4:30AM. Alarm. Ugh...
Thankfully I had packed all my gear the night before. I think I checked over things like 100 times too. Things I did NOT want to forget:
-hat for the run
Plenty of other things too. Like snacks....I'll get to that in a minute. :)
Meanwhile...I had planned on getting some good rest. HA! I did not know an allergy of sneezing was gonna hit late the previous afternoon and cause some serious crazy tickle-y nose and throat. The tickle-y throat caused me to awake coughing way too many times...
I got up, dressed and decided to stick to my usual oatmeal that I had been having during all my training. I would either have that or a breakfast bar. The day before they talked a little about what to eat/not to eat and mainly said stick to what you've been doing as this is NOT the time to try something new.
I took a couple bites of my oatmeal and thought I was gonna puke. To the breakfast bar I went! My sister arrived and I decided to nibble on the breakfast bar and sip some water on the way there.
We arrived a little past 5:30am...good thing too! We only had until 6:45 to set up our transition area. AND there was a looong wait for the shuttles to take us, so by the time we got into the transition area, we had less than 30min. to get things set up. Whew!
And not that it took THAT long really. Just that I had to air up my tires cause they said to let a little air out because of the heat and no one wanted to hear all the "pop, pop, pops" that happens when such high temps and bike tires are concerned.
So, I had let some air out of my tires. I made sure to bring my own pump, even though they did have people on hand to help out with that, it was highly recommended to bring your own just in case.
Well.....things were going just fine until I went to pump up the tires. My pump woud.not.work! My sister brought hers over and we still could not get it to register right. By this time we had less than 10minutes before transition was to be closed down. Once that happened too bad charlie if you forgot something! I quickly got the rest of things set up for T1 (transition 1) and grabbed my swim cap and goggles and headed over to the long line awaiting the fabulous people to put air in our bike tires....
I got through the line and had like TWO minutes to get outta there and over to where the swim started. Whew!
For those wondering, this is what I basically had to transition to the bike set out:
-Beach towel folded up to step on.
-Extra bottle of water to swish the extra gunk off my feet and a little towel to dry 'em off before putting on my socks. Came in VERY handy!
-My shoes already set out, laces ready to just tie up. Sock in the shoes so it was easy to locate and put on.
-My new Bondi band...LOVE! I usually wore a bandana under my bike helmet to catch the extra sweaty-ness from the Texas heat. Well, I discovered these at the Expo and I am never going back! They rock.
-Bike helmet of course and my bike gloves
-Water bottle already in holder ready to go.
-Snacks in the pouch I put on my bike to carry stuff. What kinda snacks? Extra breakfast bar, some energy beans and shot blocks. More on this to come....
OH! And something to think about, get a cheapy pair of flipflops you can just toss off before heading into the water. It also makes it a little nicer if you have to run to a port-a-potty before the swim too, just sayin'. :)
We headed over to the swim start. We had a little bit of a wait seeing how we were in the LAST swim wave. It was pretty awesome though seeing the start and all the different waves and colors of caps ahead of us. It was almost like a rainbow of sorts. Amazing seeing the survivor wave go....wow.
I have to say, by this time my nerves were pretty darn calm! Time came for us to start heading down to get in the water.
My sister looked at me and said, "Whoa! Butterflies!". I have to say, the swim, the open water swim I thought would freak me out? It didn't. Everyone around me was having all the same feelings. I was actually just in this zone and ready to start.
Then the countdown began....and we were off!
Now, let me stop here to tell you....there were some serious feet and elbows happening. Sheesh! It's probably where I ended up with the strange bruise on my arm I have absolutely no recollection of getting, but it was there when I crossed the finish. Oh well...
The swim. I survived it just fine and even finished 3 minutes before I thought I would!
Then, off to the bike!
There were some hills. Especially one giant one....at the end of the bike course! But, it went well. I met an awesome person when I had to stop and walk up one hill. A hill I didn't think was all that bad until I started going backwards as I was trying to peddle upwards....oops.
No matter, my new friend Jules and I, we buddied up for the rest of the bike. It was awesome and we were able to keep each other encouraged. I even shared some of my energy beans with her!
Speaking of, of all the different gel vs not gel and stuff, my favorite energy deal was jelly belly energy beans. They did not make me want to puke and they were easy enough to eat during it all. And heck, it was like eating candy! Made it more fun I think. :)
It was hot. I hydrated plenty while biking. Had to since it was supposed to be like 100 that day. In reality, the "feels like" temp was said to be 115 degrees....oh yeah, I felt that! Especially when it came to the run part.
Now, I knew I was going to be walking part of the run....little did I know I was to end up walking most all of the run. The cloud cover let up and it was just HOT! I knew my limits and I knew to finish I had to take it slow and steady. This was my first tri and it won't be my last. Next time? I plan to run all of it and train accordingly.
There was another hill. Again, didn't seem too bad. Another gal and I buddied up on the walk part. She was a few waves ahead of me, but had some bike trouble that caused her a pretty significant delay. She had planned to run the run too...she and I encouraged one another and helped each other get.up.that.hill.
At the top they kept saying "you're almost there, you'll see the finish line when you get here!". Haha....that hill truly seemed never ending.
But! We made it. We saw the finish and we were motived.
We got closer to the finish and I see this little person running towards me....it was my son. My son!
He ran to me, took my hand, we walked a little ways and then we ran across the finish together. That was the most awesome feeling ever!
We finished! I finished!
I am now officially a triathlete. Seems so surreal, but it is so!
Now, the countdown to Russia!
More on that to come....