I rode to the race site with a most dynamic husband and wife duo, Lori and Ashley. You may remember them from Marine Corps Marathon in October. Lori and I had many a-training run getting ready for that beast and Ashley was nice to help Jyl keep me in line! Well, all three were there for me again, helping this bundle of nerves get to the start line (I am such a lucky girl to have such good, kind and talented friends!).
The adventure began setting up my transition area. I drew the lucky straw because I had a little corner all to myself right near the exit for the run portion. This may or may not be ideal, I have no idea, but because I was so worried about getting in people's way, it was wonderful for me! Set up went fine and I was happy to see my good friend, Marc, had his area right across from mine! Once everything was in order, it was time to face the dragon. It was time to take that long walk (metaphorically speaking) to Loch Norman; the place where monsters were ready to eat me.
|How NOT to put a|
Getting the wetsuit on proved to be a challenge. I was so nervous I couldn't get the darn thing up past my waist. Next thing I knew, Jyl pretended I was a pillow going into a pillow case, grabbed my wetsuit and lifted me up off the ground and VIOLA! Worked like a charm, except it also scrunched up my tri shorts and I may or may not have made people wonder what I was doing trying to get them back where they needed to be. Next it was time to step in the lake. Remember, I haven't done
anything like this before and Coach Sarah told me to take a few minutes and get used to the feeling of the lake and the suit, stick my face in the cold water and swim around a little bit. It actually felt okay and at that time I actually believed I could do it! Go me! A quick photo with Marc and then it was time for my wave.
|Marc and Me|
The first minute was great! And then it all went right to hell. One friend equated that swim to being in a washing machine and I have to say that was a spot-on description. Every time I came up to breathe...SMACK. Wave in the face. SMACK. Wave in the face. I can't swim, I forgot how! Freestyle without your head in the water. No. That is exhausting. I can't do this. There is a boat, maybe they will pick me up. SMACK. Breast stroke. Wait. I don't really know how to do that. Doggie paddle. SMACK. This is insane. Why is that boat so far away? Try to swim. Stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke....why am I sinking? What the.....HEY! that guy just swam right over my back! HEY! Chivalry is DEAD. I'm going to die. I can't do this. Where the hell is that buoy to make the turn??? Wait...is that the next wave behind me? Crap. PEOPLE ARE COMING!!!!!! Act like you know what you're doing....stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, SMACK. For heaven's sake. YAY!!!! THE FINAL TURN BUOY!!! I can DO this. I WILL finish this foresaken swim. Stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke stroke sight....where the hell is everyone? Spotters just gave me the thumbs up. They think I'm okay. HAHAHAHAHAHA what do they know. Stroke, stroke, breathe, stroke stroke...I need a break. stroke stroke breathe. I'm almost there!!!! Spotters: "keep moving keep moving, you're almost there!!!" Me: "You mean I'm not going anywhere?" Spotters: "NO!"......well...crap. Stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke.....................BEACH. Thank. God.
Since I was completely exhausted, I decided I was going to walk. All the way to the first transition (T1). I was going to take my time darn it! Or else I would have puked. Kinda like the guy behind my area in T1 leaning over the fence. I don't blame him. I'm just SO happy I didn't hear him, or he would have had company. The wetsuit came off without a black eye or any incident. Know how I just said I was going to take my time? Boy did I! I'm
embarrassed proud to say that I had the longest T1 time out of EVERYONE. Not a feat easily accomplished. But I did. It takes skill. Jyl did her best to yell at me to get me going, but let's face it, we were both laughing too hard!
I finally got my shoes on, watch on, helmet on, grabbed Thelma and....wait. What is clanging on my helmet. I reach up. Oh no. You have GOT to be kidding. Seriously?
|It takes skill to run into parked vehicles...|
"I left the price tag on my helmet!!!"
"Quick! Get it off!!!!"
(lots of laughing)
And then Thelma and I were off!
....and almost into the back of a truck.
The bike portion went pretty much without incident after I stopped to turn on my Garmin. Yes, I had to stop. I can't quite multitask in motion yet. The ride was actually enjoyable. I think I may have even passed someone! I can't WAIT until I can remember which way to click the little thingys on my handle bars to get the right gears. It takes me a couple tries! :)
I made it all the way to the dismount line without hurting myself. Hopped...well, there was no hopping. I gingerly got off my bike and Thelma and I walked to T2, yes walked, all the way to my area . Grabbed my hat and my number, goofed up my watch, and then it was time to run.
I think I was running? My legs were moving, but more in a Gumby sort of way. The run portion did not go as well as I thought it would. I had to walk a few times, which I should be fine with but if I am to be honest, it was infuriating! The one piece I knew I could do, and I couldn't. And the sun started beating down. Which was poopy. And I thought the course would never end. As I was making my way to the finish line, it was so deflating to see people LEAVING. They were done. All done, and I'm still running. Spectators were leaving too. But everyone would yell..."GO 36! (that would be me) Almost done! Looking good, looking strong!" I'm sure they were lying, but that's okay! I was saved that day by a little girl with little blond curls in the cutest dress. She looked me straight in the eye and said
"Keep go-wing! Yoo awr awemost dayore"
(In little girl speak: Keep going! You are almost there!)
And I did. I kept going and then I heard it. I heard the music and the commotion that is the Finish Line. And then I somehow found another gear. I sped up. Faster, faster.....and then I crossed.
I don't know how I did it. But I finished. I don't know how I even made it out of the water. But I did. And I don't know what I was thinking, but we get to do it all again in a few weeks at Tri Latta.
I have to get back in that lake.
|Definitely a fun day!!!|