or: my first olympic distance triathlon.
or: no wetsuit? no problem!
My wonderful husband drove an hour each way to North East, Maryland to pick up my race packet (the website said NO RACE DAY PACKET PICKUP!!!!). He had with him: my driver's license and a letter from me giving him permission to pick up my race packet. No such luck. The volunteers were firm that no one but the athlete could pick the race packet... and that I could pick up it before the race. I understand, but it still sucked.
I woke up at 4:45 to eat and fill my bike tires. James woke up fifteen minutes later and we packed up the car and headed north east to North East (ha) Maryland. James drove. I alternated between being nervous/ giddy/ excited and dozing. We got to NE around 6:15 a.m. I picked up my packet and racked my bike, organized my gear, and got in line to use the bathroom/ change. James: they just announced that you can wear a wetsuit, but will not be eligible for awards. (1) I wouldn't win an award in or out of a wetsuit, and (2) if the water was really 81*F I didn't need one anyhow. After waiting in the SLOW line for the port-o-potty(seriously, that always happens to me), I went back to transition to slather on sunblock and Body Glide. Then, to the swim start!
The race had both a sprit and olympic distance, so we waited while the spinters started their race first. There were several waves for each distance .. and so I waited .. and waited .. took a picture with James.. and then, FINALLY!: let's go light pink caps... first Olympic women in the water. Give it up for the ladies! We walked down the dock and jumped in .. the water felt great -- not hot but definitely warm enough for just a tri suit. The swim went okay -- I did a good job spotting on the first half, but got a little turned around on the second half. I got out of the water, looking (and feeling) drunk (watch read 35:something) and ran into transition.
No wetsuit to peel off but I did take a minute to eat my peanut butter sandwhich and wash it down with gatorade. I put on my socks, bike shoes, gloves, sunglasses, and helmet, and ran out (click-clack click-clack went my bike cleates) to start the bike.
I've put in quite a few miles on my trainer and it's starting to pay off. The course was described as "rolling hills" ... which I suppose it was. A couple of the hills were pretty steep (nothing compared to - GULP! - Savageman) but nothing I couldn't deal with. I finished my sandwhich and drank a lot of water and some gatorade on the course. I need to get a better system for my water bottles. I was really annoyed when a guy passed me on my right (really dude, I'm no cyclist but I know the rules of road racing) so I passed him, making sure to yell ON YOUR LEFT! as I went by. We changed places a few times during the race but I think he went into T2 before me. Boo. I finished the bike in about 1:25:something. (appx 16 mph average)
Racked my bike and took off my bike cleats. My sock was bunched up around my left toe on my left foot, and I was so happy to take off my bike cleats and put on my running shoes. I ran into a girl I had been chatting with before the start (we finished the bike at the same time) and she asked if we wanted to run together. I told her I'd probably keep around a 9:00 mile if that wasn't too slow for her. She said she couldn't imagine going faster than that (um, right after she told me she runs at 7:30 for HMs ... ) so we set off together. I had a GU and more gatorade during T2.
I think the race directors created a beautiful swim and bike course, and then said "meh, we're tired" when they got to the run. The run was up and back -- on the shoulder. of. a. highway. It was hot (we were in the direct sun), boring (cars cars cars), and smelly (exhuast fumes). Oh well. I kept about an 8:45 pace throughout the course (my buddy left me early ... caught up with her later and she told me she ran 8:20s). The volunteers were great -- passing out water, Hammer sports drinks (ew), and ice cold washcloths. My run time was about 53 min.
I saw the 1/2 mile to go! sign and picked it up. I passed two girls with "27" on their calves and a few other people, which is always a great morale booster. I turned into the chute and gave James a high five, gave it all I had, and sprinted it in. Heard: Tricia Cecil from Baltimore, Maryland, looking strong! (which is a big fat lie, but thanks Mr. Announcer Man). A volunteer took off my chip and another gave me some water. I then went to the buffet and ate: a soft pretzel, a hamburger, a chocolate chip cookie, and a banana. Yum! James drove us home and, after the adreneline finally wore off, I passed out in the car. (total time, according to my wrist watch: 3:06:37).