Well, Sunday morning is here, and I have to say that I started getting excited about this little race around 3 pm yesterday. It's now 5:15 am E.S.T, I'm not sure if my mum will read this, but she would say, are you nuts? ;-) Why get up on a Sunday morning so early and go for a 5K run, 15K bike, and 1/4 mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico.
It's already 80 degrees at 5:15 am, and my windows in the house are foggy due to the condensation from the heat and humidity outside and the cold airconditioned air inside. 9 years ago it was a new experience for me to see that, now it serves as a barometer. I know it's over 77 degrees outside and that the humidity is at 100%. I prepped up my little race bag last night and all I have to do is make my water bottles (one filled with coconut water per Keith's suggestion) and put my bike in my car.
It's a beautiful morning and decide not to turn the ac on in the car, but open the windows and get used to the outside air. There were 800 people in this reverse mini triathlon. 5K run, 15K cycle and 1/4 mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico (our beaches are free and clear in case you're curious). Parking was a bit disorganised, so I parked about a mile away from the registration area and just rode my bike over.
The "vibe" was wonderful as I had expected it to be. There were of course some serious folk that live and breath this stuff, and they had the very high end bicycles and aerodynmaic helmets to show for.
I will tell you that I felt pretty cool once they painted my race number on my arms and age on my calf.
Now I had to enter the "transtion" area and find my parking spot for my bike, helmet and bag.
The sun was coming up and it was just gorgeous. The transition area was on part of the golf course at the hotel that hosted the event.
7:30 was fast approaching and between all the people and the oppresive heat, I was sweating just standing there while waiting for the gun to go off. I was ready....I spotted a runner that I've seen before and I know he runs 7 minute 15 second miles, so I set my sights on him. And we're off!! I felt strong, but was careful not to start bobbing and weaving trying to pass people......yet. Keeping my eye on my pacer, I followed and accelerated. I was nice and focused and really into it ;-) I heard someone say something about mile 1, I missed the sign and the water and had no clue how fast I was going. (the joys of being a rookie) I was still right behind my pacer and the crowd was noticably thinning. I did see the mile 2 marker and thought to myself "dang, I'm feeling pretty good!" When we made the last turn back to the hotel grounds....I decided to go for it and I stepped up my pace and passed my pacer. He never came close again, and I felt euphoric as I came across the finish at 23 minutes!! I couldn't spend a lot of time gloating about my new PR, (a full minute faster then my last pr) I had to get to my bike and get my helmet on. Took a few big swigs of my coconut water and walked to the road where you were allowed to mount your bike. It felt great to get on the bike...I was so happy I didn't have to run anymore. I got going and pushed hard. I took it a bit to easy in hindsight, but i just didn't know how my legs were going to react after the run. I was AMAZED how fast people were passing me. Some of those guys and gals were going 30 miles an hour on a bicycle. But I didn't get discouraged, I kept going. I pushed it hard for the last mile or so and when I got to the transition area I was amazed to see the time clock.....57 minutes! Yes! I did it. It was my goal to get in the water at the one hour mark, and hopefully it would only take me 15-17 minutes to swim. I put the bike on the rack, tore of my shoes and socks (ran in my trusted Nike Free's), grabbed my goggles and took off toward the beach. A lot of folks were tip toe-ing the 1/5 mile run to the beach, but thanks to my barefoot walking and sprinting, I was able to cruise right on over with out worry. I got to the beach and saw;
I had a great morning! I will try and do some better training next year and I look forward to it already.
My "hunger" is completely out of whack...And I'm about to devour 2 racks of ribs. Besides from plenty of water and some of the coconut water I did the race in a fasted state. Last meal last night was around 7. Meatballs with some tomato sauce, salad with home made evoo,mustard,white wine and garlic dressing and a few beers. Besides from Ian in the UK, who's a real iron man....have you ever tried one of these?
Thanks for reading.