Packing the day before is quite an undertaking... Can you believe all this stuff for just a few hours?
(Not pictured: my bike, 3 water bottles, and Garmin watch)
At 6pm the night before the race, my a/c went out. The house temp quickly climbed to 80 degrees. Haha
Ohhh the timing. I left a message with the a/c company and stayed the night with Kaitlyn, who was riding with me to Nashville Sunday morning. She spent the whole day cheering for me, ringing a cowbell, taking pictures, and sending updates to my Mom and Billie. I can't thank her enough!!
We made it to Nashville at 6am, checked in, and set up my transition spot.
My favorite part---pre race sunrise.
Modeling my first real Tri tat-- as opposed to permanent marker. Felt so official!
No one is in it for the swim cap and spandex, I'll tell you that. :)
Walking the plank to the swim start. I'm so glad I didn't know how tough the swim was about to be! Ignorance is bliss here.
Can you see us jumping off the pier? One person in the water every 3 seconds.
Photo cred for the above 3 photos: http://www.tennessean.com/story/sports/2015/07/26/white-repeats-winner-triathlon/30581091/
The Olympic racers swam a clockwise rectangle, following buoys. The current was so bad, resulting in so many swimmers stopping and waving for boat support, that the coast guard canceled the swim for the rest of the racers. I'm so glad I didn't know this until AFTER. I felt great initially. Then when I made my first right turn, swimming perpendicular to the current, I felt like I wasn't moving forward, only being pushed to my left... Away from the next buoy. After minutes of only moving further away, I seriously thought about waving for support and giving up. But I prayed for peace, closed my eyes (so I couldn't see how little I was actually moving!) and tried to reach the bank on the other side of the river as quickly as I could, even if it pushed me off course. (Luckily, Kaitlyn explained right before the race that the current is the worst in the middle of the river. But if you can "hug" a bank, it's easier to manage. Makes sense although I would not have thought of that!)
I tried to stay light-hearted and make jokes to myself. So in my head, I sang "shoulda lifted more weights!!! Shoulda lifted more weeeeigghttsss!!" As I pushed my arms through the water as hard as I could!
I have never been so happy as when I got out of that water! I was smiling so big, thanking Jesus! And my swim time was only a minute slower than I anticipated. Don't know how that happened, but I'll take it!!
Next up, my favorite.... The bike. The bike is long and fun. Time to get your thoughts together, settle in, and enjoy the scenery. I held a steady 17.5mph average pace for 25 miles. Most of the course was on the (closed) interstate. But Kaitlyn snapped these pics of me at the turn-around and the finish.
Finally, the run. My weakness and the part of the race I find most challenging! I really worked on compartmentalizing this run. Just thinking about getting to the NEXT mile marker. My first 3 mile loop felt great-- 10min mile pace. Alternated water and powderade at every aid station. At 2 aid stations, I grabbed handfuls of ice and stuffed them in my shirt! But during the second loop, I started feeling cramps in weird places on my legs. I wasn't sure what to do! Whether to rub them, walk, stretch, or just try to keep running. One runner stopped and gave me some of his BASE salt lick. I didn't know if it would help, but it was worth trying!
Sweet finish line sighting!!!! Ah the best feeling. Kaitlyn and I both got teary- eyed when I crossed. Nothing like it. :)
Swim (.93 miles): 37min
Bike (26.7 miles): 1hr 33mins
Run (6.2 miles): 1hr 7min
Total time: 3hrs 22mins