Ok, so I kinda fell in love with the little town of Geneva, NY. I got to experience some fun on Friday and then Saturday was lots of rest and race prep. I drove the bike course Saturday evening and found that when the race director said "It's a little breezy out there with the wind off the lakes. If you have disc wheels, you may want to take that into consideration." that he wasn't kidding. There were, literally, trees with a permanent bend. from the wind. Seriously.
Anyway, on to race day...
Wake up of about 5 min before alarm at 3:30. Chug some water. Go next door to Tim Horton's for coffee. Shit. Shower. Shave. Bagel. Banana. Some PB. More water. Suit up. Cover up (sweats! cool. very very cool!)
At the race site: Body marking. Transition. x3. Toilet. Chip. Toilet. Transition again. Toilet. Car to lie down and listen to pump up music. Toilet. Transition. Meet fellow blogger Kim. Back to car for wetsuit, goggles, cap...and over to the beach...
Wave #2. 7:04 start time. All men and women age 20-29. Strange, right? Crowded in water start. The breeze on the water? Chilly. I duck in the waist deep water. Try to pee. No luck. Dammit! Oh well...and we're off!! Feeling great. Strong. A little concerned as it seemed lots of oothers started off fast. I'd slept so much the days prior that I was concerned that maybe I was still sluggish. Look for buoys. Look for ORANGE. Lots of hands and feet and elbows. Gulpdown some water. Thecrowd thins and we start to catch stragglers from the first wave. I could hear people in front of me kicking. (note: these "kickers" are not triathletes. these are swimmers. Triathletes save their legs. This does NOT, however, mean that swimmers are accustomed to open water and are capable of swimming straight.) Then, an elbow to the face. My goggles splayed across my head. I quickly readjust, with a few choice words. And power on through. one last big belch in the water and I lose what feel slike 5 lbs. Soon enough...carpeted ramp!!! I run out, run to T1...
Holy crap. Heart rate. JACKED!!! Rip off wetsuit. Check watch. 30 min+. Holy crap. Really?? Put on helmet. (they only told us 7x to put on helmet before un-racking bike). Cletes. Very cognizant of time. Need to be faster than 3 min. And run out, bike in hand.
Um. This hurts. Get HR down. Why won't it go down? Why is everyone passing me? Am I in slo-mo? This wind sucks!! Kim said she rode the course yesterday and the first half wasn't bad. Dear, God....my heart rate. Maybe I'll just quit? 5 Miles. Really? It took me 20 mins and my heart rate must be 170 right now. Ok, calm down. It's this stupid bike race number. Every pedal stroke, it brushes my leg. Swish. Swish. Swish. Drink some water. Take in some shot blocks at about mile 12. Mile 15 - rip off the paper cutting number. What are they gonna do? DQ me? Not like I'm gonna place anyway. Ok. I place the crumpled number half on my bento box, half on my stem. And...sweet relief! Mile 20 and I start feeling good, making comments to fellows racers. I'm having fun. I can do this. I've got this. Just ride. And I do. I come up on some guy with his leg all cocked out like a flamingo...he's peeing!!! I make some comment about how I wanna do that some day. Then, I realize, I never did pee in the water. And haven't since. And I'm about 75 mins into the bike. I read somewhere that it's hard to pee while pedaling. We come to a downhill...I get just up off my seat...and warm wetness. Ahhh.... Will it ever end? I lose what feels like another 5 lbs. Now I feel GREAT!!! Power it in. Over half way. So so so much wind. hunker down. Damn those people with TT bikes. I want one!! (WHAAAA!!!!) I play cat and mouse with a girl in my AG on a pink Scott plasma and another lady on an Elite with wheels in green. About 8 miles left, I come up on pink and say "Let's go get the lady in green". She looks at me and says "yeah" and I keep riding. Not five mins later, I see a streak of pink fly by and catch green. I keep green in sight. More gels. 2 miles remain...Focus. Still on the bike. I so badly want to run. My bum aches. Irritated. this tri suit has only been through a 75 min ride...and home to dismount. I check my watch. Under 3 hours. Um. Ok. Even with a bad run, I'll get under 5:30.
Run the bike back. Some dude with a SWEET cervelo took my spot. I make some comment. Dude in next rack comments back. I move the bike, trying not to damage and slide mine in. Remove helmet. Remove cletes. Pull on Zoots. Same dude asks "no socks?". Um. No. Too much time. Blow my nose on my towel and run out to the course.
I love running. I start out easy. Chick comes up on my elbow. I speed up....so does she. She gets closer. I know this move. I laugh. So does she. And she takes off. I let her go. I think about the exercise coach had us do about how we would race each other. I must play my strengths. Pace on the run is my strength. No crash and burn. I take water at the first couple aid stations. Just before mile 3, we hit the first hill. Up, up, up...and then a sharp right UP with the option of stairs or grass. I walk up. It's faster and expends less energy. To the top and off again. At mile 4, I pass Mr. Annoying St. Croix dude. He comments about "the catch and pass at mile 4." Then he tags along. At my pace. And wants to chat. I don't do this well. By mile 5, I'm panicked. My heart rate is once again jacked. I don't feeel right. I need to lose this guy. So, I stop for a gel and water. He keeps moving. I immediately feel better for the calories. I focus. Relax. More hills. Around mile 6 we hit a gravel path. And it's on that uphill that I again pass St. Croix dude. He makes a comment about my climbing. I mention something about how we have hills in Cincinnati and keep my head down. Keep moving. A false flat and more uphill. I love this. I finally got my legs. I pass the elbow hugger. She steals my water at the next aid station, which sets me back a couple seconds. I find her. I pass her. She's struggling at this point. More hills. Mile 8, some runner-esque spectator comments on my nice stride and form. This perks me up. I know what I'm doing. I've been running for years. Five more miles and it's all over. Sweet relief in a downhill around mile 9. At mile 10, it's just a 5k left. I pick up my pace a bit. With just two miles to go, you can see the tents at the finish around the bend on the lake. My legs start to feel heavy. But it's just two miles. I have no idea of my pace. I failed to hit the "split" button on my watch, but i'm guessing I can hit 5:11 for my total time. With half a mile to go, the spectators are in full effect. I see Kim somewhere near the finish. All the cheering and I can't help but smile. A big, shit-eatin' grin as I cross the line in 5:09 and some seconds. A PR by like 27 mins.
Someone tells me I am 8th female to cross the line. There were three waves following my start though, so I know this is not truly indicative of my placing.
Soon, results are posted on the wall. I scan the sheet. Just a few females in the sea of males. I'm 10th female. Second in my age group. Holy crap. That means I just qualified for Worlds in Australia!!!! What?!? I'm in shock and tears fill my eyes as I turn away and walk around in a daze. All this crap led me straight to here. Maybe it's not Kona this year, but I'll take Australia any day. :)