Slept relatively well despite dreams of transitions causing some stirring. Alarm went off and I hit snooze (one hit was acceptable). Had way too many visits to the loo, must have been the nerves. Grabbed a bowl of Cheerios and stuffed transition bag with bottles from fridge. Went to the loo one last time (ha!) before leaving the house.
Hopped in my ride and cranked some Bob Marley Live to get the psych factor going. Got to the park nice and early – thanks everyone for that recommendation!
Was great to arrive in the wee hours of the morning and immediately run into fellow MMTC member, Dave Anderson. Had to, yup you guessed it (go to the loo). While in that “thinking spot” realized that I had forgotten my cap, goggles, and ear plugs - so back to the transition area to grab those. Headed past the portapotties again, this time without needing to stop – wahoo! Got to the tent and immediately saw so many friendly and supportive faces at the MMTC tent – this was key to keeping my nerves in check. Dawn and all the volunteers were awesome!!
Thought I had better go to the loo again before putting on the wetsuit. With great ease the wet suit slipped on without any worries (thanks again for the Body Glide recommendation) things are off to a good start. Crap, now that the suit is on I have to use the loo again – seriously, this is annoying!
Got to the water ramp and watched two waves go off before me, my wife made it in time to take some “glamour” shots in the wetsuit. Got in the water and immediately needed to, well you get the theme here. Felt good and did some 50 yd sprints to get the blood flowing. Horn sounds and off we go, just like we have practiced - good pace and controlled rhythmic breathing timed with strong strokes – AS IF! All the training went out the window and I felt like a 99 year old chain smoker out there. Flipped on my back like an otter to try and calm down, no luck, switch to breast stroke, again no luck. Couple more times on the back and cursing at myself, I see the orange buoys!! Turn the first one and all the training kicks back in – 28:10 finish.
T1 went as rehearsed, nothing spectacular but at least I was wearing the bike gear on the bike part. Ride went well - 1:38:42 with the T1 transition. Saw the family cheering me on as I came into the park – super boost!
T2 went slower – 4:33 but again at least I was wearing the right gear for the right part of event. 1st mile felt great and then disaster struck, my IT Band flared up (despite resting, stretching, and icing for a month!!) Painful and totally discouraging. Refused to give up and wogged at times to keep the progress forward. Put in a 12:12 minute mile (well below my normal pace!)
Highlight was seeing my daughter as I ran (pain and all) from the last hill after the dam. She jumped into the lane and we ran hand in hand to the finish line.
I did it – finished my first outdoor tri and the Columbia one to boot!!! Thanks to EVERYONE for being so supportive, it was an amazing experience and I will do more once I find relief for this leg of mine!! Will DEFINITELY do this one again.