First, thank you to everyone for all their phone calls, messages emails and good luck wishes!!
It was great to hear from so many of you before the big event!
Here's my story....
We leave Saturday a.m. to head down to Cambridge for the Expo and bike racking but had to stop at Darlise's
to pick up race belt. As we pull up to her house, I said "o shit!" I forgot my wetsuit!! No kidding!
So we head back home to pick up my wetsuit and as we were almost back I said, once again, "o shit", I forgot
my running shoes!!! So......you might say I was a "tad" nervous!! But, shoes, wetsuit and we were back
on the road again. A short while later we arrive at the Expo. HOLY CRAP! I was out of my element - there
were cervelos, women w/ arms like Popeye, all these extremely fit people walking (strutting!) around in
there TRI SUITS, riding their bikes (and there's geeky me w/ my bike WITH reflectors STILL on my bike!),
totally not knowing what to do, where to go and I'm like..omgosh..where are the people like ME?????? I was
totally intimidated...but all that was soon forgotten when I saw stuff to buy!! Loaded up on Eagleman attire
and, of course, my 70.3 STICKER - woo hoo!
Then we headed off to the park to check my bike in. Wow...again...major athletes, many full ironman athletes
(the stickers on the car, their gear etc..), everyone seemed to know how to put their sticker on their bikes,
except for me! Someone was helpful in letting me know where I had placed the bike sticker would be in my way
when riding (duh). It was very well secured - only I was allowed in the transition area - we were identified
by red tags on our wrists that were put on at the expo. Police guarded the area through the night - trust me
- it wasn't my Fuji bike they were protecting - all those major pricey bikes! Once again, I was intimidated
- people were biking, SWIMMING the course -and running - I'm like no way!
Oh, how cool is this - my racking
spacing had my number 1920 and my name on it!! Felt kind of special for a minute :-) I did find out the
transition from swim/bike/run and walked it to make sure I could find my transition area easily (seems easy
when there are only handful of bikes but by the close of the bike check, there were over 2000 bikes racked!).
As we walked to the swim start, this was the first talk I heard about the jelly fish - YIKES! Ugh......
Bike racked, completely exhausted and doubting my sanity at this point, we went to the B&B and checked in,
unpacked and headed out for an early dinner. Then a night of NO sleep - I got up at 10:00 and broke into
the package of E.L. Fudge cookies - and didn't take a lot of convincing to get Rich to join me!! I mean
what the heck, it's carbs right?!
Up at 4:00 a.m, ate, and off to set up transition and body marking at 5:00. And I found, at last, normal
geeks like me!! Oh, forgot to tell you, that Saturday I asked a lady who had just come out of the water
about the timing chip and placement when wearing a wetsuit - her reply - "are you in my age group"!
Uh..NOT kidding!! Maybe she was kidding (er...uh.....). But Sunday morning, everyone around me that was
setting up their transition area, were all helpful and nice. First wave (professionals) started around 6:40 -
great to see them - wow! They were from all over the world - was lots of fun seeing them. Soon, it was time
for me to get ready - I had a 8:03 start time.
I get in line to get "ready" to be called for my age group and start talking (imagine that?!), and if it
wasn't for Rich yelling, I might have DQ'd right from the start - it was 8:00 and I was still way in the
back behind the last swim wave - talking!! So I had to run to the start and get in the water w/ the rest
of my "blue" cap age group - it was good - I had a couple of minutes to spare!
At this point, NOT one bit nervous - didn't even go to the bathroom - NOT EVEN ONCE DAN! Something about
swimming & biking that makes any intestinal issues non existent!! woo hooooo! The horn goes off, and off
we go! Swim was great, despite a jelly fish stinging me right on the lips! A man swimming OVER top of me,
kicked pretty hard several times - all good. Of course, the water, which at 6:40 was calm and smooth like
glass, as the time wore on for the 8:03 start, the wind kicked in and it got rough. It was pretty choppy
(hence, the name choptank river!), so much so, that I had to really pick my head up far to sight or I couldn't
see the buoy's because the waves came up too high. I veered off course, several times but the next thing
I knew, I could see the shore - I was surprised I was there already. Of course, several times, I "felt"
like I was the only one out there and the boat was just following me - the final straggler. I was out of
the water and on the beach checking my watch and it was 47 minutes - so I was very happy!! And then I
saw the Lori in the DE hat - YAH - that was so cool!!
