So, the house is pretty quiet and I don't feel like I'm dead tired (for the moment) so I think I can try to tell the "Race Day" story.
Let's see, Conner spent the night on Friday night with Sarah and her family so that he wouldn't have to get up super early to hang out with us. We picked up Sarah at 6am and headed out for Blue Lake. The surprising thing was that I actually slept like a baby the night before. We got to the park around 7am and loaded all of our stuff on our bikes and headed off for body marking and to find our transition spot. Because Mike and my numbers were in order, we were able to find a transition spot right next to each other and right on the end. Sarah set off to find her place and that was actually the last that we saw of her. Mike headed to the bathroom and I finished setting up. Apparently they only had 10 porta potties for the 1000 participants, not to mention the spectators...hmm, maybe we need to let them know that that is NOT enough! While he was gone for 30 minutes, I got to know my "neighbors". They were 2 extremely nice ladies who were trying this all out for the first time too. That's one thing I noticed. Every one was super nice and totally supportive. I love that! After Mike came back we went and checked out the lake, tried to figure out where all of the transition places were. I'm glad that we got that squared away before we were actually in the race. Not what I expected! After that, it was almost time for Sarah's wave to start, so we decided to
wrangle ourselves hop into our wetsuits. That actually didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I think I was in mine in less than 5 minutes. Apparently it's motivating when you're standing in front of 200 people in a speedo swimsuit trying to cram all your fat into something the size of a piggy bank. Now I know what a sausage feels like. Then it was down to the lake for the start of the waves. They divide everyone based on age and/or ability. The first 20 are considered "elite", like they might actually win the whole thing. Then they go by age and gender up until the end and then it's the first time guys with the first time girls a minute later. We kinda cheat though, us first timers, we only have to swim 1/4 mile instead of 1/2 mile.
It was fun watching the other waves start. We flopped around it the water some and got ready for our start. I was able to chat with some of the women in my division and made a buddy, Jen. Mikes wave was off and then it seemed like seconds (ok, I know it WAS only 60 seconds, but c'mon!) later they were counting us down. Now to back up a sec. I have practiced swimming in the pool. Ya know, you can stop every 25 yards and catch your breath if you need to, so the whole "open water" thing was pretty scary for me. Oh well, too late now! OK, so the count down is on and then we're off. Right off the bat there is a lady who starts bobbing. Someone asked if she was ok and she said no so I stopped swimming and headed over to her. I stayed with her trying to flag down some help while she was treading water. Finally someone started rowing over, as soon as he was close enough I started out on my real swim. I think I wasted about 2 minutes there, but who cares, right? It's not like I'm actually gonna win or anything!!! Off we go. And Jen is right there with me. I actually LOVED swimming in the lake. I didn't feel too tired or anything. I figured that once that was over, I'd be in the clear because the swim was the hard part, right? Nope. It's ALL hard!!!
You run from the water up a hill and into the bike transition area, it's probably 50 yards. I was able to get half of my wetsuit off before I even reached my bike. Sarah was smart enough to tell me to bring a small cooler and use it as a seat in transition. Way good idea!!! I hopped down, pulled the wetsuit off and threw on socks, bike shorts, bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses. Grabbed my bike and it's about 50 yards in another direction to the bike route. Have you ever tried running in bike shoes? There is a reason they are not called running shoes!!! But I got there, eventually. Hopped on my bike and was off. It was a bit windy, but not too bad. It's a strait shot with only 1 hill, so not too bad. The problem was the headwind on the out. It wasn't too bad on the back though, so I think I picked up some time there. I made the ride in about 50 minutes. Not too bad. Then the transition to the run.
Back to the transition area. Shoes off, helmet off, running shoes on. Oh, can't forget my hat. Then I start off on the run. I really had NO idea where I was going. That was pretty comical. Then I realized that I forgot to put on my race belt that had my number on it. Had to stop and ask someone if I had to go back. Nope, I'm good. Oh and I grabbed some water off a table but there was no trash can, so I had to run with the cup for like 1/4 mile until I found one. Then I missed on my run by and had to circle around, pick it up and actually put it IN the can. Seconds wasted, I tell you. But basically, I SUCKED at the run. Like seriously. I'm pretty sure that I had to be running backwards to make such a horrible time. I didn't even know that it was possible to move that slow in a "run". Actually, I probably could have walked and been moving faster. I actually felt pretty good, buy my legs just couldn't move any faster. It was crazy. I know that I need to work on my run now! But I eventually made it back. Even before they closed the race. Mike came after me and ran the last 1/3 mile with me. That was nice. Oh, except that he was "encouraging" me. Ummm, ya, that's NOT what I call encouragement. That's being a drill sergeant! "Dig, Dig, Dig, you can do it. Up the hill. Come on. Pick it up." I think we kinda got into it a little there. Something along the lines of "Way to go, your so close. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you'll get there." is more of what I was looking for. But you know know that whole Venus, Mars thing. I guess that's where it comes in! I crossed the finish and Conner came in about 2 minutes behind me from his kids tri. That was cool. Then we all just basked together with our new medals. We found Sarah and her family and just kicked it for a little bit before saying goodbye to our first Tri experience.
On the way home Mike was unwilling to commit to another tri, but I did notice that when I woke up from my nap, he was checking out local ones, so I think we're in this! As for me, my next one is August 2nd and I can't wait!!! Oh, and I'm hoping that one is warm enough that I can get by without the wetsuit wrangling!