PreRace: In case anyone doesn't know, I went through chemotherapy this summer for breast cancer. I was planning for the race to be a celebration for the end of chemo…my first chemo was a week before Columbia, so it seemed fitting to start and end chemo with triathlons – my final chemo treatment was Friday before Irongirl. As far as race goals go, I knew that most people would suggest that I should simply have a goal of finishing on Sunday, and although I primarily wanted to just have fun and enjoy the race, I couldn't resist having a time goal. Given that my time last year was 1:45 and change, I thought that wanting to finish under 2 hours was a reasonable goal despite having lost a lot of stamina this summer. After Run-Bike-Run on Wednesday, I was rather concerned about the upcoming race. I felt absolutely horrible despite posting one of my slowest times ever for RBR (meaning it should have felt like I was taking it easy). The whole RBR was painful, so I figured Sunday was gonna hurt even more. Despite my trepidation for how painful the effort would be, by the time I was done with chemo Friday, I just couldn't stop smiling…I was so HAPPY to be finished! No matter how the race turned out, I would be ecstatic to be moving back to normalcy in my life! The weekend was made even more special because my mom was visiting from Pittsburgh, and even came with me to Maura's for a great pasta dinner. I had so much fun introducing her to all of my MMTC friends because my mom was the impetus that got me to sign up for my first triathlon - she signed up after watching my sister do one, and though I had been telling my sister that I couldn't do a triathlon because I would drown on the swim, and didn't own a bike…these excuses felt distinctly flat once my mom decided she was going to take on the challenge! Thank you mom and Aubrie (my sister) for getting me started in this fabulous sport!
Swim (0.62mile 21:43 58/202):
My goal for the swim was just to get through it. I only swam about 4 times this summer, so I just wanted to stay clear of people. I stayed to the far right, and only came into contact with someone else twice throughout the whole swim. I got a little off course a couple times, but was happier swimming a little extra very smoothly rather than cutting close to the corners and getting caught in traffic. This turned out to be an excellent strategy, and I was pleasantly surprised to come out only 20 seconds slower than last year! This gave me a big boost of confidence that I could probably get under 2 hours as long as I kept a solid pace the rest of the race.
T1 3:22 (73/202)
I took my time at T1 because I had forgotten to take my anti-nausea medicine before the race…luckily I had brought some back up with me in case I needed some during the race. I was only feeling slightly nauseous, but wanted to make sure it didn't get any worse.
Bike 18 miles 1:00:36, 17.3mph AG 23/202:
The bike was totally enjoyable. I was scanning for MMTC shirts going the opposite direction the entire time…it gave me such a burst of energy to be able cheer for fellow club members. I also really made it a point to enjoy the scenery, while still trying to push myself. I've really struggled on the bike this summer – it just seems to take way more effort than I expect. I was ecstatic to be over 17 mph, something that hadn't happened in the past 2 months. And at this point I knew I could cruise on the run and still make it under 2 hours. I loved hearing the cheers from my mom and other MMTCers entering T2.
T2 1:40 40/202
Nothing to say about T2..I could have gone a little faster, but who cares at this point!
Run 3.4miles 28:23 20/202 8:21min/mile
Again on the run I was totally enjoying the scenery and definitely grateful that we weren't doing the Beijing Olympic course which was just all blue…nothing to look at except a blue road and blue walls…BORING!!! I loved the awesome MMTC water stop – I was so happy to get a sponge from Amy and high five Bob! You guys were awesome!!! I LOVED the addition of sponges this year…this is the first race I've been in where they were offered. After watching the racers use them in the Olympics, I thought I'd give it a try, and it was WONDERFUL!
Overall: 1:55:42 place: 157/1632 AgeGroup 22/202
Overall, I was just Happy, plain old Joyful and Happy. Happy to be done with Chemo, happy to have had a good race and met my time goals, happy to have my mom there, and happy to be part of an AWESOME AWESOME club! Thank you MMTC for all of the wonderful support you've given me this summer!
Pictures from the race can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/kbernot/IrongirlTriathlonAugust2008?authkey=XVvKATIEHC0