Ok, so I did it. I'll start from the top...
It was a bit of a rough week for me sleeping. The past 7 days I had 3 days where I slept 3 hours or less. There was a party that I REALLY wanted to go to on Friday night, but I got home early and completely passed out on the couch. I just woke long enough to try to change my cassette over to the race wheels and move to my bed. That didn't go so well. The cassette kept going on crooked. I took a good look at the hub for the race wheel and saw that the thread was completely stripped. There was a shop in Wisconsin that I went to when I needed my cassette swapped (before I was comfortable doing it myself). It took them a really long time. I think they forced it on and messed up the hub. Lovely. So I put the cassette back on my training wheels and had to deal with the fact that there was a little back and forth play from the somewhat stripped thread on the cassette (which wasn't as bad as the race wheel hub). Hopefully it would be ok... Then I totally passed out. So although I had to work on Saturday morning at 7, I got a really good night's sleep.
After work I stopped at Whole Foods with a friend and picked up some antipasti and red wine and headed over to the beach to register for the race and picnic. It was great seeing Deirdre and my great buddy Jen who just did IMLP a few weeks and has the great post-IM glow!
Headed over to the beach after registration was taken care of and had a fabulous time eating good food, playing frisbee, contemplating going in the E. coli ridden waters, and watching the beautiful sunset over the lake. Maybe had a tad bit too much fun... carb loading with a bottle of wine and getting 2 hours of sleep isn't exactly optimal pre-race regimen. But this was all about going out and having fun anyway right?
Woke up at 4:45, exactly 2 hours after falling asleep and my last glass of wine... I was pushing it a bit on the time scale, but hoped for little traffic. I arrived in transition at 6:20, about 25 minutes before it was set to close. I threw my bike on the rack with my helmet, sunglasses and shoes, said hi to Janet who was doing her first ever Half and was very excited about it. I then went to the beach expecting to just walk over and get ready to start. Not. It was a straight swim, so we had to walk a mile to the start. Doh! A LOT of people missed their waves, but I made it in time for my 7:12 start.
Within about 2 minutes of starting I was feeling the results of 4 weeks of no swimming. Talk about fatigue! I was smoked by a woman doing backstroke! But actually I was enjoying myself. Swimming nice and easy and watching the sunrise over the beach from the water. I just totally relaxed and enjoyed the experience. It was a fabulous swim! My worst time, but a great experience. Got a little bit off track and swam about 200 yards north of the buoy line. oh well!
1 mile- 34 minutes. Doh!
Totally took my time. It was like tea time in there. No one really in a hurry. I think I was out in 2 minutes, but I don't know how that was possible since I felt like a slug. I couldn't find my race belt on Saturday night so I had to pin my race number on a big baggy t-shirt and throw that on in transition. It was dorky, but actually saved me from sunburn, so it was all good!
The first 5 miles or so it was tough to find my groove. I was a bit dehydrated from the wine last night (just a bit...) so I started downing Accelerade. It was such a lifesaver. Totally settled my stomach and gave me enough calories that I didn't have to eat much. Miles 5-45 were fabulous! I was having the time of my life. Cycling fast and reminiscing of all the time I spent on that course last year when I was first getting into the sport. It made me so happy to think about how far I came since the first time I showed up in Mentor to do a training ride.
I caught Janet at about mile 30. I knew that passing her would rev up her competitive spirit and push her on, so I put it into overdrive to go by her and say hi. As expected, she quickly repassed me and picked it up. Sweet! I was totally stoked to see that. For the rest of the ride I just tried to keep her in site. I figured if I could keep up with her I would do ok. But then mile 45 happened. Suddenly my bad preparation, no sleep, and alcohol started to kick in. The end was so brutal! I just kept thinking to try to keep the pace up so I could just be done! It ended with 2- 4 mile out and back loops that were really boring and took us right by the park entrance which was a sick freaking joke. I wanted to get off that bike so badly! My crotch hurt SOOOOO bad. I became a vulgar sailer. Every time I hit a bump I said some kind of profane statement. I guess you have to work the nether regions up to an assault like 56 miles in the aero position.
Then it was FINALLY over! And something really fortunate, but horrible happened. The second I stepped off the bike I developed the hangover of my life (couldn't ask for better timing though). I was stumbling around, head pounding, just wanting to crawl up in a hole and sleep. I managed to stick around to see a bunch of great performances by the CTC, including Janet who smoked her first half.
34 minute swim, 2 minute T1, 3:02 bike
3rd place overall- just 1 minute off second and 10 minutes off the leader. Not too shabby given the circumstances. And more hardware for the shelf!
I'm so glad that I did it. I had a wonderful weekend and wouldn't change a thing
A Few Good Swims
2 hours ago