This was my first major race in 1.7 months and it was absolutely fantastic! I can't even begin to tell you how amazing all my friends are, the people in Tri Club and the 1000's of supporters. Every call of my name gave me energy and motivation to continue forward. Love them all and won't be able to thank them enough but if you read this just know YOU are greatly appreciated!
Swim: I had that nervous excitement going before entering the water and really wanted to start so I could get it done! Learning from my last Cal half attempt I layered under my wetsuit and squid lid. I wore a surfing top under my wetsuit and a couple of caps under my squid lid, I even added in my booties. After the swim I had a nice large thermos of hot water waiting for me, WOW that was nice. Last time I was nearly pulled out of the race because I was so cold and couldn't stop shivering. I didn't want to take that chance again and it paid off. My swim time sucked as usual as I spend more time swimming away from the rocks then I did keeping the buoys on my left shoulder. I can't swim straight to save my LIFE! As for the swim finish, have you ever seen a school of Salmon swimming upstream when they're all bunched together? That's how I felt at the end of the swim, it was worse than the swim start...you actually had to swim over bodies to get out the water, insane! I was definitely glad the swim was over.
Bike: It felt good to fly during the first 23 miles on the bike...I never in my life finished 25 miles in 1:19:and some change. The second half was brutal, I definitely didn't remember the first hill being that steep 17% grade! But darn it, I REFUSE to walk a hill so up I went. Second and third I powered through passing folks as I went. Lastly, as if the climbing wasn't brutal enough the wind was insane...it felt good to dismount. What was nice about the finish was I felt good, if necessary I could have turned around and peddled some more.
Run: Since I felt so good after the bike, I had every intention of taking it home during the run. I started out good BUT at mile one started cramping in my left thigh and hamstring. I dropped my salt on the bike course and was depleted! I had to resort to a slower pace to keep the cramp at bay but NEVER felt so good on a long run after a ride. My mind was screaming pick it up! My legs was saying, do it and you're going down! I finished AGAIN felling like I could continue if I had to.
I woke up this morning and the only thing sore is the bottom of my feet and my lower back is stiff. I'm still a slow poke but I did finish 44 minutes faster than my first attempt...I'll take that especially knowing I can always improve and I had a blast!!