So, my report will pale in comparison to Bill's, but I will make an attempt to be somewhat entertaining. Early in the summer, Bill in I had gone up to ride the course, one look at Killer Miller and I had decided to "downgrade" to the international distance. I am very glad that I did for several reasons. The first being the International distance was absolutely beautiful. Secondly, it was really fun watching everyone come up the Westernport Wall and finally I really don't think I could have done the half this season (maybe sometime in the future).
I loved the later race start and the way the fog lifted off the water right before we were supposed to swim. It was quite beautiful. The air temperature had warmed up quite nicely by the race start. I was in the 3rd wave, but it didn’t take too long to get to us. The water was really quite nice. I started out toward the back hoping to limit my chances of panicking. I felt good a few strokes in, had a brief moment of panic which didn’t keep me from moving forward, I just started singing James Taylor’s song “You got a Friend”. I know, I know, it’s not Pink Floydl but exactly what I needed to keep me calm in the water. Before long, I was rounding the turtle and heading back toward the swan. I didn’t encounter hardly any kicking or hitting except when the next swim wave came up around me on the back half. I remained calm as they all passed and I keep swimming my slow, steady pace and soon was rounding the swan. I intended on swimming all the way up until I couldn’t anymore when I saw this woman. I thought she was saying to stand – but she was really telling us to swim past her. It is a shame that I didn’t hear her because as soon as I stepped down I felt pain to my foot.
My fears were justified when I got up to transition, my foot had been cut on something. It was bleeding a fair amount, but I just decided to keep moving forward and changed into my cycling shoes, helmet and gloves on, ate a Gu and off I went.
Oh, how I loved this ride. I had done it earlier this summer and couldn’t believe how absolutely beautiful it was. I have begun getting in the habit of watching people in front of me go up hills- it totally takes my mind off what I am doing. I guess if I were trying to PR that isn’t the best technique, but the hills seemed fairly painless to me. Even on Bumble bee and Foy where the majority of folks were walking, I just got out of the saddle and went up! I yelped at the top of Foy knowing that we were done with the hills.
Bloody sock, but the pain had subsided during the ride. I quickly switched to my running shoes, ate another GU grabbed my race number and ran off -straight to the port-a-potty. Sucks getting old!
After my brief stint in the potty, I headed out on the course. I knew what was up ahead because we camped in the campground over the summer. I had planned to run until the steep hills in the campground and then run again until the fire road. The first 2 miles are always excruciatingly painful- this race was no exception. I kept telling myself, you can walk soon- keep going and I did. I would call it more of a SLOG then a run or even a jog, but I stuck to my plan and didn’t walk until I was heading up the steep hill in the campground. Walked up most of it, but then started to run out of the park and finally my legs started to loosen up. I was a little surprised about the hill when you turned onto State Park Road, but managed to maintain a decent pace and even passed some folks that passed me earlier. As I continued down the road, I felt better and better. I chatted with a guy who had done this a few times before. He said that walking up the fire road is not a bad idea. So, I again stuck with my plan and walked up the fire road. I loved going down- what fun and I used the momentum to carry me all the way to the finish line.
To date, this was the best race I have done, from the volunteers to the location- it is definitely going on my list of races I will do again.