Anyway, Andria and I went up the day before, since it's a 2 hour drive from here, and we just got a hotel room to just stay up there after packet pickup. We got my packet and got the arrangements made for Andria to volunteer, and then we drove the bike course to get an idea of what I was in for. I wanted to preview the run course too, but they didn't have it marked yet when we were there. We thought about driving back out there after dinner, but by the time we ate, that was all she wrote, and we just went back to the hotel and crashed, LOL! On race morning, of course we were up and at the race site bright and early... or should I say, dark and early, cause y'all know how I hate to be late, LOL!!! I got all my stuff set up at my spot on the rack, and then went down and got my body marked.
The awesome girl at the body marking station was sweet enough to Sharpie my uncle's and great aunt's names on the back of my calf, as they both are cancer patients and very dear to me. I wanted to race with them and in honor of them, and I think they would have liked that! Just a week after the race, my uncle passed away from his cancer, so I'm really glad I had the opportunity to do that beforehand.
Anyway, I was really hoping for nice cool water, but knew it would be like swimming in a hot tub since it has been so freaking hot here this summer! However, I was pleasantly surprized to find it right in the middle, and the swim went pretty well for me. Andria tried to take pictures of the swim start, but she took them of the wrong lady, HAHAHA! Anyway, I felt pretty strong in the swim... well, at least not 100% zapped by the finish, and I finished the leg quite a few seconds ahead of Sarah, who is my rabbit! She always is just ahead of me, and (here's a real southern expression fer ya) by cracky, I'm a'gonna ketch me a rabbit one of these days :) However, I digress.... Once the swim was done, I managed to jog all the way to T1, and felt pretty strong as I headed out on the bike.
Since we had previewed the course, it really helped me to pick milestones and carve up the course to make it seem like it was passing faster... ok, just gotta make it to this point, just gotta make it to that point, etc. And I was feeling pretty strong! Right up until I got about half way through the bike course, and I was getting tired. The hills weren't as steep as some I've walked, but I was really getting worn out. And I was sooo close to just caving and getting off the dang bike to walk the hills... just to stop the suffering. But I really really wanted to reach that goal and bust through the wicked mental block I'd created for myself. So I came up with a new race mantra on the fly and was screaming it out loud! "Damn you, Hills... You can't frigging BEAT ME!!!" And just kept telling the hills off over and over out loud, and getting mad and just "screw you, hills!!!"... I sure was glad no one was around to hear me, LOL!!!! And somehow, I was getting up those hills... on my bike! And then it happened... I saw a dude just up ahead, pedalling away on his carbon steed. According to USAT rules, you have to stay 3 bike lengths apart, unless you're going to pass, cause they consider that the draft zone, which means you can cheat and not have to work as hard agains the wind resistance. Anyway, when you pass, you have 15 seconds to do it. I toyed with the idea for a few seconds, and thought - what the heck, I'm a hill-destroyer, I'll give it a shot. I pumped the pedals a few times and there I was right on his heel! So with a valiant, in-your-face, loud-n-proud "ON YOUR LEFT", I zoomed right by him! I freaking CHICKED that dude! WOOT WOOT, go me! I'm a dude chicker :) Apparently, guys hang their heads in shame when girls pass them, and Coach Andy says they call it getting chicked. :) He tried to regain his manhood by passing me, which was ok, because it was short lived. A few moments later I promptly revoked his man card once again, and chicked him a second time! It was simply glorious. Before I knew it, I was back at Transition, having successfully ridden the entire bike course .... YEHAWWW!
The run course ended up being quite a nice layout. There were alot of loops and such, but it was a really nice setup, with plenty of water-bearing volunteers who were full of encouragement and smiles. There was even one cheesy guy who said "oh I see they saved the best looking for last" hahaha, that made me laugh and almost pee my pants, but it was the push I needed to kick it into gear and keep jogging a little farther before walking. I did have to walk, unfortunately, but I am pretty sure it's because my legs were just spent after working so hard to ride the entire bike course. Plus, my knee and hip started giving me a few fits, so I was ok with walking when I had to. Did I mention that Sarah got ahead of me on the bike? So I spent the run a few minutes behind her, once again, but it was nice to see her doing well.
When I rounded the corner to the finish, I see Andria holding this sign! Apparently it was one of the cool little extras that the race organizers made available to spectators... they provided poster board and markers for anyone who wanted to make signs to cheer on their racers! Isn't that the coolest thing you've ever seen????
All finishers got really nice medals, so it was cool to walk away with some bling! Especially since I finished at the back of the pack :) Here's the final breakdown of my performance: 800 meter swim - 22:23. T1 - 3:41. 16 mile bike - 1:15:15. T2 - 3:41. 5K Run - 48:16. Overall time was 2:33:14, and I came in 7th of 7 in my division, and 198/200 overall. As far as the goals go, I was 5:14 over my time goal, and I certainly didn't run the whole 5K, but I freaking made the biggest goal of the three with riding the entire bike course. And as I looked at the overall standings, the chick right above me in 6th place only had me by 32 seconds! 32 freaking seconds!! That waskully wabbit, however, took 5th place by finishing 5 minutes ahead of me. LOL! Good thing I like her :) All in all, it was an awesome success, and I was really thrilled with my performance! I'll leave you with a few random post-race shots :) I'm off to fret about the Olympic Distance race I have coming in 4 days!