Sunday September 11, 2011 I completed my first Half Rev3 Triathlon. at Cedar Point. This race consists of 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running.
I was so nervous going into this event.... I arrived early since I was not able to sleep anyway. As soon as I got there I started seeing friends. I had plenty of time to set up and walk around and talk to everyone ......like I do when I'm nervous. I have amazing friends. So many have supported me so much and without them I would have had a difficult time with the Rev3.
The weather was perfect, the lake was flat, and the wind was barely there. Yes! I walked down to the start line with Carolyn, fellow Grunt Girl and Notre Dame fan. I love how everyone's response to somebody else's jitters is always, "you'll be fiiiiiine". They are always right but at the time it always makes me giggle to hear everyone respond this way (yes, I say the same thing to others).
Nothing new race day! I took a huge risk and did a few things new on race day. I know, I know- I won't do it again. I wore a new "onesie" tri suit, first time wearing a sleeveless wetsuit and first time for a wetsuit in a race, and I had a fiber muffin in the AM (don't worry the muffin did nothing for me, very disappointing.) I really thought the tri suit would be much more comfortable for this long race then my usual and I couldn't find a tri top with pockets for food in the back that fit me in time. The tri onesie ended up working out great, thank god! A little difficult using the portopotty at mile 40 something on the bike but I managed. The wetsuit was ok. However, I'm still not completely sold on a wetsuit. The water was very chilly so it did help with the cold water.
I'm getting ahead of myself..... before the swim start I hung around, talked to some of my friends and focused. Before I knew it it was time to line up. I got to the start line and was thinking, holy shit it's here. I'm about to start this crazy day. Then, it started. I walked through the muck....yuck! There was no visibility in the water- it was extra murky. I have a tendency to talk myself out of being focused on the swim (this has been an issue in my last several races...I'm not sure if it's the longer distance). I start to think, is this over yet? I started down this path and I quickly caught myself and started saying my mantra.....for the swim I used, "Believe Love Understand Empower". I also reminded myself that this day was going to be awesome and it was going to go as planned. Whew, bad thoughts gone. The swim went well and it went fast. My legs were starting to cramp up a bit in the water, I'm not sure if it was the cold or my wetsuit but I stopped kicking to prevent cramping.
I waited until the last minute to stand up and then I started walking out of the water. I felt better than my usual swim exits and I heard people cheering. I thought, wow this is so awesome, let's do it! I approaced the tranisition area and some guys were telling me to lay down, I thought ok cool. I laid down and they stripped my wetsuit off....wow, that was really freaking awesome!
I saw most of my friends in transition and was really pumped up from the cheers. I reminded myself to focus, stop waving, and make sure I have everything for the bike! Finally on the bike.... I headed out. I drove the changed bike course the day before so I knew what to expect. I was enjoying the view of all the good looking guys passing me and was taking it easy, finding my groove. Once on the road I went through my game plan in my head and was focused! I soaked up every minute. The volunteers were amazing, the course was perfect! I loved the course! I FINALLY was able to use the restroom at the last portopotty around mile 40 on the bike. Whew!
The last 8miles on the bike seemed to take forever... I was passed by all of the pros around this time but I loved every minute! Wow, they are awesome and FAST! I was pretty star struck.
I headed in from the bike and felt great. I think my nutrition worked out well. My arms were kind of cramping on the bike which was totally new for me- not sure what that was about. I may need to drink more on the bike next time. I heard a lot of people coming out for the run cheering and I just kept smiling. I worked through the bike legs failry well. The first few miles (before the bridge) I was feeling a bit discouraged and unsure of myself. It was overwhelming to see so many people heading into the finish line while I was just going out. I saw my friend and hero, Liz on the bridge. A high five from her gave me some energy and I shifted my doubtful thought to positive thoughts right away.
Once I was into the run and turned right, I was feeling much better. I was smiling the entire run, I really enjoyed every second. It was amazing to see so many people on the course. The volunteers were perfect ( I finally figured out that my name was on my bib around mile 7, until then I thought everyone knew me, lol). I like the course, it went by fast. One of the pros, Andrew Starykowicz, passed me on the run around mile 8- that was really awesome! Then I was passed by a few of the others, again star struck.
During the run I was reminded why I love triathlons so much...everyone is so nice and supportive and inspiring. Heading back I realized my run was a pretty slow pace- something I will need to focus on for next year! I turned left to head back over the bridge and started feeling anxious again. A few guys passed me and said, "one foot in front of the other, you can do it". I thought, ok, I can do this. Less then a 5k to go then less than 2 miles...holy smokes, I'm going to finish this.
I came into the park and headed to the last turn in the parking lot and was greeted by the Grunt Girls. Carolyn came out and ran with me into the finish line- that was so awesome. I ended how I finished, with a Grunt Girl/ Notre Dame fan. Awesome. I turned around the longest semi truck ever, grabbed a flag (very cool) and headed down to the finish. I looked to my left and saw my Mom and my Dad! Biggest surprise ever! I got choked up and smiled all the way in....... Wow, what a perfect day.