I've hesitated to write a RR because English is my second language. Please excuse my grammatical mistakes in my writing. =)
56:01 for the swim. Honestly, I expected it to be somewhere between 38 and 40 minutes. While I was quite disappointed with the time when I got out of the water, it was somewhat anticipated as I brought my contacts to wear before the race start (I normally wear glasses) but ended up leaving them in another bag in Dean's car (he gave me a ride). By the time I realized it, Dean was already in the water and started swimming. So I figured I would just follow crowds as I knew that the buoys were not as many or big as the ones at the Nation's triathlon (it was my first triathlon and they had 6' x 6' buoys every 100 meters so it was hard to miss them even without wearing contacts). Too bad I lost the crowds even before I made it to the first corner. Instead, I saw a white boat about 50 meters away, so I swam towards it. People on the boat were telling me where to head, of course, as if they knew what I was going to ask. From there, I sighted a hill next to the Choptank River bridge that I could swim towards and was able to make it to the first corner merging with other swimmers. Making the second turn, I had a pretty bad cramp on my calf. Fortunately, it was so shallow that I could stand up and stretch my leg so that I could start swimming again as I felt better. Tried not to use my legs as much and made it to the swim end.
T1 3:27. I wear my socks and shoes in T1. I was initially worried about my socks getting all wet as I run through the mud area. It turned out that it dried up a bit compared to the day before and wasn't too bad. Still, it wasn't pleasant.
Bike 2:46:02 (20.5 mph). Felt pretty good on my bike. Tried to ride by feel without checking the average speed for a couple of miles as I thought I wasted too much energy during the swim. Several minutes later, I found myself going at an average of 21.4 mph so decided to stick close to 21 mph throughout the entire course. I had 2 bottles of water mixed with Cytomax, 5 GUs, and some water and Gatorade when passing the aid stations. Kept up a nice and steady pace until mile 51 or 52, and then not sure if it was because I was too tired or the nutrition I had wasn't enough, but I started feeling weak at that point and my speed noticeably decreased by 3 to 4 mph for the rest of the course.
T2 3:34. Both of the racers' bikes that were next to mine were hanging on the rack the other way and there were not even enough space to rack mine!! It seemed like they had to rack their bikes that way because obviously someone racked his bike the wrong way in the first hand and everyone followed the "wrong" way. Well, I was in the middle of them and had to push them to the sides a bit by bit to squeeze my bike in. It was quite annoying. I tend to have blisters easily when I run in wet socks, so wiped my feet with a towel and changed into fresh socks before putting my running shoes on and then took off.
Run 2:37:51. Ran the first mile at 7:45 pace and felt okay except for the feeling that I would have a severe cramp in my quads soon. So I slowed down to the point where I felt that I could run with it hoping it would go away. When I was about to hit mile 2, it got away but I felt weak again and couldn't pick up the pace again until mile 12. Something was obviously dragging me! (At least, I would like to think so...) I walked and jogged most of the way. Had water, Gatorade, Coke, pretzels, ice, gels, and whatever there were available at every aid station to make myself feel better and pick up the pace. None of them worked unfortunately (again, it was an obvious sign that something was dragging me). At about mile 4, I didn't care about the time any more and just wanted to finish it. Got passed by Aleah soon after. Even though I wanted to say "hi" at least, I was just too tired to say it. Got passed by Lizzy a couple of miles after that and barely said something to her that I don't even remember now. While I walked a big portion of the run course, I tried to keep jogging not because I wanted to finish it as fast as possible but because I figured the more I walk, the longer I would have to stay out in the sun. I kept saying to myself "fast or slow, it is going to hurt the same anyway." I brought out everything I had from mile 12 and began to "run" again. Taking the last (or second last) corner, I found Lizzy cheering the rest of us who didn't make it to the end yet. It definitely helped me finish strong.
Overall, it was a great experience and really enjoyed the day a lot. My next races are the Nation's tri and Savageman in September and then will move on to 2014 Lake Placid. I will definitely put more training hours in my schedule from now on. Lastly, huge thanks to those of you who came out to volunteer and support the racers. Greatly appreciated it and will pay it forward later. We're an awesome club!!