All the people who believed in me when I did not believe in myself made this day possible, you know who you are! A lot has changed for me in the last year, and it finally decided to show at Eagleman! Sorry for a long RR, I wanted to include things that I think may help future racers.
Prerace: I was a hot blistering mess Saturday. I was making myself totally insane and neurotic. I was putting all this pressure on myself to do well, which was horrible for my psyche. I was having a hard time getting settled until an awesomely fantastically fun dinner with some MMTC’ers! We laughed so hard, and was totally what I needed to “get my mind right!” Side note: Out of the Fire in Easton was such an awesome find! The food was mostly if not all organic, amazingly delicious and perfect pre-race. They take reservations too. After dinner I was fat and happy and went back to the hotel to get ready for the am. Slightly neurotic again, but short lived. I went to bed later than I wanted, but such is life!
Race am: Got up at 4:30 aka o’dark thirty in my world. Ate my gf bagel with almond butter and jelly and headed over to set up transition. I didn’t go off until 8:25 and wanted to save the rest of my food for a little bit later. Got to the park, set up transition, and headed over to the MMTC tent. Seriously, what do people do who don’t have the support we have? I know I can come to races alone (sans the hubs) and be fine with my MMTC fam. Lots of smiles, nerves, and laughs there that made the time fly by. The weather was perfect! I got to see Suzy come in from her swim, screamed and jumped up and down for her, and then went over to get ready for my swim. Drank my infinit mud, had a banana, and ½ a PR bar. Glided up, stuffed myself into my wetsuit, and headed over to the swim start.
Swim: 38:29-slower than last year, but considering I breast stroked a good bit of Columbia and had mild panic in the water, I will take my 38 mins. I free styled the entire way minus a few strokes going around the buoys. I got to dolphin dive (which I looove) by the last turn around and took off strong on the way in. I really was hoping for 35, but I will be back next year.
T1: 3:36 As Bryan would say “what did you do, have a sandwich?” ewww, mudd!!! I was a little out of it, and usually bring a milk crate to sit on. Didn’t have that, and plopped into the wet soggy ground to change. Was slightly grumpy.
Bike: 2:57:29 18.93 mph (which I will proudly be rounding up to 19’s I will have you know). Oh what a little nice weather in Cambridge can do for your bike time! And putting some time in the saddle, that helps too. I have been riding a lot this year, and have finally started to enjoy biking. It’s still my weakest event, but it’s starting to come together. The biggest piece has been nutrition for me. I totally crashed (nutrition wise!) on Skyline Dr. and before that was finishing feeling crappy on other rides. I started using a combination of carbo pro (2 scoops), and ironman perform (3 scoops) in my bottles. I also open 2 caffeinated salt tabs and add them to the mix. I also started using recipes from “Feedzone Portables” which is basically rice and whatever goodies you want to add. (I use pbj). This has really been working so far. In terms of bottles for this race, I was really stressing out. I decided to get two disposable water bottles (the smart water flip top fit nicely into my cages) and mix them pre race. That way, I could drink them, throw when done, and replace with no concern of loosing my precious bottles. :) I was worried about staying hydrated enough in the EM heat but did well I think! I took 2-3 bottles of water from the aid stations to supplement after I had finished my bottles. One station was slightly flighty and I had to yell water 3-4 times. But I got it. I wore my desoto 400 mile bike shorts, still trying to find the right pair to wear at IMLP. I got a new saddle two weeks ago, and trying to get all the kinks out so 112 is not miserable. I did have to stand up a few times (which was recommended anyway) to give my girly parts a break. I will let you know if/when I find the right combo! :)
T2: 3:02- couldn't get myself together, but made it out with my Baggie in tow! I forgot to take my bike gloves off, but fortunately saw Suzy-rocks and threw them to her. I usually put my stuff (race belt, visor etc) on as I run/trot out of transition, but I couldn't manage it with the water bottle I was holding. I had to stop and situate myself right after the first water stop. It prob added a min to my run time, but whatever.
The run is the run......I am actually really happy with this time. Of course I will always want to go faster, but this was acceptable to me! I ran almost the entire time, which was a MAJOR improvement from last year, made some friends along the way, and chicked a bunch of dudes! All I kept thinking was that I had to just keep a comfortable pace to get my sub 6. If I pushed too hard, I might blow up and end up having to walk and blow my chances of a PR. I love the tri-Gods (most of the time). It's amazing to me the people that have shown up at various points of races EXACTLY when I need them! Right around mile 3 I ran into someone, we started chit-chatting, and I introduced myself (which I don't always do). She said, wait, are you Aleah, like Bryan and Mo's friend Aleah?? We had actually been on fb threads together, and it was such a cool moment! We were overly giddy, and just thought it was so cool how it panned out. We ran together until about mile 7. I really needed a walk break, and didn't want to hold her up. I would allow myself walk breaks for 30 seconds to 1 minute before I had to go again. I was afraid any longer and I wouldn't start again. I also walked all the water stops, poured water over my head, and put ice down the bra AND shorts, which i highly recommend! I ran with a water bottle as well. I had a gu at mile 5 (hate them, but when it's hot, they are great), and chomps at 9 ish. I also used 2 salt tabs over the course of the run. I just kept my sub 6 goal in my sights and really worked on not getting over excited, which is super easy for me to do. The closer I got, the harder it was. I saw so many people in rough shape, walking, sulking, and looking pretty miserable, I really did not want to be one of them! I probably annoyed them as I ran by saying good job, almost done....when I am in that dark place, peppy people piss me off. The last 2 miles were a mind "you know what"! I felt okay, and made myself run (except that water stop) but really really wanted to stop. I forced myself to keep going because I wanted to understand the difference between wanting to stop and really needing to. I picked it up into the finish a little too early. I turned to someone and said "it would be really lame to walk right now wouldn't it" (I was a little over .5 out). She gave me a weird look and I kept running. Then I saw the amazing Mike K. I smiled huge for a few reasons, he was incredible shouting, cheering, and encouraging and I knew I was almost done! I ran it in, and was so happy to see my watch say 5:50!!!! I felt pretty good, and was really excited (maybe too much so) to share with my MMTC people!
What a day, what a day. I'm still basking in it. Taking it all in, and really really focusing on my next big goal, gulp.......IMLP. MMTC truly rocks, there are way too many amazing people to mention, but I will give a major shout to Bryan M. for his support. There have been times he has been a royal pain in my ass, but has gotten me through A LOT these past few months. The entire Rip it crew as well. I have to say the highlight of my day was watching Sergio DANCE across the finish line!