|My motto for this race...|
I signed up in May in and immediately emailed Coach Adam (@theboringrunner) and asked for his help. He promptly started kicking my butt with speedwork, bricks, swims, bikes, runs...ALL SUMMER LONG! And you know what...I liked it...okay, not all the time...sometimes I was cussing him to my girlfriends and I may have called him a crackhead a few times when he referred to certain weeks as low mileage when I thought they looked hard...But, that's is why he is a coach. I wouldn't have done all that work without him. So huge shout out to Adam! Thank you for ALL your hard work and encouragement. The text I got from you as soon as I finished the race made my day! You are one awesome coach!
To make this race even better, my friends had decided to do it, too. Teri was going to be doing her second 70.3. She had completed Galveston 70.3 IM in the spring. Catherine was going for her first of this distance and Julie was too! DK and Marci came along to cheer and support! Team Cupcake was in the house!
We left for Oklahoma City Friday at noon. Teri picked us all up and we loaded the bikes and headed out. We stopped in Gainesville for lunch and we just happened to find a bakery so of course Team Cupcake stopped there too!
|Team Cupcake Goody Bags!|
|These girls are awesome!|
Catherine, Dk, Me, Teri
So we finally get out of Texas and get up to Oklahoma. DK took pictures the whole way...It was awesome! We went straight to packet pick up and got our bikes off the car only to realize that Catherine's aerobar pad had fallen off during the trip!
|What is wrong with this picture?|
|Dropping off our bikes!|
|Packet pick up tent|
|Putting our numbers on our bikes so we could leave them in transition for the night.|
|Lucky number 708|
She was able to buy some in the expo and we were on our way to put our bikes up in transition for the night. We walked around and saw the swim start, bike entrance, and the run out.
|Off to check in Butter Baby...|
|A sea of bikes in transition...this was only part of the half distance bikes...the full distance bikes were in a whole other area!|
|Follow the arrows...|
|Team Cupcake and their Fearless Leader|
After check in at the race, we went and checked in at the hotel and met up with Julie! Julie lives in East Texas and she had come up Thursday. We all went out to dinner and got ready for the big race.
|Sunset over the lake that night|
|While we slept, DK made signs....She rocks...have I mentioned that lately?|
|Check out these guns...|
|Lucky Number 716|
|Auto mechanics at 5:15 am....not very fun...|
|All suited up, signs ready to go.|
|Lake the morning of the swim...The water was warmer than the outside air. It felt great!|
|Let's do this already!|
|Oh crap...what are we doing...whose idea was this???|
|Waiting to get in water...Pink caps!|
|And we are off...|
|Longest swim EVER!!!!|
Up out of the lake, wetsuit strippers waiting, and into transition. Now on these transitions, I don't pride myself on being fast. I'm not going to win any medals and honestly, it is more important for me to have EVERYTHING I need if I am going to be out on the bike for 3+ hours. So I take my time. I sit down, I wipe my feet off really good. I learned that lesson the hard way last year when I did not do that and wound up with a blister from a rock in my shoe since I don't wear socks. I had prepacked all my food for the bike so I changed into my jersey and off I went. My plan was to eat one baggie every hour. I had Paydays and Honeystingers. They worked perfectly. This was the first race I didn't get off my bike once. I hadn't decided at the beginning if I would take hand ups from the aid stations or get off my bike and fill up with water. It made me nervous to take a water bottle from a person on the side of the road AND fill up my water bottle all without stopping and I certainly hadn't practiced that at home. When I got on my bike and went to my aerobottle for my first sip though, I realized that either I hadn't filled it up completely or it had leaked out somehow. I had one sip of water and it was all gone before I even got off the dam of the lake. At that point I realized I would have to try hand ups from the aid stations, because I needed water and the first aid station was coming up. So I took one and it worked beautifully and off I went. The rest of the aid stations I just took hand ups. No stopping. I could tell about 10 miles into the bike, it wasn't going to be as fast a bike as I wanted it to be. My neck and shoulders were bothering me from the swim and I couldn't stay in aero as much as I had hoped. The rest of the bike was pretty uneventful. I was done by mile 40...too bad the course wasn't...I was ready to get off and throw my bike in the lake...but I chose to stay on so I could run...I have never wanted to run so much in my life....Not my best bike, but I came in at 16.5 mph and shaved off over 7 minutes from last year.
