I packed my transition bag and Jason's the night before the race. The last thing I want to do in the morning is run around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for everything. We went to bed early at 9pm for a 4:30am wake up call. I think for the first time ever, I actually slept really good because I was not nervous about the race (no swim = me sleeping)! Although I did have one flat tire dream, but it wasn't my tire, it was Jason's.
4:30am came really fast and we were out the door at 4:50 on our way up to Woodbine, MD. It was about an hour drive and we got to the parking area about 6am. This gave us 45 minutes before the transition area closed. I helped Jason set up his area since this was his first multi-sport race (although I'm no expert with only doing one tri). After his area was all set up, I went over to mine and got everything ready. After we were done we had about 15 minutes left before it closed which gave us time to drink some water and use the rest rooms before the race started. It already felt pretty humid at this time of day, but the sun wasn't out yet and I was hoping that it would stay that way during the race.
Run 2 miles - 15:06
I was in the second wave: women 35 and under and we started at 7:05. I started near the front of the pack because my plan for these 2 miles was just to run fast. The first mile went really fast for me with a 7:13 split. The second mile was more hilly than the first and while I was running I knew that with doing this loop two more times for the 4 mile run after the bike would be a suffer fest! My second split was 7:45 which I was happy with because of all the hills. I came into the T1 area at the same time as another girl in my age group and it was going to be my goal to try to keep up with her during the bike.
T1 - 1:45
There was two parking lots filled with bike racks and I ran into the wrong one and couldn't find my bike. It was then that I looked over and noticed I was in the wrong lot. Opps! I also fumbled with my garmin as I stopped and re-started it for each leg. Other than that it was pretty uneventful.
Bike - 26 miles - 1:33
Yep, another not so graceful bike mount, but at least I got my second foot clipped in on the first try this time. And the girl who came into T1 with me was already out of my sight... oh well I thought to myself. My goal on the bike was to survive all the hills.
We would ride the same 13 mile course twice. The course started off with a small uphill and within the first two miles I lost my shot blocks out of my jersey :( My glasses were also all fogged up from the sweat coming off of me from the run. I kept on riding and passed Jason around mile 4 and shouted out 20mph since he only had a timex. I kept on flying thinking that this course wasn't as bad as it looked, then came the hills, then some more hills, then even more hills! During the uphills, I was thinking "I hate cycling, I hate cycling, I hate cycling!" During the down hills I thought: "wheee I love this, it's so much fun!" I basically had these thoughts in my head the entire time I was riding. The first loop seemed to be taking forever! Jason had caught back up to me, and at that point I looked down at my watch to give him the mileage and saw a small 9 miles only! Are you kidding me, we have only rode 9 miles, I was thinking??? My legs hurt like hell and I wasn't sure how I was going to finish another loop of this same course. I kept peddling along and what seemed to be very slow and because I didn't have my watch mounted on my bike, I was basically just pacing myself off of feel. Finally after going up a very long hill I could see the transition area and knew I only had 13 miles left!! For a split second I thought to myself I want to DQ this race and just ride back in, but of course I kept riding. In the next loop I got passed by a lot of money wheels from the guys in the 40 -45 age group! However I got passed by only 1 girl in the second loop and I saw a 40 on her leg so I wasn't too concerned besides thinking she was a bad ass. It had rained the night before so there was still water on the roads in some spots which made for some scary down hills and right hand turns. I think I handled my bike pretty well and actually let myself rip on the down hills going 31mph. That speed is really scarey to me! The second loop somehow seemed better than the first to me though. I don't know if I couldn't feel my legs anymore or if they were now warmed up? Or maybe it's because I knew how many big ass hills and fun down hills I had in store for me? Either way to second half flew by and I was so happy to be approaching the turn back to the transition area. I was so ready to get off my damn bike. This was a one tough course!
T2 - 1:33:37
Another not so pro bike dismount. My rack was only 4 in, so I didn't have to run far with my bike, which was great! I threw on my running shoes on and tighten up my timing chip because it felt like it was coming off. Boy was this a mistake later on.
Run 4 miles - 35:44
By the time I started this run it was around 9 o'clock and the sun was out and the humidity was really high. I felt like my legs weren't moving at all and they were really hurting. At the one mile mark my watch beeped and I looked down to see 8:15! I was super excited and shocked that I actually was running that fast right off the bike. But that would be the last time I would see that split time during this run. After mile 1 the death march began for me. I saw a lot of other people shuffling along and doing a run/walk. We were basically all out there in a big suffer fest. Mile 2 of the course had more hills on it and my legs were just screaming at me.
I was also overheating. They had water stations every mile and I would take 1 water to drink and 1 water to pour over the top of my head. After I poured the water on my head I would run fast for about a minute, then just overheat again. I wish someone would have just followed me with a big water hose during the run.. that would have been awesome. The course was a two mile loop and you had to run right past the finish line. At mile two I wished so badly that I was making the split for the finish line or that I could just cheat and cross the finish line anyhow (who would know I only ran it once?). But yes of course, I started my trek for miles 3-4. At this point my timing chip was really digging into my ankle and I knew it was bleeding.
I wanted to rip it off and just carry it in my hand, but I let it be and just kept running. I drank more water at mile 3 and some of it went down the wrong pipe. I spend the next half of mile coughing pretty bad. And going up hill while sucking wind and coughing pretty bad was not easy! By the time I hit mile 3.5 and more hills I had to walk. I walked for I'm not sure how long and started running again. I have never walked in a race before and come on, this was only 4 miles. I was thinking to myself what in the world did I get myself into signing up for mooseman. I know it's a year away, but I could only image how horrible 13.1 miles is after biking 56 miles of hills, if I'm suffering this much on 4. Why do I like putting myself though this? I looked down and saw 3.6 on my watch and put on my big girl pants on, and sucked it up and ran for the rest of the run. I was so happy to see the finish line!
Total Time: 2:27:33
4th Place in my AG and 20th overall out of 145 women.
I basically couldn't talk once I crossed the finish line and the volunteers looked a little concerned. I got some water and drank it pretty quickly! And after about 5 minutes I forgot about how much pain I was in during the race and my mood changed from this was torture to this was so much fun! I then proceeded back over the run course to watch for Jason and my friend Jessica. I saw Jessica running by having as much fun as I was having and cheered her on, as she still had another lap to go. I was getting worried because I didn't see Jason yet, so I ran back over to the transition area to check to make sure he did indeed finish the bike. Ok check, his bike was back, so I ran back over the run course. Then I saw him running up the hill. I started yelling and cheering loud! Yippy, he finished, I am so proud of him! I know though that during this race he was probably thanking me for the suffer fest that I put him though :)
Anyhow, overall I am pretty happy with myself during the race. I am super excited with a 17mph pace on the bike for the course having as many hills as it did! As you all know I suck at hills, so I pretty much surprised myself here! As for nutrition, I'm not sure how much I need to/am suppose to be doing on the bike during an oly distance tri? I managed to drink 1 water bottle during the 26 miles and didn't eat anything since I lost my shot blocks just miles into the ride. The only part of the race I wish I could have done differently is the 4 mile run. I am just mad at myself for walking and think I could have pushed myself a bit harder. But, I couldn't be happier with a 4th place finish in my AG. And even though 3rd place would have been nice, I wasn't expecting to do as well as I did, so I'm still happy. I met all my goals except for my run. Hopefully next weekend I can get this run leg down.