Saturday was spent hanging out on the lake hydrating in the shade while the rest of the family and friends enjoyed "The Twins". While I had a relaxing day and enjoyed myself, I still couldn't stop thinking about the race and how it was going to go. Deep down I knew I didn't train hard enough and something inside of me told me this race would most likely end in DNF (did not finish). The day before the race was packet pickup and transition setup. This took much longer than I anticipated. T1 was located in Lake Mead while T2 was in Henderson 25 miles away. I arrived at the Expo around Noon on purpose to see what the temperature would be like the very next day. Hot, of course. I was sweating from the walk to the car to the packet pick-up. I went over to the merchandise tent and browsed at a few items. Normally this is my favorite part of the race but once again I doubted my abilities to even finish so all I bought was a $2.00 sticker. I'd display that little sticker somewhere if by chance I crossed the finish.
|Do I have everything?|
|Kids, hubby, the twins, and our dear friends.|
|Look how far out those buoys go! And I counted them all one by one in the water.|
|Dude where's my bike?|
That night I made a little promise to myself that I would just race with the intention of doing the swim and the bike. And by the time I got to the run and the hottest part of the day I would just call it quits if I wasn't feeling right. I went to bed that night with my normal pre-race jitters.
I woke around 5:45 the next morning (the benefit of staying so close to the starting area). I ate my usual oatmeal, peanut butter, banana, Luna Bar, Nuun breakfast combo. Do you think I would dare change it now? Paul and the kids dropped me off at the start and gave me a bunch of sleepy "good lucks and love you's!" They would later return to watch me come out of the swim. At the last minute I decided to grab my sleeveless wetsuit. The announcers told us the water was 80 the day before and that we could wear a wetsuit but we wouldn't be able to place on the podium. The morning of the race they did another water reading and the water temp dropped to 75. This race was now wetsuit legal so I decided to wear mine. I have done almost every race in my wetsuit and I feel comfortable in it so I figured I would wear it. The swim was uneventful for me. It's the part I love the most about triathlons. The swim was in the lake; out, across and back in. There was no current and it's a very calm lake when it's not windy. The swim took me 42 minutes. I was happy as this was faster than my previous half Ironman.
Transition was quick and off on the bike I went. The bike was hilly. It was either up or down. I saw a few crashes and bike parts everywhere on the downs! The course was beautiful and I enjoyed the scenery. It stayed cool for most of the bike but during one of the last aid stations it became hot enough for me to put on my arm coolers. What a difference they made in my comfort especially when I poured cold water in them. I paced myself and really focused on my hydration as I knew I had a long day ahead of me. The turnaround seemed like it was in St. George, Utah. I just kept saying to myself "it just has to be at the top of that NEXT hill." After awhile all the hills seemed the same. We finally exited Lake Mead and had a little bit of a break going down hill around mile 40 but only to be greeted with a monster and final hill at mile 50. I'm pretty sure at mile 50 several F-bombs spewed out of my mouth one happened to be in front of a police officer. My painfully slow bike time was 4:21 minutes.
|Pain and suffering.|
|I think I am actually crying in this picture.|
Before I knew it I had already done two loops and by this point I couldn't quit. Even if I crawled that last lap, I would finish. At mile ten I saw my family and my friends. They were jumping up and down and screaming for me. It was so inspiring and those last three miles all I could picture were their faces and I couldn't wait to hug them! Before I knew it I was rounding the last corner into the finish chute and I could hear them screaming. I also had two guys coming up on my tail that were trying to pass me those last 100 yards. They were not going to pass me, I took every ounce of energy left in my tank to not allow that to happen. Later when I looked at my stats I was running a 7:30 mile those last hundred yards. I guess I was determined!
|Ha-ha take that suckas, you didn't pass this Mom!|
My total time for this race was 8:02. It was a very disappointing time for me, but all in all I'm glad to have finished. There was no sticking around for any of the post race activities, it was way too hot for that. All I wanted to do was get back to the air conditioning of the RV, take a freezing cold shower and enjoy an ice cold beer.
|Come closer children, I don't smell that bad, do I?|
|"Can we go eat now?" -said every person in this picture|
Thank you to all my friends and family who cheered me on. And even bigger thank you goes out to my husband who has been a huge supporter and encourages me to always follow my dreams. He's the one who talks sense into me when I feel like quitting. He won't allow me to give up. It was his voice I heard in my head that said: "Ok you want to give up but just see if you can go a little farther." All in all he got me to the finish line and for that I am forever grateful.