After weeks of terrible and constant rain race weeknd was PERFECT. However, the damage had already been done. The river was overflowing and littered with dangerous debri and sewage. The swim was cancelled. Part of me was really disappointed because I had been working so very hard on my swimming and this was my last triathlon of the season. AFter swimming extra at nationals I felt I hadn't gotten a chance to really show my tri skills. The other part was happy since it is my weakest link. I never look forward to the intense combat with a couple hundred of my tri friends all trying to swim in the same spot at the same time but I was a little sad.....See I was ready for some combat this weekend! LOL!
I arrived early on saturday to the expo in DC so I could rest my legs as much as possible. Since parking was non-existent I rode my bike ( which helped me not buy anything) and got my intervals in between traffic lights. AFter some nice work on some knotts by an A.R.T. guy I was ready to rack my bike and eat/rest.
My student finally arrived a little later ( her first olympic race) and we went to have our pre-race meal we practiced with- Pad Thai and a glass of red wine (half a glass for me). SOOOO GOOOD!
I went back to the hotel and followed my yoga session with an eposmsalt bath. Unpacked and packed my transition bag one more time and then headed to bed, at 8:30pm.
Started race day by missing my 2 alarms, phone mal function, but since i went to bed early enough I woke up in time to do some foam rolling, race day hair, and head to the shuttle.
Transition ( the size of a football field) was a muddy mess. I had to run the length of it to get to my spot so I decided to go along the outside. Since it was less traveled, the grass was longer and there was no bare spots of mud. This also gave me a clear path without knocking people over ;). I re-checked my set up since this was different, not a du and not a tri so everything i practiced was different.
I had to wait over an hour after transition closed for my wave so I grabed my hammer gel and water and headed out to lay dwon until it was time to warm up......amongst thousands of people, I found a quite spot alone and relaxed.....after all, no combat this morning in freezing water.
As I rushed onto the bike course I remember thinking...hmmmm my legs feel good. I proceeded to pass people until I caught up with the guys who were released 5 or 6 groups ahead of mine! My bike wouldnt shift properly so once I got into the big ring I had to stay there. I hammered away constantly checking in at my form and makeing sure I was using both legs evenly. I remember thinking that my legs were going to be trashed for the run because of this so I decided to go for my best bike split and whatever happened on the run happend. Then my hammer gel bounced out of my bento box........no worries though because i always pack extra. I kept my 90rpm cadence and stayed strong and steady playing tag ( to myself) with people to keep me pushing hard. The turns got congested, which was frustrating, but my constant shout " on your left" cleared people out quickly.
I dismounted my bike and sank deep into the mud....why diddn't they put a mat down or something??? Ran half a mile to my spot and quickly ran out to the run course. Legs felt tired but I remember that I ran 21.5 miles last weekend so I can certainly do this 6.2. It was a beautiful run and I handed out some endurolytes on the way, it had started to get hot and of course I had extra :).
At this point I was with the 40 yr olds and hadn't seen anyone in my age group for a while. Then all of a sudden about mile 4 this girl passed me. I decided to keep in her sights so I didn't burnout sprinting to soon. She must have heard my asthmatic breathing because as I got faster she got faster and stayed just out of reach. Could I have pushed more and caught her? You always think that you could afterward but at that point I was already going faster than my lungs had liked. I wish my EFT kit had an inhaler pocket, lol.
I had hoped for top 20 so I was SHOCKED to see 2nd place. I'm sure I annoyed everyone in line with my happy dance but you see, I didn't even dare to think that I could do that. Not at the biggest race in history ( it's in the guiness book of world records now). I have many things going against me doing well in this sport but I will continue to work hard so I can do well and be an inspiration to all those who were always told 'they can't.' I couldn't swim, run, or bike 3 years ago. Sure I had to work harder than everyone else but it is well worth it.
Just a trophy to most people is symbol of perserverance to me. Even against all odds, hard work and determination can make that dream a reality. It is such a prevlige to be able to do what I do without pain....finally, I never take a single mile for granted.