I wasn't too worried about staying up a little late because my wave didn't even start until 9:00! They moved the start of the race back because of the trouble they've had with the water being too choppy in the past. They say it usually calms down by around 8:00, so that's when they were going to start this year.
It seemed way too relaxed to go to a race that late! We usually have to get up at 5am, and we usually sleep in so we have to rush, but today we just got up at 7 and had plenty of time to get out there.
I was a little too relaxed about it, actually, because I forgot to put my timing chip in my bag. Of course, I didn't realize this until I was setting up my transition spot. At first I though, "Oh well, I'm just doing this for fun anyway, it doesn't really matter," and just finished setting up. I grabbed my wetsuit, cap and goggles and headed over to the port-a-potties. After that, I decided to find out if there was a possibility of me getting a new chip. I walked all over the parking lot in my bare feet trying to find the timing chip people, and when I did, they were very kind and just got me a new timing chip. Of course, with the chip came a new number so I had to get marked again and hurry and change the number on my bike, helmet and race belt. By the time I did this, they were announcing that all the Olympic Women 49 and under should be at the swim start. So much for a nice leisurely start.
I put my wetsuit on half-way, then ran over to the boat ramp, where we would start. I hurried and put my wetsuit on the rest of the way, trying to make sure I pulled it up good, while looking for Pete. I found him, and he took some pictures.
Here I am trying to hurry and zip my wetsuit up so I can get into the water with time to warmup.
Notice my lovely double numbers? Stylish!
I got in the water and thought, "This isn't really even cold!" Of course, when I put my head it, it was a different story. I kept looking at Pete, telling him it was cold, and he kept telling me to put my face in more and swim around. That's what I did.
I'm not the one waving, I'm the one to the far right who looks like she's still trying to adjust to the cold water.
Swim - 1.5k (.93 miles) - 31:31
After swimming around, and sticking my face in the water a bunch, I felt much better. I felt excited and ready to go. Then the guy came over and told us we had 5 minutes! What?! All that rushing for nothing? So, I kind of swam around, treaded water and chatted with the other girls until it was time to go. Soon, he was counting down and we started cheering. Then the gun went off and I realized the very front was not the best place for me! Everyone was just going at it really hard and it made me feel really overwhelmed. I like to ease into the swim a little.
Look for the bare arm. The nice thing about being one of the only people with a sleeveless wetsuit is it's easier to find me!
I was hitting people and people were hitting me. I tried to see where the buoy was, but I couldn't find it.
I thought, "It's ok, just follow everyone else." But I was feeling more claustrophobic than I thought I would when I put my face in the water, and I felt like my wetsuit was choking me. I kept telling myself it wasn't choking me, and that I just needed to find my rhythm, but I wouldn't listen. I turned over on my back for a minute and pulled my wetsuit down away from my neck, then turned around and tried again. I didn't feel any better. I looked for the buoy again. This time I found it, but it looked so far a way! I just felt like I couldn't do it. I told myself, "yes you can do this! You swam more than twice this far in the Ironman without a problem!" I was still having trouble believing myself and I still felt like my wetsuit was choking me so I rolled onto my back again thinking about how my swim time was shot so I should just relax and focus on finishing. I seriously wanted to get out of the water, but then I thought about how that would ruin everything.
I started swimming again, nice and slow and relaxed and I started to feel much better. I found some feet and followed them, and before I knew it, we were at the buoy! I kept following the feet until suddenly, she was veering way off to the left so I let her go. I felt bad for her, but what could I do? I swam by myself the rest of the way, and started passing people. When I got to the end of the first lap, I glanced at my watch and saw 15 minutes. That couldn't be right, could it!? Seeing that gave me new energy, and I realized my swim time might not be that bad after all so I pushed harder on the second loop. I passed more people, including some guys from the wave before us. That felt good, and once I rounded the buoy, I really pushed it hard, and kept pushing until I could see the boat ramp under me. I stood up and looked at my watch. It said 30 something! Wow!
T1 - 3:15
I was so happy, and hurried off to T1. I knew my official time would probably be 31 something because the timing mat was just before the transition area, but I didn't care. I felt so good and happy, and just felt my whole race turn around for the good. I felt even better when I saw a lot of bikes still racked by mine.
Sweet, my bike's not all alone here!
I put my helmet, sunglasses and shoes on - not worrying about socks, and got out of there. I was feeling pretty cold, my hands had had a hard time pulling my wetsuit off, and my jaw was all tight. I just tried to breath, relax and get moving. I knew that would warm me up.
Ahh! Sorry about my blindingly white skin!
