But I digress.
Without further ado...adieu...adoo? not even sure what that word is!
I was in wave 11 so I had 1/2 hour to wait. The pro men and pro women were first and both of those heats were really small. It was cool to see them, including Tim O'Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae. The men were basically finished by the time we even made our way to the dock - super fast.
The waves were done by age group but not in order of age, if that makes sense. So I think the group ahead of us were like 50-55 women and behind us were 40-44 men. Who knows.
They lead us onto the dock and we got in to wait for the start. It was deep enough to need to tread water but it was fine - the water temp was perfect too! There were only (as I found out later) 59 of us in the wave so we were able to spread way out which was great.
I found my spot and put my goggles on...only to have the nose piece snap! SERIOUSLY?! I panicked for a moment, but swam back to the dock and managed to get the piece put back in place. Luckily it didn't break or I would have been hosed.
The horn sounded and off we went. I was able to find open water right away and just took off. I honestly felt awesome and kept a perfect rhythm the entire time. I started passing people in the wave ahead of us, then 2 waves ahead and some from 3 waves ahead!
I made the turn, headed back to shore, got to the finish where a nice volunteer helped me out and I glanced at my watch to see 30:42 - WHAT?! That was faster than I thought and I was thrilled! I helped another competitor with her wetsuit zipper, got to my bike, got my wetsuit off and geared up for the bike.
excuse the stolen photo as a screen shot from my iPad - thanks FinisherPix!
Official time: 30:53
Age group rank: 4/59 (although the results say there were 71 women, but it appears 12 DNS)
Transition 1 time: 3:01 (a bit slow but I saw no real need to rush!)
Side note: So I checked the results after the race and it turns out my swim time was only 4 minutes slower than Mirinda Carfrae...who won the race and is the world champion. To say I was thrilled with that is an absolute understatement! Never mind she destroyed me on the rest of the course but hey - I'll take what I can get!!
Thanks to Christy for taking this picture of me heading out onto the course
But I kept trucking and felt like I was doing fine. I had my Luna bar, Sharkies, Power Gel cola things and some gummy bears to keep me going too.
Then the rain started. It was pouring. I was soaked and could barely see out of my glasses. Not ideal when dealing with sharp turns and lots of hills. You really can get some speed going on the downhills and that terrified me. My hands were so sore from gripping my handle bars and brakes so tightly! It rained (and I heard later it was actually hailing too!) at least 75% of the ride. Tough conditions to say the least. I saw lots of people on the side of the road with flat tires and noticed some folks with road rash too so clearly the rain affected a lot of the competitors, including the lead pro man who crashed along the way but was able to keep going. Scary stuff.
I knew miles 40-50 were going to be the hardest so I literally was talking outloud to myself right before the worst hill on the course. I just kept saying "Come on...you got this. You got this. Be tough." And it seemed to work - I made it up without stopping, walking my bike or crying! Victory in my book for sure.
via FinisherPix - Aaron tells me to smile through pain!
I was thrilled to see Christy at mile 51 (there were very few people cheering along the way) and that gave me the boost I needed to finish...and was so happy to finally be done and off the bike.
Official bike time: 3:28:34 (not too bad; would have gone faster had the roads been dry!)
Age group rank: 30/59 (got passed by a lot of ladies and I was ok with that - I know the bike is my weak part)
Transition 2 time: 1:46 (not too bad but again I wasn't really rushing)
I was so thankful for the crowds of people cheering once we exited out onto the run course - really helped put a smile on my face!
I saw Nicole right away too and it was so nice to hear her scream my name!
The run course was hillier than I thought (hills...shocking, right?) and we hit the first uphill about 1/2 mile in. I walked. My legs weren't quite under me yet and I needed a bit more time to loosen up. And honestly? I had to pee so badly that I couldn't really run- ha! I found the first aid station at mile 1 and used the Port-A-John. So much better!
I was loosely keeping tabs on my pace but more going by how I felt. I walked through every aid station and took water, made sure I was eating my Sharkies and Power Gels and just kept trucking along.
We circled back onto the main street in town before taking a right turn to run along the lake. That's where I saw, TriGirl, Ann Marie, Kevin, Rob and Julia! YAY! I was so thrilled to see all of them and they could not have appeared at a better time as I needed that boost big time.
via FinisherPix - yea, I was hurting
Heading back for lap 2
One more trip through the cheering section and back up the hill for the last time. Miles 10-12 were hell on wheels and I really struggled to make it through those. But I knew I was minutes away from finishing so I just had to tell myself to suck it up and go. I tried to run the entire last 1.1 miles, but I could feel my calves seizing up so I had to walk a bit more which frustrated me.
But I turned the corner into the finsher's chute and heard them announce my name as I saw Rob and Julia again.
The end is in sight...
I was never so happy to see the finish line! Kevin was right there to greet me and I started to cry. I told him that was one of the hardest things I had ever done and that I was so glad to be finished.
Run split: 1:57:29 (a pleasant surprise for as much as I walked!)
AG rank: 21/59 (made up some ground here!)
OVERALL TIME: 6:01:43
Age group place: 21/59
Overall rank: 460/1,071 finishers
As soon as I was done and back with Rob and Julia, I felt great and was so happy. I think I realized that I can indeed trust in the training that Coach Roman has given me and that I am on track to be able to finish Ironman Arizona! It was a sense of relief that I handled the hills along with the conditions and finished strong.
Kevin ran with me for part of the 2nd lap which helped so much!
My biggest supporters and my loves!
JP and Aaron representing MSU (despite JP's jacket with the incorrect colors!)
TriGirl and Ann Marie were amazing - THANK YOU!
Yay for Nicole!!
I thought this was a great race - albeit very challenging - but well organized, a beautiful course and other than the occassional hillbilly in a pick-em-up truck that didn't like us invading their town, a fun time.
After the adreneline wore off, I was really tired and didn't feel all that great the rest of the day, but luckily Rob took care of me (and Julia) and I felt much better on Monday. The 90 minute massage Monday afternoon helped quite a bit too :)
Thank you to everyone to helped me (by both being there and by your words of encouragement from afar) get to the finish line! I hope to have all of you (and then some!) in Arizona with me in 16 weeks!
Let the countdown to becoming an Ironman officially begin!