Monday. Quick, I have to write this report before the sting dies. Already in less than 24 hours I am starting to feel not so bad about the race. Let me say in no uncertain terms, this race was really, really hard and I never, ever, ever, EVER want to go back. That’s what I have been saying since 4 a.m. yesterday morning straight through until this afternoon when those crazy what-if thoughts started creeping in, what if I did the race academy out there if that might help me do it better, what if I did nothing but run hill repeats on a one-foot wide trail for a year, would that help? What? Are you crazy?!?!? STOP, you are never, ever, ever, EVER doing this race EVER again. Period.
I am going to try to document as many details as I can in case I ever have the idea in my head that it wasn’t that bad and I might want to go back. Note to self: It was that bad. You are too old for this kind of nonsense. Time for tennis and golf. Knock this crazy stuff off. James Joyce wrote about his epic novel Finnegan’s Wake “It took me a lifetime to write it, damn well better take them a lifetime to read it.” So in that spirit, here goes…..
I arrived in San Fran on Friday. I decided to cut my trip short due to my Dad’s condition so this was going to be a fly in, race, fly out deal. Literally talking to the nurses before I got on the plane? Okay to go? Yes okay go.
I have to put a quick plug in for the E train to Air Tran to Jet Blue at JFK. It was so easy and it only costs $7.50 to get to the airport. On the San Fran side I took the Bart to Embarcadero ($8.10) and the F Tram to pier 39 ($2.00). Easy as pie. Gotta love public Trans and Jet Blue.
I stayed at the Radisson on Fisherman’s Wharf. Nice medium-budget hotel right in the heart of Fisherman’s wharf and about a 20 minute walk from the hotel to the race start. But about a 50 minute walk to Sports basement where the Tribike transport had my bike and the first timer tips meeting was held. (Don’t bother going to that they just go over the same things on the website videos and tell you to watch the videos.) So on Friday I had about 2 hours of walking under my belt.
Included in that walking I had to walk up a hill into Fort Mason park that I was fairly sure I would not be able to get up on my bike. Already I was panicking. Race morning I am going to have to ride up this hill to get to the race and everyone is going to see me not be able to do it and I’ll be so embarrassed. Friday night that’s all I thought about — the hill and the upcoming practice swim they recommended I do.
Saturday morning I got up at 5 a.m. and rode my bike in the dark to practice my route to the race. I didn’t want to try it in daylight hours and have people see me not make it up the hill. I know that sounds like the most pathetic thing in the world but I was scared of that hill. If I was going to fall off I wanted to do it in the privacy of darkness. This is just a hill to get to the race, not in the race. All that muss and fuss and it turned out to be nothing. I made it up fine. And there it was again, the lesson I keep relearning — it’s never the thing you worry about that comes back to get you. It’s the thing you didn’t expect or plan for. It’s like it never rains when you bring your umbrella but you step in dog poop on your way to an interview.
After my test ride I decided to go for my test swim. I wanted to do it early in the morning while it was the same temperature out. There is a place called Aquatic park at the end of the pier where you can go swimming and all the athletes were out trying out the water. I am going to say in no uncertain terms I almost died. I walked into that water and tried to splash it on my face. I got in and quickly realized ‘I can’t do this.’ It was ice water. They said the water temp was 51 degrees. It felt like 30. For five minutes I kept trying to put my face in the water but I couldn’t do it. I tried breast stroking but I was so cold I couldn’t take it. That’s it, this race is over before it starts. I quit. Finally I was able to take 3 regular strokes and then 3 breast strokes. Then I did 4 of each. Then I did 10 regular strokes. I’m shivering writing about it. My goal had been to stay in the water for 20 minutes. I lasted 10 and got out. I did end up swimming 19 strokes (which is what it takes me to get to the end of my pool). My face finally did go numb from the cold but my toes were actually hurting they were so cold. Not good, not good, not good. There were other athletes out there some bemoaning the cold, others seeming like they do it all the time. Most people had the cold weather swim cap. I just used the double latex swim cap method. There was one guy out there swimming in speedo shorts. No wetsuit. It took me all day to warm my toes, they never really got over it. I was panicking. I couldn’t do 20 minutes that morning, how was I going to do 1 hour the next day?
