Well picking up from last week down in AL....
Mon 8/4 - 6 miles ran (more hills)
Tues 8/5 - 10 miles mtn biked at Pigeon Mtn in northern GA...this is not really true as probably at least half was hiking carrying the bike--Holy frickin tiring!
Wed 8/6 -off (car again!)
Thurs 8/7 - 6 mile run with the CJ and Salty
Fri 8/8 - 5 miles with 1 min strides at 6:22 pace~40 min (felt great like I was holding back but was not going to go any harder with looming half Sunday), core
Sat 8/9 off (expo)
Sunday 8/10-half iron-sorta! 15.5 miles ran (1.3 mile w/u, 1.2 M run 1, 13.1 m run 2), 56 miles biked
Biked 66 Miles
Moving on to the half iron....
Well the weekend was exhausting to say the least. Friday night hit I had put together a surprise 30th birthday party for the best sister a girl could ask for and crawled into bed after midnight. Saturday I got up, hit the GCT expo and had fun hanging at the Cleve Tri Club tent for a few hours chatting with other tri peeps. Then I headed home to get all my stuff ready which seemed to take forever. Gosh is packing for a run so much easier!!! I told my hubby I so wanted to have a good race as I was so sick of issues this year....maybe I jinxed myself right then!
Then I got dressed up to head out to a wedding reception about an hour away. The reception was one of the funnest I had been too and I was sad to drag my dancing husband out early but again by the time we made it home it was midnight and I knew the 4am wake-up alarm was going to feel early.
4AM--I dragged myself out of bed and was sooo tired. I loaded up the bike and I had parked my car opposite normal to load and when I left I was so tired I threw the car in reverse and nearly took out the car, bicycle and garage door right then and there. After smasking the gas and then the brakes I managed to stop in time to only give myself a small heart attack with a couple inches to spare. With that I was off to arrive at the race plenty early to get my premiere parking spot and rack position.
The morning was very cool for August so much so I was wishing I had pants on because I was cold. I headed to the restroom and was stressed wondering how rough the swim would be as it was so windy by the lake.
Then I heard to news the swim was cancelled by the coast guard. The swim was going to be replaced by a 1.2 mile run. Although I thought it was a bit of a bummer as I would not be able to compare last years time, I really did not care too much as now I may have a better shot at doing well....or so I thought!!!
As a precaution I hit my inhaler hoping to keep asthma issues at bay for the day. Then, Amie and I headed off for a warm-up run as we had about 20 minutes until 7:30 AM start. Yet after a jog and a pitstop we were face to face with a mob of runners heading at us. It did not take long to realize the race went off a few minutes early. That kind of stunk and I was wishing we would have got to the start a few minutes earlier but what can you do except get to the starting line and take out some frustration on the course.
Amie and I hit the start did a 180 and took off around 6:45 pace for the 1.2 mile first run and by the return were already passing some people who had probably a good 3-4 minute head start.
Into transition and with a quick change of shoes I was off running with my bike. I mounted and immediately the front tire seemed to be making a funny bump noise and 20 yards later I pulled over totally disappointed as I already knew what the problem was. Front flat tire. I started ripping into my tail pack to change the tire although as usual the more I hurry the slower I end up getting things done. Tire off, new tube on, inflate with CO2 cartridges. Then the tube looks like some deformed tube and now it is all streched out. Yeah, in my haste and stressed out state I forgot to put the tire on before inflating. Dumb move, as if I haven't had plenty of flat fixing practice already this year. Thankfully I had another tube but now I needed a pump as I was out of cartridges. A friend brought one over and could not get this pump to work as it was different than what I was used to. After a lot of struggling finally it was pumped up. I joked about wanting a do-over for this day already and seriously I was frustrated I just wanted to quit already. I was soooo far behind already.
