Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The short story:
Well, I did it. I finished the Rev3 half rev. I still am finding the entire event surreal. I know I crossed the finish line but I don’t really remember what happened as I did. All I know is I had a huge smile on my face. Thank you to all the people who helped me throughout this process.
The long story: (feel free to stop at this point – it is a bit long winded)
Friday I picked up my bike from my friend Eric’s ( http://trierictri.blogspot.com/ ). He fixed the problem I was having dropping my chain when I went from the big chain ring to the small chain ring. Thanks Eric.
Saturday, my boys and I drove to Cedar Point early in the day because I had to check in and put my bike in transition overnight. We only had until 4pm to do this and Lou golfed on Sat. I wasn’t sure he’d be back in time to get us all there before 4pm. He said to just go ahead and he’d come later. He said the last thing he wanted me doing was worrying about something that I did not need to worry about.
We made it out there around 1:30 and I got my stuff, they took my picture and checked in my bike. I walked around the expo a little bit and listened to the athlete information. Then the sky just opened up and the rain started pouring. I just kept thinking – this had better pass. It let up some and Sam and I went down to the beach to check out the swim course. Tom stayed in the car because he didn’t want to get wet. Sam took a couple pix of me at the beach near the swim exit. At that time there were 6 ft. waves and lots of white water. Again, I just kept thinking – this had better pass.
After that we went to the host hotel – Hotel Breakers. It is in Cedar Point and about 50 ft. from the swim start. Can’t get any more convenient than that. There were a couple restaurants in the hotel and I let the boys pick where they wanted to go. They picked the Japanese steak house. Not surprising, it is fun to watch. We were going to wait for Lou but he was doing some laundry and was waiting for it to dry so he hadn’t left yet. I didn’t want to eat too late because I wanted to get to bed early. We went to dinner at 5pm. Thank goodness we did. It was already getting crowded with the other triathletes and their families. We were lucky enough to be at the first table. I got the chicken, Sam got the shrimp and Tom got the steak. The chef threw some veggies in the air for everyone to catch with their mouths. We were the only three to do it at our table of 9! I had some left-overs and saved them for Lou. As we were leaving Sam made me rub the Budda belly for good luck. Then he and Tom rubbed it for me too!
Lou got to the hotel around 8pm and we all went down to the pool so the boys could swim a while. We left when Sam hit his chin on the bottom of the pool and it was bleeding. Good times! We stopped at the gift store to see if they had Neosporin. They did and were peddling it for $10 a tube. We told Sam he was just going to have to live with the germs for the night because we weren’t shelling out $10 for Neosporin. His dinner didn’t cost that much! Luckily, back at the room, Lou found some in his bag. No more germs for Sam.
I went to bed around 9:30pm and woke up around 5:30am. I left Lou and the boys sleeping. We would catch up later. The pros went off at 7am and I was in one of the last groups to go off at 8:40am. I had plenty of time. I got to transition around 6:45. As I was waiting in line to get marked, I looked over to see a guy I went to high school with. I hadn’t seen him in 25 years. I called out his name and he looked over. He looked at me funny like he recognized me but couldn’t place me. I told him my name and then I told him the other name I went by in high school “Luke’s sister.” Then he remembered me. He came over and hugged me and wanted to know if I remembered his wife, Carol. I said yeah and we instantly caught up. He took a picture of me and Carol.
After I set up at transition, I went down to the beach. I was looking for my friend Aimee. She was my true inspiration and the one who convinced me I was capable of doing a half ironman. I actually had a true need to see her. I felt she could help calm my nerves. After a little while I heard her call my name. Thank God! She was at another race in Michigan the previous day and wasn’t even sure if she would be there at the start. We hugged and then I cursed her for getting me into this. What was I thinking?!?!? What was she thinking?!?!? She said I’d do fine and to just keep moving forward. That is all it takes.
