Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cooper Tri - Take 2!

I was really looking forward to this race because as usual lots of friends were doing it and it was also right up the street in McKinney AND it was short! I also knew the course because I had done it back in 2008 - so I felt okay about it....until my partner in crime aka. DKturtles challenged me and told me I could do it in 1:20, no problem...My response, "You are on crack. No way can I go that fast." In a text conversation late Friday night before the race, I informed her my goal was to beat my time from 4 years ago whatever it was.  Thank goodness for the website Athlinks so I could look it up!  Unfortunately, this is what I found:
WHAT????? I did it in 1:20!  Crap!  Now I was going to have to eat my words with DK as she laughed at me and told me I could shave off 7 seconds no problem!  ACKKKK!  I kept turning the numbers over in my way can I swim faster...not gonna make the time up there...and almost 19 mph on the bike...yeh, not gonna happen...and a sub 10-min mile on the run - ha ha ha! As much as I wanted to beat my last time, I was not very encouraged about actually doing it.  The only way I could make up any time was to get my transitions faster and hope and pray to keep the same pace as 4 years ago on everything else.
I wrote my times and my splits on the swim, bike, and run portion in big black sharpie marker on my left hand and arm.  By the time, I got to the race I had them memorized.  Luckily, my friends were there to distract me from my pre-race jitters.
Elaine, Mama C, and I - these things start way too early!

Mama C, Me, Elaine, Teri (her 1st tri!), and Kristi with DK the sign holder and slave driver coach/friend --We need some pics of TPG!  She rocked the race too!

Me and Elaine...laughing with Elaine will always calm you down...and honestly, you can't hang with Elaine for more than 30 seconds without giggling!  Love this girl!

So race starts and off we go. I separate from my friends because I had a lower number than they did for the swim, so I would start a little earlier.  It was a 350m swim in one of my favorite pools...outdoor and 50 meter lanes...Love that!  Off I go....I passed some people, got caught in a few traffic jams, and got passed by one girl.  I even got to see DK, Sharon, and the kids on the first lap!  That was cool!  I waved mid-stroke!

That's me in the middle lane with the gray swim cap...trying not to die...
I got out of the water and it was not the swim time I needed...I had a 7:57 swim time! Damn it - already 28 seconds behind...not I speed through transition.  Probably my fastest T1 EVER.  Helmet, sunglasses, clip in shoes, Garmin, and off onto the bike course in 1:11!  Booyah!

Off on the bike...
Best cheer squad: Banden, Naya, Chase and Stuart (DK's kids and mine too)
  Back under the time, banked about 20 seconds on that transition!  Saweet...Two laps on the bike course - 38:45....not bad...still a few seconds ahead...but seconds is nothing...I can lose that on a walk break on the run...must keep going...and FAST!  Hit the next shoes and helmet off, visor and Vibrams on and off I go...T2 was 1:18...not bad...lost those seconds though...okay, run...bring it...This is the only place I am going to beat my time...which stinks because this is where I feel it gets the hardest.  I start on the run and my heart rate was through the roof and I feel like I am moving like a snail and I look down and my Garmin says 8:34 pace...Okay, I have to slow down or I won't make it to the finish line.  I stop and walk for a few seconds to bring my heart rate down and calm down. I start running after about 20 seconds and my feet feel weird.  I feel like a gecko in my Vibrams because for some reason my toe shoes feel weird and I start to think that maybe I put them on the wrong feet in my hurry through transition...Surely not, right? I check them out as I'm running and decide I am obviously crazy, shoes are fine, I must just have gecko feet...that or I am too reptile obsessed because of my husband's new pet (but that is a whole other blog post!) Anyway, I am off running again and it is hot and there is no shade...just full on sun through the neighborhoods of McKinney.  I hit the first aid station, grab some water (even though I have my own) because I knew I was going to drink my whole bottle easily.  It was that hot.  Then I turn and what do you know a freakin' hill!  Doggone it...Beep goes the Garmin...first mile was a 10:32...well forget this...I am not going to make the sub 10 min mile that I needed and I feel like saying screw it and throwing in the towel.  I walk up the hill a ways and then start running again.  I hit a patch of shade and then get to the point in the course about 1.5 miles in where I know the rest of the course.  Beep - Mile 2 10:03...better, but still ain't gonna cut it...Let's just finish this and be done already...feeling discouraged and just trying to finish the race...As I come to the top of the last hill and start heading down, I see and hear all my friends yelling.  And then over them all, I hear DK yelling at me to "Run faster!" "You got this!" "Go, Go, Go!" and Sharon's cowbell!  (I love that cowbell!) That lit a little fire under me and I looked at my watch and was at 1:17...okay, I have 3 minutes to finish this thing off.  I still had a ways to go, but I ran as fast as my little legs could go and the 3rd mile was 9:05!  I crossed the finish line in 1:18:54! 
This pretty much sums up how I felt after the finish line...

 I had done it!  Somehow, some way I had beaten 1:20!  I still don't know how I pulled that off! 

I am so thankful for DK for pushing me when I thought it was crazy talk.  I seriously have made the best friends over the last year.  There were so many people out there racing and cheering.  We by far have the best cheering crew in the whole world!  I am so thankful to everyone that was there.  All of you inspire me in so many ways and its because of all of you that I feel comfortable enough to step out of my box and try new things that I would have never done on my own.  Whether it is going faster, longer, on a bike, on trails....I love the crazy/stupid fun things we do!  I love you all! 
Love all of these guys!
Thank you Marci for the sign!  It's my favorite! I still have it!

DK, Me, and Elaine...we survived!


  1. This is freaking amazing!!!! I almost teared up at the end. You pushed yourself to your max and that it the BEST feeling!!!! Congrats on an awesome day!!!