Saturday night brought fitful sleep, but at 4:30a my alarm went off and I started prepping for the race. Mentally I was far from being ready; it made me nervous. I could have easily gone downstairs and folded laundry and not have missed racing that day. But, I got myself ready.
At 5:15a, I hit the road to Hagerstown. I wasn't able to find my bike computer, but since I had another one, I hoped that it would suffice. I didn't have my usual Basmati rice for the pre-event feed, so I grabbed very stale Ritz. The ride up was uneventful, and I hit the park around 5:45a, grabbing a prime parking spot right near check-in and the transition area. I checked-in, got my body markings, and grabbed my bike so I could pick out a rack spot. I took my time setting everything up at my transition area since the race meeting wasn't until 6:45a, and I knew I would be sitting around quite a bit after that.
The race meeting came and went, and I got all my questions answered. I was all set...to sit around. I was about 227 people into the swim, and figuring that I'm an average swimmer at an 8 minute swim time, I had 2.5 hours before I would hit the pool (turns out I was pretty close; I hit the pool around 2:20). The weather at 7a, when the first swimmers hit the pool, was great. At 9:30a, the sun was out and it was humid. Yuck.
Kristin and Jeff came out to support me, and I got to chat with them a bit before I got called over to stand in the swim line. It was awesome that they came out. The woman next to me in line was doing her first triathlon and had fear and nerves written all over her face. She was my lane buddy for the swim, and I told her to do the race at her pace - whatever made her comfortable. And then it was our turn. We jumped into the water and had about 20 seconds to get ready. The water took my breath away (they had had a hail storm the night before), but I quickly warmed up to it and was ready to go. 3, 2, 1, go! After lap 2 I lost count, and that wasn't the best thing. At lap 3 I was expecting the one-to-go notice, but didn't get it. And then at lap 4 I didn't get it. I felt like I was swimming forever. At lap 5 I got the call, and was greatful to be almost be done. The water in my right eye google was annoying me the whole swim. I probably pushed a little harder than I would have liked, but remembering back to my swim in 2005, this was much better. I got out of the pool and headed for the transition area. I finally started my watch since I had forgotten at the start of the swim. Oops!
Socks, shoes, gloves, sunglasses, helmet, kiss for Jeff, and go. It took about 10 minutes to be rid of the disorientation of the swim and transition and finally relax into the bike. I was very aware of the sun being out since there was little to no shade on the ride. I now wondered if I had enough liquid. Turn after turn, mile after mile. I was passed by four people, and passed four, so I had a net of zero on the ride. Woo hoo! I pushed the last quick mile into the park and was back where I started 11.5 miles before.
Switch shoes, gu and water, gloves off, helmet off, number on, off again. I'm beat. I make it out of the transition area and grab a few walking moments to gather myself. I skip the 0.8 mile water stop since no one is handing out anything and I felt fine. Walking a little more. I see some spectators, so I pick up the pace. Kristin and Jeff are there, and Jeff wants the kiss that he didn't get at the transition. We succeed in exchanging a smooch without bashing faces while I'm running and he's standing still. How cute! I run to the next water stop, grab some water, and walk until I'm finished with the drink. Then I'm running again, but walking up the hills. Walk through the next water stop at 2 miles; 1.1 miles to go. I'm now mostly running, but grabbing a few moments of walking when my breathing becomes very labored. I walk through the final water stop at 2.5 miles and set off to finish the race. I have to grab a few moments walking to catch my breath shortly thereafter, but with the cheering on by another runner, I gather myself and head for the finish.
I finish strong, but I'm really beat (duh!). I get my bottle of water and sip it. Kristin and Jeff meet me at the finish and I get a hug and a kiss from Jeff. I'm about ready to rip my shoes off my feet. I don't, but instead I gather everything from the transition area and start heading to the car for the ride home. I did it - my first race since 2005 and I finished. Yay!
- Register early for this race
- Analyze my nutrition more closely, especially for the pre-race meal and bike
- No events the evening before (family thing this time); this should be prep time
- Heat does terrible things to my run; adjust accordingly (as I did)
Once I get my swim split and rankings, I'll add them here.
Well, between my cycling computer and the official splits, I have my times (they missed my bike end time which mucked up my bike time and T2 time). And here are the results:
Swim - 0:08:37 (300 m)
T1 - 0:01:32
Bike - 0:40:22 (11.5 miles)
T2 - 0:02:45
Run - 0:35:18 (3.1 miles)
Total - 1:28:34.2 (10.02 mph)
One Month Done
5 years ago