Molly and I before the start of the race
My online friend Denise (who is related to Joia!) snapped this picture of me completing my bike ride and took it.
So the race is done.
A friend of mine from the Azores, Molly, lives in Chattanooga, and she drove over to do the race with me. This was her very first time so I actually the veteran attempting to show her the ropes. She got here on Friday night, we had dinner, and tried to get a good night sleep.
At 5am we left for the race. It was an hour drive to race site.
First up. The swim. An open water 1/2 mile swim. I will say this. The open water SCARED ME. I was warned about this, but there is really no way you can prepare for it other than to try it. When I got in the water and there were so many people there and I couldn't touch the ground and I was getting kicked and hit, I honestly, not exaggerating, started to have a panic attack. I really thought, "I can't do this. I have to swim to shore and give up."
But then I remembered what my husband has always told me about anxiety. It is a surge of adrenaline and it will come down. I turned onto my back, waited for people to pass me, got my wits about me, and went on. But I had to mentally self-talk myself through the entire race.
Swimming was hard. It was hard because it isn't like a pool. You can't tell where you in the water unless you try to glance up which then gets you out of your stroke. The goggles are basically pointless. And since I couldn't wear my glasses, I had trouble seeing the buoys.
I didn't like it.
But I did it.
Next up the bike. I was borrowing someone's GOOD bike for this race, and I LOVED it. I felt so good riding this bike and felt like I was doing great.
And then, I made a wrong turn. It wasn't just me. A bunch of women in our group did. I probably did at least ten extra miles! It was so disappointing. I was really bummed after doing so well, to put ten extra miles on my legs and on my time. I think it probably cost me about 40 minutes.
Another thing was that the race website said this was a "flat to rolling bike course." Whatever! What are these people thinking? Flat is South Florida. That is flat. This was NOT flat. Tons of hills.
After that was the run. After ten extra miles on the bike, my legs were shot and the run was, as promised, very challenging. Ugh. But I didn't walk and managed to run the whole way.
So overall, I had a good time and was proud of myself, but things didn't turn out as I had hoped. When we left the race, I checked and the turn I missed was NOT marked at all. They didn't have a sign telling us to turn left. I asked Molly how she knew how to turn right and she said she just had a gut feeling.
My gut did not do a good job.
Molly did really well. She swam great, had a bad bike so her bike was hard for her, but finished with a solid run. Very proud of her. I really think she can keep doing these races.
As for me, I'm going to take the rest of the year off to let me heel heal and we'll see how I feel about doing another race next year. We have a move and a lot going on right now. I am really proud of myself for setting my mind to this and doing it, but man am I tired now that it is done!
Thanks for cheering me on.