Note - Sorry - I was waiting for pictures... but there aren't any yet and I forgot my camera :-(
I have to say, I really do like this Aqua Velo thing! Who needs the run?!?! NOT ME!! Unfortunately, to do a 'full triathlon' I do need the run.
What a day! After a not great night in a smokey hotel room, Shannon and I were packed and ready to go. With a stop at Wawa for coffee, we were at the parking lot to grab the shuttle to Great Marsh Park. Emily was doing the full, Shannon, Becky, Cory and I were all doing the AV. A great group of ladies!! Before I knew it, I was body marked, wet suit on, and heading into the water.
That's about when I realized what I was about to do. 2.4 miles should take me less than 90 minutes. That's 3 tv shows - which I was thinking about because I am very behind on my DVR. That's a lot of time!! Luckily, right as I was starting to panic and realize my stupidity - I turned around to see the most amazing sunrise over the Choptank River (and yes, I was in river, but you know what I mean). Plus, I saw Cory and that was fun to share with someone.
The swim itself.
First of all, never use bag balm then touch your goggles. Not cool.
Overall, it was okay. There were only a few hundred people swimming, at the most, so it wasn't too bad. The biggest problem, besides the smudged goggles, was the beautiful sunrise. Half the course was swimming directly into the sun, so it made sighting IMPOSSIBLE!
But, all things considered, I really couldn't complain. I came in at 1 hour 25 minutes and a few seconds. And the results said I was first out of 5 for my age group for the swim :-)
I actually had a quick transition for my self - and again was first in age group.
The bike. Let's split this up into the 3 part mental game.
Part 1 - 22 mile out and back.
Felt pretty good. I got comfortable on the bike, fixed the shoes so they weren't too tight. Saw Becky at mile 8, Emily at mile 9, Cory passed me at mile 10 and I saw Shannon at mile 12. I was taking nutrition, and feeling pretty good.
Part 2 - the first 45 mile loop.
I have spent a lot of time on that loop so it was nice to know what was coming. And by that I mean the sun and wind. It's Cambridge, it was 10-12 degrees hotter than it ever had been for that race, and it felt like it. The rest stops couldn't come fast enough and as much as I tried to play the "I am only on a 45 mile ride (don't think about the first 22 miles or 2.4 mile swim)" game, it wasn't working. By mile 50 I had checked out and was going to stop at the special needs bag - the end of the first loop. It wasn't worth it to me, I hadn't trained, I didn't want to be on Blain any more. Dare I say it - I was almost wishing for a flat as an excuse to stop.
But, to my pleasant surprise, there was another rest stop, about 9 miles from the end of the loop. I stopped, had a water, talked to a few volunteers that perked me up a bit. And the last 9 miles weren't so bad. But I was still ready to stop.
Part 3 - the special needs area and the second loop.
516 was called out and there was my bag of stuff. Mini Snickers, Gu, pretzel M&M's, and organic chews. I made another bottle of Accelerade, and I stood there. I said "Someone please yell at me to go". They all laughed and one cheerleader girl came over and said "Come on, you can do it! That is if you really want to. Do you want to?"
My first thought, nope, I don't want to. I was hoping Shannon would show up and we could (illegally) ride together. Then a staff guy came over and said "Take a deep breath and go". So I threw my leg over Blain and stood there. He said it again, a bit more forcefully, and I clipped in on the left side. By the third time, he yelled and off I went to the cheers of the volunteers.
Of course loop two started right into the wind. I figured Shannon was right behind me so I kept looking. At the first rest stop I took my time, had a Pepsi (and I have no idea the last time I had a Pepsi), and kept going. It was so hot. Water wasn't cold. Things were sitting well in my stomach. And I could NOT be in areo. Eventually, very slowly, I made it to the next rest area, stopped, stretched, and eventually kept going. Still hot. And forming white lines around my jersey and shorts due to the salt.
At mile 100, I started talking to my self. There was NO ONE around. But I was sane, didn't see pirates holding their heads. And it was a very VERY long final 12 miles.
I have never been so happy to get off my bike - AND NOT RUN. I finished, almost 8 hours later on the bike. A HORRIBLE time for myself, but I finished, and that always makes me happy.
And who was at the finish - Shannon. Poor girl sliced her foot coming out of the water and after the out and back, 1 loop, and a visit to the medic tent - she was out. But her time was awesome and she has time to get better before her full in November.
We met up with Becky and cheered on the runners. I have to say, we are awesome cheer-ers!! When we found Emily, I think she was a bit embarrassed - but embraced us anyway. AND, she came in 4th - OVERALL!!
Shannon and I headed back to the city - but of course, with 1 very important stop.