It was a beautiful day on Pelican Lake. A great day to swim 2/3 mile, bike 20 and run 5 miles. So why do I want to flee naked into the corn fields and hover in a fetal position until the race is over?
Because this race has 144 participants plus relays and 134 of them are age groupers who take this sport very seriously. This was the bonus race of a tri series and afforded points to everyone who finished. Good, I can use some bonus points, and they would come.
We stayed on site for the race, a truly remarkable resort which had the added benefit of the Tribe and tridaddy's folks being able to watch the carnage, I mean race unfold.
We awoke before the sun to attend to all the pre race rituals, filling water bottles, checking transition bag, braiding hair. Why can't I braid the right side of my head? We went to breakfast where the elites were already eating. They were braiding their hair-and it was perfect. One good omen, I was able to empty the old bowel-I always know it will be a good race when I can travel with a little less... why do I want to say bullsh@! here? Obviously that word doesn't work as I am anatomically incapable of being a bull. But I digress, as is often the case pre race. I wonder if Larsen digresses to BS and braids?
We made our way to the transition area, which I would have a picture of if Soapinator hadn't broken cardinal rule #1,521, never take mom's camera. At any rate it was a great set up, nice green grass.
I was experimenting with an energy drink- "No Fear" -yea whatever. One word of warning on the label caught my eye "not to be consumed by people sensitive to caffeine" To say I am sensitive to caffeine would be an understatement and 16 ozs later might explain why I am up at 3 am Tues morning writing my blog-well ok, it's probably not that bad. I did feel quite peppy through the race though.
I was assigned to the final wave of 3 which suited me fine. There were only about 25 women in my group. If you look close that is me in the middle of the pack of course, with the blue trim sleeveless IronMan wet suit.This is the start of the swim. Just get to the sailboats and turn around, get to the sailboats and oof, kick to the face, and turn around. This was my longest open water swim by twice, but it felt good. Really good. For all my pre race fear, I did all right. No, better than all right. I went in with women, and I came out with men-so either there was something in the water or I passed some second wavers. Quick check of body parts, nope, still a cow, and it's off to the bikes.
22:17 swim (I've got to figure out how to exit the water faster-my watch read 19:XX when my feet hit the sand)
We drove into camp on the hill that we would ascend to start the race-it was nasty. The average mph up it was 9, my computer read a steady 7. Is it 5 that you fall over on your bike? This bike was 7 miles farther than I had raced, and certainly confirmed that I am a moron. I have a shiny new bike computer that I have never used, which explains a few things. My top speed was 27 mph-yea for me. However, when I had been biking for 45 mins my ave mph read a measley 12.2. This was just not going to work. So, I started to hammer down with the hopes of getting it up to 14 at least by the finish. The average slowly climbed, but I was unable to figure out how to switch to actual miles without joining the numerous road kill, so I did a little math. If my average mph is 14 at one hour time, then I should have travelled 14 miles at the hour mark. Dang, I know I bike slow, but this means I still have six miles on the bike. I hammered a few more minutes, turn right, turn right, what the heck I'm back to the camp. Now how did that happen?
109:10 bike ave 17.2 (I think my magnet is in the wrong place on the spoke)
Yea, it's time to run! The first mile is up through the cheering spectators and out of camp. I encountered the Tribe who were cheering like crazy.That's Soap in the corner of the picture trying to drag me down the road-but alas mom duty calls. As I passed Buck Naked Boy he held out his hand to give me a high five? No, to show me his owie. 1 bonus minute for stopping to kiss it and make it better. And off again. The run felt good, I think particularly because I still thought I should be on the bike.
My shadow looks like a penquin when I run.
Mile 1 and here comes first braid girl toward the finish- I cheer like crazy- I really can't help it, the amatuer elites are inspiring to me.
I plod along, finally feeling my feet again at mile 2. Then what is that on the horizon? Can it be? Yes! It is Tridaddy making his way down on the second half of the run. We run towards each other arms outstretched "Arturo!" (why is a Goldie Hawn movie going through my head, I'm supposed to be racing) We embrace, I pause to tell him about the bike, ok at this point who cares, just finish the race will ya. So up to the turn around where my knee decides to jack knife. I pulled up and hobbled a bit-then decided to run through the pain and hope it ironed out. It did.
Run 44:01 (without subtracting the bonus mommy minutes :)
The grand finale of the race came 30 feet from the finish chute. Sopinator had moved to the finish and was cheering like mad, so I scooped her up, threw her on my back and carried her with me giggling and laughing through the finish line.
Pic to follow if I find my camera.
Total 2:20:08 My goal was 2:20 which I'm going to give myself credit for-afterall, with bonus time subtracted
Afterall I am Tri MAMA
So we packed up and ate lunch during the award ceremony. Braid girl won the day, and complimented me on how well my braids held together; not nearly as well as hers, but I can live with that. Mostly because I had fun. I had a lot of fun. Train hard but keep it smiling. That is going to carry me through the finish line at Florida. I love this sport.
So, here I am, at the official end to my rookie triathlon season. What a year it has been. I still have the marathon in October, but it's time to officially hang up the wet suit-sniff.