70.3 B2B race report by Dawn WoodwardPosted by Pete | Categories: MBtriclub News
545am – despite moaning and groaning from a good friend and a good husband and some snide remarks from others about being toooooo early, me, Jen and Gerald left for the hotel for the body marking/trolley area. Look – I stress enough already for these things. I don’t need to add being late to the list. Getting to the transition and taking everything in was…. Not a kick to the head. It felt like every other race – I was surrounded by like-minded people, I had my good friends with me, I had to pee every five minutes. It was all good. It also helped that Lonnie introduced me to Hector, the triathlete without arms. Jen and I had seen him the day before, but it was great to actually talk to him. That started the day off with my first “if they can do it, I can do it” mantra.
700am – Jen and I boarded the trolley to head up to swim start. We met some great guys that kept me laughing and I remember wishing that me and Jen could stay with them all day. But alas, we choose our own adventures and I had to do this alone. When we got to the actual swim start – I was cold. Very cold and very hungry, the latter being the part that worried the heck out of me. I never get hungry during a race and I do not do well with food in my stomach during races – I felt a conundrum coming on.
Jen and I did our own thing for a while at swim start – I’m sure she chatted to people. I just sat for a while rocking back and forth getting worried. After peeing yet again, I saw Mary Kate (and stopped traffic) and got a much needed hug and pep talk; saw Rosann and got another much needed hug; went to Jen again and got a much needed hug and then made my way down to the shore. I was terrified of cold water, but this felt fantastic (it unnumbed my toes!!)! Even though I know the time didn’t fly by, looking back it went kind of quick.
855 swim wave start – I was off! I was actually starting this journey. I was making this happen. I counted to 13 many, many times and just ticked off 25 yards at a time (13 is my count for a length of the pool). I actually drafted off someone for the first time ever and could feel myself zooming. The swim actually went pretty fast and I never once felt like I was never going to get to the end. Thank goodness for the wet suit rippers and then end. So nice of them to rip off my clothes.
T1 – Heading up to the road and seeing all the people – I almost started crying. I heard Stacy yelling her head off and got pretty ecstatic. Saw Gerald in his Titans glory and felt relieved. I took my time a bit just to make sure I had everything I needed and nothing I didn’t and headed out. All I had to do was make it to mile 35 and T2 and I would see my friends again!
Bike – I was RAVENOUS!!!! I ate a waffle and drank some water in the first mile and then just tried to go and enjoy myself. Mary Kate (that speedy devil!) passed me about mile 6 and we stayed close to each other for most of the ride (thank you!) while trying to dodge the bike draft Nazis. The ride started out great, but pretty soon something just didn’t feel right. My legs were aching in ways they never have on a ride before and I started to get worried and very, very uncomfortable (the MS ride didn’t hurt this much even on day 2!). Passed mile 35 and smiled at the big sign – felt so special! I was praying that the headwind would just quit but it never did. I noticed that I stopped saying “good morning” and “thank you” to people which was a sign I was getting cranky and hungry (starburst wasn’t getting it done, but knew I needed an empty stomach for later). I was becoming a mean athlete. I slowed down markedly in the last 10 miles; I hated to see Mary Kate go but knew I needed to at least trick myself into thinking that I saved something for the run. Looking back on my averages, there were two times I did five miles in a 20 average – yay for that, bad for running. I had covered up my computer because I didn’t want to stress about that. I think it worked for most of the ride – me and my head games.
T2 – saw my friends and felt the tears! I was hurting for unknown reasons and really just wanted to stop and sit with them for a minute. But into the building I went and gave Mary Kate a good old fashioned slap on the butt – that made me feel good ?.
Run – saw Gerald right after I exited the building and just collapsed inside. I didn’t want to let him, my friends or ME down by having a bad run (bad for me equals walking) but just felt so tired! Normally I have a good time on the run – this is where I can see people and smile and high five and look at puppies – but not today. I almost smacked a good handful of the younger volunteers along the course (are they really telling people that we can’t walk up this hill, we have to RUN up it!!??? As they are SITTING DOWN and obese??!!!) I started walking before mile 3 and was devastated but thought “well this must be plan b.” I walked and ran as much as I could. I hit mile 6 and just …. Stopped. Like I literally smacked into a wall. Starting walking and there I find Gerald and Stacy and Janelle. I was so embarrassed and mad that they caught me walking but Stacy was great and really reassured me that it was okay. Sorry I flipped you guys off!! I have never before had legs that felt like that or a mind that just wouldn’t make the legs run. I think I walked faster than I ran (and it definitely hurt less to walk so walk I did!) The course was awful for me – very boring and very tight quarters – so I had nothing to think about but my negative thoughts. I tried every trick I could think of, but nothing helped. Seeing my cheerleaders again after the turnaround did help (you guys are so great!!)and I tried to just get the last part of it DONE! At a water stop I caught up to Donnie and we played around with walking and running. We saw Kovac making his way on his second loop and looking like he was just as fresh as a daisy (grrrr but yay) and that made me go again (sorry Donnie!). The end of the run hurt like crazy – but I saw Erin, Jake, Natasha and Jeremy and they put a smile on my face!!!! I could go forever if I have friends around me! I came down the chute alone and heard my name and smiled and …. It was done. Three months of training, countless miles, a mountain of stress –all done. I was elated; I was beaten; I was tired; I was so happy to see my friends!!!! My time was 6:03 – with NO penalties!
I have continued to criticize myself about my “run” performance since I finished even though I know I shouldn’t. My friends know how I am with my expectations. But on the brighter side – my inner voice is starting to say “wow – I’m a tough chick!!” more than it’s saying “you walked….. Those 3 minutes are because you walked…”
I am immensely grateful for everyone who helped me along the way – the miles, the questions, the friendships, and the support.
I did it – 70.3 miles. I made my body go. I made my mind go. I was strong.
And I will be strong when I do another one. Which will make me strongER when I do a full. The important question is – who is doing that full with me?????!!!!