|Pre-Race bike prep!|
The swim was a clockwise, two loop swim in the Choptank river. The river lived up to it's name, there was a decent chop to the water, and also jellyfish. I felt pretty steady the whole swim (there is certainly a difference to a mass swim start of 400 people versus 3000!). got my goggles kicked off 10 minutes in, no biggie, stopped to re-adjust. I swam the first loop conservatively, the second loop was a bit wide, as the kayaks began to drift out further than the buoys. Sighting was rough-it was pretty gray out and there were only 7 buoys for the whole course. I did swallow a healthy amount of salt water (just making sure I got enough sodium, obviously :-P) and got stung twice by jellyfish (it wasn't too bad, I just poured vinegar on the stings in T2). Exiting the water was a challenge-there was a boat ramp that was filled with algae and slime that a bunch of people wiped out on (I was lucky not too). Hit the timing mat for T1 in 1:26:xx....7 minutes slower than Placid, but with the chop, I'll take it.
Ripped of my wetsuit, slid into my bike gear, downed a gel, applied sunscreen and bug spray, and was off!
When I entered the women's tent, there was not a single other person there. No volunteers or athletes. I wriggled out of my wet bike gear and into my run gear, wiped off my face with a wet towel, and tried to get my socks and sneakers on over my wet feet. Fun fun :-P After throwing on my race belt and visor, I exited T2 ready ready ready to run! (as evidence when the hubster filmed me coming out of T2. I thought he was just taking a picture :-P)
The run was a 3 loop course that was out and back for each loop. It was 90% flat with slight slight elevations, on a desolate road, with hay bales for scenery. There was an aid station each mile and also one at the turnaround and....nothing else. I started the first loop with optimism, clocking an 8:34 for the first mile-a bit fast, but nothing crazy. Then I needed a porta potty stop :-P Miles 2 and 3 were uneventful...I stopped at each water stop, grabbed a cup, ate something (a bite of cookie or a cracker) and was off. I averaged about 9:30's with the potty stop for the first out, which was about where I wanted to be. My feet hurt from being wet for so long, and my stomach wasn't sure about life. I definitely didn't want to be eating, but knew i had to. After I hit the turnaround, something just shut off. There was no mile 5. Or 6. I began to lose it. I saw the hubster about mile 6.5 (I'm guessing) and whined about life for a minute. I told him I didn't want to do this. There were no effing mile markers. That my feet hurt. And my stomach. (Playing a small violin.) What the EFF was this?? Pull it together, Rae!! I don't think he knew what to say, but tried gamely to encourage me on. (I later found out he was really concerned, as the run is typically my favorite :-P) I hit the end of the first loop (mile 8.7ish) pissed about life and not wanting to go back out there. So I stopped at special needs. It took a few minutes to get my bag (there weren't alot of volunteers) but I grabbed notes that my Uncle and Hubster wrote me in case I needed a pick me up (I did this for IM #1-just a little something to make me laugh to get me through a rough patch, and it really worked.) I also grabbed a 5 hour energy.....even though I'd never had one (spare me the lecture, I was friggin desperate). Round the turn to loop 2 at 1:32, over a 10 minute mile average. I saw my dreams of a 4:30 marathon start to fade away. Taking a deep breath, I read my note from the hubster, laughed my ass off (he knew exactly what to say) and zoned back in. And I was off.
|Run course "Scenery"|