A day like none other . . .
I was really excited to take this race on.
The cool sweat was rolling from my head and it is only 5:00 in the morning. My body is prepping my mind for what is to come. All night I tossed and turned in my Marriot Courtyard bed. When I woke for the third time of the night I realized I had pulled the sheets off the bed and I was sleeping directly on the mattress . . . GROSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
I was waking every 45 minutes from around 2:00am until it was time to rise at 4:45am. I’d roll, look at the bright red light lights that mocked me by saying, “ha ha! Made you look!” and it would only be 2:45am or 3:30am, and so on and then it hit me.
I was nervous!
It hadn’t hit me until then. I was worried about this race more than any other and unlike any other before this race. What was going on? The last three weeks I finished 2 Olympic Sized Triathlons in much worse heat than what was expected today. Why am I so nervous?
Rewind . . . June 12th, 2005.
My father in law Terry, Amanda, and I are in this same city, Pelham, Al. Just two weeks earlier I was in Birmingham for my FIRST EVER triathlon, tri-it-on triathlon. I was nervous that morning as well, but a different type of nervous. This morning I was worried about simply finishing this race. It was a long day, but when all was said and done, I finished and wrote the “Praying Mantis” blog entry that you can go back and read, it is really funny!.
Fast forward back to the present.
03:11:12 is why I am so dadgum nervous this morning and have been throughout the night. I have an immense amount of pressure on me and ONLY on me is what is so funny about this.
I am for the first time competing against ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
My little brother Thad and his wife Camille were waiting for me to arrive. I unloaded, checked in, which they really need to change their check in location, it is clear on the other side of the transition area and parking is a good (for me it was) ½ mile down the road.
I set up transition, which I am learning more and more about transitions and what works best for me.
As I line up to start the swim, this little inner competition thing starts to kick in again. I begin to calculate swim time, bike, run, and then I think about the course and where I had issues last year, then it is time for me to hit the water.
I felt great in the water, I was smooth and calm. Towards the end of the swim I did feel a little tired and I realized I was pushing myself a little too hard, BUT I HAD TO BEAT MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!
I came out of the water running.
I actually have found myself enjoying the spectator comments (amongst themselves thinking I don’t hear it or just caught off guard seeing this orca come out of the water and then start running!) I hear. There were a few surprised spectators as I waddled to my bike.
There was a friend I had on http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/ named Kristy. She is from the area of this race and I was looking forward to possibly fining her and sating hello. About 200 feet from my bike I see her coming up beside me in from water and I say, “Hi Kristy.” And that was that.
I took off on the bike, felt GREAT! I spanked the first 4 miles, averaged over 17 mph, then . . . Te hills of Oak “MOUNTAIN” Sate Park took their toll on me. The good news is this, last year I stopped several times AND walked up several hills.
NOT THIS YEAR BABY!!!!!!!!!! I did stop twice on the course, got my breath, let my heart rate settle down and finished each hill and the course ON MY BIKE!
In my head I began to trash talk my 2005 self.
“That’s right! Uh huh! I smoked you on the bike boyieeeeeeeee!” For some reason it is less gratuitous trash talking . . . Yourself.
Again, as I did on the Heatwave run course I made a commitment to run all shade and down hills shade or not. Last year I walked a majority of this run course. About mile 2 I was so excited. I thought I might beat my time last year by 1 FULL HOUR!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!
The problem there was, I had forgotten my race time form 2005. I thought it was 3:22 and as I glanced at my Garmin 305 I saw I had a great chance of crossing right about 2:22. I was one happy camper and all smiles as I crossed the finish in 02:21:11.
I pulled a Memphis In May finish again and ran right on through the finish and right into the lake . . . AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
So I didn’t beat my time by a full hour, oh well.
Just means next year . . . SUB 2 Hour race!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to everyone for your support. As you can see, I am improving and I am losing weight AND I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN DOING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!