All of us red caps lined up about 8:35. At 8:40, the horn went off. Lou said he and the boys were watching from the balcony of our hotel room as I started. I got into the water and I notices one thing right away – the water was very cold. I had been open water swimming in Lake Erie at least weekly since July and the water was in the 70’s. Several times I did not use a wetsuit. This water was definitely way colder than that and I had no idea why. It was in the 90’s as recently as last week and it would not have dropped that fast I didn’t think. Anyway, this shock of cold made me hyperventilate a bit and my heart was racing. I couldn’t calm down enough to swim. Luckily, the water was extremely shallow and everyone was walking anyways. It took me about 15 minutes before I had my heart rate and breathing under control enough to put my head in the water fore more than 1-2 strokes. After that I was ok. Also, further out in the lake the water was much warmer. Go figure! I got into my grove and finished the swim in a little over an hour. Aimee was at the swim exit cheering me on.
Nothing exciting here except I planned on wearing bike shorts to bike in and not my TEAM PHLY tri shorts. I had forgotten to take my tri shorts off before I put on my wetsuit and by the time I remembered, transition was closed. So I had to take off my wetsuit, my tri shorts (I wear Under Armour compression shorts to allow for costume changes) and put on my bike shorts. It took a little extra time. I also slathered on the body glide, especially on my feet. And I was off. Aimee walked up to the transition area and was there as I started the bike. I was done in 6:12 min
The weather was beautiful and I could not have asked for a better day – except for the wind. It was out of the west. I tried to use the tail wind to my advantage and went hard on the way out because I knew it would slow me down on the way back. My nutrition was good and I was using salt tabs to replenish. I am a salty sweater. I finished the first 33 miles in under 2 hours. I was hoping for 4 hours on the bike. I figured I could finish the last 23 in 2 hours no problem. Right? Wrong! The head wind kicked my butt. It took me 2 ½ hours to finish the bike but I made the bike cutoff too.
Again nothing exciting here except I changed from my bike shorts back into my TEAM PHLY tri shorts. They were still wet but it actually felt good. I was done in 3:56 min.
I started out slow (even slower than my normal slow). I knew the hardest part of the run was going to be the causeway because of the wind and there is not a stitch of shade. However, around mile 2, the bottoms of my feet were feeling kind of hot. There was no place to sit down on the causeway to take a look so as soon as I hit regular road I sat on the curb to take a look. Yikes. I had the start of blisters on the bottom of both feet. Thank goodness for Onehourironman ( http://ironbob-ironbob.blogspot.com/ ) and his blisters. I can assure you – you did not get those blisters in vein. I was well prepared in case the same happened to me. And it did. The weird part is I have never had blisters on the bottom of my feet before. Anyway, I had moleskin with me and I put it on over the blisters. This helped tremendously. I doubt I would have been able to finish without the moleskin. The blisters got bigger but it would have been way worse without them.
I was in pain and couldn’t run, so I walked most of the way and ran when I felt up to it. I knew I wouldn’t make the run cutoff, but I was hoping they would let me finish anyway. I was counting on the fact they had the course open for the full Rev until midnight. Everyone was so nice on the course and the water stops were fully stocked with everything I needed. At some point my fingers started to hurt too. I looked at them and they looked like gorilla fingers. I would hold some ice in my hands to make them feel better and it helped. It took me just under 4 hours.
As I was nearing the finish, one guy off to the side said – come on you have to run it in, they are taking your picture. So I ran it in. I wasn’t expecting the finish to be as amazing as it was. They called my name and had my picture ( the one they took the day before) on the jumbo-tron. It was awesome and surreal at the same time. I got a finishers medal but they ran out of finisher’s t shirts. They will send it later. No worries, I’m used to not getting stuff because they ran out.
I met up with Lou and the boys, had my blisters taken care of (they were huge and nasty at this point), got a bite to eat and I got my stuff from transition. The boys kept asking me to ride the Top Thrill Dragster or another roller coaster with them. I don’t think I could have ridden the merry-go-round at this point. I told them next time.
We drove home after the park closed at 8pm.
Overall, a good day!