Yesterday (Saturday) IronGreg and I participated in the Kinetic Half at Lake Anna State Park. A nice venue only about 75 minutes from home. Lots of my comrades doing IMCDA with me did this training race a well. Sine this was a training event, my coach did not have us taper for this. Instead I had a hard 2 hour ride three days before.
I was pretty anxious going into the weekend.
1. I had not raced a half ironman in 2 years.
2. last time I swam in open water I had my first "freak out"
3. I am just starting to run outside again and it's only been for 30 minutes.
The plan was to wake up at 3am and be in the car pulling out of the driveway by 4 am. Ew.
Luckily, IronGreg's coach got a hotel room and it had two queen beds in it, so we were able to grab the extra bed. We didn't make it up there in time for Friday night's packet pick up. Oh well.
We got to the "roach motel". I laughed that the coach must have smoked a pack of cigarettes while waiting for us. But - it was a place to lay our weary heads the night before the race which offered us one more hour of sleep. I could not be more grateful. I forgot my watch, but luckily a friend was able to bring an extra now known as the "pay it forward" watch. (more to come on that)
Race morning. I get dressed, but my oatmeal just isn't doing it for me. I get down what I can, but only eat 1/3 of it. Packet pick up line was long and I was getting anxious. I got my number and was happy to get a good spot on the rack. After claiming my territory, I got body marked and my chip.
I am trying to find my peace with the swim, and so I want to go for a pre-race warm up swim. Race starts at 7, so I figure if I get in at 6:50 I can splash around for a few minutes then get back out and not get cold waiting for my wave. I get to the beach at 6:50 as planned. and they announce for everyone to get out of the water!! what?!?!?! That wasn't in my pre-race plan.
Swim. I line with the red cap wave and the gun goes off. I ran into the water and quickly start swimming. I try to sprint for a minute then find my groove thing. I learned quickly that there is some velcro not covered around my neck where the wetsuit closes. This catches my hair. and not just a few strands. It felt like half my hair was being scalped every time I sighted. I would have to reach around and pull it out. but, I wasn't going to let this bother me. I had to laugh it off. Especially knowing that my dear friend who closed my wetsuit would feel absolutely awful knowing this hair pain and that just made me laugh. I did a good job at sighting, especially for me. I had to pause a few times to really see where I was going, but I stayed on course pretty darn well. Unlike the guy who was swimming diagonally and kicked me pretty hard in my chest taking my breath away. but I couldn't be mad - he was going off course and had no idea he was going to kick me. I really tried to go at a moderate pace. When I get in open water I have a tendency to slow down my stroke. I am afraid of running out of steam - it's hard without that wall to gauge my distance, so this time I really tried to give it a little more gusto.
Goal Time: sub-40
Split Time: 43:28 (16/19 AG)
nothing exciting to report.
Split Time: 2:23 (3/19 AG)
Bike. this is what I have been working hard at. I got a fit a few weeks ago and have been feeling like I am finally getting my bike legs. I wanted to really work the bike, but keeping in mind I had a hard run ahead of me afterwards. the hill coming out of transition my heart was racing. I went into an easier gear to spin and get myself in line. Why do I put pressure on myself at times like this?! Getting on the road and feeling groovy. I start flip flopping with a few girls. Usually when this happens they pass me and I never see them again. This time, uh-uh. Not going to let that happen. I am going to try (pun intended). It's a lollipop course doing the lollipop part twice. Not bad - LOTS of false flats, but only a few real climbs, which aren't daunting at all with the hill training I have been doing. At one point I start to feel tired, I think to myself, "Self, it's a good thing you put a #1 nephew kiss in your pocket" About 20 miles to go and my friend, the wetsuit closer, catches me. she is a crazy good biker even though she doesn't realize it. We actually end up flip flopping a few times. I have accomplished "dropping" the girls I started with except one. We'll call her "your grey tri-suit is too thin b/c I can see your butt crack" girl. or "Grey girl" for short. for some reason I wasn't going to let this girl win. Maybe b/c she was in my AG and I really wanted a solid bike. With about 3 miles to go she is ahead and I just can't seem to catch her. drat! then we are at the dismount line together and I ran over the mat first - hooray. (although come to find out she actually beat me by 3 seconds. blast!) But I felt happy coming off the bike.
