I'm downstairs with the electric kettle on by 4:35. Got my oatmeal in my bowl, with some protein shake powder for good measure, and my tea in my tumbler, ready to go. I pour the hot water into the oatmeal and tea, then go outside to load up the car.
Bike? Check. Bike front wheel? Check. Transition bag? Check. Cooler with nutrition? Check.
The drive was pretty typical. We got to the gate by 5:45ish. I had all my stuff out that was needed to get on to the base so I got to go through, only I've never been on the base before and decided to follow the car in front of me. They didn't have all their stuff ready, so I had to wait for them to show it at a second checkpoint, then I followed the signs like I should have done before.
Parked and got everything out, it's 6:05, 6:10ish. Saw Jillian and we went to wait in line to pick up our transponders. The first think I noticed was the amount of people who dropped their bikes. Really? How hard is it for you to hold on to your bike, or lay it down somewhere while you wait in line?
Said good-bye to Mom and headed down to the transition area. I fully thought I'd be back up to hang out with her, but no. I was a long walk down to transition. I got to my rack and set up. I waited for Kath and helped her set out her gear.
The transition closed at 7:45 am (I didn't know they kicked you out of transition before the swim waves started, but apparently they do sometimes) so we all head towards the beach, only to be told the pre-race meeting was just outside transition. It was basically a course talk.
We watch waves 1-6, notice that we need to start more south as the current is taking us north. Kath thinks she sees some whales out there, but we can't confirm. We also noticed that they pulled not 1, not 2 but 4-5 men out of the water. That doesn't bode well for my state of mind. My goal now changes for this race. I now just want to make it out of the ocean on my own, not with the assistance of the red lifeguard boat (which means a DNF in case you didn't know)
Our wave goes off and I'm jogging to the beach, I'm not going to have an asthma attack before I hit the water. The waves are brutal and it's shallow. I probably should have walked out further, as with the waves and current, it took me 9 minutes to get from the shore start to the first buoy. Even with starting south I had to swim back south to get around the buoy. The rest of the swim took me 9 minutes. WTF????
Whatever, it's done. I'm on to the bike. Well almost. When I was yanking off my wetsuit my transponder also came off. I put it back on and got my cycling stuff and off I went.
I think the swim played games with my head. There were hills and a flat, fast middle, but I didn't really get my bike legs until the turn around. So 9 miles in I start to ride. I'm glad I remembered the hills. It's something I've started doing, trying to catalog the course so I don't have surprises at the end. I think it's the only thing that kept me from walking up some of the hills.
I found a lady in a yellow jersey and we play leap frog for a while, but I lost her on the last hill. I think she's the reason I finished so strong. She was in my age group and I wanted to pass her because of it.
T2 went well. Sprayed some Kool-n-fit on my right knee (my new must have supply), got the rest of my running gear on, and I was off.
I started jogging up the transition hill, but ended up walking most of it. The run was flat, around the buildings at ACU-5. I ended up with an 11 min/mile pace, my long distance run pace. I figured that wasn't so bad after 18 miles on the bike.
I waited for Kath to finish, so we could celebrate her first tri.
All in all it was a good day. I got off the bike with minimal irritation to my lady parts, thanks to Erin's reminder. I got through the swim by keeping my head and an aerobic pace (thanks Denise). The encouraging remarks by the volunteer Marines were wonderful. Apparently there were some whales out there with us. Go Kath for spotting them. Erin sent us out a picture, but you can't make it out on the blog.
The only black mark on the day was when I went back to transition to pick up my stuff and they had moved it. It really bothered me because, if I'd just dropped everything where ever, like I wanted to out of the swim and off the bike, I could have lost something. Oh well, I'll send them a note.
Hope everyone's Saturday turned out well.