Breakfast on Fisherman’s wharf trying to decide what to do. On top of my failed practice swim, I was all freaked out about jumping off the boat. What if I land on someone? What if someone lands on me? What if my heart stops? They gave us a big lecture at the athletes meeting that nobody should be out there without doctor’s consent. I was wondering how many other people hadn’t told their doctor. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In the video I saw some people jumping on top of each other. My friend and faithful reader Chris said “instead of looking for the one person who gets hit on the head, how about looking at how many people don’t get hit on the head?” (paraphrasing) It was like a light bulb going off. Of course, I used to think that way all the time. Odds are with me. All these people can’t be that much better than me (well actually, yes they can). They are all probably just as frightened as I am (that does appear to be true.)
I thought long and hard about whether or not I could do the swim and actually survive. Finally I decided I had no choice. I had paid a lot of money to enter the race. I paid for a hotel and airfare. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity so I better come up with some way of talking myself into it. I decided to adopt the mantra of “it wasn’t that bad.” It really WAS that bad but I just kept lying to myself saying it over and over again “it wasn’t that bad” hoping that the subliminal message might sink in. After 15 text messages to my friend the Manhattan Mermaid — there must be something I can put on my face to stop that feeling like someone is freezing off the skin of my face. We agreed on vaseline. I found a product at the expo that was a zinc cream (clear) that was really thick and the saleswoman said it wouldn’t come off in the water. I bought that and some aquafor and some vaseline and some a&d ointment. I would test them all in my sink and see which one held up better. The zinc cream and aquafor won. I would put both of those on my face, hands and feet. Here is the cream that I can now heartily recommend Kinesys Earthkind and it’s 10 bucks cheaper on Amazon than it was at the expo…
Race morning. I couldn’t sleep. I had set my alarm for 4 a.m. but I was up at 3 a.m. (EST still in my system). I was so nervous. I have not been this nervous about a swim since my very first triathlon in 2003 when I finally stood on the beach as saw what a 1 mile swim looked like. I thought I might die then, I was sure I was going to die now. And when I say die, I mean literally die like I was regretting not sending backup files to my clients. I was so nervous I couldn’t eat. Yes, THAT’s how nervous I was. My stomach was queasy and I hadn’t left the hotel room. I decided to bring my breakfast with me to transition and just eat as I went. I had an Odwalla Vanilla Al’Mondo Super Protein — my go-to race morning breakfast drink that I have been drinking now since 2010. 2 servings in the little bottle giving me 380 calories. Plus 1 banana approx 100 calories. I had a bagel with me but I can’t get that down on race mornings anymore so I just left it. (I used to be able to eat anything in the mornings but not any more). Then I had 1 bottle of Infinit formula to drink while waiting for the bus to the boat and that was another 300 calories for a total of about 780 calories. I think this is where my problem begins. I used to get in a lot more calories than that when I could handle a bagel with almond butter. I think going forward I need to drink two Odwalla drinks and get that morning caloric intake over 1,000 calories. I also don’t think I took in enough calories the day before. I found an awesome salad bar and I was so excited about it that I had a huge salad and a baked potato with a ton of veggies at 2 p.m. and I was so full I didn’t eat dinner. I think I should have maybe drank some more calories for dinner. I don’t think I ate enough. It’s a theory.
I packed everything into my little backpack (including wetsuit, three pairs of shoes and assorted paraphanalia and extra water bottles). I impressed myself with how much I crammed into that little backpack. WITH the now heavy backpack on my back I still made it up that hill in Fort Mason park in the dark at 4 a.m. and I have to say I was really so surprised that I could do it. (And there was nobody besides me on the hill so I could have walked it and nobody would have known.)
The trick with this race is you have two transition spots. First when you get out of the water you have to have a bag there with a pair of shoes, a small towel and a small bottle of water because you are going to run 3/4 of a mile to the main transition area. You drop off that bag the day before. Race morning you rack your bike and set up your regular bike and run transition areas.
Transition is normal setup up. Find your spot, rack your bike, put your stuff in order. 5 minutes. From transition you board a bus that is going to take you to Pier 63 which is a big parking lot where everyone stands around while waiting to board the boat. I left the hotel at 4 a.m., I was in transition by 4:20, with waiting around for bike pump etc., I was on the bus by 4:45 and at the pier by 5 a.m. The boat would not leave the pier until 6:30 and the race would not start until 7:30. So from wake up until actual jump into the water for me was going to be be 4 1/2 hours. That’s a long time.