Goal Time: sub-3 hour
Split Time: 3:00:49 (10/19 AG). 18.6 avg. I will take that.
Again, nothing exciting in transition. I did find out another girl in my AG was doing her first HIM. I wished her luck and told her she was 2/3 of the way there.
Split Time: 1:51 (9/19 AG)
Run. I run out of T2 and I hear my FAVorite race sound - my mom made it and is cheering. She's always so loud I just LOVE it. and she has #1 nephew with her and I hear this sweet "Auntie!" and some kisses are blown (we catch them and put them in our packets for later - I didn't know he was going to be there which makes the bike pocket kiss even sweeter in my head) the run starts uphill. My calves hate the hills. seriously?! And of course this is where all the fans are! I try to run, but damn this hurts. I get to mile 1 and I stop to stretch the calves out. ahh much better. I get on track to run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute. But I know it's a hilly run and I have to walk uphill to keep calf inflammation down...I have to keep my eye on the big prize in 5 weeks. In my head I tell myself to just hold a 10:00 pace today. That's all. I haven't been running outside and don't have the confidence to be aggressive. Everything seems to be going well. I am doing my 4:1 and holding my 10:00 pace. Awesome. IronGreg is on his 3rd loop when he passes me on my 1st. He passes with a "Good Job, Wifey". thanks, babe. Wait! what the?! His shorts are torn and he is covered in blood! oh Lord. He must have wrecked on the bike course in this misty weather. Oh no. I hope he's okay. But I have to finish my run. A lot goes through my head when running. I pass through for the 2nd loop and IronGreg is in the medic tent and his friend pokes his head out to holler at me that he's fine. Oh good. Then comes the half way point. and the cramps. oh. no. seriously?! I just put one foot in front of the other. I tell myself that the bathrooms at the finish line are SO much nicer than the port-o-potties on t he course so just take my time and think of indoor plumbing. unfortunately my stomach was not listening. port-o-potty won. i was racking my brain while running why this was happening and what can I do to make it stop? I realize I put enough calories for a 4 hour ride on the bike (in case something happened and I was out there longer than expected) and I had almost all of them!!! and they were offering HEED on the course which I don't like. maybe i should stop drinking it - duh! So from now on water and flat coke. Unfortunately, by this time my stomach is a wreck and my 10:00 pace is shot. I just have to finish. and I did.
Goal Time: 2:10
Split Time: 2:20:35 (16/19 AG)
Overall Goal Time: sub-6:30 (6:34 is/was current PR)
Overall Finish Time: 6:09:03 (12/19 AG)
So I didn't hit my swim goal or my run goal. But dammit I just got a 25 MINUTE PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, before I go any further, you may be wondering, "What's all this 'wow' about?" Well, I will tell you.
As we were heading out on the bike there was some traffic stopped. I turned left and there was an SUV at the intersection. I look over with a smile and I see a little girl, filled with joy, staring out of the window. In the instant that I saw her, her eyes were filled with amazement. Filled with life. she was saying the word "WOW". I was thinking to myself that she has no idea the motivation she just gave me. I said a little prayer, as I often do when racing, asking God that she may one day be blessed by someone giving her the motivation she may need just like she gave me. It was just such a neat moment.
1. LOTS of PR's. Strong races out there by all my friends.
2. IronGreg is alright. He is pretty banged up. but still finished with a respectable time...and a PR. His entire right side is a mess. and his bike is covered in blood. We don't think it is too banged up, but it goes in the shop tomorrow for a good check up.
3. Jill S surprised me out on the run course with her cowbell when I was struggling and that was so nice to know that I would see her again.
4. I love my girls - we smile when we race and cheer each other on.
5. I know I say it a lot, but I also think it during events, we are so fortunate that we are able to do this.
6. I want to give a shout out to my girls that raced Rev 3 Half today. You all did so great. You make me proud.
7. Last but not least. My mom is awesome. She just happened to be coming in town for another event and drove additional time that day with a 2.5 yr. old to cheer me on. she said she was happy she was there to see me do a personal best. (and #1 nephew was happy to eat all the crackers and oreos - even woke up this morning asking Grandma if he could go see Auntie race today and get more cookies) how awesome is that.