The race started at 8:00 and I wanted to be there at 6:00. We left the house in time to be there but right before we got to the freeway I realized I forgot my water bottles for my bike. We turned around, went back to the house and got the bottles out of the fridge. It set us back a little bit, we arrived at the park at 6:10ish. Participants were walking around with flashlights and headlamps, the sun was not even up yet. There were SO MANY people there already. At this point, I seriously wanted to throw up. I got so nervous.
Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton
A little bit later, Aron from runner's rambles (center of photo) found me on the beach, feeling out the water. She was there to support her friend, Tara (on the right). Aron and I have been following each other's blogs for almost a year now. I have tried to get together with her and her doggies for a trail run but it just hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon, right Aron? Thanks for coming out and cheering us on, it did mean a lot.
Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for the swim. I was in the second wave (45-49) which was supposed to start at 8:05.
The first wave, which consisted of participants under 18 years old, 50 and over, and "special needs" participants. After about 10 minutes, they announced that they were delaying our start a little bit, per the lifeguard's request. A few minutes later my daughter comes over to the fence and called me over. She was close to hysterical. She told me they had pulled a woman out of the water and she was unconscious, with no pulse. The lifeguards had brought her up on the boat and were working on her, right beside Sara and Keith. They had a ventilator on her and were performing CPR. Quite a long time later, they did load her into an ambulance and apparently she had a pulse but was still unconscious. We all clapped and cheered for the lifeguards and paramedics and I silently said a prayer for this woman. I hope she is okay today. If anybody hears or reads anything about this, please let me know.
We were stuck in our corral for almost an hour, not knowing exactly when we would be starting. Everybody that had tried to acclimate to the water had dried off. I was dying of thirst, standing in the sun. I started getting a bad headache. I thought it was due to my swim cap but in hindsight, I was getting dehydrated. Standing in the sun for over an hour with nothing to drink and not drinking anything prior can cause a problem.
HSE Lori surprised me by showing up at this time. I was so happy to see her. She came to see ME. She was supposed to go camping but her husband had to work late Friday night so they ended up not going. I ran over to the fence and gave her a HUGE hug. And asked her for some water. She found Keith and Sara and brought me a water bottle.
Anyway, the swim finally started at 8:50. I was one of the last ones to wade into the water, I didn't want to have anyone crawling over me. I swam the 400 yards in 11:02. Pretty uneventful. I started off very good, felt strong. As soon as it got bottled up and I began running into the other swimmers, I lifted my head up and then had trouble getting comfortable again doing freestyle. I ended up doing more breast and back stroke than I had planned. I was very anxious for the swim to be over when I finally climbed out.
My first transition took me around 5:10. When I set up my transition area in the morning, I set it up way over on the end of a row, on the outside. I figured I would find my stuff easier and have more room. It took quite a while for me just to GET TO my bike. My socks didn't slip on as easily as I would have liked but that was really the only issue. I have no clue why it took me over 5 minutes to get out of there, but it did.
Ellen (my bike) impressed the crap out of me on the bike leg of this race. I LOVE HER! The first part of the course takes you out of the park which is straight up hill. I had her the perfect gear because I knew this and we FLEW up that hill. It was awesome! She responded to each and every move I made. I passed a ton of people on the bike. The few hills that were on the bike course were pretty steep but Ellen and I worked together and conquered them like they were nothing. The 11 mile bike portion took me 36 minutes. Here I am coming back into the park.
The second transition was MUCH quicker - 1:58. All I did was exchange my helmet for my cap and (try to) run back out. Oh, and strap on my knee brace. Once again, Keith and Sara were there to see me off. ;)
I didn't pack a water bottle for the run because a.) it was 3 miles, and b.) there was a water stop that we would go by twice. Well, I didn't know the water stop wouldn't be until mile 2. I had the worst case of cotton mouth you can imagine. The run course was 90% dirt road which was GREAT! A few hills but nothing serious. Before the first mile marker, I see Lori walking toward me. A big smile came across my face. The only thing that would have made me happier is if she had water. HA! She and I trudged along together, yackin' it up. I think the first mile took me 13 minutes. My calves felt like they were very tight and almost cramping. I did walk a little bit. I had to pee something fierce so at one point, I walked off the trail into some bushes and peed. It is what it is. Finally we came upon the water station and I downed two cups of water and a cup of Gatorade. Because of the late start time, it was very warm by this point. Probably well above 80 degrees. We ran down through the parking lot together at the end of the race and Lori went outside the roped section and ran along the crowd, cheering my name. Thank you girlfriend, for showing up and showing such enthusiasm for me. You are a great friend!! Keith and Sara were there watching me finish too. My run time sucked, it was around 39 minutes. My final time was 1:33:??. I was hoping to finish before 1:30:00. I really can't complain with my 1:33 though. I thought it was so incredibly FUN. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Lori and I after the race
My wonderful supportive little family
I think I could have easily cut 10 minutes off my time if I had just put a little more effort into a couple of areas. I was taking it all in when I was doing everything. I was basically watching the other women and following them everywhere I went. Now I understand what to do and how to do it. I just need to practice more before my next one. WHAT? Yup, I said "next one."