My advice, when you get to the pier, just get on the boat. You leave the clothes that you are wearing in another numbered bag that you leave before you get on the boat. It wasn’t that cold out. People didn’t want to put their wetsuits on yet so they were hanging in the parking lot so they could dump their clothes at the last minute. If I was to give any advice I would say, wear an old tshirt (ala NYC Marathon) and be prepared to just leave it on the boat. I saw people in there with blankets and hats and full outfits on. I don’t think you need to go that far but an old tshirt would be fine.
The boat is big and there are two decks for the regular athletes (the pros and celebs go to the third floor). The young guns go to the first floor and I went to the second floor with the “mature” athletes. Basically you just find a spot on the carpeted floor and chill out until the boat leaves (about 6:45). People were sleeping, stretching out, chatting nervously. For some reason, seeing how nervous everyone else was made me a little calmer. All the first timers were nervous — bad ass guys and women alike. You could tell some people were really nervous as they just sat and stared out into space. I laid down and shut my eyes. I had my westuit on to my waist (just following what other people did.) I stared with longing at all the people with the blue seventy booties. I didn’t have booties but I had two swim caps so I wrapped a swim cap around each of my feet — it seemed to work. One of the pieces of advice they gave us was to keep your hands and feet wrapped and as warm as you could until water time, that would help them in the cold water. I wore gloves until I got on the boat. Had I known how many people were going to leave stuff on the boat, I would have worn stuff on. It also turns out that you could leave a bag on the boat but you wouldn’t get it back until 2 p.m. (who cares?) But I went minimalist so what I wore onto the boat was coming with me into the water.
Finally it was time for the start. The energy on the boat was just crazy. Everyone whooping and hollering and yelling. The testosterone in the room was palpable. There were definitely women on the boat, I didn’t feel like a minority but there seemed to be A LOT of men. I don’t know the ratio. I actually don’t want to go onto the website and look at my results or get stats because I’ll be nauseous. But I wouldn’t mind knowing the ratio of men to women. It felt like 3 men to every woman. But everyone was nice and respectful. There were no jerks the entire race. I might say this was the nicest group of athletes I’ve ever competed with. Everyone who passed me was supportive and cheering and literally 50 people high-fived me on the out and backs. Back to the swim.
You can go out one of several doors. I wanted to go to the left because that would be the closest to where I wanted to sight for. (They give you tons of advice on where to sight and how to tackle the current. I read everything, I watched the videos, I totally understood what I was supposed to do. Apparently that did not help.) I put my goggles on my face and then I pulled out my Aquafor goop and put it on everywhere my skin was exposed. (I already had a layer of the Kinesys ointment on my face and took THREE shots off my inhaler before getting on the boat). Everyone was heading for the door I wanted to go out. The door further away from where I wanted to go, not so many people going out that door. The race people started yelling for us to go out the other less crowded door. I had to make a decision, go out the door closer to where I wanted to go with the crowd or to the other door where I would have to swim an extra pool length to get to where I wanted to go but less crowded. I went for the less crowded mostly because they were yelling at us to use that door.
So the big moment. The moment of jumping off the boat. The moment I was so scared of. Honestly it happened so fast that I barely noticed it. As soon as you step on the mat they are yelling at you “Go, Go, Go” and I just jumped. I tried to remember to get my arms out (I think I did) and to scissor kick (I think I did) but I still went under the water for what seemed like a million years but was really only one second. And I just started swimming wildly to get out of the way. When I finally looked up to see where I was, I was away from the boat and had plenty of room around me and saw the buildings I was looking for and all I could think was ‘OMG, they are so far away.’ I was not cold at all. Seriously I don’t know if it was the difference in water temp (They said it was 51 degrees in my practice swim and they said it was 55 degrees on race morning) or if all the goop and crap I had on my face, hands and feet was working, but I was not cold. I was okay. I was not shocked by the cold. It was a miracle. I was just swimming. And here, once again I am retaught the same lesson I keep learning over and over again — it’s never the thing that you are worried about that gets you. All that time spent worrying about jumping off the boat and the water temperature. Wasted time. What I should have been worried about was the current. But not sure how worrying about that would have helped me.
