I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately about not making it to a race on time. Needless worry? Premonition?
Well on Saturday, it just about came true! I had been stressing about the set up of this week for awhile. On Thursday at 7:30 I had a practice swim at Lake Midnapore (the lake we would be racing in) booked. On Friday we were all supposed to attend a pre-race meeting/carbo load way down south, on the other side of town from where I live, at 6 pm. Then our race started, way down south, early Saturday morning. Transition opened at 7 am and all bikes had to be in transition by 8 am. Between all of this there seemed like very little time to actually pull my gear together and get ready for the race.
The carbo load was pretty fun. I was able to run into some old friends I haven’t seen for awhile. Dawn was there, as she was racing her first Olympic tri. I also ran into an old co-worker who first told me about Angie and Team Tri Life and he now coaches too. Martin Parnell was also there to talk to us about his quest to run 250 marathons this year. But I was getting stressed. As we approached 8 pm the meeting was still going on and I still needed to get my gear in order. After listening to the talk about the swim, the bike course and the rules I decided to head home so I could pack up.
All of that stress made me wired and I finally rolled into bed around 11 or so I think. Needless to say when the alarm went off at 5:30 I barely remember registering it. All of a sudden my eyes snapped open at it was 6:30. Crap!!!!! I bolted out of bed, hurried up to get ready, took my breakfast to go and started the drive to the race site. Thank goodness for minimal traffic as the drive only took half an hour.
The car was parked at 7:30, everything unloaded, and then a short walk to transition. Wow, all the bike racks were pretty full… I found a few teammates and made some space for myself on the rack. I’m sorry, but you do not need to be laying a big huge beach towel out on the ground to save a bunch of room for yourself in transition. I gently moved the edge of the big huge beach towel in, hung the bike on the rack and started setting up. Friends were finding me to say hi and I was just one big bundle of nerves. But my bike had made it into transition by 8 am so I was in good shape, right?
Then the race director came by with a big megaphone informing us that transition would be closing in 15 minutes. Crap!!!!!! There is also a half Iron distance race that starts at 8 am. Our swim wouldn’t start until 9:15 am, but we still had to be out. Panic!! I laid out my bike gear and run gear, kept all of my dry clothes, wetsuit and swim gear in my bag and headed out of transition. I sure I hope I hadn’t forgotten anything!
After the stress of getting to the race site and getting set up in transition, it was now just time to hang out and wait. We watched the half Iron athletes start their swim and we cheered them on as they would come out of the water, finishing their first lap and jumping in for lap two. There was one poor guy who cramped up right away and had to be helped up the beach. He tried to work it out, got back in the water again, but after swimming maybe 250 meters his day was over and he got a ride back to the beach.
As we hung out I realized I’d better hit the bathrooms before wriggling into my wetsuit. I was actually trying to save myself for peeing in the wetsuit, but uh oh, my stomach was getting nervous. Darn it… Visit to the bathrooms done, it was time for the wetsuit. Luckily some folks form Tri-It were on hand to help us with adjustments.Then it was time for a gel and a warm up swim. Wow, the water was still really cold. I was having trouble putting my face in the water so this may be interesting…By the way, I forgot to mention our timing chips. Check that thing out! I wasn’t sure if it was a timing chip or Lindsay Lohan’s alcohol monitoring ankle strap…Before I knew it we were being called out of the water and back on to the beach where we had to cross the timing mats first. It was time to race…