I woke up around 3:30 Saturday morning. I ate my normal breakfast - oatmeal with honey, soy protein, almond milk and dried cranberries along with some coffee and a banana. It took me a good 30 min to get everything down, but I did. Around 4:30 Jason, mom, and I headed down to the race site. It was freezing out - probably low 40's. Dropped off the special needs bags and headed into the boardwalk to warm up.
Cari and I - she just completed Kona - and placed an awesome 3rd in her 18-24 age group in IMFL!! She is an animal!
Big J and I - Jason looking creepy in his hoodie :)
Coach, Carla and I. Coach Scott was awesome - he was there all day with our families
Carla and I - bright and early dropping of our special needs bags
Around 6:30 we all headed out to the flat (thank you baby Jesus) beach. Pros started at 6:50 and age groupers started at 7.
*note to everyone - if you start on the beach and you are trying to meet up with a large group of people, bring a flag. Jason brought his diving flag - so we where all able to meet up and chat before the start!*
Dad jogged down from my house to watch the start (yep, both of my parents are daily runners!)
We all walked down to the start. There was a current that was going west to east, so we decided to start pretty far right of the buoys. That way we didn't have to worry about the current pushing us off course. This ended up being a great idea. I pretty much swam right on the buoys, but far enough away to avoid the congestion of red caps. The men in red caps are all that I saw. And a few pretty awesome sting rays. I caught myself pulling a 'Bree Wee' and would breath every 6 to 8 so that I could watch marine life. Whoops :)
Anyway - the men where rough and would ride right on top of me or just run right into me. Come on now boys. So I would just throw some elbows and a few large kicks. I'm sure there are a few guys still out there with Chloe bruises on them - specially the guy that kicked me in the mouth and chipped my tooth! A very small chip - but come on now! But the temp in the water was perfect and I felt great. I kept my heart rate down and did not let the random bumps or pushes get in my way. The tide was falling out, so we had to run a bit further from the shore line to the cross pad before we could start our second lap. Right when I stood up - I looked at my watch. 30:XX. Killer. Pumped. Excited. I felt awesome and just dove in and started all over again. Nothing too exciting on the 2nd lap - just kept my heart rate down, avoided the men, and kept my breathing to every 3 to 6 strokes.
Total time: 1:06:42
I hopped out of the water, hugged my mom who was volunteering passing out water (Ben, the race director, gave my mom all of the good places to be where she would see me the most) had my wet suit stripped and ran into T1. Thanks to a tip from Cari - I spent just a few extra seconds under the shower (which was warm) to make sure most of the sand was off. Sand in the shorts is no good.
I grabbed my T1 bag and ran into the building. It was a long transition 'run' but the warm building felt great. I sat down - and who was right next to me? Heidi! Behind me? Cari! Other then the familiar faces, there where only a hand full of ladies in the tent. The volunteer was very helpful and dumped everything out of my bag. Thanks to Tri Marni's tip - I put all of my nutrition into a separate zip lock so it was easy to grab. I normally swim in everything for a race, but since it was so freaking cold out - I had only my shorts and sports bra on so my tri top and compression socks would be dry on the bike. Something that I threw into my bag as the last second was a chamois - which helped get most of the excess water off of my body. Excellent idea (remember, Florida is usually never this cold). With the help of my volunteer I had everything on - including my wool arm warmers (best purchase ever) full fingered gloves, and my ear warmers. Stuffed my food in my pockets (some down my shirt so it would not freeze) I thanked my volunteer and ran out of the tent. And who did I see on my way out? Carla! What a great way to start the bike :)
I ran out to my bike - and Carla's brother Scott was at our rack, shot a few photos, and handed me my bike. I let him know that Carla was a few minutes behind me and was off.
Boys looking all serious - I chicked all of them. :)
I didn't realize Scott was going to be right there - but I was excited to see him!
I know my helmet looks funny - but with my ear warmers keeping my head and ears warm, I really didn't care!