I packed 2 bags of clothes and equipment for one night! Over packer!!!!
My niece sent this to me after she saw how much I packed.
I was finally off to get my race buddy and travel. She was packed up and ready to go so we hit the road pretty quickly. We had to take a slight detour to get a Sonic (one of 15 stops at Sonic BTW) and we were Chattanooga bound!
Once we got to Chattanooga we had to get all checked into our room and needed to get off to the Expo to get our race packets. When we checked in I though we were going to have 2 double beds, and the guy at the front desk said, "Is a king OK?" This was the reaction Emma had to that question.
I think she was ok with that.Once we got everything settled in the room, bikes and all we were ready to hit the Expo. I didn't realize that we had changed time zones on the way there, something I forgot, and we actually got to the Expo thinking we had an hour only to find out they were closing up.
The still let us get our packets and time chips and we were starving so it was ok that we were rushed. We took a short drive to a restaurant that made a top 10 list named NYPD and it was a great dinner.
NYPD: New York Pizza Department
Pizza by the slice or the Pie, the slice was huge so we went that direction. And we were carb loading so we did 2 slices.
Hello Clean Plate Club!
This place will go back on my to do again list cause it was delicious. After NYPD we made a quick trip to WM to get a phone charger and a few more things that might come in handy for the race. Then it was back to the hotel to really start getting ready for the race. We had instruction for applying our race tats and getting our transition items all ready.
Putting on the Tattoos was one of the most entertaining parts of the evening.
We had tats on our left leg, left arm, helmet, bike, race bib, bracelet, and ankle, and 2 for the swim cap that we didn't need....as well as our age and division on our legs. It was crazy body markings that I'm glad we did the night before cause it took a while.
We were up bright and early, not as early as I had planned because my phone didn't reset when we changed time zones but we had a wake up call so all was ok. We got dressed and got some food in our gut. It was off to the race area. We rode our bikes to the start line and got our stuff in transition before 7am. Then we had about half an hour to get everything ready.
We got a picture of the water level that kept us from swimming and found a free cup of coffee on the way.
The transition area was packed!
After a quick break it was time to race. We basically left out of the gate in number order. We left in 3 second intervals and were off for a 2 mile run. This would have been a 1500 meter swim had the river not been so high. When I took off out of the gate I took off way to fast. I kinda panicked out of the gate and couldn't catch my breath. It didn't help anything that we went out and went straight up hill. I quickly had a conversation with myself and got all calmed down and was able to run the first 2 miles in under 24 minutes. Great time for me!
The first transition came with just a touch of nerves too. I just didn't quite know what to expect cause I have never done a transition before like this. I walked when I got in the gate and then realized I had to go around the gate and run about 50 yards to my bike so I started running again. I quickly changed into my riding cleats and headed out to the bike mounting area. It was a long way to run in the riding cleats but thankfully I didn't fall running to the bike start and I didn't fall mounting my bike.
The bike leg of the race was definitely the hardest part of the race and much harder than I had anticipated. We headed out of the gate to a small hill and maneuvered through the downtown area before we headed out to the highway. They had an entire lane marked off for us and traffic to our right. We got on the highway and started with a huge HUGE hill. It was a doozie. Once at the bottom of that hill I looked up and there was another one, even bigger than before. It was brutal. Once at the top of hill number 2 we got a really good downhill but the road was grooved pavement so it made it a little scary to go down. After those first 2 hills there was a sign that said "Mile 6" and I just knew they had mis-marked the course....it had to be mile 16. After that part the ride got much better. Don't misunderstand, it was hilly the whole 25 miles but those first 2 were just awful.
After the turnaround at mile 13 I got into a good riding rhythm and was able to get up the hills a little easier than the first half. And then at mile 17 I got a phone call. I told Emma to call if she had any trouble or needed anything so I got my phone out of my belt and called her back. She was a bit lonely and just needed to talk for a few. I soon reached mile 19 and had to end the convo because I came up on Everest and had to focus on climbing but we made plans to talk after Transition 2!
