The Recap – Part 1

Well, I don’t even know where to start. How do you explain all the feelings of finally accomplishing something that I’ve been thinking about daily for months? It was just awesome, really. I think there is too much to say in one post so, bear with me as I ramble on – it took me 5 months to get here after all!

First, we had a nice time in Philly in general. Great weather and good times had by all. The day before the race I got to check out the area a bit, see the Liberty Bell and then do a Duck tour of the city with the whole family. If you’ve ever seen the duck tours in Boston or Baltimore then you know what I mean… amphibious vehicles that drive throughout town and into, in this case, the Delaware river. That was all fun but clouded a bit by my anxieties of the coming day’s race and a nagging hamstring ache that was making me nervous.

That night there was a nice dinner with two speakers – Dave Scott, known by many as “the man” a winner of the Hawaii Ironman multiple times in the 1980s and evidently a legend although that was all lost on me. He was a funny speaker though and I was impressed that he was there supporting TNT. Then we had a cancer survivor speak as well and I was impressed once again by the spirit of this organization and the good heartedness of so many people involved. They announced at that dinner that we as a national group preparing for this race had raised over a million dollars and that each mile of the triathlon the next day was worth over $23,000 for the society. Turns out that I had been one of the top individual fund raisers. It was so cool to do something that was so significant.

Then, I tried to sleep. Didn’t happen. At all. None. I saw every hour on the clock and worried about my hamstring that still ached. By 4 am, I just got up and made coffee in the little in room coffee pot and spent much time in the bathroom. Finally, a little before 5am I made my way to meet my little team of three and my coach and we biked together 3 miles through the Philadelphia dawn from our hotel to Fairmount park where the race was held. It was surreal riding through red lights between 50 story buildings with such an incredible amount of adrenaline pumping.

I got body marked, visited the port a potty and set up my transition area as I was so well coached to do. About 6 am, we got on a bus to the swim start which was a mile down the Schukyll river. Then, there was the wait. I was in the 8th of 10 age group waves to start with each one separated by 5 minutes. My other teammates went way before me. There were about 100 to 150 people in every wave. I imagine I hung out in my wetsuit for over an hour just getting more and more nervous. It was actually chilly at that time of day – probably 60s and I was shivering, although I think that was nerves. By the time I was in the water at 7:30 I was so relieved to just be starting the thing I wasn’t worried any more. The swim overall went well. There was little to no current which was a disappointment, but in general it felt good and I was pleased. I didn’t swallow much river and I didn’t have to sight much to stay straight because there were people on either side of me that I could just stay near. Luckily, no one hit me or got in my way. I felt a sense of light-headedness and a little off balance getting out of the water but not terribly tired which was my goal at this stage. I didn’t even notice the hamstring at all and I finished the mile swim in 30 minutes. This was, as I expected, by far my strongest leg of the race. I struggled to remove the wetsuit, celebrated with some water and a towel in the transition area and got on the bike. I’ll get to that part in the next installment.

Here’s me at 4:30am in the hotel room getting my caffeine fix in. Can you see the fear?



One Response to “The Recap – Part 1”

  1. Emma Says:

    Awesome!! It sounds like you did great. I can’t wait to hear the rest. I had the same insomnia with my last half. Next time, I will have the ambien ready!

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