Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 Race Report - Part 1 Getting to the Starting Line

I dreamed of the day that I would complete my first 140.6 iron-distance triathlon race. In my dreams it went a little smoother than it did on Sunday. It was a roller coaster of a race for me and I am proud of my ability to dig deep and finish my first full on a tough day and tough week emotionally.

Race Week had been going well. I was staying calm throughout the taper and all was well in the universe until Thursday night at 8:45PM when my phone rang. My dad had called and left me a message that I needed to call him back right away. I called him and was completely shocked when he told me that my baby brother Justin had fallen at work and was lifeflighted to Metro Health in Cleveland. I had no idea if he was going to live or die at that point so I was terrified. Steve and my daughter Marley and I rushed to the hospital and got there around 9:45 just as my parents and Aunt were arriving. We were not able to see Justin right away so we all nervously sat around and paced in the ICU waiting room waiting for news. Finally around 11:30 we were able to see him. I went in with my Mom and Dad. The poor thing was not conscious and it didn't really even look like him as his whole face was swollen, eyes black and blue, face bloody with a breathing tube. It was a sight I will not soon forget. We left the hospital to get some sleep but needless to say sleep did not come easy. 

Friday I had a couple of morning meetings at work that I somehow managed to get through but left early to pickup my daughter and head to the hospital to see Justin again. As of that morning he had still not gained consciousness and we were not sure the extent of the damage. Fortunately he did regain his consciousness that afternoon and the doctors confirmed that his brain seemed to be okay as were his neck and spine. He had suffered several facial fractures, arm and hand fractures, broken ribs and one broken vertebrae in the neck. Once the doctors confirmed that he would be okay I decided to move forward with the race. I rushed home to pack, get something to eat and try to get some sleep.

Saturday I awoke feeling a little better but still tired. Steve and I had a big breakfast, did a quick 20 minute trainer ride, loaded up the bikes and gear and headed to the hospital for another visit with Justin. I was relieved to see that he was doing better and was awake and talking. He even asked me for a hug and kiss. Knowing he was improving put my mind at ease. We headed out to Sandusky, stopping on the way at Panera to pick up food for the team lunch.

My crazy awesome Rev3 Family!
We arrived at Cedar Point around noon and picked up our race packets, timing chips and goodies. We met up with the Rev3 teammates at the Rev3 tent for lunch and there was a great group of people there. I was so excited to see everyone as some I have not seen since earlier in the summer or even March at the team summit. Our team manager Carole (mama bear) was there with us too!

Bikes racked in transition!
After lunch we got our bikes ready for check in and set them up in transition. With this being my first full and Steve's first full we had a lot of questions about the swim to bike and bike to run bags, special needs bags, etc so my teammate Stephanie who was working the race explained all of that to us and showed us where to put everything and where the changing tents were. Once we had all that figured out it was time to head over to the Breakers Express to check into our hotel room and get ready for dinner.

For dinner we met the Cleveland Triathlon Club folks at Sorrentino's Little Italy for a big dinner of bread, pasta and of course an IPA. It was great to be around so many friends many of which were doing their first 70.3 and another who like Steve and I was doing his first full. Once we were so full that we could not walk it was time to head back to the hotel to pack up our swim to bike, bike to run and special needs bags. The process went pretty smooth. Since we had two beds in the room I used one bed to organize all my stuff and Steve used the other to organize his stuff. After about an hour it was done and we decided to read for a little while and get ready for bed. Even with the melatonin I took I could not sleep. I was way too excited. I tossed and turned looking over at the clock anxiously as it read 10PM, 11PM and then 12AM. I think I finally fell asleep around 12:30 and the alarm was set for 4:45. Needless to say I have had weeks with better sleep leading into a race.
CTC dinner at Sorrentions with our friend James and many others!

Race morning the wakeup call came at 4:45 and it was almost a surreal feeling. Was I dreaming or was it actually thee day that I would toe the line for my first 140.6?! Steve and I were both excited and nervous. I chugged a Starbucks iced coffee and took a quick shower to mentally prepare myself for the long day ahead. After getting dressed and affixing all the race tattoos including a special one honoring my cousin Danielle "Smoxy" who lost her battle with cancer last year and hand drawing a heart with my brother's name on it, I was ready for breakfast. I was able to eat a couple of gluten free blueberry waffles with maple syrup and some watermelon and I downed a cocount water. We were out the door at 5:45 and headed over to the transition area. Once we arrived there it would be just a matter of minutes before our first 140.6 triathlon would begin. Wow!

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