Saturday morning arrived to quickly, I didn’t sleep very well, the toilet in our room was running all night and I just couldn’t get comfortable. I was hoping that the adrenaline from the races would keep me going for the rest of the day. I got up, packed my gear and nutrition, had a banana and Larabar and then met up with the rest of the group for eggs in the main dining area of the hotel. After some coffee and eggs, we all headed to the race site which was 30 minutes away. When we arrived we were surprised that there was still good parking available closer to the transition area/finish line, hooray!
I took my bike and gear down to transition to set up and then went to go get my timing chip. After spending what felt like forever to squeeze into my wetsuit, we finally lined up and got ready to start the swim. After about 10 minutes from the start time, it was finally my time to hop in the water. As I ran into the water, and started to take a few strokes, once again I had issues getting my breathing under control. I stood up and tried to collect myself and then started to do strokes again. My heart rate wouldn’t settle, so I finally just breathed the same way I did the night before, every right stroke.
After some time I was able to breathe every three strokes and I was finally headed towards the exit. It was a pretty uneventful swim, other than the fact that I got passed by practically everyone. The swims for the rest of the weekend were 2 loop swims, so that by the time I got into the water, the super fast people were starting their second loop, thus swimming and thrashing (at least it felt like it) over me. Grr. Thank goodness IMAZ and Redman are 1 loop swims!
Once I got out of the water I pulled off my wetsuit (which seemed to take for forever, it wouldn’t come off of my arms!) and then got into my bike gear. I honestly cannot remember much about this ride except that the hills were tough. But they were tough all weekend. At the very end of the bike route there was one really super steep hill that we were lucky enough to get to ride for three out of the four races. Yippe! After climbing the last big hill it was pretty much all downhill to the transition area. Once I dismounted my bike I ran to my transition spot and put on my running shoes and hat. Now the exciting part of the race began for me, my hips could handle 1 mile, but how would they handle 6?
Off I went, and so far no pain! The run was the same route 1 mile run, except after .5 miles we kept going into the woods. Yipes! Not only was the bike hilly, but the run was hilly too! After 2 miles I walked up one of the really big hills to try not to aggravate my hips since they were already feeling tight. On I went, and suddenly I saw the 3 mile sign, halfway there, and I felt great. The second half of the run was mostly downhill, so with the exception of another big hill, I mostly ran the rest of the route. I could hear the announcer’s voice getting closer as I exited the woods. Almost to the finish, I looked down at my watch and saw that I could still finish under 1:10, so I sprinted the last .3 miles to the finish, hitting ‘stop’ on my watch at 1:08 and some change. Not my greatest 10k (possibly my worst), but with such awful training (or lack of) I was happy with it!
I walked over to the finisher’s tent to get some lemonade and watermelon and then went back to the finish line to cheer on the rest of my friends that were still out on the course. After everyone had finished we went back to the area where we had parked and set up the club tent and took out the coolers with the food we had bought the night before. I have learned over the past 6 or so months that my stomach doesn’t agree with bread/pasta (gluten possibly?) so I was worried about what to eat in between races so my stomach wouldn’t be grumpy for the second race. I had decided on eating deli turkey meat, mixed nuts, powerade (small bottle) a banana and a Larabar. My stomach still felt weird after finishing so I skipped the Larabar (extra fiber, probably a good idea to skip!) and banana and felt pretty full but not puffy. After a couple of hours of laying in the shade and stretching/foam rolling, it was time to get transition set up for the third race of the weekend….