Tri Latta tri has come and gone so I thought it was only fair to post my victory blog entry for folks interested in more detail. As most of you know I finished my race!! 28:56 on the swim, T1 3:37, bike 1:04:37, T2 3:14, and run 41:18…hurray! I guess this is a good start to start widdling down my time. 🙂
The TNT experience was wonderful! I meet some great folks and hopefully some lifelong friends! Our little team really stuck together and encouraged one another. I really struggled with open water swimming for about a month but my team helped me push through.
Speaking of open water, I did it! I had a fantastic swim with our team the Tuesday before the race. John also helped me conquer my fears by taking me to the lake and helping me with treading/floating etc. I probably went out there a good 8 times before the race…and all that hard work really paid off.
Alright, here are some details from race day:
The alarm went off at 3:30 am…can you believe this? Honestly, I don’t think I have ever gotten up this early. We headed down to the lobby for a group photo around 4:30am…and off to the race site. The race started at 6:30 a.m.
Once we arrived at the race site I realized I forgot a flashlight (even after Sarah suggested it). So we were wandering around in the dark. Fortunately, we were behind someone who remembered the flashlight. Oh, and the bugs. Seriously, it was like being in a jungle. Now, I know why bug spray was on the packing list (and I forgot that too)….live and learn.
Once we got to the race site I started setting up my transition area. Had to do a few things I should have done the night before (filled gel flask). Then headed to get chipped and markered..and then to the line for the porta-Johns..mmmm.
Seriously, I was so nervous at this point I really thought I was going to throw up. But John helped me calm down. Our coaches had just arrived at this time too. They drove all the way up to help cheer us on! So fun!
Eventually we wandered over to the start area for the swim. The first wave had already gone out. All of a sudden I see all the yellow caps line up (that would be where I should be) and I am not there…. So, I am hustling all the way over (but had to steal a smooch from John first..:) Seriously, I had about 3 minutes before we got in the water. The bonus of this was that I had zero time to think about what I was doing. The horn went off and there we go!
I managed to stay all the way to the right and not really get in anyone’s way on the way out. There was a girl in front of me who was sorta freaking out and rolled over on her back within about 5 minutes. I could not get around her. It was about this time that I started freaking out because I saw her go over to the kayak. I don’t know if I started getting flashbacks to Sarah’s kayak…but I really wanted to get in that kayak! Nope, had to keep going.
So I definitely had to do a little doggie paddle to gain my composure and some floating. I really could not get into a rhythm..felt like I was fighting my way across the water the whole time. I realized that in the pool I am so comfy that I breathe every third stroke..which is great. But, in the open water when I am hustling I need to breathe every other stroke… Well, this is incredibly inefficient to me. But, I just went with it and breathed on the same side the whole time… But, I finally got to the pointy buoy that was the turning point to head back.
Now, somewhere in this turn I got all disoriented. I didn’t swing out all the way to the safe right side…but started meandering over to the left/middle of the chaos. Then I get about 4 minutes into the swim and realize I am headed the wrong way! When I was sighting, apparently I was looking at the buoy on the opposite side that I came from. I wandered half way between the buoys and started to see the on coming swimmers! Fortunately, I figured this out way before I got too close. So when I got back on track I was right in the middle of the chaos. Got pushed, hit, choked with water, trying to fight my way back to the right. I finally just said screw it..I’m out here whatever, go around me.
Fortunately, there was a beautiful sunrise happening at this time to focus on. I finally just pushed through and got to the shore…hallelujah!
The bike was awesome! I felt pretty strong for most of it and passed a bunch of people. I was playing catch up/tag with a few folks…we just started laughing about it on the course. On your left…again…. I almost took out some people that didn’t call out when they passed…I almost said some lovely words to them too…
The course that we were on was extremely narrow. When we would turn corners I was getting stuck in the clog of bikes. I was super excited because I thought I was going to get it done in just under 1 hour.. but the finish area was ridiculous. There was a bunch of people not knowing what they were doing diddling around (not that I’m some expert…but come on folks!). I have to figure out how to avoid this in the future..this whole mess added a good 4 minutes to my time.
The run was rough. I was having some stomach issues…on the bike. I think maybe this was the most gel I had ever consumed in one session. I don’t know what was going on. It was so hot that I didn’t want to drink. I tried..but it didn’t happen. So by time the run was happening I was dehydrated..like I have never been dehydrated in my life. Fortunately there was water on the course that save me. I had to walk and run…ahem I mean, shuffle the course.
The finish line was glorious! I saw John and started crying at the end. He thought there was something wrong. I was just so happy to see him and to have accomplished this goal…what a journey.
After many, many cups of liquid I started feeling better…I was not really with it for a good 20 minutes. We ate some snacks and hit the road.
What a great experience. There has been so much support from friends and family (financially and emotionally). It brought John and I closer (all those years as an athlete payed off for him…so he could push his wife when she was breaking down). Most importantly, it raised funds to help fight blood cancer.
If you are thinking about doing an endurance event I would highly recommend TNT. The staff/coaches are amazing. I could not have done it without my team!
For those of you that are asking what’s next?
I’m continuing to volunteer with TNT through this new season. I’m the mentor for the group headed to the Nations Tri in DC (Olympic Distance). We have some really talented and excited folks coming in. I can’t wait to encourage and see these athletes push themselves toward this amazing goal!
Personally, I’m planning on doing the Greenville Sprint in August. And a certain coach is pushing me to do Hickory Knob, an Olympic distance in October…so maybe that will be on the horizon as well. 🙂
thanks for reading!