Monday, September 10, 2012

Patriots Half Distance Triathlon 2012

Patriots Half Iron Recap:

I did a 72.3 mile race this weekend.  Not a typo, there's an extra 2 miles in the bike. 

It was... whew.  I could even go with The Good, The Bad, The Ugly recap because it definitely had all those aspects.  But instead, I feel that I must focus on The Experience, because it was a once in a lifetime experience. 

Traditional pre-game photo in the dark!
Oh, sure, sure, I can do Half Iron distance tri’s again and again, but there will only ever be one FIRST time Half Iron Distance Tri.

I had received some great advice from many, but the thing that most stayed in my brain was “Don’t Drown, Ride for Fun, Run to Live”.  It could really apply to life in general, yes?

This year has been an emotional beating. I guess I didn’t know how much that would impact me on race day.  I guess maybe I should have thought about that going in...  No worries now though.  Here’s a quick recap.

The morning of Patriots Half Distance Tri DeNiece and I drove to the race site and connected with our other RVA HIM friends like J1, Massimo and a whole lotta other folks.  I was nervous about the open water swim, and some logistics about setting up transition were awkward, but I wasn’t really as nervous as I had been before my first Marathon.

Me & DeNiece
Catalyst J held my phone for me, so I connected with him and IronPotter.  She is so cute, I have a girl crush, I admit. As we were talking I looked at her swim cap and realized we were in the same swim wave. We did a celebratory dance and attached ourselves to each other. This way I would be sure we would be in the start. Maverick & Dale were there as well, and we all walked down to the swim where Potter’s family was waiting.
Me & Mass

Oh the water was a wall of CHOP and there was a stiff breeze.  The current was moving, the tide was moving, and Potter and I both looked at the water for a minute.
“Wanna go get wet?” she asked.
“Sure.” I said.
We splashed about, swam a few strokes out to where we could see all the markers, and swam back.  I smiled at IronPotter, “Oh good. I didn’t forget how to swim yesterday.”

Me & Potter
At the start it was a bit violent but I settled in and swam my race. I pull a little to the right, so I had to manage that with sighting.  I was “alone” for the most part.  I thought I’d been left by my wave.  Turns out, I was ahead of a good number of them. A guy in a white cap suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hit me so hard with his elbow that he knocked my goggles off.  I saw stars and pulled myself upright in the water to put my goggles back on (thank god they didn’t get completely away!).  I swam the rest of the swim thinking, “I’m going to have a black eye tomorrow”, “First Rule of Fight Club....”, and “Dude probably left a mark on me and I didn’t even get his phone number”.

I did the swim in 44 minutes and change.  Lady Jersey girl was spectating with Catalyst J at the swim finish.  It was nice to see them, Catalyst J is ALWAYS good for a smile.

The run to transition felt like a half mile.  

Arrived covered in grass and got my bike, AND forgot to pull my goggles over my head (ha ha, so I rode part of the way with my goggles around my neck!).

Shortly into the ride I pulled my goggles hard and the strap released, so I stuffed them in my pocket.

I spent a minute getting settled in... got passed by a lot of familiar faces.  At a point early in the ride, maybe 15-20 minutes in, I moved my arms to adjust into aero, and felt my watch-band release.  I looked down as my Garmin flew into the road.  
My watch was now on the road behind me. 
I stopped, laid the bike down, and jogged back to get my garmin hoping that it was ok.... oh.... it wasn’t ok.  I’m now 20ish minutes into my 3+ hour ride, and I have no watch.  I don’t know if you all realize, I did my first marathon with no watch.  

I rode what I rode. 
I stretched out in aero. 
I got spooked by cars. 
I passed 1 or 2 people. 
I got passed about oooooh...208 times.  Maybe more actually. 
I cheered for my friends when they passed me, and I generally just survived the ride.  No watch, no idea how fast or slow I was going, or where I was on the course, or anything about my effort.  My chest felt tight, which isn’t my usual M.O., but I haven’t used my inhaler in a long time, since March or April, so I ignored it.  Bike took around 3 ½ hours.

I got off my bike at dismount, hit a potty, jogged into transition, racked, changed shoes, took a G.U., looked at my inhaler and thought, “nah, I’ll be ok”. 

So why didn’t I pick it up again?

Leaving for the run I saw Lady Biolabud & Lady Jersey Girl cheering for me on the first turn.  I was feeling pretty badass.

My run was fine.  If you like a 90 degree running.  I don’t, but it was still a fine run given my 59.2 mile warm up.  The run was shady at least.  I felt solid for the first 10 miles.  I saw Potter, Dale, Maverick, J1, a bunch of Richmond Tri Folks, Endorphin BikeShop Andy (and HE was FREAKING AWESOME), DeNiece and tons of people I almost know by name.  

DeNiece passed me in the last mile of the run.  

I ran past Lady Biolabud, and then I saw Catalyst J on the corner.  

And then I was there. 

Finishing a Half Ironman Distance Tri. 
How did THAT happen? 
I don’t know, it just did. 

My official time was 6:42:35

I wasn't exactly mentally together immediately after the race.  I remember kissing Mike on the cheek (RTCguy), and rubbing myself with an ice towel, and not wanting to sit down, and then a Lady friend made me get into an icebath.

It was a good idea, it made my legs feel good, and it cleared my head, but I screamed because it was freaking painful.

AND, because I'm crazy, after I saw Potter finish and got a little back rub from Catalyst J, I packed up my day, drove back to the RVA with DeNiece, and then... Illusive Dave & I went to my cousin's bowling alley wedding reception (best wedding reception I've ever been to in my life.  Seriously)

I'm already making plans for next year's Half Iron Distance event.... Not sure which one I'll aim for, but...  Yeah.  True story.  

also, Catalyst J changed the wall paper on my phone to this. -->

I'm not 100% sure, but I might not let him hold my phone for me next year.  Or, then again, I might.  It was worth a good laugh when I realized what he'd done.


carrie said...

LOVE it! Way to kick some 72.3 asphalt G!!!!!

bobbi said...

I know I've said it, but for posterity, I'll say it again :) YOU ARE SO GBA.

And I can't believe you biked and ran with no watch and didn't freak the eff out.

And I would be ALL OVER a bowling alley wedding reception. Fun!!

Jen said...

And how is your watch now?

Race report! I'm doing Kinetic at Lake Anna in May! You want in?