They had told us in the briefing that if they thought we were in trouble they were going to reposition us and that we would not be disqualified if they repositioned us but we would be disqualified if we argued with them. I was working really hard. I was driving and pulling harder that I have ever done but I knew I was going nowhere. Every time I looked up it seemed like I was going nowhere. I could feel the current holding me back. I was in an endless pool. About 20 minutes of swimming and I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I had the strength to keep swimming I just wasn’t going anywhere. Next thing I know a jetski was next to me and yelling “you three, I need you three to hold onto the back of the jetski, I have to reposition you, you are trapped in the current.” So two guys and I had to climb onto the back of the jetski and he drove us to another spot and dumped us. Quite frankly I don’t think he did us any service, I was now off the line of where I wanted to go. But I just kept swimming, swimming, swimming. I knew there was a 1 hour cutoff and there was no way I was going to make it. Finally I did see the shore but I couldn’t get to the swim exit. A kyacker pulled up and said, stop trying to swim to the exit, you have to swim to the beach and run back. Oh Lo, I overshot the exit!!! I had studied so hard on how NOT to do that but I was off line and maybe that was the penalty for being repositioned. I swam to shore and had to run back down the beach to the exit (lots of rocks in my way.) But I was not alone by a long shot. I would say there were about 30 of us running along the beach trying to get back to the swim exit. Who knows how many before us. But it was not the fast swim I had been promised….
I looked at my watch when I hit the beach, it said 1:07, that was over the cutoff but they didn’t pull me from the water or stop me so I just kept going. There seemed to be people exiting with me. I was already exhausted. That was 1:07 (less the 1 minute of being repositioned) of the hardest swimming I have ever done. I honestly don’t know why I can’t do these ocean swims. Lake swims, fine, but why can’t I cut through current and other people can? One kayaker said to me “you are swimming about 2 knots slower than the current is pulling you.” Really how fast is a knot? How do I swim faster knots? I was doing everything I have every been taught to do. I was driving, rotating, keep my arms out front, pulling all the way through. I tried shortening my stroke, lengthening my stroke, kicking. I had no further technique to apply to the task. I need ocean swimming help. Lakes, no problem I drive and go. But I am just not strong enough to battle through current.
Okay now on shore. I had packed a long sleeved shirt (Sons of Anarchy shirt!) in my swim to bike transition bag based on the previous day’s temps. Didn’t need it but I threw it on just in case. I was immediately aware that it was warmer out than it had been the day before. But it was comfortable temp. I had some water shoes (not running shoes) in my bag. I rinsed my feet, put on my shoes and started running to transition. This is the part that kills me every time. How come I can run 3/4 of a mile to transition without stopping but when I do my regular running I have to run/walk? It’s like my legs know how to race and I don’t. They just take over and start running. They did the same thing at Lake Placid when I said I was going to walk to transition. They just start running on their own. Is it adrenaline? I don’t know that’s a puzzler.
I get to transition and find my spot pretty easily (they tell us to note the houses across from our bikes) I have my road bike (Betty my Felt) with me. I haven’t ridden this bike in about four months except for the previous day’s test ride. I’m aware that I’m tired already. I take a few extra seconds in transition to determine if I even want to continue on. I confirm that No, I do not want to continue on but once again my body defies my mind. My mind is staying, stop, stop, you’re done. And my hands are picking up a gel and throwing into my mouth and throwing on my bike shoes (no socks) and then next thing I know my legs are running out of transition. My mind is yelling Stop! Stop! You shouldn’t do this. My legs are on auto-pilot. My legs start pedalling. My mind says “fine, but I’m NOT racing!”
I think if I have one piece of advice it would have been to drive the bike course beforehand. I really no idea what as coming. I read the description but that doesn’t really tell you the story. The entire I was thinking what is coming next? This hill has to end sometime right?
It starts out flat for about 2 miles which is good to get your heart rate recovered. As I was approaching a turn I looked to my left and saw that people were climbing, a tough switch-back and by total luck I saw that and shifted to my granny gear before I turned. They warned you once you made the turn, they needed to warn you BEFORE you got to the turn. Other people were not that lucky and got caught. One gal that had barelled past me out of transition was now walking her bike up this climb. I thought to myself Oh Man if I had to be walking in the first two miles I would quit. The climb was long but not so steep. I had done much worse in New Jersey and Vermont. It felt like I was climbing for well over a mile.
And that’s pretty much how the bike went. Either straight up or straight down. There was very little flat. No opportunity for hunkering down and just pedalling. This was not a bike course made for me. And I was aware that I was totally exhausted. I had not energy but my legs were fine. My muscles were doing the work and they were not strained. My cardio seemed fine. I just had no energy. I couldn’t race it all. I was just in survival mode.
