Friday, May 23, 2014

Race Report: Summer Open Sprint - Longmont, CO

  • 0.5 mi Swim
  • 12.6 mi Bike
  • 5k Run
And now, ladies and gentleman, for the highly anticipated race report! I know it's late but I had to wait until my fingers stopped being sore. Yes, my entire body ached afterwards. No, I didn't crash or anything, I just didn't do the training. But I finished and not last (I know that shouldn't matter to me... but it does).

Let's start the night before the race.

So much gear. So little time!

Friday, May 16th, 2014.

I believe mom was the first one of all of us to go to bed. Kylie was out with her Fiance, Alex, and went to bed at some ungodly hour. I went to bed about 3 hours later than I planned, at 10pm after running some last minute errands... like buying new shoes (which I wore in the race... like a dummy), buying a bike computer and installing it, laying out my gear and triple checking my list, and pounding some of Olive Garden's Fettuccine Alfredo... and a few bites of salad.

 Saturday, May 17th, 2014. Race Day.

We (me, mom, and eventually Kylie) woke up at 5:30am. It was a glorious, dark, cold morning. I was pretty quiet. If you've read any of my other stuff on here, you might get the idea that I was NOT ready for this race while at the same time putting an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to complete it. Crazy? A bit. But that's me. Rather than our usually workout pump-up music of the Dixie Chicks we tortured mom with a little Kanye and Eminem.

We arrived a tad early. When I'm nervous I get arrive early. Them's the breaks, I'm afraid. Kylie may not have been happy with me, Alex (her fiance) even less so. Haha. We checked in, got body marked (the volunteer did mine wrong--one of the down sides to being the first ones done...), set up our transition areas, used the port-a-potties and after berating me for getting us there so early, Kylie decided we needed to get our wetsuits on, Stat. So we did. Then she said we needed to head down to the water. So we did. We may or may not have been the first ones down there. I can't recall... Anyway, it was freezing. Did I mention that? The announcer said that at last check the water was a balmy 49 degrees. Yikes. Luckily we had prepared for this... kind of. We had gone to a friends lake twice and floated around in our wetsuits screaming about how cold it was... That is the type of "preparing" we did for this race.

Slowly wading into the water, we started "warming up" with more and more of the other racers. One chick strolled by sans wetsuit and hopped right in the water in just booty shorts and a sports bra. I believe seeing her marks the first time that day that I peed in my pants. TMI? Then you're in the wrong place, I'm afraid. It is possible that it will only get worse. But don't worry, my wetsuit was a little too big for me and there was plenty of water flow. Which also means, unfortunately, that I was only warm for a few seconds.

We were in the final heat for the staggered swim starts as mom had registered us both as "first timers". This was a loose interpretation of the truth that Kylie and I both decided we could live with and we went with it. Also in our heat were the Athenas (women 150 lbs plus) so it was a good group and where I would've been anyway.


I know it shouldn't matter, but there WERE people still swimming.
Um... I've read a LOT about open water swimming. I've thought A LOT about this. I've gone the distance and then some in a pool. And I've proven to myself that I float with a wetsuit on. When reality strikes... I'm sure all of those things helped. BUT. I know my threshold for quitting as I did just that last August (with a broken ankle). This was a close call. So I suppose all of those things ultimately were the difference between quitting and not. No. That's a lie. The ultimate difference between quitting and going on was K.Y.L.I.E. I know she wanted to throttle me several times because I was zoning out bad, but she kept my head on straight when I wanted to panic. She told me to count to 5 when I started hyperventilating. And she just kept moving ahead of me when I wanted to stop for a few minutes which the competitive side of me just wouldn't have. Lastly, she stayed with me. The whole time. It is true that I did teach Kylie the very basic basics of freestyle going into this and that I was her only coach for efficient swimming in this race. But out there we were just sisters.

Ok, that's enough of that. She has my thanks. Moving on.

That I was on my feet at all is a small miracle.

We waddled into Transition 1 (T1) to get ready for the bike. It's important to mention here that Kylie had had a dream about the triathlon the night before (of course). It involved a killer whale being set loose in the reservoir and me ditching her after she got me through the swim because I had decided that I could probably win the whole thing if I left her behind. So the first part had come true (no, not the part about the Orca). She had gotten me through the swim. Now I was supposed to leave her in the dust on the bike apparently.

So I did. Ok, not really.

I was going to lie and say this was when we got back from the bike and that's why all the other bike racks are empty... It's not. Everyone else was already out on the bike...
We left transition on our bikes and about 1 mile into the 12 mile ride I turned to check on her and she was no where to be seen! There were other people behind me but no sign of the green, granny bike she was riding! I was horrified. She didn't have any gear to fix a flat - she didn't have any gear bags on that bike so I was carrying for both of us. I slowed from about 16 mph to 8 and let those people pass me but still couldn't see her. I started to worry that something might have happened and she may have had to drop out. 

Again, try to ignore all the bikes already back...
I kept moving ahead slowly trying to let her catch me. I got to the turnaround and lost something from my bike. So I unclipped and got off to figure out if I had lost something important. It wasn't, but one of the motorcycle cops came up to check if everything was ok. I asked if he had seen Kylie. He hadn't. Crap. I turned around and started up a monster hill and halfway up saw Kylie, intact! I waved furiously and... she kept looking straight ahead. Uh-oh. She's pissed. I yelled "I've been looking everywhere for you!" She yelled back "Yeah RIGHT!" Yep. She's mad. 

I stayed slow down hills and went at about 50% and she still didn't catch me until the end (I found out later that she dropped her chain at the turnaround. As we neared the end of the bike I could hear her ringing the bell on her bike repeatedly. I was laughing pretty hard. I had survived the bike! This was where my race ended last year. The bike is my favorite/weakest leg. I was now officially dreading...


Kylie and I made up. AFTER I promised that I truly didn't ditch her on purpose thinking I could win the whole thing. She told me she'd spent most of the race swearing under her breath after I told her I had spent most of the race praying to not crash. Hahaha. 

We talked a lot on the run/walk. It was nice. There was a 57 year old man that we just COULDN'T catch! I was wearing my new shoes. So dumb. We did a lot of walking because I couldn't feel my feet. Woof. We had a fight. It was a nice time. We would walk a bit and jog a bit. And when we could hear the finish line we started running. They were finishing up the award ceremony. We had a nice crowd cheering for us as we came through the finish chute. I shoved Kylie, she shoved me back and then we made eye contact and took off sprinting to the finish line. It was great. Because I won. Hahaha. Our official time was tied at 2:25:27 and we'll take it. (Believe it or not, that shaved an hour and a half off of Kylie's time in Aspen!)

Yes, I realize this is more the length of an Ironman Race report, but I don't care. It's my first completed race and means more to my than I can express in words. I can't believe we did it more or less successfully without preparing for it and I know that that is thanks, in huge part, to Kylie. 

This race started as a gift from our parents on Christmas morning and ended up being a gift from Kylie too. I know I worked hard and have to be proud of myself too but I just felt so grateful afterwards. I still do, obviously. It was a great day and I can't wait for the next one! Who's with me?!

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