Got all packed up and left early on Friday from work. Picked up Scott downtown and got out of Chicago before the heavy friday traffic. We made good time and pulled into Cedar Point just to make packet pickup. Got my packet and was bummed to see i was in the last wa ve (they had all the ladies 40 and under go last). Not the end of the world but as a slow person to begin with, it just means there wouldn't be many half-ers out on the course when i was running. Friday, we hit up the park and there were hardly any crowds. Saturday, i hit the swim practice to awesome water and then the park for a few hours. I was one of those tools wearing compression socks and clearly trying to stand out with my color scheme.
Since the Half-ers had till 7:45 to set up transition, i slept in till 7:00 and woke up to finding out the swim was moved. This provided two many thoughts in my head: 1. Thank goodness I don't have to swim in that chop and 2. Ugh, i have to run .5 miles coming out of the water but at least I won't drown with the rip current. Dramatic, i know.
|Tony and I race morning. Racked and Ready|
|Which one of these items do I not need to a triathlon?!|
|Keeping it simple in transition|
Got to the marina at 8:00 and met up with Tony. He showed me how the course went which was around this little skinny island. I felt relieved as it didn't look that bad and it appeared like there was a lot of bouys relatively speaking. Tony went off about 25 minutes before me. Kissed/Hugged my family goodbye and set up my second pair of shoes so i could use them to run back to transition.
|Swim Start- Marina Side|
|Wow! (not me)|
|Shoes lined up for long transition run|
Exited the water, was stripped by the wetsuit strippers and made my way to my shoes. I felt a little lopsided but got my shoes on and trotted back to transition with a few ladies.
Sat all the way down and wiped down my feet and put my socks on. I then put a tube in one of my back pouches and nutrition in the other. I normally have taped nutrition on my bike for longer tris but since this is the first year I am racing without a tshirt on, i figured to use the pouches on my top. I took a Honey Stinger waffle, peanut butter crackers and some jelly power beans.
I got a new bike seat that I was anxious to try out. I even tweeted back and forth with Cobb Cycle asking if the seat would solve my saddle problems and world peace?
There were 20+MPH winds on the course which caused me some nerves going into the bike. My only goal was to stay on the bike the entire time .. low expectations I know but last year on this same course, i made this mistake and paid for it as i couldn't get into the groove for the last 20 miles.
The first 7-10 miles were good; went at a nice pace, was in a groove and stayed in aero most of the time. Mile 10-30, the winds were noticeable and played back and forth with a few people which kept it interesting for all of us. I also noticed a few fast guys coming the other direction and saw two people get penalties (at least i was pretty sure they did). Saw marshalls a bunch of times and threw a spare tube at a stranded dude.
Only SNAFU on the bike was that my nutrition worked its way out of my pockets and flew out around mile 15 and 30 on the bike. I normally tape stuff to my bike but since i had the pockets, i thought I would give them a go. Lesson learned the hard way. Luckily, there were tasty powerbars on at the aid stations and kept me happy. At about Mile 40, i wanted to get off the bike... bad... and i started thinking about Josh's pokemon. He is obsessed with them and kept correcting me about the stuffed animals he won as the little creatures evolve from a small cute fury thing to a more powerful version of it. Right around that same time, there was a stretch that had no wind and I got my second wind and told myself that I was "powering up" and evolving to level two. I might have talked out loud to myself at one point in this stretch.
I got in a groove with my waddle pretty quickly and my legs actually felt really good. I didn't have laboring breathing and had a new wave of energy. Saw Tony coming back to the finish as I approached mile 1 and made it to the first aid station/~1 mile in 11 minutes. Got some gatorade and splashed my face with water and continued on.
The run course is pretty straight forward. You go out of Cedar Point and into the downtown area where you weave back and forth through streets. This is great if family want to follow you but also I like it because there are a lot of runners around and doesn't get to isolating.
I really don't have much to report for the run except that I realized at Mile 7 that I should have no problem breaking the Sub 8 hour mark that I hoped for and figured I could probably beat that by a bit. This made me excited and then I started doing math in my head to figure out if I crossed the finish at XX:XX, drove home for 5ish hours, unload/shower and... would I still have enough energy and time to see Breaking Bad?!?! For those that don't watch, the show is going to end in a few episodes and I am quite addicted. So, i dedicate Mile 7-13.1 to Breaking Bad and it seriously was my motivation to keep going and pushing through the miles.
One of my favorite things about longer tris is the comradery on the run course. It is amazing how many smiles/"Good jobs"/"keep pushing"/"looking good"/or the occasional butt slap that were exchanged among athletes. It really was awesome and I love that most endurance athletes want everyone to do their best and we all root for each other.
Another finish line, another 70.3 and another season to be very grateful for. As a reader of my blog, you know I am a self proclaimed Slow Snail/Back of the Packer/Waddling Turtle... take your pick.. but I always enjoy seeing self improvements in my time and enjoyment during a race. (as I don't know if i would want to have a faster time, if i was miserable while doing it) But, today ended up being an awesome day.
Love Rev3 events.. love everything about them... will be back!
|Josh passed out among his own PR --> 4 rock hard Styrofoam carnival stuffed animals|