On the way out on the course I saw the returning cyclists trying to race down the hills four across each one screaming at the other “LEFT, LEFT.” I was thinking no way did I want to be in that mess. One thing the race director had said that stuck with me was “It’s easy to pass on the downhills, if you are that good, pass on the uphills.” I was passing people on the uphills but it was mostly people walking their bikes up the hills. I really didn’t have much struggle with the hills but a couple of the descents made me nervous about having to climb back up them. The temperature was quite nice (warm enough I did not need arm warmers) cool enough that I did not feel any sun burning into me. Basically you ride up to the Legion of Honor memorial, down the other side, and ride back up. Every descent had a sharp turn. I was not riding fast at all. I didn’t know the course and just didn’t care to kill myself. I was NOT racing, I was just finishing.
I was aware that I was close to the bike cutoff and felt a little bad that I would probably not make the bike cutoff. Oh well, that will suck but that’s life. A guy rides up next to me and starts chatting about the course, he’s done it before. I ask if we will make the cutoff, “Oh yeah, 15 minutes and 5 miles to go and it’s all down hill.” Chapstick. I’m going to have to do the run. I tell him to go first because it is easier for me if I can see someone making the turns ahead of me. This blind turning stuff was too much. I drink one bottle of Infinit on the ride (300 calories). Plus some clear water from the course.
I make it back to transition. I look hopefully at all the officials. Anyone want to pull me off? Tell me I didn’t make the cutoff? Nope, everybody just clapping and cheering, “Great Job.” Oh crap, I’m going to have to run. I put on my running shoes and head out. I’m exhausted. I have my water bottle with another dose of Infinit (300 calories) and another dose of the powder for the run back.
Okay the run. Stupidly ridiculous. Just ridiculous. One more time. Ridiculous. You start out with about 2 miles of okay flat but it’s crowded. All but maybe 100 of the 2,000 athletes are returning as I’m going out. I try to run with two other gals that exited at the same time but we can only run single file and I’m annoyed it’s so crowded I let them go and start doing a run/walk. Prima Dona mode “I need my space.” LOL, everyone else can run single-file for miles but not me. Here’s the one thing I noticed. So many of the fastie fasts were cheering me on. They were finishing and instead of looking at me like I can’t believe she is just starting the run, they were all slapping me high fives and telling me “keep going, the turn around is worth it.” There was something really genuine about their cheering. It was not patronizing as all like so often “great job” can seem. It was a feeling of kinship, like “we’re suffering too and we know what you are going through.”
I stopped at the first rest stop and waited for the bathroom. I wasn’t racing, normally I would not stop and wait for a bathroom line and just keep going looking for another but I truly didn’t care about my time. I knew I was going to be climbing soon. Then there was a long staircase. I was confused, were these the sand stairs already? I thought those were mile 5. Nope, confirmed one of the runners coming down, ‘you are going to think these stairs are the easiest thing you’ve done all day when you get to the real sand stairs.’ Gulp, thanks a rot. Climb the stair case and wind through some kind of garden. Uphill, uphill, uphill.
More uphill, I would say about 2 miles of straight uphill. Maybe a little more. Dumping out onto a winding unpaved trail. Portions of this were not wide enough for two people to run side by side but it’s an out and back so I found myself moving to the side and waiting to let returning runners pass. How did they do it when there were hundreds of runners going out and back? That must have been a mess. They must have all been very skinny. There would be no way for them to pass one another. Just ants marching in two lines, one out and one back.
Then you weave your way down the mountain to the beach. I see many people looking fatigued and walking up as I make my way down. The cheers and high fives are replaced with looks of exhaustion and bad posture.
I make it down to the beach and now I have to run across the beach to the end. A race official is there and tells me to ignore the signs that say stay left and come down to the water’s edge where the sand is more packed. Thank God he tells me this because the sand is so deep I’m just tired. My legs feel fine though. They just keep working even though my mind has no energy.
Here’s the part I am really impressed with the EfA staff. When I get to the end of the beach there is an aid station. Fully manned, I would say 15 volunteers still at the aid station waiting for little ole me to get there. Two gals come across the sand with water for me. I tell them I will get them on the way back (that will be past the half way point and I want to refill my powder.) That was something that they didn’t just leave me out there all by myself.
Now I have to run back to the other end of the beach to reach the infamous sand stairs. This is hard. The beach is full of sun bathers and kids. The sand is deep so you have to stay near the packed sand. I get hit by a wave because I wasn’t looking. Great. And then I get to the sand stairs, more officials still there (I’m really impressed that they are there.) Now I see the sand stairs. Ugh.
