That was the REV 3 Half Ironman...
Getting into "the zone" began with making wheat blueberry pancakes on Saturday morning. Not my typical breakfast.
Saturday June 5
OK, I was extremely unorganized when woke up... I did manage to breakfast, but the day I knew was jam packed with events.
Saturday morning, I cruised over to Relay For Life as my hockey team participates in every year, so I needed to walk a few laps and visit my teammates whom i have not skated with since my shoulder hum drums. I was excited to see them, as they were of me.
Grease, special thanks to you. You always have the right words to say, even though I don't want to hear them all the time.
By 1pm, I jumped in my Jeep and head to Quassy for bike drop off.
I was excited to see Freddie, Bendz, Todd, Christina, Mark C , Chris and all the Trimax clients. Great to meet everyone face to face. After getting the bags/chips/etc. we all went and set up the bikes in transition.
So cool seeing all the neat bikes and the set-ups/varieties that these athletes do. We all put trash bags over our odometers/seats knowing that the weather was calling for severe storms over night into the am.
Hummm, would they cancel the event?
Day was not over...zoomed down to Fairfield for my daughters 5pm State Cup soccer game. Too bad we lost, but I did get in a good pre race dinner.
Now the long ride home....after 9:30pm when i got home, nothing was packed and I was extremely cranky, hot and tired.
Set the alarm for 4:10am, and laid in bed....ya not went to sleep...maybe dozed here and there but to be expected on the night before a race.
Race day....so many emotions and stories.
4:20am... saw a card in my transition bag from my husband. Way to nervous to open it.
4:30am...Freddie came out of his house wearing his bike helmet. I laughed right away.
4:40am...on the road to Quassy and a Dunkin Donuts coffee.
5:40am... Pulling into Quassy and trying not to have to bolt to the port o potty before even parking the Jeep!
6am... Gave hugs to all and wished them good luck.
6:30am... transition closes and we all head down to the water. I guide Freddie as we joke he can not see due to his glaucoma. (this ends up not being such a joke later on)
I had a new pair of Swedish goggles, and stupid me never swam in them yet, but I knew they were not going to fog, so attached them to my red cap. Jumped in the water to pee (no laughing) and try out the goggles. Um, OK they work.
As the pros walked through the coral, I just stared. Wow, the pressure they must feel.
Next all us age groupers went. As you can see from the picture, a reporter got me high fivin Bendz as she was just about to take off on her first Half Iron Man journey.
7:18am...time for us old ladies, the last of the waves to take off. I was not nervous about the swim, the bike, but the run was hanging over my head.
Off we went, arm over head and kicking to keep the fish from nibbling on me.
Not even 50 yards out I see a blue cap swimming towards a kayak for help...it was Freddie.
I began yelling Freddie! Freddie!...he was panicking in the water and could not catch his breath. I told him to just tread water, keep your head up and breathe....take a deep breath.
I could not leave my dear friend.
I told him when he was ready to put his head back in the water and find a rhythm.
I stayed to the right of him as he suggested so he could see my red cap and stay on course. This is where his glaucoma became a dangerous issue.
Thankfully there were enough kayaks on the course should we had needed them.
As we excited the water together Freddie called me his Angel.
THE BIKE... (3:13)
Got into transition,hit the road and sure enough, my Mom and Dad were there (once again). I clicked out to give her a hug. Last year at TimberMan they surprised me and my emotions got the best of me at the finish line.
I was excited about the bike. Time for a cat and mouse game.
As I came around the lake in front of me there were Bendz and Todd .
I screamed " Move it Bendz!"
"grigs, I am having so much fun!"
They looked so cute together and they were very happy and talkative.
They told me to go so I took off.
I then came upon Erika. I commended her for her bravery for coming out on this course after last years traumatic accident. She looked great and was cranking up the hill.
Next mouse was Mark C. We were climbing a hill and I said "good job" with out even knowing it was him till we both realized. We chatted and encouraged one another to keep going.
My next mouse, who I knew I'd never catch on the bike was Speedy, yes Christina. She is an unbelievable athlete. I did finally see her on the in and out road. She was flying by and looking strong.
This ride was New England...beautiful country side, wine vineyards and huge hills. Went my fastest at 42.4 mph. Had to be on Nonepaug where the wind was whipping and I burrowed down hard on the aerobars. It was a bit scary.
I was telling Bendz, that doing these races, its like feeding a baby. Need to stay on a feeding schedule.
When I got to the first water station, they were out of water and only had that "other disgusting" drink...no thanks.
I was like uh-oh....my goal was to pee on the bike. Silly yes, but not really.
I kept on a good schedule of drinking and eating Gu's, protein bar and my endurolytes.
Lot of freakin work!
Mile 47....hit my goal! No details needed!
"I love reading your blog."
"Who are you?"
It was Dan....sorry Dan. Had no clue. Later on Dan and I meet up again for some good conversation.
As I was nearing the end of the bike, there again was Mom and Dad...on my mind was the run.
Here was the test...
THE RUN... (2:12)
Racked my bike, tied my sneakers, grab my hat, sunglasses, some Gu's and my Endurolytes and off I went.
Any bump in the transition in the area is enough to throw you off balance. Quads were OK but still in shock.
Again, gave mom and Dad a hug and off I went...
I was out of the crowds and on my way.
I told myself it was time to dig deep and see what I was made of. I wanted to not walk till at least the first water station.
I thought of you Grease, as how hard you overcame so much suffering through your stem cell transplant and you did not give up. I actually read my $5 bracelet which has now turned copper saying that "if you believe, nothing is impossible" I smiled to myself.
So the first water station came, I walked through it to drink and either take my Gu or my tablet.
That was my thought to continue chugging along till the next station.
Well, I did pretty good...I know all about the dirt road hills.
As people were walking up them, I thought to myself, those people didn't have squats in their plan, they should have done squats. Of course that may not be true as they could be suffering through other aliments, but that is what got me up those hills.
No, I did not run every hill. I felt walking some it i was able to stretch out the hip flexors.
and my hammy....I stopped at the Mile 6 marker and actually put my leg up on it to stretch.
I was chuggin along and then Dan comes up behind me....we chatted and he shared some proud moments with his swim and over all health.
Proud of you Dan.
Great conversation sure helps pass the time, so thank you.
Then I see Christina, I was able to dig down and catch her to see how things were going. She was having issues with hydration and salt. So proud of her to continue going strong. She was not going to be defeated.
So many stories and emotions were shared out their...from a guy who had knee surgery 5 weeks ago to a four time ironman who was struggling due to dehydration.
So with 500 yards left , I got a little cramp in my calf...I stopped and walked for a second and then knew it was time to end this journey.
High five my folks , Emily, Ethan and was screaming to Angie as I was going down the finisher shoot.
I DID IT!
Post Race Celebration...
I saw all my friends new and old finish. Todd and Bendz came into the shoot holding hands and smiling. Brought tears to my eyes.
As the wind picked up and time passed we started to worry about Freddie. The wind had blown over so much of the finish line and so many athletes and spectators had gone home.
Freddie's motto "Bautistas never quit"
And that he never did....
Maggie Macflies for post food and beer!
Thanks to my husband and kids who often felt the brunt of many bad mood swings through some really tough mental days of mine.
LPIM , here we come!