Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Friday before race day I got a phone call from a close friend of mine. Matt and I were just leaving the gym when I got the call. She said that she was just watching the news and that it was announced that Beltzville State Park closed the lake to swimming due to high bacteria levels. I have to admit I was disappointed and became very nervous. Swimming is my strength so I was expecting to use that come race day. What now? We had to mentally prepare ourselves for a duathlon. Run, bike, run. GREAT! We were just coming off of two half marathons in two weeks so the thought of running more than a 5k on race day was not sitting well with me!
Saturday rolled around and we headed to Beltzville for our packet pickup and the race expo. When we got there they announced that they were having the water re-tested and were waiting on the results. We decided to hang out for awhile and see what the results were. About an hour later they announced that there would be swim!
Waiting at the swim start, I put on my wetsuit. Did I mention that I hate swimming in them? I am not used to having my shoulders restricted. But, wetsuits are fast! Matt convinced me to get in the water and warm up a little bit before my wave started. I'm glad that I did. I got some nerves out of the way. I was expecting the water to be freezing cold but it was pleasantly warm! I swam a little, loosened up my arms and went and lined up for my start. We were the pink wave. Imagine how excited I was when I found out I'd be wearing a pink swim cap! Haha. Next thing I knew, we were off. It was extremely difficult for me to see during the swim. I don't know if it was because it was very cloudy, or the water was really dark, or what. I know that my goggles were extremely fogged up. I remember I literally had to stop in the water and clean out my goggles so that I could see again. I even considered taking them off completely! But, somehow I made it. I ran over some people, passed some people, and next thing I know I'm running up the shore and into transition 1.
Matt and I rode this bike course twice to train for this race. I am thankful that we did. This bike course has a decent amount of hills and on race day I knew exactly where they all were. I didn't have much confidence in my biking until this race. I thought I was terrible at biking hills. Well, I can't tell you how many people I passed going uphill. I was able to take my nutrition on the bike as required and I felt great. At the bike finish, I was able to dismount successfully. After dismounting there is a decent run back into the transition area where you drop your bike and gather your things for the run. I liked the run off the bike because I was able to get my legs situated for the run.
I felt alright on the run considering I just swam and biked 17 miles. However, my 5k run was not as fast as I would have liked. Bummer. But at least I know what I need to work on. At the turn around on the run course I started to feel a lot better than I did the first half. Next thing I know, I am passed by someone in my age group. I remember looking down at the age written on her leg and thinking "oh great!" I tried to keep up, but my legs just didn't have it. I still finished strong and gave it what I had.
I love it!