Bike - 33k (20.5 miles) - 1:15:24 (16.2 mph average)
It probably took me 10 or 15 minutes to warm up, but I could feel the sun on my arms, and it felt good. After about 3 or 4 miles, you hit the bit hill, and that probably took me almost 10 minutes to climb. I had a couple people pass me, and I just tried to hold steady and try to pass them back later. Some of them I did, some I didn't. I felt like I did pretty good on the bike. I kept my hart rate at around 160-170, which is high for me on the bike! I just had a lot of fun too! After the turnaround, it was a lot more downhill, and I just felt so happy cruising along at 25mph with the wind in my face, I felt like I would cry! I started just smiling at everyone I passed and really enjoying it! At one point, there was a hawk soaring along beside me, and that was awesome.
I passed a lot of people and felt solid going back down the big hill, and went right over the cattle guard at the bottom without a problem. It's always a huge plus not to crash on the cattle guard while going 35mph!
T2 - 3:33
I got back to the transition, and heard Pete call my name. I was so happy to see him, and just felt so good! I threw my shoes on (again, not bothering with socks), grabbed my hat and race belt, then had to sneak out of the transition fence and run over to the port-a-potties. I ran by Pete to do this, and told him how dumb I thought it was that they didn't have any bathrooms out on the course! I tried not to be too annoyed, though, because I was having a good day! I tied my shoes and clipped my number on while I was in there then hurried back to transition to exit properly. I looked at my watch as I passed Pete again and I think it was at 1:57 so I was really excited that I had time to get in under 3 hours!
Run - 6.2 miles (10k) - 1:04:39 (10:26 min/mile average)
I was really worried about the run being too hot, but I wasn't feeling it yet. At the first aid station, one of the volunteers asked if I wanted to be splashed, and I said, "Yes please!" and took off my sunglasses. He gave me a good splash, right in the face! It went up my nose so I sputtered a little, but I thanked him and went on my way. That splash also got the front of my shirt all wet, and it stayed wet the rest of the time which helped keep me cool, but I did also dump water on my head at the other aid station, which they had every mile. It was kind of uphill most of the way out, and I just tried to keep moving steady and knew I could use the hill to my advantage on the way back.
At the turn-around, I grabbed a Hammer Gel (they even had my favorite kind, apple cinnamon!) and some more water and headed back. I tried to use the downhill, and remember that I could run faster on downhill. I don't know how fast I was going, though because I had decided against bringing the Garmin with me. I felt pretty good on the way back, but I did feel slow and couldn't really get moving faster. I ran up the hill to the parking lot, and started looking for Pete again. There were a lot of spectators lining the path here, but they were the quietest spectators I've ever seen. Very few of them were cheering or even acknowledged me. (Though there were some kids that were doing an awesome job cheering!) Oh well, all I cared about was Pete anyway. Then I saw him, and he had the camera out so I tried to look like I was running fast! hahaha
Right after I saw him, I rounded a bend and there was the finish line! Yay! There was a girl a little bit ahead of me, and I sped up so I ended up crossing the finish line at the same time as her. I really could have passed her, but she seemed really excited to be finishing and I felt like I'd be stealing her thunder if I passed her. I know, that's a dumb thing to think in a race! But, whatever.
Finish Time: 2:58:19
I looked at my watch right when I finished, and it said 2:58! That's tied with the best finish time I've ever had (at BAM last year) so I was really happy with it, especially considering I've hardly been out on my bike at all this year, and my little panic attack in the swim!
I had a great time! I'm so glad I got to go down and do it, and that it turned out so much better this year! Overall it was a really good race, and they did a pretty good job, except for the port-a-poty placement issue.
I'm so glad Pete came and stuck around the whole time to support me! He's the best husband ever!
We decided to relax and hang out with Adam and Rachel for the rest of the day (which was really fun!) then drive home that night. That way the kids could sleep in the car and it would be so easy, right? Well, on paper that sounds good, but that's not how it went at all. Ethan and Elle both woke up twice, separately, screaming and crying so that we had to stop and walk them around a little. On top of that, I was just so tired, and it seemed like the distance from St. George to Salt lake had doubled!
When I was driving, and I realized we were just a little past half-way, I felt like I was doing another race, but this time I just wasn't going to be able to do it. We passed a Motel 8 when we stopped for gas and to calm Elle down one of the times, and it just looked so tempting! I knew it really wouldn't be as nice as sleeping in our own beds, but I was tired and my legs were starting to hurt pretty badly, and I just didn't feel like I could go on any longer. Ug, it was the worst drive ever! Luckily, Pete took over driving from there so that helped. We did make it home, and our bed was so wonderful and comfy! The kids all transferred to their beds very nicely too and slept in until almost 9:00! I also took a nap this afternoon. So, that was a good ending. :)