Carla and I packed up the girls on Friday and headed to Augusta. It's an 8 hour drive from good old PCB - but we had plenty of things to talk about. Specially the CRAZY NUTS e-mail from Coach Scott that we both received at the same time.
I have put some goals down for you...
Let me know your thoughts!!
My thoughts?? YOU ARE CRAZY! My fastest 70.3 time was 5:42. My goal was 5:30ish - but if he thought I could...well, there might be a chance.
So we get to the Holiday Inn Express (oh yeah, gotta love those points) and checked into our room. Just a travel tip for those of you who stay overnight for races - handicapped rooms are the bomb. Wider entry way and plenty of room for your bikes)
Babs and the princess had Chick-fil-et for lunch
Could two girls need more stuff?
After sleeping in until 6:30 (yep-we are party animals) we decided to drive the course. We made a mental note of the ups and downs as well as the potholes and hair pin turns. Then we headed to check in. This was Carla's first IM sanctioned event. And it was the normal line around the hallway for check in
And same old expo with a bunch of stuff
Don't steal...it will ruin your race :)
Carla and I checking in
Sad wine glass. Or can I say shot glass.
After we checked in we took our bikes to check in and scoped transition. Since this is one of 'those races' where the swim start, transition, and finish are in different areas - we wanted to have it down. But as we where checking in we ran into the rest of the Panama City Beach crew:
These two crazies did the air force marathon the weekend before! Xavier and Henry are pretty hard core.
And Ms. Sarah - it was her first 70.3!
We made it back to the hotel early that night for dinner (and a glass of wine) and headed to bed.
The next morning we where up and ready to go. Some friends of ours brought their super coach bus and parked it right at the finish (awesome!) so we parked right next to them and hung out until we could catch the bus back to transition and then back to the swim start.
I have never done a race where it started in the water. The current was flowing and the waves of age groupers where starting like clock work. They had corrals for each age group which helped keep the confusion down. Once we where up - Carla and I wished each other good luck and hopped in. No salt, no waves, and no JELLY FISH - I knew this was going to be a good swim. My goal was to FINALLY break 30 min in the 1.2.
The gun went off and our race started. Keeping my cool and breathing every three - my swim felt strong and right on. We soon hit the waves before us - and at the end I was literally sandwiched between two men. But right when I hit that mat - I checked my watch. 25:XX (12th out of my age group). I KNEW it was going to be a good race.
We suit strippers - grabbed the princess - and I was off for 56 hilly miles through South Carolina. It was overcast, rainy, no humidity, and cooler temp. Ahhhh...good times ahead. I knew the first 15ish miles would be pretty flat - so I took that time to really build up my speed. I took a Hammer gel as well as a Hammer Endurance Amino and an Endurolyte (which I took every 45 min on the bike) I also had water in my aero bottle, a bottle of cytomax and my home made protein bar to top of my nutrition. I knew I really needed to focus due the amount of riders and the road conditions. I was also thankful that I put on my glasses in transition since the ran started to fall pretty hard.
Once I did hit the rolling hills - I attacked as hard as I could and powered down them. At one point I looked down on my Cateye and saw 42. Holy SH*T. Charging down one hill - there was a guy kind of flailing all all over the place so I said 'on your left'. And he shot back with 'SHOW OFF'. Umm. Ok. I just didn't want to damage the princess because of your inability to control your bike. Oh well. I'm sure he was not too happy to be blown by by a girl in pink. :)
Total bike time: 2:44:09
Heading back to transition - the sky was still overcast and it was drizzling a bit. Perfect weather for a 1/2 marathon. Racked the princess, threw on my shoes, grabbed my gels and I was off. The run a two loop course around downtown Augusta. Lots of spectators that kept everyone going. But it's always hard to see the 10 mile marker...when you are only on mile 4. I knew the run would be my biggest challenge, so I just kept my thoughts positive and put one foot in front of another. I did not even look at my 'right hand non Garmin watch' until mile 10. But I tried to keep it under a 9 min pace per the 'left hand Garmin watch'. I saw Carla a twice which was great because I knew she was having a great race as well.
I'm not going to lie. I was in just a bit of pain. My legs hurt. Not sure if it was from the bike - but with three miles left, I felt like I do at the end of a marathon. So I finally looked at my right hand watch. Holy shit. I could do the next three miles at a 10 min pace and still get IN THE FREAKING TEENS! What!! So I came around the corner to the finishing shoot - crossed that line with a huge shit eating grin in my face and a tear in my eye.
Total run time: 2:02:27
Total time: 5:18:26
36th out of 165 in 30-34 Age group
Just a minute + short of what coach wanted me to hit.
After I crossed the line and I was waiting for Carla to cheer her in - I had to tell someone about my PR. Who was right there? A bunch of Grandpa's!! They where so happy and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Love it.
Carla then came in with a killer PR as well! 5:21:17!!
We where on cloud nine. I'll have some post race photos to post later - this is already getting to long. But as soon as we got ahold of our phones - Coach Scott had already e-mailed us. We gave him a call - and he said he almost did a back flip with our times. :) The hard work and early mornings paid off. Now it's time to get ready for the big one. IMFL :)
Congrats to everyone else that raced this weekend!!!