Well, 2nd race of the season done and I'm kind of tired today! :) Guess that means I worked hard. Here's the recap-
Race starts at 7am so we're up and at 'em around 5 again. I turn on the weather because we've been having crappy storms and weird on and off nice days and they show a huge line of yellow and red moving straight for Columbus. It should arrive around 7am according to the Mr. Accurate Weather Man. We bundle everything up in plastic bags, thinking we'll outsmart the weather channel and at least have dry shoes for the run! Get to the race, get the bikes pumped (they are all set to have a fast day - we're familiar with the course and they told us that it's one of their favorites in Columbus!), hit the potties, and get to transition. I dislike transition sometimes because at this race we're racked according to our numbers and I have some bumblenut next to us that takes over the ENTIRE rack with his bike and stuff. The rack is only probably 10 feet long and excuse me dude... there are probably 10 bikes that need to fit in there. We're also of course right in the middle of the rack. It takes us a while, but we get everything straightened out, wetsuits on, chipped, marked, all that good stuff.
We make our way to the beach. The swim is 1.5K and it's 2 laps of a triangle. There seem to be people everywhere - a good turn out for a Columbus race. The RD gets on a mic and tells us that the olympic race will start first with 3 waves. I'm 2nd, Tom's 3rd. My wave gets called and there are maybe 15 people there, 3 of whom are telling everyone that it's their first race every. We see a guy in the heat in front of us who seems to be swimming in the wrong direction and laugh, I'm sure partly out of nerves that it doesn't happen to us. The horn blows and we're off. The water is fairly calm, still no storms that Mr. Accurate Weather Man predicted and I've found a spot that I'm alone and comfortable. Things are going well. Then Tom's wave catches me (that was ALL Men under 45 - so like the whole Olympic Race). And there's a Collegiate tournament too and all of them are after Tom... they catch me. I'm fine... just staying slow and steady. The second lap I hit all the sprint distance people who are on their first laps, mainly the ones that have never swam before and are floating on their backs. I'm dodging people left and right. All I want to do is finish. I'm having a hard time sighting because whoever was in charge of purchasing the swim caps for this race did a piss poor job. They decided to buy bright orange ones (smart for safety reasons) but the buoy markers are the same color. Brilliant... you should get a raise for making the race just a little more dreadful! :) As I'm rounding one of the last buoy's someone grabs my foot and I do a good 'ole donkey like kick in hopes that they get off me. Turns out it was my hubby. Gotta love him! Anyway, finish the race feeling great. I'm thinking to myself, "Sweet. This has gotta be a PR"! Look at my watch and NOPE! It was slow. 33:07. I've gotta work on that! :)
On to T1 which is a mud bath. I don't even sit to get my wetsuit off because I know I'm just going to stand up with mud all over my butt. Of course this leads me to not be able to get my wetsuit over my ankle. I think that this just isn't going to be my day. Bumblenut's stuff is still in the way and I'm fighting to not scream. I make it out in 1:51 and am glad to be on the bike.
The bike is 2 loops of a course that Tom and I bike a lot. There are people everywhere... many of whom are on mountain bikes or bikes with one gear. They are all the people that started the Sprint distance 5 groups behind me... you know, the ones that are weaving in and out of the side of the road because they are looking at the pretty flowers along the road. Yeah, them. I pass a bajillion of them and get stuck with a bunch of guys. At least they are going my speed, which to them shocks their pants off. I get quite a few looks like "Where did this chick come from" and of course I'm feeling awesome inside... you always love passing these guys who think they are tough stuff on the bike, especially as you calmly eat a fig newton and enjoy the scenery. I spent more time the first lap saying "on your left" than anything. I feel good though and think I'm on track with last year's pace which was good for me. 2nd lap is a little harder - all of the sprint people were gone which was nice, but the wind had picked up. I probably pushed the gears a little too much on the first lap because the speed wasn't coming as easy the second time around, but I still felt good. Coming up the last Dam hill (the Dam Hill is how it's known, not because I was mad at it but because it's right after the Dam of the lake) I see that I'm having a great bike. I might even beat my goal of 1:10:00 for the 24.8 miles. I make it to transition and know I'm only 6.2 away from a PR if I keep things up (and this is with a slow swim!) My bike time was 1:08:40 and I averaged 21.81! I think that made me the 3rd fastest girl on the bike and like 37th of 105 on the bike overall. I'll take that any day.
Nothing big for T2. I had forgotten my socks at home that morning so just zipped in, racked my bike (rolling over Mr. Bumblenut's stuff which was all over my towel by now), avoided as much mud as I could and got started on the run. I think that transition took me 1:12.
Ah... the run. 6.2 miles. I can do that with my eyes shut. This is a boring 2 loop course that starts with about a half mile on a trail. We're used to it. It's not horrible. I get to the trail and it's a mud pit. I'm talking "step-in-the-mud-and-hope-your-shoe-stays-on-your-foot" kind of mud. OH... MY... GOODNESS... There's just no avoiding it. I'm brown by the time I get out of the trail... good thing I didn't have socks right? Yeah, except for the massive blisters I felt by mile 3 from where the mud was drying and the shoes which were wet and muddy were rubbing. LOVELY! I stopped three times to try to adjust the way they were rubbing. It was horrible. I knew that I wasn't going to PR on the run or break 9:00 miles which was my goal and at this point, I didn't care. I was hurting. I made it through the two laps and was so happy to see the finish line. I was going to PR which made me happy and carried me through to the finish. They called my name as I crossed, Tom took a picture and I was so happy. First thing to do - hit the water and get the mud that was caked on my legs and shoes off. I couldn't stand it anymore (and realize that I could never do X-terra races, but that's another story!) Run time was 57:20 (9:15/miles) and my over all time was 2:42:15 - a PR by about a minute and a half! I was so excited!
Tom had a great race too, although I could tell he was beat. He said his swim was slow, his bike was fast (23 mph average!) and his feet were bleeding from the run. Ouch... We waited around to see if we might get awards, but they weren't updating the standings very often. We ended up grabbing some food (they served burgers, which totally made me want to gag at 10:30 in the morning!) and just laid in the grass. About 45 minutes later awards were being said. Tom thought that there was a chance he placed, but he came in 4th in his AG out of 13! I think he was bummed with no plaque, but my goodness... 4th?!? I was thrilled for him. My age group comes up and they announce the 3rd place person with a time of 3:17. Sweet - I'm going to get second. They announce the 2nd place person with a time of 2:47. Tom's jaw drops and I just laugh. Yeah, I came in 1st in my AG! I got some hardware again!It was so cool. I didn't think I was going to place because of the top 3 women overall, 2 were from my AG. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you can't place overall and in your AG so I got 1st kind of by default. Whatever... I didn't make up the stupid rule! And I got a plaque that proves it! Teehee...
So it was a good race. We were happy... and a bit tired. We had pushed for two and a half or more hours and we felt it. Of course we were convinced that it would be smart to ride 30 miles (15 miles into the wind) when we were done to get pizza. By the time we left, Mr. Accurate Weather Man's storms hit (it was about 2pm... so just a few 7 hours late) and we got to ride 15 miles home in the pouring rain. But we got our pizza which was a nice treat.
We finished the afternoon off by meeting some friends up at Quaker Steak and Lube. I just need to tell these ladies that we both had a great time. They are all "newer" friends of Tom and I and I love them to pieces. They are the sweetest group of girls, their hubbies/boyfriends are great, they have cute babies, babies on the way, and they don't hate me when I'm a boob and talk about myself and my day too much (which I'm sure I did yesterday and I apologize!). Looking forward to the next time I get to see them all!