Yet again, I find myself struggling to write my race report. So once again it will be a report in pictures. James and I arrived around 6am and set up transition. I got in manic mode and we took some pics.
My parents arrived some time closer to 7:30am. By that point James and I were on the beach checking out the swim course. Or from the looks of it, we were both randomly squinting in the bright sunlight.
Here I am with my dad as I'm waiting with my newbie wave to get started.
I'm somewhere in this pack of swimmers. I lined up to the far right in the second row of swimmers. I took it out very easy and just settled into an easy pace. No kicks to the face, no getting pushed under. Even when I started passing some of the men in the wave ahead of me they didn't fight back.
Into transition in just around 30 minutes. A lot of people started popping up to run up the beach and I followed suit. I probably should have kept swimming a bit more, running in the thigh deep water was not easy and the beach floor was a little rocky. Took my time in transition, checked my list twice...Was out in about 2 1/2 minutes.
Here I am about to mount my bike. Mouth agape. Don't know whats up with that. I swear, I was doing well at this point ;-)
I dropped my chain for the first time ever at mile 1.5 on the bike course. Took me under a minute to get it back on and get going. I spent much of the first lap getting passed by people on tri bikes who looked very serious. There was one big hill and a few smaller ones. I dropped into my small chain ring for the whole large climb and saved my legs for later (or I tried to). Finished the first lap in 45 minutes and intended to do the second lap in under 48. I ended with a 1:31 split for the bike leg.
Was feeling pretty good in T2. Again checked my list twice made sure I did everything correctly, got my garmin switched over to run mode. When I looked down the first time about .25mi in it was reading 7:30min/mi. Thats the last I would see any remotely respectable time on my garmin.
The first 2 miles were uphill (just slightly) and I think I ran in the 8:30-8:45 range.
Then I hit the hills. I hate hills. My splits fell below 9min/mile. It was hot as hell. I just kept plugging. I started bargaining with myself. I refused to walk. I did not walk. But it was not pretty. Mile 5 was a 9:30. Very frustrating. A girl I had passed on the bike and was passing back and forth with on the run passed me, again. I asked, newbie or age group? Newbie. No!!! She had gas left in the tank. I did not. I shuffled in to the 6 mile mark, saw the chute and pushed it in. 57 minutes for a long 10k (6.35mi according to my watch and I did run the tangents.) It was very painful. It was awesome. Total time: 3:03:09...
Obligatory sucking wind post-race shot
Went to the tent, drank water, choked down a banana, and watched the awards.
I even got a free massage.
In the evening I went with James and my parents to the Publick House, my favorite pub.
2 beers and I was wasted.
It was an awesome day. I can't wait to do it again.
(sidenote: had I known how close I'd be to going sub 3 I wonder if I could have found the energy/effort/reserve/resolve to go 3 minutes faster...)