The morning of the race, I woke up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 a.m. (I always wake up SUPER AWAKE, ENERGETIC and READY TO GO. It’s so annoying). I had butterflies in my stomach; the kind I haven’t felt since my competitive diving days.
I had my Blood Orange Greek yogurt and cottage cheese as I do every single morning (nothing new on race day!) and
waited for pestered my husband C to wake up. The race started at 8 a.m.; official referee meeting at 7:20, swim warm-up was at 7:15 (which I had no intentions of doing, thankyouverymuch, it was way too cold for that and I didn’t want to stand around in a wet suit). I hadn’t picked up my race-day packet yet because I was lollygagging on the lake the day before. I don’t really know what I was thinking leaving my house at 6:20 for a 20 minute drive to the race area itself and fit all that in but it was ill-conceived; I got all rushed and flustered and yelled at urged C to move faster:
“Let’s go!! Where’s my coffee mug?”
“Where’s my headband? Did I pack two?”
“How do you know the bike wheel won’t fall off after you take it apart to fit in the car?!”
“Should I pee again?”
“OMG, what if I have to poop?! What if I poop my pants?”
“Let’s go! Get my coffee mug! Did I pack two headbands?”
“Do you think the line to the Port-o-Potty will be long? What if I have the bubble guts?”
Oh, he wanted to kill me.
We finally arrive at 6:50. It was looking to be a perfect day; not too hot but not chilly, sunny; just a perfect day. After more panicking about getting my packet on time, I was body-marked and chipped. Newbie moment #1: I had to peek at other racers to see how they attached their bike numbers AND how they attached the ankle foam chip thing. Tee hee.
Pretty much everyone had wetsuits and racing bikes. I was, however, unique in that I was chugging the rest of my coffee (caffeine really gives me a good jolt!) from an Uncommon Grounds mug while everyone was sipping water and sucking on gel packs.
The Swim (500 yards in the Champlain Canal system)
The canal water was not nearly as cold as I thought it was going to be. Huge relief! The race was well-organized and small so there was absolutely no panicked entries into the water; no flailing about or kicking feet down my throat. We tread water for about a minute then started off. I felt good and prepared. Remember, this was my first open water swim- ever. At one point however I did think I was going to drown because my heart was racing so fast from so much excitement/ exertion / effort to escape the pee I had left behind at the start line (turns out I didn’t poop my pants, but did pee my wetsuit. Oops!) I didn’t even choke down too much PCB-laden water!
I had an AWESOME transition location, I think because in my true
cheap-ass well-thought out fashion I had signed up super early (and gotten a discount). Super quick transition.
Soon after I got riding, I swear I actually heard people pitying my bike. Not in a mean way, just a WTF are you riding? Nice try on that thing but you couldn’t have borrowed someone’s road bike for the day?!
There was a steep hill to start, around mile 2, but my legs recovered. Newbie moment #2: I kept thinking there were cars coming up beside me to pass..,turns out they were just fancy road bikes. Going really fast. I think 20 or 30 people passed me. Oh well. I turned on my Garmin GPS that I had attached to the bike which ended up being really helpful in gauging my speed (4:00 pace for what it’s worth)
I was feelin’ good! Nice quick transition. No rushing. Heavy legs at the start. I was very thrown off by not being able to listen to my music. I could hear my feet slapping the ground and my panting! Soon though I rounded a corner and I saw my mom and her boyfriend there cheering me on. I had no clue they were going to be there. I was so proud and happy and surprised that it energized me and got me through the next three miles of flat ground throughout Schuylerville.
|Swim 500 yards||T1||Bike 12 miles||T2||Run 3.1 miles||
….and then I basically did this the rest of the day: