Pace: 0:01:46/100 yds
Pace: 19.2 mph
Overall Time: 5:35:35
I placed 9/20 in my age group, 47/95 female, and 181/299 overall. Awesome. I shaved an hour off my total time from last year. When I got out of the water, I looked at my watch and couldn't believe my eyes! I thought maybe my watched stopped while I was in the water. I took 7+ minutes off my swim time from last year. I jumped on my bike and was soon cruising down the nicely paved, flat course.
I started having stomach cramps on the bike. I thought all hope was lost for a good run when in the last 6 miles of the bike, I didn't think I was going to make it. My stomach hurt so bad every time I took in calories, and not because I was hungry, but because everything felt so harsh in my tummy. I had cramps up both sides of my stomach, and every time on my down stroke on my right side, I thought I was going to double over in pain. This was incredibly worse pain than what I felt at my Afton ride with Captain Cartwheel and Dr. B. (See previous post...) The worst part of the whole ride was being down in my aero bars because I get low enough that I can actually bump my abdomen with my legs. Ouch, ouch, ouch...ugh. I lost some momentum on two separate occasions when I launched a bottle off the back of my bike. I know I probably would have been just fine leaving the bottles on the side of the road without getting a penalty, but I feel bad littering and it's against the rules! It didn't take that much effort to stop and pick them up, and the second time it happened allowed me a little break from kneeing myself in my cramping stomach. I finally made it back into transition in under 3 hours which was my goal.
Mr. Fury waited by my transition area, and when I rolled in with tears welling in my eyes and a big frowny face, he knew something was not OK. He asked me if I was alright, and I answered with an assertive, "NO!" and I told him all about my lousy, yet PR, ride. I should have acted like everything was fine because I just worried him as I ran out of transition favoring my front-end and crouching forward to help the pain. I ran to the port-o-potties to relieve my bladder because I figured 10lbs of heavy bladder may help relieve some of my tummy pain. I figured right, but it took me a couple minutes to find a not-so-nasty privy. None of them had toilet paper except one that had unmentionables smeared all over the seat. Seriously, COME ON PEOPLE! Have a little control, eh? Thankfully, one of the nice spectators waiting for an open/clean potty let me cut in line and fished out some toilet paper for me from the johnny-that-must-not-be-named.
After a relieving pit stop, I was off to the run course. To my surprise and dismay, the course was not changed to the double loop through the shaded neighborhoods as promised. We went out on the country road to grit and bare the hot pavement for the middle 4+ miles of the course. Ugh. Thankfully, the sun stayed incognito the whole race. Thank you overcast clouds! I was met along the course by the world's most enthusiastic single person cheer squad, and for my purposes will refer to him as Sir Random Guy. Here's the thing about Sir Random Guy, he was all over the course. When I say all over the course, I mean all over the course! I saw him on the bike and the run, all. over. the. place. He was so enthusiastic and every time I saw him he yelled and screamed and jump up and down and pumped his fists and told us all how much of an inspiration we were. Oh, he also informed us that we were his legs for the day because he has bad knees. Sir Random Guy just brought a smile to my face whenever I saw him, and he still does just thinking about him. He was so excited for me every time I saw him and cheered me on, "Go Team! Alright Team in Training!" Finally, he asked me my name so I told him and from then on his cheer when something like this:
Oh, here she comes! RRRRAAACHHEL!!!! Alright, Rachel! You can do it, you're doing great! Keep it up! Go Team! ::insert Sir Random Guy's jovial laugh here::
I don't know how he had so much energy left after so many miles of cheering! It amazed me, and I was the one that was racing!! Another racer ran up next to me and said, "Wow, you have quite the cheer squad!" and I laughed saying, "Yeah, and I don't even know that guy!" Sir Random Guy cheered me all the way in to the finish line, and I would not have done it with nearly as big of a smile without his support.
About a half hour after I finished, I saw Sir Random Guy talking to all my teammates and friends. It was then that I found out that Sir Random Guy is the dad of one of my friends on the team! My friend, Sean, was entertained listening to me tell the story of his dad cheering me into the finish line. Thank you Sir Random Guy!
Overall, it was a great race and great day despite the stomach cramping. I'm glad it happened though because if it happens at Ironman, I know I can work through it. A big congratulations to all the halfsies: Dr. B, Dana Banana, Tri Chick Kris, Captain Cartwheel, B-Rad and Sean (aka Asspounder). Everyone had an amazing race!! Great job guys!!
Here is one of my favorite pics of the day. My friend Karlene let me carry her new puppy across the finish line. He's an adorable 7 week old Golden Retriever named Dodger and he's the closest I'll get to having a puppy!