Bingo!! I was sick alright. I could not train all week. I had hoped to get to the pool or some good running in since my leg was better, but that was not to be. Oh well, life sucks. But I was feeling much better on race morning.
Now, usually I have some sort or pre-race nightmare two nights before a race. Usually it has me going off the bike course, getting lost, or missing the race start by 30 minutes or more. Oddly enough, no nightmare this time. That made me nervous. I am superstitious and for me to miss a bad dream scared the crap out of me.
So the morning of the race comes along. I wake up 1 minute before the alarm goes off. I peek out of one eye and check the clock. Close my eyes, then open them and almost scream. I forgot to turn on the alarm. I set the time, but never turned on the alarm. Bad omen #1.
So we get up, get dressed and pack the bike in the car and head out to Montauk. We get there, park and setup my gear in T1. Now this race has two separate transitions so we drive up to T2 to drop my run gear off and take the shuttle bus back down to T1. Of course now I look at my watch and realize it is getting closer to the start time and we are going slow. Bus driver stops TWICE to pick up spectators. I stand up and pleaded with the busdriver (OK, snapped at her) to not stop anymore and get me to the start. Of course I apologized when I got off the bus. Looked at my watch, I have 15 mintues to put on my wetsuit and get to the start. So I get the wetsuit on and start walking down the beach. Oh crap, left my goggles in T1. Bad omen #2. Run back, get goggles, head out to swim start. I give my Wingman my sandals, etc to hold. He asks if I need anymore bodyglide and I said "nah, I'm good" - totally forgetting about my neck. Bad omen #3.
So I make it with 3 minutes to start. When my wave finally goes off I have to swim into crashing waves to get out into the ocean. The swim is parallel to the shore (out and back course). So I head out into the sun, can't see a thing. Thank goodness the lifeguards in the water rocked. They were directing swimmers where to go and how many buoys before the turns. If it wasn't for them, I think I'd be halfway to Europe by now. The swim sucked for me because I could not get a good rhythm. I kept bumping into people that were backstroking or stopping midswim. I swear, I have never seen so many people doing the backstroke in one race. Did I not get a memo that it was the new way to swim? Anyway, the swim was uneventful, yet slow for me. Got out of the water and headed up to T1 to get ready for the bike.
Once out on the bike course, I just wanted to stay comfortable. I had not been on my Cervelo (tri bike) much this season so I was not used to being in the aero position. Most of my riding was on my road bike.
So, this year was a major accomplishment. I managed to not lose my water bottle taking the bike off the rack. Whooo hooo. I was riding really well and then around mile 9 or 10, somehow I fell apart. No clue what happened. I don't believe it was a nutrition issue and the wind was not a factor, but somehow I lost my ability to ride fast. Hmmm. Oh, and there was a big hill coming up. Made it up and over with no issue. Phew. The funny thing was as soon as I got comfortable again and riding with some zip, I was near the dismount line. Unreal. I finally pull it together and people are shouting to slow down and prepare to dismount. Arghhhhh. Well, I make it to T2 and change into my running shoes.
I make my way into Camp Hero to begin the run. I just had so much trouble keeping it together for the run. I know my running has been inconsistent, but I just wanted a steady effort here. at each water stop I get some water, drink some and pour the rest over my head. Cold water feels so good. Now, I am a little squeamish when it comes to getting cups of water from the volunteers. I really don't want to see their fingers in the cups/water. Now, my philosophy is if I don't see it, it didn't happen. Needless to say I was careful with what cups I grabbed. At this point I am hanging on for life (or so it feels like it) and see that I am almost out of the park and heading towards the finish line. Last water stop coming up. I decline it and then out of the corner of my eye I see one of the male volunteers from the water station head into the woods to RELIEVE HIMSELF!!!! Oh man, I did not need to see that. Now all I can see is him coming out later and putting his fingers in the cups of water. Nasty.
Anyway, I see the Mile 3 marker coming up and know I am almost there. All that is left is the hill up to the lighthouse. When I made the turn, I was convinced the hill was higher than last year. Did someone raise it? I really wanted nothing to do with running up the hill, but there were spectators everywhere cheering so "I would have much shame" if I walked it. But as soon as I crossed the finish line, I found the Wingman and we walked a little so I could cool down. Once again, he has proved himself to be a world class Sherpa!! He knew where to be to see me at each transition, had my gear from the beach stowed away in the car, and helped me get my stuff at the end of the race. But more importantly, he woke up early on his day off just to Sherpa for me - at least that's what he tells me ;-) and he drove us home using his super secret routes through the Hamptons.
And to show for my efforts, I have some kick ass wetsuit kickies on my neck. They burned for days.........
Next week, the NYC Triathlon and my swim in the Hudson. Please, let there be a good current so I am not in the water too long.