Here’s the thing. If you were going to the beach and did nothing else that day, you really wouldn’t think the sand stairs were all that hard. People use them all the time as an entry and exit to the beach. Yes there are 400 of them but they are not that high. But after swimming 1.5 miles in the current, biking 18 hilly miles and now running 2 miles uphill and running back and forth across the beach, these stairs are long and high. Your legs are heavy and I’m just so fatigued that I take the stairs ten at a time and pause for ten seconds. Then I graduate to 20 at a time and pause. Then I just keep going. Slow, slow, slow. Just keep moving. The stairs are actually logs and in between them is sand. There is a metal rope and pillons that you can use to pull yourself up. I use them. I think I could have done better on these if I had more energy. At the top there is more sand, no stairs, just plod through it. My legs were fine, it was energy. There are more staff at the top of the sand stairs. More congrats. I’m feeling like a poser.
Then you are back on trail but you are going uphill for about 1/2 mile? Maybe a little more? Who cares at this point it’s just ridiculous. This is the point where you get the spectacular view. It is beautiful looking over the ocean and mountain flowers all around. This is the view that everyone says makes the climb worthwhile. Nyeh, I don’t think so. By fluke I had my camera in my jersey pocket and I didn’t even take it out. “There must be pictures online somewhere I can’t be bothered to try to take a picture.” There are cars on the road next to the trail and traffic is all backed up (probably due to the race). Some cars honk and drivers yell to me “great job!” I’m thinking really? It’s just me out here. I’m 3rd to last (seeing only those two gals on the beach behind me.) I hit the top and start running and now ALL the cars are honking because they see me start running, which of course means I can’t stop until I’m out of their sight. I see a racer coming up the hill (he has yet to descend to the beach) I’m thinking God love you. But I guess this means I’m 4th to last. And there is another water station, this one manned by one guy but he’s still there. I have to give them credit.
Now I start weaving my way down the mountain. I’m actually shocked that my legs are running at all but they seem okay. Tourists everywhere. Very crowded. I make it down to the flatland there is another water station. Fully manned — still about 15 volunteers there. I’m shocked. This is 2 miles from the finish and they have all these people out here waiting for the last 4 people? That’s impressive.
Now I just have to run 2 miles. It’s crowded with just people out for walks with kids and dogs. Lots of of people. I’m just plugging along. I have turned my watch on for 1 minute intervals. Just run 1 minute walk 1 minute.
People seem to know what I’m doing out there and are very supportive. “You’re doing it! Congratulations.” I’m feeling awful about my abysmal performance. Nobody seems to care but me. I didn’t have anything in me to race.
I’m figuring by this time the finish line is all pulled down. I see volunteers dismantling the course. But as I pull into the finisher chute the music starts blaring and the announcer is announcing my name over the loud speaker. There are about 15 volunteers cheering at the finish and there are photographers and people with medals. I’m so surprised to see these people still there. I think I’m long past the cut off. I see 5:52 on the clock. I had hope for 4:15. I am WAY over my hoped for projection time. But I am really impressed with the staff that they kept the course open for me and the finish line with all the same music and cheers as the fastie fasts (the fastie fasts had a thousand people cheering and I had 15 but they were still there!) So for that I want to say that I am truly impressed with the staff of EfA.
After the race I had to gather all my crap and walk back to my hotel. I was tired but I was moving. It was interesting to start hearing other people’s comments about the race. Everyone was talking about how tough it was. I ran into one gal who is doing Lake Placid in a few weeks. “I don’t even call this a race” she said. “I’m a good runner and I just call this an event, not a race.” Her husband was one of the guys I passed on the bike but then he passed me on the run. We promised to meet up in Lake Placid. She made me feel better about just finishing even though I didn’t really race it.
At the airport I over heard several different people talking about the race. They all seemed like the young fast guns and I was surprised to hear them say how hard they thought it was. You mean it wasn’t just me? You mean everyone thinks this was hard? Hmm…. I’ll think about that.
So I’m glad that I didn’t DNF. (So far this year I haven’t DNF’d anything which does make me happy.) I think more recon on the bike and run course would have helped so I truly understood what I was getting into. More calories. I have to practice that this weekend. See if I can take in two drinks.
I’m glad I was able to get up all the hills on the bike. I’m glad I didn’t start crying. I simply realized that I was over my head in this race and to just finish truly was an accomplishment for me.
And to Any Potts who finished in 2 hours I have to say, you are a freak of nature and I salute you.