Monday, June 20, 2005
2km swim, 91.8km bike, 20km run...
4:30:00am: BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
4:30:02am: ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztttt! Wha? Huhn?
4:35am: Hit shower, lazily shave legs and armpits with hotel soap.
4:45am: Put in contact lenses (one inside out), take antihistamines.
4:51am: Noisily gulp down Cytomax. Shovel oatmeal into mouth.
5:06am: Start heaping wetsuits, shoes, helmets, bikes, race bibs, pumps, computers, etc into back of the truck.
5:15am: Hurriedly rescue and resuscitate waterbottles that got driven over by truck! (*#@^$*$@!!)
5:22am: Head for Elk Lake.
5:45am - 6:40am: Pump tires, set up bikes in transition, get body marking, hit the can.
6:41am: Freak out, watch heartbeat climb to 128BPM while standing still!
The race hadn't even started yet and I could feel the adrenalin pumping like crazy! There were so many "real" athletes everywhere, with high-end bikes and fancy wetsuits... As the countless Treks and Cervelos swarmed the transition area, I gave my lil' Canadian Devinci a few love pats and whispered to her that we would be just fiiiiiiiiiine. Jason was a rock, barely nervous, nice low and steady heartrate. Me, not so much!
The men's wave was to start first at 6:45. At about 6:38, Jason starts talking about needing to hit the can... eyeing the lineup, he quickly dodges into the bushes. I lose sight of him and wander down to the beach, where the men are donning their lime green caps and wading in to get their warmups underway. The next sight I see is Jason walking towards me from waist-deep water. It's 6:42 and his wetsuit is not fully on. As he's pulling his hands through the arms, I look behind his knees... "Jason, it's pretty wrinkly behind your knees, are you okay like that?" Then I look up, and he looks down. His wetsuit zipper is in the front and his suit is on backwards!!! As he's madly trying to pull his suit off, and then on again, the commentator in the background is counting down the seconds to the wave start! As the bell goes off and hundreds of men splash around, I am trying to zip him up. Now who has the steady heartrate?! He's zipped in, and dips into the water. I'm watching as he stands up, turns around and starts walking back towards me... What is he doing???
He leans over and gives me a kiss. MY MAN!
He's off again! My heart rate soars towards 160BPM!
At 6:49, I start wandering towards the water, where women in red caps and goggles are zipping up wetsuits and splashing around. Quite a playful group, dunking each other and spitting water! My heartrate starts to drop... I take a couple tenative strokes and feel almost okay! As 6:55 approaches, I weave my way into the throng of women in the water, waiting for that air horn to blow!
I'm right in the thick of things, trying to slice through the water amidst the churn of arms and legs! My legs are bobbing like corks, thanks to my wetsuit, and my butt is lifted to the surface almost effortlessly. Stroke, stroke, reach & breathe... I realize that I'm not really doing any sighting, but rather relying on the women around me for direction... That buoy seems so far away! I look up, turn slightly and bump into people... whoops! This pattern seems to repeat itself as I turn the rectangular course into somewhat of an oval with my TERRIBLE sighting. (#1: Work on sighting)
00:41:45 has passed, not bad!
Coming out of the water, my feet are slightly numb and my ears are filled with water. Putting on my bike shoes is a chore, and my gloves nearly impossible! I tie my red bandana on and throw on my glasses and helmet while walking out of transition (no running!!!).
00:03:51 in T1, not terrible...
First things first, let's get hydrated! You'd think that by swimming in a lake, you wouldn't be thirsty! Downing Cytomax, I try and put my waterbottle back into its holster and drop it! Of course, being the rookie I am, I stop to pick it up! On the 13km start, I feel like a bloodthirsty carnivore as I tear into my PowerBar package with my teeth. I gorge myself, trying not to puke as I eat while exerting... (#2: Pre-open PowerBars)
This bike course is a bitch! It's kicking my ass! My quads feel like they're going to split my skin open, they are hard as rocks as the endless pedalling causes my lower back to contort. I watch the others on aero-bars and wonder if it makes it easier on the long haul. I call out to other people "Nice work Barbara", "Lookin' strong Trevor" because I can read their names on the signs. As people do the same for me, I feel my spirits buoy.
50km in, it's time for PowerBar # 2. Rarr!
On the last 25km loop, I am accompanied by only a few. There are no more slick bikes whizzing past me on the left, and the "tri police" have let up. We are cheering each other on, and definitely feeling the burn. I think to myself "I train... I just choose to have a life as well!" It's okay, I'm still under the time goal I had set for myself... the last 5 km seems to drag, but finally I can hear the crowd cheering, waiting to welcome us into transition!
03:44:49 on the bike...
I try to squeeze my eggplant-sized feet into my runners.
00:01:58 in T2...
I can't feel my feet! As I hobble to the start, I am sipping on the liquid sugar of a vanilla PowerGel (yick) and desparately trying to find a gait that works! I can't believe I'm going to try running, I haven't run more than 8k since February due to a bum knee. But I decided to ditch the inserts made by my physio and here I am... RUNNING! The first 10k is hard, I am both incredulous and scared. I stop to walk down hills. I stretch every 10 minutes when I stop to walk. I treat my body with respect. I can feel blisters forming on my insteps from my sweaty socks (#3: Put on new socks). I drink water and keep up a slow and steady pace.
At the 10k loop, I run past the crowd yelling and screaming at those finishing their race. My brother runs up to me as I begin my second loop, cheering me on. I am again accompanied by only a few people. We cheer for each other, swap stories, share cookies... very cool. At 16k, I am running with a 56 yr old woman who has done this race a few times before. How inspiring is that??? She stops to stretch and I carry on... I can hear the crowd, then see them ahead!
See Callie run. Run, Callie, run!
I see my brother first, then Kristi. There is this man dressed in black taking my picture... I don't recognize him until he yells "TANK GIRL!!!!" as I run towards the finish line! As I cross over and get my medal, Jason runs up to me and lifts me up in a hug. I'm crying and sweating and mostly incoherent! I'm so happy!!!!
02:08:44 for the run...
A grand total of 06:41:05 for my very first 1/2 Iron-distance triathlon!!!!
This morning I can't get out of chairs fast, or walk down stairs. I have three toenails that are going to fall off and two giant blisters. I came in 21/25 in my division, 173/214 women... I couldn't be any happier!