Quick flashback to October 2012…I was here before and experienced my first and hopefully only DNF. It was cold, it was raining, and I injured myself in the first 5 seconds of the race by slicing my foot right open on a rock as I entered the water. After pushing through the swim and then the bike to mile 34 with a nasty, stinging cut in the middle of my foot, I brought it in and went home. One bloody sock and one tetanus shot later, DNF.
Here it is 2013, and I am ready to take on this course. I was planning for cold, rainy weather again. I had purchased all kinds of cold and wet weather gear just for this race, so why wouldn’t it be clear skies and 90 degree temps?
My crew (daughter Samantha) and I drove up the day before for bike check-in and checked out the expo. I can’t help it I’m a sucker for expo shopping, but I scored some great stuff.
My new Zensah compression socks.
My new favorite coffee mug.
Got banded, picked up my goodie bag and numbers, and dropped off my bike. This year’s swag included a nice mock neck technical shirt.
I didn’t feel the need to stay local, since the drive was only an hour. We got as close as we were going to get and ended up parking on the street right by the entrance to Centennial Park. I immediately headed over to transition and setup my area. Although the water temps were wetsuit legal, at 6:00am I was already feeling the day warming up. My daughter and I were fortunate to some have great friends from Team Z to hang out with before the race. Especially one that knows how to take some great pre-race picks.
The pre-race gun show.
Not my best moment.
So during our pre-race shenanigans, I discovered that my Garmin decided it wasn’t going to work for me. Every time that I would push the power button it vibrated and gave the message “SOFTWARE LOADER.” Seriously, what does that mean?! I cannot race without my numbers! My OCD will simply not let me do this and keep my sanity.
Oh my goodness, thank you Erica for saving the day! Awesome friend Erica was only racing the swim leg on a relay team and was not using her Garmin was gracious enough to let me borrow hers for the race. Crisis averted!
Once again, as with so many other races, my swim wave was close to the last, 4th from the last to be exact. My swim was okay, but I had already decided that one of my focuses during the off-season is going to be swim work. The course was well marked, however I should have worn tinted goggles since we are swimming into the sun. This also makes the far buoys hard to see. Although my time wasn’t great, I consider the course successful since I didn’t cut my foot on entry. Swim time: 30:40.
My T1 time was not good. My daughter needed the keys, which happened to be in my gear bag, to get into the car. I told her to be at the bike out exit and I would throw them to her. Other than this delay, transition went smoothly. T1 time: 5:11.
This was seriously the hilliest bike course I have experienced. It was tough. The most popular phrase I heard on the course was, “Dropped my chain.” I was included in this mix…twice. There was one hill, I don’t know at what mile it was, but thank you to the group that was partying on the hill and cheering the athletes on. Yes, the man in the dress and wig, I’m talking about you. Hills and roundabouts describe this course well. I don’t think that I’ve driven a car through this many roundabouts in my life. The course views were spectacular, a lot of beauty up in Maryland. Two loops later, I was so happy that I was done with those killer hills. Just before I turned into transition, I saw Samantha and Tracy (T-racer girl) taking pictures at the turn. Tracy caught my shout out to Rev3.
Ok, it was hot, REALLY, REALLY HOT. I moved in and out of T2 in good time. I grabbed my Gu and I was out on the run. T2 Time 3:19.
At this point, last year’s weather would have been welcoming. It was so unbelievably hot out. About ¼-mile out of T2 I got a cramp in my side that took me a few minutes to work out. Hills, hills, and more hills once again. It was so hot and I couldn’t cool off well, so my plan was to walk through the water stations and run in-between. I think that my running up the hills though was more like scooting. So happy that there were plenty of aid stations with water, ice, and Coke manned by some awesome volunteers. Coke? Yes please, at every other station. But seriously, it was hot. The run took forever. I was so happy to finish the first loop of the run. How happy?
There is pain behind that smile.
Ran through the finish line with Samantha. She is my biggest fan, and my greatest supporter. Run Time: 2:31:13. I would rather not talk about that run time, it was bad, I was slow.
That’s it. I’m done.
Overall Time: 6:28:16
This was truly a great race, for such a great cause. With last year’s DNF in the back of my mind throughout the race, I was so happy to finish. The course was covered with awesome volunteers and law enforcement support. You know when Revolution 3 Triathlon is a sponsor it’s going to be a great race. I will be back next year!
Samantha got to place the finisher medal around my neck.