This had to be one of the most fun races I have done is a long time right up until… I’ll get to that part in a minute.
What’s so fun about it? You get to JUMP off a ferry and swim a mile to shore, bike 25 essentially flat & fast miles and then run through Dante’s Inferno of immolation level heat and sand dunes. Exhilarating.
The weekend started off a tad shaky. I pack to the gills my little Hyundai Elantra with all my gear and beach stuff so my Spectathletes & Paparazzi, The Queen Mum and Princess Cara, could had some fun at the beach while I off gallivanting around doing a swim preview, racking my bike, attending a race meeting & helping set up the MMTC tent. We leave the house around 1pm on Friday and only hit bad traffic when we are about 20 miles out from the hotel. (Traffic was waaaay worse on the way home). We arrive at the hotel and they are like, ummm, when did you make your reservation. GTFOOHWTBS. I ain’t got time for this and…*cue meltdown* – WHY CAN’T I EVER HAVE A DRAMA FREE TRI!!!
See, I made the reservation ON @EXPEDIA the same day I registered for the race (Oct 1, 2014) because – hey, bonus money, better spend it on Tri shyt while it’s burning a hole in my pocket. I got confirmations, blah, blah, blah. but apparently, @Expedia did not send my booking on the the hotel – just kept sending me notices that everything was okay and I did not have to contact hotel (I’ll never do that again). Everything was NOT okay. No reservations, no vacancies at the hotel. WTF. Well, the hotel called down to another hotel they are friends with and got me the same type room at same price. @Expedia tried to rebook me at hotel in their system, but when we googled it, there was a bed bug warning. UMMMM NO! You know what I got from @Expedia for my trouble…”Sorry.” Mmmmkay. Well, we had new lodging and we were off. We unpacked, Cara went to the pool then we went to Wildwood boardwalk to walk around and have dinner.
I waited for TriBecca to show up and then we gathered our things and headed over to packet pickup. We got there just in time for the “Swim Preview” which we thought was just talking about the swim, but you actually got to practice as well. We did not practice cause we didn’t bring any gear. Just watched and listened.
Afterward, we went to packet pickup, visited all the vendor booths, went to the race meeting, racked our bikes, put up the MMTC tent and went back to the hotel where we maxed and relaxed. Went to the beach for a little while and then ordered out pizza & pasta as we piddled with our gear for Sunday!
SUNDAY – RACE DAY
We woke up around 3am to get the car packed and to the race when the heavens opened up with a downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning. I just stood on the balcony, stared for a while, mumbled something about getting wet anyway and “If it ain’t raining, you ain’t training” Army bullshyt as Rebecca gave me the hard side eye as she mumbled something about “maybe they will cancel the swim” *insert glee clap*.
We get to transition and all of us unprepared for a torrential downpour are looking around like lost children trying to figure out how to keep our shoes from getting soaked. (TIP: ALWAYS – ALWAYS – keep at least two trash bags in your tri bag, one for you, one for your clueless rack mate. Just pay it forward…it will come back to you). I ended up putting my empty tri bag on top of my running shoes and it worked out fine.
After we were thrown out of transition, we went to hunker down under the MMTC tent until it was time to board the ferry. I can’t believe we all stood there looking like sad boo boo kitties and didn’t take not ONE picture of the club. AGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! And I brought the Paparazzi!.
We board the ferry and end up waiting an additional 30-45 min until the weather cleared before we pulled out to start the race.
SWIM: 1 mile 36:13 (Garmin says I zig zagged for 1.2 miles)
I didn’t even really think too much on it. I marched up to the line and well, as you can see from my pics, I executed a very dull and uneventful jump. Next time, I go for the FLASH!
Next thing I knew I was in the water and time to swim. It didn’t seem like a fast current to me, but must have been because that was the fastest 1 – 1.2 mile swim I have EVER done in ANY race. GO ME!
When I cam out of the water, I don’t really remember what I was thinking. I know I was trying to decide whether or not to take my wetsuit off right then or wait till I got back to transition. I kept it on for the half mile trek from the beach to transition cause I didn’t want any sand all on me – Everywhere, All around – as I went out on the bike.
The other thing that struck me as I watched people come out of the water and dead sprint through sand dunes and two parking lots as I kinda wogged, was that, yeah, I don’t take transition very seriously (I KNOW it’s part of the race so let it go). I’ll get there when I get there. I do try to move out with a purpose and be quick about- get in, get it on, go (especially when there isn’t a road march to get there), but, yeah, no. I ain’t gonna win the transition. I’ll work on it. Promise.
BIKE: 25 miles 1:40:23 14.9mph – Second fastest 25 miles in a race
Here is what I know. I can do at 15mph+ if the course is relatively flat. Throw some hills in there and I’m slower than cold molasses. I watched my MMTC buddies beast up the one bridge with ease and I’m like the Wicked Witch madly peddling while not having a lung collapse.
A LOT of people ended up with flats (some with 2). I was really worried that I would blow a tire (like I did when I crashed last October) so I ended up slowing down a lot on the turns and when the road was rough. The 1st loop was pretty crowded, but of course, it thinned out as us slow pokes wrapped up the second loop.
I know what I need to work on. HILLS. Nevertheless, I felt I had a great ride and even got to say “on your left” several times – which was exhilarating. Those of you that don’t know the suffering of being slow, there is that moment after the 700th “on your left” is shouted at you that you just want to kick out and say “on your left THAT”. I would NEVER do such a thing, but I admit that evil thoughts occasionally enter my noggin.
N.E.WAY – I’m back in transition where, DAMN, it fuggin HOT!
RUN: 5 miles 1:33:31 The WORST RUN OF MY EXISTANCE!
I’ve got nothing more to add to that. It WAS THE MOST GAWD FORSAKEN RUN ever. Had it not been for some of the good people of Lower Township bestowing upon us the blessing of the divine hose, I would have immolated out there on that course. It was like running into the deepest, hottest level of Hell and then Satan added thick loose beach sand and dunes for grins and giggles. I slogged, shuffled, cursed, and leaned in for 5 of the hottest, slowest miles on earth. When I saw the flags for the finish chute – all I thought was – YES, SWEET BABY JESUS! And then I saw my family and my MMTC family cheering & high fiving me. GLORIOUS!
Would I do it again?! YOU BETCHA! For once I wasn’t last! I beat some demons and bested some other times. I may never podium. I may never get off the bottom of the pack. What I did do was - I went up against me and won! That was a blast!