Finally I was off on my bike to start the race. I was all by myself as the other riders had to have at least a 15-20 minute headstart. Not far down Heisley I heard the familiar holler of ESpeed driving the opposite way in her car and it made me smile to know that at least I had the support of my friends out there. I started hammering on the pedals for awhile and within 5 miles my lower back was killing me. I have no clue what that was about but I spent the remaining 50 having to stretch it out every now and then. I went through a lot of up and down spells where I would push for awhile trying to catch up and then some down times where I felt I was so far behind that there was no point. Pride kept me going and I did not want to be a quitter but I was just so darn frustrated. At one point I must have hit a bumpy stretch of road and I thought I had a flat rear tire and I pulled over to check. I think I subconciously wanted it to be flat as I was out of tubes and air and would have to quit. Yet it was fine and back on the road I went.
All the intersections had officers to let the bikes through. I came across one and thought a car was still coming and then I looked the other way and there was another car coming and noticed the officer just standing there like a deer caught in headlights. I looked at him trying to make sense of what was going on and he shouted at me like it like it was my fault, "I just can't make them stop" while at the same time it looked like a lackluster attempt on his behalf. Not sure why he was there then!!!! After a slowdown I made my way across. The steep hill felt nice and short and with the passing of every mile the thoughts of quitting slipped further away. At one point I grabbed a gatorade bottle to put in my cage by the downtube but it has been so long since I did that I forgot it did not fit. So there I am pedaling with a bottle half in, half out, hitting my right leg every pedal stroke. I could not pitch it by the rules but it was driving me insane. I was desperately hoping to find some spectators I could give it to and 5 miles later I tossed it to some volunteers. I can't tell ya how happy I was to get rid this bottle I never even drank from or really needed. 30 miles or so in I started to finally pass people. I was so glad not to be last anymore and it helped keep me in the game.
I was happy to get on to the last two short loops on Heisly road except for the road bumps which were killing my girlie parts if I forgot to stand up a bit. The balls of my feet were already feeling bruised from pushing on the pedals.
My back was so happy to get off the bike and onto the run. My heavy legs kept turning over and about a mile up the road I was happy to see my girls E and MT!!!! I was plugging along steady but still being so far behind I was not concerned with kicking it in to overdrive as I figured there was not much of a point. So I happily bantered with them for awhile. Let me tell ya when you are exhauseted, it is the little things like the people that mean everything to you, even if you are too tired to truly acknowledge them! I started walking water stops to give my feet a break and because I was sooo thirsty. I was running off the road as much as possible to give my feet so cushion but the pads on the balls of my feet were killing me!
I had a huge laugh as this crowd of spectatators must have said something to one racer which brought out a full moon for several steps. They must have said soemthing to the guy ahead of me too because I could see him shaking his head. As I approached I put up my had and with a smile said, "Don't even ask!" which brought out a good laugh. The aide stations were all full of awesome volunteers. The cool down guy at the Fleet Feet Station always made me smile and I was so happy to be nearing the finish. I just kept the pace pretty comfortable, content to finish!
I should also mention the wind was friggin brutal. The wind on several stretches of the bike course was incredibly grueling and on the run when you were on the path near the lake the wind was blowing the sand so hard it was flying all around in your face. Craziness!
Finally I reached the finish in 5:35:17 and sooo glad I stuck with it. The bummer is that really the only comparable time to last year would be the run as every other leg has an *. Clearly I am totally disappointed with the day. I guess at the end of the day I am glad it was just stupid things like missing the start and a flat rather than an injury or something wrong with me like my asthma which could be an issue that may impact future stuff, but I am sooo sick of the excuses and not performing up to potential. Oh well, no sense dwelling on it, just learn from it and move on. I am still perplexed as to when the tire actually went flat.
Maybe next race we can put it all together. I really had not put a lot of focused half iron training together for this event and at least I managed to pull it off without much difficulty.
Thanks so much to sooo many people yesterday. Mickey the RD for the countless hours in putting this race on, my girls for all their support (YOU ARE ALL THE BEST!!!), the spectators like BB that came out, my Team ER boys and the fantastic volunteers!!!