|Just arriving at Cedar|
|Rev3 Teammate Lauren Bogenberger & Me|
|Steve and me checking in our bikes|
The alarm went off at 6. We got to sleep in a little since Rev3 let the 70.3 racers have until 7:30 to be out of transition. The triathlon gods were again kind to us as we awoke to learn that the normal swim was on and Lake Erie was again very calm for the race as it was last year. That was a relief. We arrived at transition around 7, got setup and headed back to Hotel Breakers to finish getting ready. I had a hard time eating due to nerves but was able to have one multi-grain gluten-free waffle with peanut butter and a good bit of watermelon.
The Swim (1.2 miles):
Our waves started at 8:45am for Steve and 8:50 for me. We headed out to the beach around 8:20 for a swim warm up. The water was nice at just under 75 degrees and wetsuit legal for us age groupers, which was also a good thing! I cheered for Steve as his wave started and headed in with teammate Lauren B for our wave (female 34 and under). Next year I believe I will be in the older wave, which maybe will help me in the swim ranking (one can hope). We started and I took a very relaxed approach of letting the fast swimmers go for it and running in for a bit since the water is shallow for quite a while. Finally diving in, I felt good. The sun was shining, the lake was calm and I actually had a peaceful feeling. The swim was clockwise about 800 meters out, 800 meters over to the right and 400 back to the beach. I felt good but really dragged the last 400. This is likely due to my lack of discipline with swimming late season. Aside from Rev3 Wisconsin olympic, which was 1500m I maybe did two other 1600-1800m swims. Additionally I was slow getting out of the water. This showed in my time of 49:24 versus my time last year of 45:22.
I was super hungry coming into T1 and a little discombobulated as T1 is always tougher for me than T2. I grabbed a gluten-free cinnamon doughnut, got all my gear ready, grabbed my bike and headed for the bike exit. I figured I would need to make up some time on the bike to compensate for my lackluster performance in the swim. In total T1 was 3:36. A bit lengthy but I just hate getting that wetsuit off!
The Bike (56 miles):
|My bike affectionately known as Roxanne|
By T2, I was tired of course and again starving so racked the bike, changed into running gear, grabbed another gluten-free cinnamon doughnut and ate on the way out to start the long run ahead. T2 time was sluggish at 2:59.
The Run (13.1 miles):
What is there to say about the run besides the fact that it hurts to run long after being on one's feet for around 4 hours? Quite honestly I was most afraid of the run, which is often one of my best events. With a lot of off-running time this year due to injury I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the half to begin with. I had gotten in some decent 7 milers and one 9.5 mile run a couple weeks before the race. I was a little worried but hoped if I paced myself slower than I would be okay. The first mile I was busy eating and felt strong and motivated as the spectators were cheering. I again had to pee so I grabbed a quick drink and hit the outhouse. I maybe lost a minute here but nature was calling and this was my only other bathroom break for the race. Around mile 6 I started to feel more fatigue and I ended up running for a few miles with an older triathlete from FL who talked my ear off. This passed the time for a while. I remember hearing cheers from the very awesome Cleveland Triathlon Club. This was a real pick me up as was the guy playing music from the Rocky soundtrack. I am very thankful for all the people who volunteer at the aid stations and who cheer! Another big pick me up was seeing Rev3 owner Charlie and our team mom Sharpie out on the course as well!
By mile 8 I had numerous aches and pains in my left arch and left knee and right calve but just went into the pain cave and stayed steady. I was happy to hit mile 10 and be in the double digits. Mile 11 I thought of my husband and figured he'd be finished by then and the last mile I gave it everything I had as I realized I could maybe break 6 hours! Also I was hungry!
I saw Steve waiting for me about 1/4 mile from the finish and I sprinted my heart out to finish in 6:00:37 - just a little over my goal. I heard the announcer call my name, I received my sweet finisher medal and walked over to Steve for a big hug and a couple tears of disappointment that I didn't break 6. I quickly realized that I had still done my best and still beat 2011's overall time despite numerous setbacks this season. I think my better performance had a lot to do with the support I receive from Steve and Team Rev3 and my friends and family and maybe a little bit of stubbornness!
Thanks to everyone who has been there for me and to all of the sponsors who made this day possible including of course Rev3 themselves, PowerBar who provided much fuel for 6 hours, Pearl Izumi for the kit and shoes, Swiftwick for happy feet, BlueSeventy for the awesome googles and of course Normatec for the recovery boots!