Wow! What a day...or rather...two days...
This weekend I raced Tri for Sight in Lexington, KY. This was my first out-of-town/out-of-state tri so my weekend was full of surprises I wasn't quite used to! First of all, I started out the weekend with a blister on each heel. I wasn't sure how that was going to mix with my somewhat new running shoes but I was hoping "moleskin" would help resolve my issues so I purchased some.
Saturday night I had a reunion with some college friends but I ate pasta and didn't stay our late so I thought everything would be fine. Little did I know what would happen once I reached the hotel room. First of all, the bed wasn't the most comfortable in the world and although we were in a non-smoking room there was smoke seeping through the walls from another room which made me gag most all night long! I had both my kids and mom with me for the weekend which was nice but that made for some crazy sleeping arrangements. My son slept in the hotel bed with me but I was getting punched and kicked all night long. Once he would stop moving and I would almost get to sleep I would hear freight-train snoring coming from the other bed and I wouldn't be able to sleep. Throughout the night I was lucky to have had two full hours of sleep. It was crazy.
5:00 a.m. I was up and getting myself and two kids ready to head out the door, checking out of the hotel and packing the car all by 5:30 a.m. The kids grabbed breakfast at the hotel and we were heading to the race by 5:28 a.m. About 15 minutes later we were at the race site and I was getting ready to race my last tri of the season.
The race site was at the location of the University of Kentucky's football stadium...well, what I should say is the transition area and finish line were located there. However, I found it quite odd that the pool was located about a 4-minute walk away! What? How was this going to work? I've always gone barefoot from the pool or lake to the transition area but with this distance that wasn't going to work - particularly since the temps were in the 50's. I knew my transition time was immediately going to be bad. So, I took my running shoes and placed them (with everyone elses shoes) just outside the pool area. I was fully prepared (or so I thought) to run from the pool to the transition area with minimal problems.
Time for the race to begin - Again, I seeded myself incorrectly for the swim. It was an 800 yard swim and for some reason I thought I could finish that in 15 minutes!! Wrong! My last few weeks before this race have been very hit and miss as far as my training goes and even at my best I don't think I could have finished in that time. I can't stand it when I keep getting passed in the pool so I've really got to figure out my pool times for my next race so I can estimate my seeding time a little more accurately. On top of that, I just couldn't get a rhythm going. My breathing wasn't too great either. But, I have to say I was very impressed by the pool facility - very nice! I finally finished the swim and was out the door on my way to the bike portion. I hurried up and put on my running shoes but could tell this was a mistake. Even though I would have frozen my feet off getting to the transition area I just wasted so much time - minutes - that I've not done in any of my previous races.
Into the transition area...I had so much to do!!! Take my running shoes off, put my cycling shoes on, put a shirt on (because it was so stinking cold!), helmet, sunglasses, get a gel, pop some gum in my mouth and grab my bandanna (because I knew my nose would be running today!). I didn't think I would ever get out of transition but I did and then I was off on the bike. My breathing was bad at the beginning and I just wanted to slow down my heart rate so I took it easy at first. Finally my breathing got under control and I took off fast. However, even though I was going fast I felt like I was standing still because I was so cold. On top of that, most of the race course was shaded so I just couldn't ever get warm. The entire 18 miles I was cold, my feet were feeling numb, I had to blow my nose about once a mile and I was wondering why I was out here doing this race! The race course was very well marked, the crowd support was amazing (gotta give props to Delta Gamma sorority at UK - they were out in full force...where were all the Chi Omegas????), and the volunteers were super! The bike course was very nice and although there were two pretty steep hills and many rolling hills it was nice to ride through Lexington's horse country! I'm not sure my exact time for the ride but I felt like I was going slower than normal. Seems I'm so much faster during training than I am during race day. I guess I'm going to have to practice some swim/bike bricks!
As I was going into transition two I got off my bike and immediately had a leg cramp in my right calf. YIKES! Never had that happen before. I got off the bike, headed to my bike rack, started changing my shoes and then got leg cramps in my LEFT calf! Uh oh...seems like the run is going to be a challenge! Again, I had a very slow transition but I couldn't push things too much.
I got out on the 4-mile run path and it took about a mile to be able to actually feel my feet because of the cold. Around that point we were running through the gorgeous Arboretum. I felt pretty good about the run. I wasn't very fast still but I felt pretty strong...and finally got warm for the first time!
As I was coming across the finish line it was so nice to see both my kids, my mom, and my dad. This was the first time my parents had seen me race a triathlon and the first time my dad had seen me race at all. He had driven in from Maysville, KY this morning and wasn't there at the start so I didn't even realize he was there until I crossed the finish line. What a great surprise!!
After the race I received my complimentary massage, changed my clothes and then hung out for the awards ceremony. It had been a very long day, an even longer night but it was all worth it when they announced second place in the Master Athena division as TRACY ENDO from STERLING, VA!!!
800 yard swim: 22:08
Transition 1: 5:22
18 mile bike: 1:11:06 (15.2 mph)
Transition 2: 1:47
4 mile run: 46:02 (11:31 pace)
Final time: 2:26:23