I woke up and did a systems check. Still a little soupier than I would like. My chest was still a little tighter then I would have liked, but nothing ever works out as planned and I roll with it. So.......I figured I would roll with it again.
Luckily the race was relatively close so we were able to sleep until 5am. At that time The Coach tried to talk me into wearing the race shirt and going back to bed. I declined.
My mom watched the kids starting Saturday evening so we didn't have to worry about them. Thanks, Mom!
The race was very crowded when he got there, but everything seemed to be running smoothly. I got marked and set myself up and waited in line at the restrooms. Is it frightening that the port-a-johns don't bother me anymore? (It is either that I have done plenty of triathlons, or my boys' bathroom has upped my disgust threshold.) The other women looked scary, like maybe that had worked out or lifted weights or something. I didn't think that was fair and pondered going to see if I could get into a different division, like the pizza eating mom division.
The Coach and I walked to the swim start. I saw two of my students volunteering. They both acted shocked to see me even though they have been asking me in class when my next race was. Duh. Sweet kids though.
The swim course was odd in that it ran 750 meters then the racers had to get out and run about 100 yards then dive back in and do another loop. I appreciated The Coach teasing with me before the start so I didn't stare out at the swim course and get totally freaked. Every once in a while he would even remind me to breath. He had a plan to steal a city canoe and impersonate a lifeguard on the course. He was less than convinced of their competence!
Finally it was our turn and we got in. Next thing I know we were off. I was very pleased with my swim. I managed to keep calm. The buoys were on the right and that made it easier to stay on course. After the first loop we had to get back in. It was probably poor planning because those who were re-entering had to dodge those who had just started, but I don't plan triathlon routes for a reason. (The reason is that I would plan them around where a donut shop was.)
I finished the swim and started on the 1/4 run to transition. Many people ran by me. I decided at that point there was plenty of running in this race and I would just walk. My goal was to finish, not to win. The lady in front of me agreed and we walked to the bikes.
I dried off and had a snack and I was on my way. I was so stoked to be riding with the wind. That lasted about five minutes. The we turned. Agh. I was srtuggling. My goal was to ride a consistent 16 mph. I was doing that when a lady rode by me hollering with a charming accent, "Easier gear, baby! Easier gear!" I decided that I was not above taking advice from a random triathlete who was blowing by me, so I switched to an easier gear. I don't know if it helped my ride or not, but I did ok. Later guy came up next to me and cracked me up when he told me the people in front of us seemed to be going, "ridiculously fast." Also I was very concerned about the abandoned motorcycle on our route. Whoever that guy is I hope he is ok.
The route was good, but I LOVED the with the wind parts. Woo hoo. I was fast. My goal was to finish the bike in 1:30. I finished in 1:27. Cool.
I transitioned for running and I TRIED to find a bathroom that was not in the OPPOSITE direction of the run route. No luck. The Coach laughed as I ran by shouting that I had to go! I have never been so glad to see a Porta-a-john as I was at Mile 1! Whew. It made me hate those men relieving themselves in the scrub a lot less. Mile 2 was fun. It ran between a lake and a residential neighborhood where the residents were in their backyards drinking coffee, playing music and cheering people on. I had done the first two miles in twenty minutes! Not bad. In mile three I got a side cramp, but I told myself I was not ready to walk. At that point though it became hard going through Mile 4. I was really slowing down, but I was still running. At the Mile 4 sign I saw a cute couple who had been chatting as they passed me give each other a hug and a kiss. It was a pretty steamy kiss for kissing while running! I thought they were so cute and I had an, "Awwww." moment. I wondered what The Coach was up to. We had had a fight the day before when he told me he might leave and just come back for the finish. I ALLEGEDLY gave him the skunk eye. I probably should have given him a break. I know he will do ANYTHING I want him to do. IF he knows what that was. I guess it shouldn't have been so hard to tell him I needed him there.
Mile 5 was up the stadium ramps. Oi vey. But then they were down again. By this time I was really done and my hips and feet were hurting. But I was so close. I realized I could come in under my goals time of 3:30. I kept running, and running and running. And running. I kept thinking the finish would be right around the corner, but it never was. A race volunteer yelled encouragingly that there was only a half mile left. I kind of wanted to hit him. I thought it was closer. FINALLY I saw the finish. I saw The Coach and gave me him a big smile. I poured it on. (HA!) And made it to the finish.
At the finish I was given a cold towel, water, and a cool medal. I also got a kiss from The Coach. None of the food looked good to me. I was dying for a Coke though so I sneaked in line and snatched one really quickly.
It turns out The Coach had passed the time by calculating the percentage of female athletes who had breast augmentation. I mean he is a math teacher after all. He also judged "the talent" at this race as pretty good. (It is ok. He thinks I am totally hot. His mild appreciation of other women doesn't not bother me. I am still not eating at Hooters though.)
So....I FINISHED. I don't know my exact time. I didn't stick around to see it and it is not up on the website yet. It was under 3:30:00. I thought I did well. Especially mentally. I kept a good attitude and only during the end of the run allowed myself to wonder why I do this. Other than that I had a good time and just kept reminding myself I had trained for this just as much as anyone else and I had every chance for success. I also reminded myself that this race was STILL shorter than labor! I like that with the olympic length the focus was less on speed, at least for me. I think I am better at endurance than speed.
I want to thank The Coach. Thanks Coach. Thanks for taking care of the kids every Saturday and Sunday morning. Thanks for concierging (Yes, It's a word. And that is the proper spelling.) my bike and my bag and all my crap to all my races. Thanks for always taking care of getting to the race ON TIME, so I don't have to worry about it. Thanks for reminding me that sometimes I just have to work out and the kids will be fine and they won't need therapy. Thank you for rarely ever saying, "Why do you do this?" And thank you for always saying, "You can do this." I love it that you are proud of me and impressed. I love it even more that you tell me you are proud and impressed.
And most of all - Thank you for the three hour power nap you allowed me to take with my head on your lap on the coach this afternoon. I love you.
My next and last triathlon of the season is at the end of October. I am thinking that a sprint should be much easier for me after this!! I also hope never to be nervous about a swim again!!