Ran through MUD to get to bike, off w/ the wetsuit, on w/ bike shorts, shoes, helmet and run to other end,
thru more mud, to get out and get on bike and I was OFF for a 56 mile joy ride! The bike was great - I was
hitting 19 and 20mph at times, but a lot of 17-18's, felt really good - passing people the whole time (now
remember, I was wave 10 but it still made me feel good!), singing "99 beers on the wall" and the 10 in the
bed, and the little one said, roll over, roll over - well, you know the one (or maybe you don't!) -but
56 miles and no one to talk to - ugh. I took every opportunity to talk when I could like when I passed
someone and thanking the many volunteers along the course.
Ok - so feeling like superstar on the bike
until....ugh....the winds really picked up and the last 20 miles kicked my butt (too darn bad the course
didn't end at 36 miles)! My mph dropped significantly and I had to work really hard at this point.
I also knew, from riding this course once before, that once I was into the wind, I was going to have it
for the remainder of the bike portion. I had some guy ask me if I knew when we would turn -and be out
of the wind - I said - this is it until the end - there's no relief. He actually stopped his bike -
said a few words, and got off. I looked back and he was dismounting his bike! I'm sure he just took a
break...but the wind really did make for a really tough last 20 miles. I had only done 56 miles 2 other
times and this was better than the other 2 times so I was a happy camper!
Done the bike - woo hoo. Changed my shoes and shorts and off running. Of course, my breathing was a
problem when I started, but that's nothing new - figured I could work through that..and I did..but my legs
were tired - and, the rookie in me, was like...what the heck (no, not the word I used but this email is "g"
rated!) why is this running hard??? DUH - it MIGHT have something to do w/ the 56 mile ride - and I had not
ridden that fast before but I kinda look back now and think it had a lot to do w/ the last 20 miles just
kickin' my butt! Now, I know why riding LONGER than 56 miles MANY times BEFORE you do this event is probably
a good idea! So I definitely struggled through the run, it was hot, hot, hot, no shade - but plenty of ice
at every mile of which I ate and strategically placed down my shirt and under my hat! - they had snow cones
w/ Gatorade on them and cookies and crackers. The run was boring - and out/back course - but having so
many water stops was great. I celebrated each mile I passed and the 2nd half was easier for me and as I
got closer to the finish, got ever easier! I felt great running to the finish line and LOVED seeing Rich,
Claire, Jordan, Lori and Rachael cheering for me - that was awesome! Thru the finish line and the medal
was placed around my neck - 70.3 - and it was all worth it!
Shortly after I finished, Lori asked if I would do a full ironman - the answer was NO WAY - and the answer
now is NO WAY - and that will always be my answer - hats off to anyone that can to that - holy cow - can't
Lori gave me a beer and between that, Rich, my friends, and my medal - I was a happy girl!!
It was a great experience, I have learned what it means to be sure to not "leave it all out there on the
bike", I learned that I should bike a lot more miles, but I completed it and wasn't last! But even if I
was, I would have been just as happy to see everyone cheering me and getting that medal!!
We left, showered and met everyone for dinner at the Crab Claw in St. Michaels and had a great dinner!
I went to bed with the sun last night and wasn't up until 8:00 this a.m.!! Feel good, arms a bit sore but
other than that - I'm GOOD.
Thanks again for all the support and a special THANK YOU to Lori, Claire, Jordan and Rachel who made the
trip from DE to cheer me on - oops..and thanks to Shelly too!!!
You guys might be as tired reading this as I was after Eagleman ! :-)
Official race photo:
Photo by Action Sports Intl.