That's was this weekend was all about. Racing.
Racing around to fit all the things we needed, then wanted, then just had to do in Chattanooga. (swimming, registering, sightseeing, eating, baseball game spectating, expo-ing, not sleeping, crying, whining, oh, and racing, too.)
Then, literally, racing the clock. When I got my wait listed race number Saturday (yahoo! Thanks, Team Magic!), I was placed in the 40-44 year old group. (Chatt is a time trial start by AG, then estimated swim time) So, I was nowhere near anyone in my AG (30-34).
Night before the race, we made mistake #1 (to be honest that was mistake #2, mistake #1 was even thinking traveling with the girls to a race was a smart idea)...bringing the girls to a 7:30 pm start time minor league baseball game. I love minor league baseball, but Mike really loves it. And it was walking distance from our hotel. This will be fun!
Fun turned into a 10:00 pm bedtime for Alice. We were back by 8:30, but had missed that "magic moment" where she will go to sleep and were now into a crying, screaming overtired "hell hour" before she finally gave in.
After that comedy hour, I had to organize my race stuff. Not so easy in a hotel room with 2 (barely) sleeping girls.
5am iphone alarm came way too early (Alice woke us up once or twice during the night, too). Shake the cobwebs off and am ready to go. This was the easy part. The race. Getting here? Not so much. Tiptoe around the room. Chow on my pre-race peanut butter bagel. Get dressed. Wake Alice to feed her. Try not to wake E. No luck. Wave goodbye to my sweet family.
E's race day attire.
Swim (1.5K --24:02)
I had done this race in 2006 and was not looking forward to the swim. I don't like point to point races. I don't like gross river water. So, the Chattanooga swim is not really my thing. I really loved it this year though. I felt great and strong and was passing people the whole time. Highly unusual. I think the spread out nature of the swim worked to my advantage. I don't swim too well in a lot of traffic. I don't like swimming on top of people. Or getting kicked in the face in the water. Call me crazy. I counted the bridges (3) to deal with my anxiety of not knowing how much farther I had to go. It worked. Saw Mike and the girls at the swim exit. Dad of the year right here....
(Thanks for the pictures, Lee! I totally stole it off flickr. Hope that's okay. :)
Bike (42K --1:18:06)
Hills. Lots of 'em. Just trying to hang on and maintain 20mph. For some reason, I had in my head that if I averaged 20 mph, I would be happy with that. Got to the 10 mile marker at exactly 30 minutes and then played a game of trying to make the 20 mile marker before an hour. Whatever works, right? As long as I did not go off course and pushed hard, I was happy. Head to transition. Avg. mph 20.0 YAY!
Run (10K -- 48:43)
I struggled on this run. Felt good the first 2 miles and then pow! I had nothing. No zip, no power. No legs. I kept thinking about Jen telling me to suffer. It was about going hard and suffering. I was suffering. Just not going very fast. I was prolonging the suffering by running slowly! Not very smart. I tried Angela's trick of telling myself I was "one tough chick" and to pick it up. No luck. My mile splits were still slowing. Then I started to look at the faces of people running towards me (it was an out and back run) and they were all suffering, too. Fast, slow...all in pain. All wanting (at least some small part) to stop. To slow down and they weren't. (Well, some were, but I was trying to be positive) I felt better knowing I was not alone in suffer-town. See the finish line. See Mike and the girls. Ahh....done. Sweet mercy.
Total time -- 2:34:02/4th AG
I am really happy with this! It feels good to finish well (for me) in such a competitive race. Nice to not make any huge race day mistakes...again. And my T2 was the 2nd fastest overall, even the pros. I am the T2 Champion of the world. Bow down. Kiss the hand.
We are home now and both completely exhausted. Thanks for the day off, Coach. I need it. I forgot how sore I would be after two and a half hours of anaerobic suffering. Wow. Those sprints I've been doing all year are a heck of a lot easier than this Oly bologna. :) It's the same amount of suffer, just more than twice as long. Glad I've delayed my next half IM until next year. Not ready for over 5 hours of it...yet.