Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Every year Gulf Coast Triathlon (half ironman) is during Mother's Day Weekend. And every year, I drag my poor children to the race. It's hard to focus on what you have to do to get ready for the race, when all you want to do is play with your children.
Gulf Coast Triathlon is held in the beautiful beaches of Panama City Beach. This time of year, the weather is usually gorgeous, which makes the race enjoyable. Well, this year was a bit different from previous years.
Race morning, all seemed well, until I looked out to the ocean. Hmmm...looks a little choppy. No problem, I like swimming in choppy water. Feels like I'm on a rollercoaster, makes it fun. The horn goes off and I start dolfin diving into the water. Trying to get into my swim rhythm, the waves seem bigger than from the beach. Still swimming, I look up to see where the buoy was. All I could see was a big wave smacking me in the face. I zig zagged all over the swim course, even had to be redirected by a volunteer in a kayak. Never seeing anyone, except when another girl ran smack dab into my face (or maybe I ran into her.) Knocked my goggles off, had to do the back stroke to fix them. Let me tell you, that swim felt like it was never ending!
Finally got into T1, calves cramping up, but was just happy to be out of the water. Took off on the bike, just to have major head wind. Oh well. What can you do?!? Was alone for most of the bike, up until the last mile of the bike portion. Saw another girl ahead of me. Not for long! I closed the gap pretty quickly and rode on by. Shortly after that was T2. Boy, was I glad to be off that bike!
Got in a rhythm on the run and wanted to keep the pace around a 7 minute mile pace. Of course, at the beginning it's always a bit too fast (6:20-6:30,) but thank goodness for my Garmin to keep me in check. I hadn't run father than 7 or 8 miles for the last several months, so I was nervous that I just might not finish the 13.1 miles. Still all alone on the run, I planned on getting water or gatorade every other water station. The wonderful volunteers working the stations were still setting up and not expecting to see an athlete already. No problem. I just went with the flow. I appreciate all who volunteer for my races and know how hard they work. Mile 8 I was feeling all that I had done already. It was hot and very humid and stopped at every water station from there on out. Counting down every mile, I could not wait to see the finishline! I felt just as bad as when I did the ironman last year. Finally, got to the finishline to be greeted by my wonderful children. All my pain and tiredness disappeared. Ended up 4th Female Overall and 2nd Amateur Female. Always glad that I do that race and looking forward to 2011.