Pretty views along the ride.
After the final climb at mile 19 my legs were really tired and I was very much ready to get off the bike, it took a little bit longer than I had hoped for that leg of the race. I was ready to dismount and start running. My nerves kicked in a bit before dismount time because I didn't want to fall with my new clips. I have practiced this a number of times around my neighborhood but its still new. Dismount Successful: Time for the 10k.
I headed off into the transition the second and final time. I realized I didn't drink enough during the ride since I had a whole bottle left in my rack. When I hit transition I guzzled a bit of water, choked down a Gu pack and headed out to run. BTW: hot Gu is disgusting! You should just know that.
We started running and I have never been so grateful that I have trained for that transition as I was today. I was able to start running instantly instead of having to walk and I didn't have any cramps in my calves, that has been a problem with most of my training runs up to this point.
The first part of the run was that same uphill that we started on but I knew what I was getting into this time. I saved a touch of energy on the hill and ran easy so I could have legs to finish the race. At .5 miles we had to climb a flight of stairs to get on the Riverwalk. It was a great course to run on cause it was mostly flat, 90% flat and nice to get to see the runners coming back towards the finish. It kept me motivated to run and cheer on people on the other side because they were cheering for me. I'm not usually a fan of an out and back but it was really working for me today.
There were really pretty views along the river.
After the turnaround point it was only a 5k to the finish and I still felt strong. I was defiantly fatigued and sore but I knew I could make it to the finish. I was still trying to save a touch of energy for the finish but about mile 5 I said "screw it" and I just ran. The majority of that last mile was the opposite direction on that same hill that I had climbed twice! Time to go DOWN BABY!!!!
At the bottom of the hill it was about .2 miles to the finish, no walking now! I ran across the finish line, I kinda floated across it cause I was on Cloud 9!
Finishers Medal: I needed this medal!
I used to hate the fact that all the kids in little league got a trophy until they put the medal around my neck. I didn't win, I just finished and I needed it. So I officially have changed my stance on the little league medal, we should give them all a medal, even the bat boy!
Emma crossing the finish line strong!
As soon as the race was over it started drizzling. I have never been so thankful to have a waterproof phone case cause I was drenched from head to toe and my phone just kept on ticking. I got an ice pack at the finish for my hip and when she crossed I made her get another one so I could just start with the ice early.
We took our tired achy bodies to the food tent and walked around a bit before heading back to the hotel. I have never been so thankful for a late checkout as I was today. We were able to go back to the room and get cleaned up before we had to drive back home.
These are supposed to stay on in lake, river, and sea water but couldn't stand up to my sweat situation! Ok, I think I just rubbed it the right way.
The ride back to the hotel was tough and much further than the ride to the race. How does that happen? That shower might have been the best shower ever.
Once cleaned up and checked out we got a finish line photo, in the lobby of the hotel. I don't know why we didn't think to ask someone to take one at the race, duh!??!?
We did manage post race to finally, finally find a Starbucks and get our morning coffee. Yes, it was after noon but we had to get coffee before I could do another thing! It was a great ride home to get to recap the race and talk about the parts we loved and the parts we hated. Thankfully the ride back was pretty easy and once we had a lunch stop and one more Sonic stop and we were home.
Love this girl!!!
Once I got home I had to unload the bikes and even got to hang with my crew for a bit. I tried to keep moving as best as I could so I wouldn't get too stiff....I failed at that! And I got a good dinner in my belly and TV time with my boys. And my sisters got me a cute "congrats on your first Tri" present.
How perfect is this for all my riding gear? Its already packed up and in the car...ready to ride again.
I am going to my workout in the morning but I guarantee I will be taking it easy tomorrow. I feel the pool in my future!
Thank you all for your well wishes via Facebook and text and Twitter. I was getting them the entire weekend and every time I got a new one it brought a smile to my face. Thanks for letting me be a little angry that this didn't go as planned because I think it was a great race and great practice for the next time...I sure hope there is a next time.
Now, now we rest!
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