I came into this race full of apprehension because I have been on a 36 week training plan for it, and I suppose I didn't want all that investment of time and energy to be for naught. I had an idea of what my time ought to be (around 7:00), and while I was trying not to fixate on a time, it's hard to ignore it. Gloria and her husband and me, my husband, and my daughter had a posh condo next to the Hyatt for the weekend. Thank you Gloria, for finding and sharing! I had a great time in no small part because we got to share our first HIM experience together.
I had my standard breakfast of oatmeal with banana. I had cut off coffee this week in the hopes that caffeine on race day would give me a bigger boost. At 45 minutes before the start (which turned into an hour because of the delay), I had two packs of delta-E, with the equivalent of a cup of coffee total, and lots of vitamin B. Whoo-ee! I got incredibly wound up. I'm not a chatty person, but I had to talk to everyone and anyone around me in the port-a-pot line. Sometimes two lines over! Perhaps I won't try the coffee experiment anymore.
On with the report:
Holy cow! How'd that happen? I knew the swim was taking a long (long, long) time, but I was genuinely surprised when I came out of the water and saw the clock. I though I'd be a good 10 minutes faster. My plan was to start easy and build up some speed. I started easy, and I tried to build up speed toward the end of the first leg, but I wasn't moving very fast, I know. I noticed the buoys didn't seem to line up straight, but tried to aim for the turn buoys when I could. Perhaps I zigzagged more than I thought. By the middle of the last leg, I was just plain tired. It was good to get out of the water.
Even without needing to do the "wetsuit dance!" Perhaps I shouldn't take the time to dry off my feet. Needs work.
My strongest leg. My plan was to stay at aerobic threshold for at least a half hour to let my stomach settle and get my legs loose. I did that. I increased the effort by about 5 bpms and ended up staying there pretty much the entire rest of the ride. Like others, I spent way too much brain power fretting about the swim, or rather telling myself not to fret about the swim. Finally got my head fully back into the bike. I was disappointed that there was a headwind coming and going, but at least it wasn't too strong. I never did get a new saddle, which I wanted to after the practice E-Man ride I did with the group in May, so my bottom wasn't too happy for a while. I tried not to let it get to me. I ate one Uncrustable early in the ride, and I took one bottle of concentrated Heed and did the water bottle exchanges (nice). My feet started to get hot! It was then that I took my first two electrolyte capsules. The first of many.
I had the hint of things to come about one mile from transition. My left foot started to hurt. I unclipped at T2 and stepped into a world of pain.
I have had an issue before, after long rides and during races, with the outer edge my foot hurting when I get off the bike. I got bigger shoes and I had my bike fit, during which I was fitted with the wedges under my foot so that my knees track straight. Voila! No more foot pain! Or so I thought. Previously when this happened, the pain would go away after running about 5 minutes, and it wasn't excruciating. Not so this time. I hopped my way out of transition, thinking it would eventually get better. It got worse. I spent the next mile wondering if I somehow got a stress fracture in my foot. I swung wildly between anger and thinking I would just walk the whole thing if I had to, damn it! Two miles and 29 minutes later, my foot finally started to feel better. I was so relieved that I could actually start to jog consistently that I didn't care how slow or fast I was going, I was running! Finally I could concentrate on not getting overheated and taking my Gu's when I planned (one every two to three miles). I will never forget the surreal image of the long line of runners coming and going down the long, hot road. I planned on taking a couple electrolyte caps every hour. When I took the first two at mile 3, it made me feel so good, I took two more at mile 5. More happiness! How about two more at mile 8! Yay! I still feel pretty good! I'm starting to pick up my pace at mile 8, and I think, why not push it a bit? If I start to feel lousy, I'll back off. Now, my version of "pushing it" was to go from 12:30 miles to 11:30 miles, lest you think I was sprinting or anything. But I felt so great that I could actually go faster! And I was passing lots of people! Granted, they all started an hour or more after me, but hey, I was passing them! Finally I came around the turn where you could see the finish! Which was still so far away! It was great to see my husband and daughter at the finishing chute! And Gloria! Yay, I can finally stop moving! Wow, I don't feel so good all of a sudden. My husband goes to find me some sugar. Gloria knows I am hypoglycemic, so she takes me to the medical tent to get some sugar. They make me eat yet another Gu and some yucky Gatorade. 30 minutes and a battery of tests later, they let me out of the medical tent. I was very impressed with and grateful for the care and attention in the tent. I wish I could've partaken more of the club tent food, but my stomach wasn't up to it. Many thanks to the tent volunteers for a great spread and a great home away from home.
I need to thank my husband, who, at times, got frustrated with my obsessive behavior, but always supported me. I would also like to thank the club for being a great support group! There are many people in the club that put in the extra effort to make it work as well as it does, and your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Now I'm looking forward to some rest and a nice, short Iron Girl! BTW, I ended up taking 11 electrolyte caps!