The morning started with a 4:30 wake-up call. Transition opened at 4:30 for body marking to begin and I was a hop, skip and jump away from transition, so I "slept in." I made my way down, set everything up...sprayed myself with sunscreen which immediately washed my number off...oops! And headed towards the beach!
Swim: I was getting ready to poop myself at the start line. I was so nervous about the swim...just get me to the bike, was all I could think about. The gun went off at 6:35 and we were in the water. I dove under the first few waves and then started my swim. I did "tarzan" style for about 50 yards and realized if I kept it up I would exhaust myself, so I dug down and just went for it. It was almost a zen like experience...I just got in a zone (doing exactly the opposite of everything I have learned and practiced at swim class) and went for it. I swam pretty straight and had no major issues with sighting or masses of people or anything. I did get kicked in the face once, but that's par for the course and my hopes to be a teen model are long gone. My watch said 37:00ish when I got out of the water, but I crossed the mat in about 39 minutes.
Hung out with Ben and Sarah at the starting line getting ready for the big race. I accidentally zipped by Gu in my wetsuit...oops!, Sarah had to undo me so I could reach in and get it.
Again with blogger technology...a mini version I can't seem to get rid of! I've tried 4 times, to hell with it!Bike: What a great bike! SO FLAT! I wanted to "just go!" so bad, but I knew I would kill myself if I pushed the bike to hard. I kept watch of my cadence and kept it high (above 90rpm's) and took a mental check of breathing/heart rate every now and again to make sure I wasn't being crazy. The wind wasn't too bad...at least better than I had anticipated. I felt like the miles were just melting away (maybe they were, it was effen hot!) I felt like all I was doing was eating and drinking while riding. It's like there weren't enough minutes in the hour to suck down all the gatorade I had planned and eat the gels/blocks I had prepared. I never wanted to see gatorade again after that bike! At mile 35ish I started singing myself a song about how I was kicking butt and that I would win Athena (positive thinking people) and I just knew I was going to do well on the run. I was shocked when I passed the halfway point and saw that if I kept pace I would be well under 3 hours. "Barring any flats I will kick this bikes ass!" I thought...well, negative thinking has it's effect too! At mile 51-52 I heard this psssssst. Sh*t, that can't be me can it? Maybe there's a snake in the bushes...damn, it was me. I kept going for another mile and thinking, should I stop to change it? I figured it would take way to long with my un-skillz so I just took a CO2 cartridge to see if I could fill it and have it hold for a little bit...so dumb, I tell ya. Flat as a pancake within .5 seconds. So, I rode in the last 4 miles on a flat...still cruising at about 19mph! I didn't want to lost my sub 3 ride! I came in at 2:54ish...also got a 4 minute drafting penalty...the dude yelled at me, so I looked over and he took my number off my helmet...damn. If I'd have ignored him maybe he wouldn't have determined my number since it was all washed away from sunscreen/water/sweat. Race official: "What's your number?", me turning and looking at who's causing such commotion: "huh?!", official: "never mind, thanks!" Grrr!Run: HOT!!!!! Oh my lord it was HOT! I planned on walking through every other water stop, so every two miles, every 18 minutes or so. Well, as soon as I saw that first stop at mile 1 my strategy quickly changed. There were angels flying around it and choirs singing, with sweet little children handing out ice-water soaked sponges...it would just be too mean not to take them up on their offer! Those stops were what got me through the run. After many strategy sessions with coach, I knew that I could only walk as I got to the stop (not 20 yards before it) and start running again as soon as I went through and got what I needed...I did just that and it worked well. I was holding a pretty consistent 9:30 pace (slower than I had wanted...wanted 9:00's...but given the heat I was fine with it and as long as I was running, even better!). The dreaded park wasn't nearly as hot as everyone claimed it to be and by mile 10 I knew I had sub 6:00 in the bag...just keep chugging along! As I was running in the last .2 miles I looked to my left and saw a fellow blogger/blog follower Chloe and yelled at her...thanking her in my head for her nifty piece of advice to put ice in your sports bra...genius! So fun! I finished strong and saw Coach and his wife cheering me in for the last few yards...I had to pump my fists with joy, what a great race!!! Finished the run in 2:08...
Finish line: I immediately went to the medical tent to get some IV's of fluid...apparently all the cool kids are doing it and it makes for a much easier night of drinking...where do I sign?! I was on such a high and was so pumped about my race. My confidence about the Ironman was soaring! I had a sweet British nurse who couldn't find a vein to save her life. Apparently my man hands with bulging blue veins weren't enough for her... I squirmed and squealed like a little sissy. She asked "didn't you just run a half IM?"...yeah, yeah, lady...find the vein already!