What a feeling of accomplishment! I know that as usual I didn't train like I should for this event but anyone that knows me knows that is just how I "roll." I did practice some in the pool at the gym with Jason and at home. He coached me on my form and proper breathing techniques in order to have an efficient swim and to be honest I felt the MOST prepared for the swim. I've always felt confident about being a strong swimmer thanks to growing up with a pool in my back yard and years of swimming lessons. I had also rode my bike some with Jason riding beside me giving me pointers on changing gears and "continuing to peddle" no matter what! I've been dealing with some back pain when riding my bike for a while now and on my last 18 mile practice ride with Jason he noticed my handle bars needed to be tilted forward a little in order for me to be able to ride with a flatter back and he also tilted my seat down just a bit. After that my back didn't hurt near as bad and I truly believe this helped me have a great ride on Sunday. But the "none runner" that I am I did very little running to prepare for this race.
We got up early Sunday morning, around 3:30am, just like every race day, to get ready and load up. Jason took care of me the best he could by making me my breakfast of choice, a bagle and our usual pre-workout drink, NOxplode. Today was his day to sit back and cheer me on. Being the competitor that he is I was surprised that he was doing so well with it. :)
Our crew for the day, Tammy and Manual, showed up around 4:15 to finish loading and head out to Pearland. Tammy was her usual self. Full of energy and excitement. Me on the other hand, just the opposite. Everyone knows I am NOT a morning person so it took me about 45 min and a few gulps of NOxplode to become alive. We made it to Pearland in plenty of time. As we walked to get in line for our markings the excitement finally hit me and I was truly ready to do this! Tammy and I were happy to find that our transition ares were close together and so we set up what we needed for the race and went to get in line for the first part of the race, the swim. However,I was disappointed when, as we got in line, we were toward the back of the pack. This was because we had put a time that I assume was slower than everyone elses. I think we were just being realistic. But as I watched the swimmers get in and start their swim, every 10 seconds, I realized I should have put a faster swim time. I could swim a lot faster than some of these people and I had to WAIT, and WAIT, and WAIT. As it became my turn to get in the pool I was jumping with excitement. (thats what I do before I perform or compete. I jump around) I started my swim and felt great. I was actually singing a song in my head as I swam. (advice from my husband) It didn't take long before I was running into the person in front of me and I knew I needed to pass so when I saw my chance I took it and passed. WooHoo I felt good! I passed several other people along the way and soon was out of the water and into the transition area where I would dry my feet, put on my socks and shoes, helmet and sunglasses. Grab my bike and run out! All the while Tammy was right there with me. The bike ride, surprisingly, was easy for me. Tammy and I stayed together and we helped push one another. We turned into the final stretch of the 11 mile bike portion, one behind the other. Quickly took off our helmets, grabbed our race belts and took off for the final leg, the RUN! :( It didn't take me long to realize I had a rock in my shoe and as I passed our cheering squad- Jason, Kate, Jackie and Hank I shouted out to Jason that I had a rock in my shoe but kept going. Then it hit me! I was tired, my legs felt heavy, my feet were soaked along with my socks and shoes BOY was it HOT and I had to get this DANG rock out of my shoe!! :) Once it was out I start back running again. I knew this 3 miles was going to be the hardest 3 miles I had ran. I was tired but I wanted to get a good time and was hoping to reach my goal of under 2 hours. So I decided to go with my 4:1 pace. Run for 4 minutes and walk for 1 minute. All the while I'm calculating in my head and hoping to get 1:50 as a finish time. We ran through several neighborhoods and I was delighted that several families had put out sprinklers for the runners to run through and cool off! It was just what we needed. I loved that close to the finish line, before we could see it, we could hear the crowd cheering. Manual was just before the finish line shouting and encouraging me on and telling me "Jason is right at the finish waiting to take your picture! you can do it!" As I ran toward that finish line I looked for that bright orange shirt and saw my coach waiting for me with his phone in hand ready to take my picture! I crossed that line and felt a little light headed and at one point thought I might puke! But I also felt accomplished and strong! Tammy had finished a few minutes ahead of me, she's a strong runner. We met and hugged feeling proud to be WOMEN! :) I still didn't know my time but I wanted to get out of my wet clothes. So I gathered my things and went to change. Jason met me at the transition area and said "I think you are going to be happy with your time." I was thinking "Yes, maybe I got around 1:40." He said "Honey, you got 1:24 and Tammy got 1:20." I said "YOU ARE KIDDING" he said "Nope it's posted" I was so HAPPY! I asked what was your time last year and he said 1:14. I couldn't believe it! We did great! I was so proud of us. Now the question is....... WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE!