After Friday's MRI of my left knee I knew I was going to walk the run portion of the race, which I was fine with me (until the run). The morning started off early. I woke up at 4:00 and was at the race by 5:00. I told the race director that I would help out if she needed me until the volunteers showed up. So I helped out with body marking for a bit and then handed out timing chips. After that I set up transition, chatted with a few of my rack mates. With about 30 minutes to go before the race, the rain started. It poured for a good 10 minutes and then settled in as a sprinkle. I really didn’t expect rain that morning. I used my shirt and an extra towel to cover my running shoes to keep them dry. Joe and one of our rack buddies decided to put our wetsuits on for a quick warm-up in the ocean.
The ocean was a little choppy but not to bad. After doing a few open water swims and the race clinic earlier that week, I was not worried about this ocean swim. After our warm-up we had about 10 minutes before the start of the race. At 6:50 all the athletes gathered for a few announcements. The race director, Kathy, was going over a few rules and mentioned helmets. As soon as she said that, the lady in front of me gasped and said , “oh my god! I forgot my helmet!!!” Really, how does someone forget their helmet? I saw her call someone so I hope she got her helmet by the time she was done with the swim. After announcements we were off.
There were 5 waves and I was in the 4th wave. The swim was a little crowded. I spent a lot of time swimming around the slower swimmers from the previous wave. I had to stop once and get some water out of my goggles. I didn’t see any fish or sharks out there. So my final swim time was a minute slower then I expected.
T1 was a little slow. I had no trouble taking off my wetsuit. But it was a chore to put on my socks since my feet were still wet. I got the socks on, sneakers on, grabbed my race belt, put on my helmet and I was out. It was a good ¼ mile to the bike start.
It was a 2 loop bike course that was flat and fast. It felt good to pass people on the bike even though most of them were on mountain bikes!!! There were a lot of newbies at this race which is really awesome! I am not very fast on the bike and to average around 18mph felt really good. The roads were wet but not slick. I felt very comfortable out there. Upon starting my second loop I did see a few riders going the other way. Apparently they didn’t know where to enter after the 2nd loop. All I have to say is…”Know the Route!”
Felt really good coming into T2. IT was a quick transition since I already had my sneakers on. Helmet off, grabbed my Crabman hat and I was out in a flash to start my Run/walk. I felt so good and I wanted to run so bad.
I walked out of transition, around the corner. I found my mother and sister and waved hi. I told myself I would start running after I get passed the race photographer. Once passed him I started to run. It felt so good to run. I looked at my Garmin and it said I was doing a 9:30min mile. Nice! Around the mile 1 marker the back of my left knee started to tighten up. So I stopped and walked for a bit. I tried a few more times to run, but I just couldn’t. I wanted to so badly. Spectators were cheering “you can do it” , “Come on and run your almost there!” I just wanted to yell back, “I can’t! I have a busted knee!!!!” Even the other triathletes were encouraging me. I know they were just trying to motivate me and push me along, but it just frustrated me even more. I swore to myself I would never walk during a run again. (That’s if I could ever run again) There was one time I looked at my watch and it showed the time I would have been finishing the race if I ran the whole thing. I could here the announcer saying people’s names as there were coming into the finish. I was getting close to the finish. I saw my step father and then my mother and sister. After I saw them, I said started to run. How can you not run to the finish? I sprinted as fast as I could and crossed the finish line in 1 hour 33 minutes.
I was happy that I completed my 3rd Triathlon. I took a moment after finishing to think about how this was probably my last one I would do myself. All other races will either be relays or Aqua bikes. I chatted with a few people I knew. Grabbed a bagel and some water. There were ice cold towels for us, but the rain had kept me cool for most of the run/walk so I didn’t need it. I packed up my transition, said thank you to the race director, and rode my bike back to the car. In all it was a great race! Congrats to Kathy and the rest of her crew for putting on a great race. I will be there next year as part of a relay!