After a fun Mussel-Weekend of adventures, it was finally race day--
The morning itself went pretty darn smoothly. Got up, got ready, and got on the road. Went to volunteer tent and John did my body marking for me, and then I went to transition to set up. I ate a huge handful of Energy BITS, and drank water like a boss. I knew it was going to be hot and was trying to help prepare myself as best I could.
I got set up and left transition and found my family & friends and was actually pretty relaxed.
|My friend Amy is the Volunteer coordinator and made sure to leave me a special note for when I arrived in transition. Good work making a girl cry before the race.|
|Kind of reminds me of my awkward faced wetsuit photo from my first sprint triathlon.|
|Ratcliff photo posted this on Musselman Facebook page|
Swim (Goal time: 45:00, Actual time: 41:22)[T1-2:38]
After getting counted in, I waded my way out to the start buoys and found a spot I was comfortable and relaxed while waiting. Miraculously I hear a pretty loud "GO LAURA" and turn to the shore which was a ways away to see my family and friends jumping up and down. I waved my hands in the air and smiled, it was going to be a good day. I maintained pretty steady pace throughout, and only over shot one of the buoys which made me really happy. I finally made my way through the canal and to the last buoys by the boat launch where we exit. I walked up the ramp and slipped right near the top as the mat had moved towards the middle. A volunteer caught me right as I did (thank you, whoever you are!) and then I was able to get out and go. I looked at my watch as I was going through transition and saw 41:XX and couldn't help but smile. I gave my high-fives as I passed my family and friends and continued to get ready for bike.
Bike (Goal time: 3:25, Actual time: 3:30)[T2 2:09]
Bike mount went smoothly, and got to wave and see my family and friends shortly after which put a huge smile on my face!
The bike could easily be broken down like this for me
First 1:30 hours--"oh boy it's gonna be a long day"
From 1:30-2:30 hours--"this girl is on fire"
From 2:30-3:00 hours--"I literally feel on fire, it's hot"
From 3:00-3:30 hours-- "FML, why is this so hard right now"
After rounding the last turn- I knew I was close, got all excited seeing my family and then my friends were also at dismount....I got off my bike and said "woah"...drunk legs. T2 was decent for me switching my shoes, dumped remaining water from my bike bottle on my head and went on my way.
[After the race, I realized that I had punctured my tired while coming out of Sampson State Park (rough road section, I remember the bump where it had to have happened) which is about the time I thought it was fatigue slowing me down. I rode on low air for a while, and it had to have been flat the last 2 miles because I struggled really bad but wasn't going to stop with so little to go...explains why it felt harder than it should have!!!]
Run (Original Goal time: 1:45, Adjusted Goal time: 2:00, Actual time: 1:53)
|Goofy smile seeing everyone in beginning of run.|
|Pure happiness before the finish line.|
My goal times (with original run goal) +
my pre-estimated 5 total minutes of transition time
would have put me at 6 hours.
I crossed the finish line in 6:09.
9 minutes away from my original goal, and I am definitely okay with that. I did a half-iron distance triathlon, I didn't die, and I finished with a smile on my face.....you can't beat that. Yes, there is a part of me a little bummed- but that's what makes me an athlete and competitor, you HAVE to have the drive to be better. If I was 100% satisfied with this then I'd have no reason to try again and work harder for a better time. I want to get better, I want to get faster and I want to prove to myself I can break 6 hours. And you can bet your bottom, I WILL. #Findyourstrong
I may be a newer member of the Tri-family, but I still feel part of it. The encouragement from most of the other athletes out there was incredible. The "good jobs" and "you can do it" out on the course were awesome. If someone was on the side with a flat, everyone was asking if they needed help (I even offered my CO2 to someone, but they already had some).
I have amazing support from family and friends. I can't thank them enough for being there. My parents, sister/hubby with the baby, Mary/Cassie, Corey/Marie/Giada, Amy, and everyone else--it made me incredibly happy to see their smiling faces.
I also can't discount the amazing support from my friends and family who were not there physically but were sending emails, Facebook posts, texts, and tweets.
John really is my number one fan and team mate. I couldn't have done this without him. I absolutely can't wait until he is fully recovered from his knee problems and we can be out there together. Even though he hasn't been able to compete this year, his support to myself and other athletes has been more than I ever could have asked for.
The volunteers and course support was INCREDIBLE. I took the time to thank as many of them as I could on the bike, and same on the run. The run course was never lonely, aid stations every mile (overloaded with water, ice, sponges, food, flat soda, and hoses), and many local residents had their sprinklers and hoses set up outside as well. I don't think I ever went more than a half mile without either a local resident support crew or race station. I'm going to the volunteer appreciation dinner tonight (I volunteered Saturday and John did both days) and I can't wait to give lots of people hugs for all they did. Musselman, you put on an amazing race and I thank you for that.
Stay tuned: There will be some more photos, including a blooper reel for you. Most likely tomorrow (waiting for my daddio to send me the rest, get ready for some laughs!).