! But I tell myself everyone has to race through it so I jsut have to PUSH! I am feeling good again and realize...I'm in the last 15 miles...this isn't the hardest part! I pedal as hard as I can back into transition.
Time - 3:20:49
Pace - 16.73
A/g - 17/21
And i'm off...and there's a water stop. Immediately as I begin my run I get a cramp in my quad/knee. Last year I had lots of cramping problems so I have been working on avoiding these. I get to mile 2 and go ahead and take an e-cap aka magic pill. Before I get to mile 2, though, I see my brother finishing his first lap! What a way to start the run. He looks at his watch and says he will see me soon. I keep on going cheering on my friends as we pass each other on the course. There were so many of us out there I swear I couldn't stop smiling b/c being out there with everyone made me so happy! A few miles later and I hear this voice from behind..."When I say red you say white. RED!" me: "WHITE!" My brother passes me..."When I say wolf, you say pack. WOLF!". me: "PACK!" We do a quick little Wolfpack cheer and he scurries on passed me. (he has longer legs - that's my excuse). I pass a guy and he turns to me and asks "are you always smiling" I said "I try!" The run course was hot with minima to no shade. Luckily they had thse nasty but great towels in ice buckets at every aid station. they were so nice! I leave an aid station with one guy as he starts complainging to me. really? this is not the time. He whines about the heat (ps dude we are all hot). I told him - at least he could feel theheat. then he whines aboutbeing tired (umm aren't we all) I tell him at least he can run to get tired. the I leave him. so long Mr. Optimisic! Some people I swear. Next time you get tired think of Team Hoyt with a person on your back! or the person passing you...with only one leg. Look around you and take it in. how can you not smile! Then as I am finishing up on the run I pass some volunteers and make sure the thank them. they were young kids picking up the trash. One boy responds "Hey can i get your number? ya know, later". I look at him laugh and say "NO" Seriously?! He was all of 14 and I am dying in the heat! Boys will be boys I suppose. Final stretch on my way in I try to pick it up a little. Last 2 miles...cramp! cramp! well shit! I walk it out have a conversation with my calf and let it know we are on the way in so it better behave. Then I see a few more TG's - blow them kisses and I turn the last water stop. (I just got goosebumps typing that). I kick it up. Excsue me - move over here I come!
Pace: 10:59 (yikes!)
I start running down the finish chute and hear my mom and Greg and friends! I did it!
I really wanted to finish in 6:15-6:24. But I will take 6:34. Last year I finished in 7:24 so I shaved FIFTY minutes off! Man no stitches and taking care of the knee sure does help! Although I did not hit my pace goals in any of the legs, I made strides in my race and focused on nutrition which was one of my key goals overall.
How much longer until Timberman???
(more pictures to come...)