Finally came in off the bike and back into transition. Again, taking my time. Got my shoes, water bottle, visor, changed shirts, and hit up the porta potty in transition. Then and only then, did I head out on the run. And boy was I ready...I knew the course - I knew where every aid station would be. Adam had told me to walk through the aid stations and that is exactly what I did...the first loop...My first 6.5 miles were under a 12 min pace and I was stoked. I came in on the first loop at the turn around feeling awesome. Got to see DK and Marci and head back out. I was eating at every station from the beginning...oranges, gummy bears, pickles because I had begun to cramp in T2 and could barely tie my shoe, pretzels....you name it, they had it, and I ate it! It was awesome. Feeling strong until about mile 9.5 then I got all crazy mental inside my head. I wanted to be done already. Instead of running aid station to aid station, it was more like tree to tree...run to a tree, walk to the next one...I knew I had to play some kind of mental game with myself or I would walk the next 4 miles in. The thing with triathlons is that you can't listen to music or get any outside help. Which is fine, but when you listen to music normally on runs or run with friends on long runs, 13.1 miles by yourself gets REALLY hard. I don't think I could be one of those people who survives in the wild by themselves....I would die in the first 24 hours of craziness...It was nice to see Teri, Catherine, and Julie on the run course though.
|Marci and DK hold down the fort while cheering for EVERYONE! Best Crew EVER!|
|Striking a pose for Marci!|
|Trying to fake like this is fun...|
|Out for the second loop with a quick camera shot with DK.|
The last 4 miles were the longest miles of my life...Seriously running a tenth of a mile was hard, and when EVERYONE around you is walking, it is even that much more deflating. You don't want to run...EVERYONE else is walking...but then you have to remember you aren't everyone else and this isn't their race, it's yours...so you have to do something...so you run tree to tree.
Finally, I got back to the finish line and crossed in 7 hours 5 minutes. That was 24 minutes faster than last year! All I wanted was one second faster than last year, so with 24 minutes I was pumped!
I also got 4th in the Athena group where last year I was 7th. That was kind of cool too!
|Teri rocked her race! She PR'd too!!!|
|The whole crew at base camp!|
|Catherine finished strong! Congrats Catherine! So proud of you!|
|Julie finished like the beast she is! She is injured and in a ton of pain and was AMAZING! Congrats Julie! Can't wait to hear about Austin!|
|And REALLY DONE!|
|TEAM CUPCAKE 70.3 - I love all these ladies! And couldn't be prouder of each of them!|
|I earned this medal...every piece of training and blood (yes there was plenty of blood), sweat, and tears and exhaustion from this summer....IT ALL PAID OFF!|
We ended the night going back to the race site and watching the people who were doing the full distance and eating dinner and having drinks. It was the perfect day!
|Sunset at dinner|
A few parting words...I am lucky enough to have a family that supports my crazy habit. My husband is one of my biggest supporters. He never tells me no don't go run/bike/swim. He is always encouraging. He is my rock and I love him dearly. I am so thankful that he let's me do what I love. It was so wonderful to come off that course with not only a PR, but about 40 texts from my husband, mom, dad, and aunt who were all tracking me online. So amazingly wonderful. I love you all.
And to all the friends that texted or Facebooked, thank you. All the support is so wonderful.
Last of all, DK...what can I say. This trip would not have been the same without you. Yes, we all cussed you when you brought out the camera (oh wait, you never put it up) but your pictures are amazing and they truly capture all the fun and love and amazing friendships that we have developed in the last few years. I am truly blessed to call you ladies friends...You are the sisters I always wanted...Julie, Teri, Catherine, DK, Marci....thank you all for making me laugh til my abs hurt, all weekend. I love you all!