I did not have much of an appetite all day due to excitement and pre-race nerves (plus, I had a big breakfast of maple walnut french toast that stuck with me all day it seemed!) We did stop at a little diner on the drive home.
At the Pro Panel that day they talked about their pre-race nutrition-how they chose with simple "white" carbs and small portions since they did not want much food in their system come race day, it was that much less that they needed to eliminate. I kept this is mind and chose a small, simple dinner-BLT on white toast with some fries and tons of water. I normally have a burger, sweet potato fries and a small salad as my pre-race meal and this is what I had during training and race sims as well. At the time I chose the BLT, I had no idea how important this change would be later on-
Finally I was home. I need to get to sleep but first, I needed pack up my transition bag, morning clothes bag, breakfast and be ready to rock-n-roll at 1:00 am.
Lola was up when I get home and she "helped" me pack up everything and I got to talk to her about the race. I got to bed exhausted and ready to face my first long course triathlon in the morning. All I keep reminding myself as I attempt to relax in bed, waiting for sleep to come is-
"this is your race. stay inside your own head. don't worry about what jane doe is doing. this is your race. pace your race. smile."
I actually slept better this night than any other pre-race night in recent memory. I woke up, eyes wide open and glanced at the clock. 1:00 am on the nose. The alarm was set for 1:05 am. I shut off the alarm, jumped in the shower & then called Marc, he was ready to go! I hugged my still sleeping daughter good-bye and gave her a kiss on the forehead. I said goodbye to my husband and he got up to wait with me. I would be travelling to the race with Marc and my husband, Casey would be coming to the race later in the morning with Lola. My parents were planning on arriving in time for the swim start.
I skipped having coffee since I wanted to sleep on the ride there. No sleep but I did manage to rest and tried to relax. I went over my race day plan over and over.
We had planned to stop at a Dunkin Donuts en route and close the race for coffee and to get hot water for my oatmeal. Not a single Dunkin' Donuts was open on the way there!! It is a race day ritual for me to have a DD coffee before a race-it's a good thing Rasmus said that some days you need to be flexible. I remembered those words and had to laugh.
We finally arrived at Ellacoya State Park at 3:30 am. They only allow a limited amount of athletes to park right there at the race site and the lot fills quickly. All others must drive to Gunstock Mountain and be shuttled into the race venue. At 3:30 am the lot was still closed but would be opened at 4:00 am. We asked the cop where to get coffee and the only option was a 24-hour McDonald's in the next town. Luckily, we had some time to kill so we drove there. I got coffee and Marc got some breakfast. We the drove back to Ellacoya and there were already lines of cars waiting to get in. This is when I perked up and I could just feel the surge of energy fill my body. It was like someone plugged me in-
|The line or cars waiting to get into Ellacoya|
It was here.
It's finally race day.
My biggest race to date.
I WAS READY TO GO!!!
We got to our parking stop and we were SO CLOSE to transition, the finish line and the bike in/out. Awesome!!
|There was NO getting into Transition yet...|
Now, I will pee anywhere at anytime-but I do not like public restrooms and I have a huge phobia about port-o-potties. They totally gross me out. It's almost like I can feel all kinds of germs crawling all over me once I have been in one. I do not touch the walls or the seat or anything in them. Now take 2,200 endurance athletes pre-race and those port-o-potties are pretty much DESTROYED! I knew that at some point I would need to visit these to eliminate any food in my system before the race. But being up at 1am, not having my usual coffee, race nerves and my PPP (port-o-potty phobia)--it was just NOT happening for me. Marc kept telling me I had to go but no luck. I knew that at some point during the race, I would probably pay for this.
Transition opened up and it was even more packed than the day before. I had a very small space to set up which was just fine with me.
|Off to set up transition and check my tires|
The Pros were starting at 7:00am and my swim wave was dead last into the water. While this gave me time to see the Pros swim it also gave me lots of time to think. It was a huge bonus to have Marc's truck parked so close to the venue too so I could go back and dress when ready and I had a spot to keep my wetsuit while I waited.
The sun was starting to rise and I walked over to the swim to check it out.
It looked FAR. A long ass swim...
So much further than any 1.2 mile swim I had done...wow. It was beautiful but FAR.
I chatted with a couple other athletes on the shore of the lake and they said the same thing-
That looks like a BIG SWIM!!
|At Sunrise-I got to swim in the beautiful lake! Isn't it amazing??|
|Can't really see the buoy line in this one, but they are there|
I just started out at the long line of buoys and repeated what I needed to do today on this swim.
Focus on MY swim. Stay calm. Find clean water. Avoid getting caught up in the "race" and swim just as I had trained. Calm and steady...calm and steady...calm and steady.
|Almost ready to go swimming!|
I got into the water and swam for a bit. The water was sooo nice and I felt good, started to relax a bit. I chatted with a few ladies in my wave and lined up. I saw Marc on the shore with the camera and gave him the thumbs up. I was ready to go!!
|My RED CAP swim wave #17-last to go!|
Then I started seeing yellow caps and blue caps and I was passing them. Hmmmm-no kidding.
I just kept swimming. And I was really enjoying it. I felt good. I was calm. I was happy.
AND I WAS PASSING OTHER SWIMMERS FROM OTHER WAVES>
what the heck??
It was over.
My swim was done. I was ecstatic! I could not believe it was that easy. I even enjoyed it!!