Chesapeake Man AquaVelo: the good, the not so good, the really kind of crappy. Just kidding. The training day was great, even though I nearly puked before the swim start, but more on that later. MyKaren completed her 3rd IM distance race in 11 months, and placed 1st in her age group. What a great job! Som finished his 4 of 6 and was 2nd in his age group. All the TriGirl training partners did well and we all are ready for the big time.
Due to the n'oreaster, they changed the swim to a "protected" harbor, but of course, the wind was blowing in the one direction that wasn't protected, so it was a harder swim than expected since we swam against the wind and waves on the last long leg. I actually did well, but for the terrible siting at first. I nearly ran into shore! What a doofus. I thought I was going to have a hard time with the swim because, while it was 2 loops, we did not stop between loops, just kept going. For the first time in a swim, I actually did run into people, including Tammy, but had no real issues. Oh, and the water was only 4-6 feet deep, but I refused to stand up, so I didn't, although there were many people who did. Evidently there were stinging jellyfish in the water as well, and I saw and touched a number of them, I was assuming they did not sting, since none stung me. Lucky me. Getting out of the water and standing up was weird, I nearly fell and was kind of woozy-headed. Saw Grandison, Shelley and Lisa cheering and Fred got out of the water with me.
The T & A tent was kind of crazy. I had decided to change my outfit completely, just to see how it all went. There was no fresh water to rinse off in, and the water was brackish so salt was on you all day. When I got to the tent and Tammy was there, then Sharon showed up (to my surprize, I was faster?), then KateO. I waited for Sharon and my T time was slow, but who cares.
Sharon and I had decided to ride together, as we hope to do in IMFL, so we stopped to pee after we left the T&A tent (no portapotties in the T area) after we crossed the timing mat to start to the bike. Off we went, going nice and slow, eating and drinking and taking it easy for the 1st 15 miles or so. We saw everyone so we knew that all had made the swim. After the turn to get on the 2-loop part, we picked it up some, trying to go between 16-17 mph, and stayed in aero and talked when we could. We played the alphabet game, going from A-Z (we made it to X) with words that had to start with the letter. It was fun. Around mile 25 or so, Patty joined us so we all rode and talked and rode and peed and ate and rode. The course was dead flat, there was wind, rain, some terrible smells, a rainbow, a bald eagle, road kill, and standing water. I got a flat about 4 miles from the special needs bag stop at mile 64 (my odometer said 65). I had a part of a crab claw or something sticking through my tire, very small, but I am glad I ran my fingers around my tire. Then the race marshal rode beside me for a while, and I guess I did something wrong, because I got a 6 minute penalty for "side drafting" not even sure what that is....only thing is Sharon got a 6 minute penalty for drafting, but somehow Patty got nothing. Not sure how that all works. Oh well, I am a bad girl.
At the special needs bag, we stopped and ate. Grandison said that KateO was just ahead, so we took off to catch her. We cranked it for around 10-12 miles going 18-19 mph and finally caught her and she joined our pack. The 2nd loop was not as bad as the first one, except for the standing water part, which was now up to the bottom bracket and kind of hard to pedal through.
The end was anticlimatic, we were tired, wet, and stinky and the finishers medal was the cheapest thing around, but it was a good thing for confidence and race practice. We showered and started drinking beer as we cheered for the IM distance people. It was a fun day, and I am glad I did it!