I was dying to get this cap and rock it so there was no way I wasn’t finishing that race!!
I woke up earlier than planned as someone else was stressing about the race (full on panic mode) so I pulled the pillow over my head and tried to ignore them for the next couple of hours. I got up at 5am as I was staying at the resort and got myself ready, Face Timed my mum back in the UK and had some breakfast. I headed to transition via my car to dump bags. I had already racked my bike the day before (and had had to replace tires at a last minute cost).
I should probably talk about the fun I had at check in before my bike actually made it into transition because it could have been a whole other story!! I needed new tires which I found out not long before transition was closing. The lady told me I could rack my bike but she didn’t think she would get round to it before the cut off time or I could do it myself.. of course I was going to do everything I could to make that cut off so I started to attempt it myself. Three very kind gentlemen stood nearby offered to help and took control of what felt like was fast becoming a disaster. They were super kind and very quickly sorted it all. It was a more expensive check in than I expected and I missed the shopping opportunity in the Ironman Village but that will teach me in future to follow my own schedule and not anyone else’s.
Anyway.. back to race morning. I put all my stuff in transition and got sorted and then raced over to the store to buy a couple of cool items (see the cap in the pic) and give my bag to some friends who were cheering us on. We then headed down to the docks for the swim and some of my other friends had driven down to surprise us (which they did and it was awesome!). I chatted to people on the docks and got excited for the race. I’m terrified of heights so the jump off the pier was going to be the hardest part of the day for me.
The swim felt long (as it always does) but fine. There were some less than sporting men on the course who surged through the women and tried to drown a few along the way without achieving much themselves. I ran out of the water and almost got stuck at the wetsuit strippers as I hadn’t pulled it far enough down. I heard people cheering for me and saw some of my friends on the barriers which was excited.
I’d tried to count the rails in the morning to make sure I wasn’t lost trying to find my bike but I realized I didn’t want to rush through transition. I still forgot to put on my gloves and do a couple of other bits. But I had pre packed my snacks/nutrition and remembered to sunscreen up. Sadly, I forgot to use chamois butter so I had to stop halfway on the bike at the aid station to grab a handful of vaseline. The medic volunteer was brilliant and non judgy, even threw in some humor to help me on my way. I’d been nervous about the winds on the bike as a few of the training rides had been pretty rough with a real battle to get back into town with head winds or cross winds. Anyway, it wasn’t that bad on the day, there were winds and there was a dreadful weather forecast. We had warnings of tornadoes and massive storms hitting and it was all looming overhead but the windspeed wasn’t that crazy. I was just pedaling like mad to get off the bike before the storms hit so I could shelter on the course or evacuate as appropriate.
I was strong throughout the bike, perhaps too strong because after the first mile on the run, I absolutely crashed and had to slow right down to avoid heat exhaustion/stroke. Due to the rubbish weather forecast a bunch of my friends who were going to come down, bailed. However at about mile 8 I saw 2 of my awesome friends which really pumped me up and kept me trucking along. I sprinted into the finisher chute with a whole burst of energy and got a few epic photos as I crossed the line. As I looked up there were my 3 friends who had trekked out despite the hit and miss forecast! What a day!