Captain's Log: October 21, 2012
3:30 a.m. I am awake. The alarm goes off in 30 minutes. I lie in bed. It is not raining, but I hear water drip off the gutters. It is peaceful.
3:45 a.m. Hubs is awake, too. No point in staying in bed.
4 a.m. I eat a breakfast of two eggs, toast and orange slices that Hubs has prepared. He eats with me. The dog is confused.
4:30 a.m. We leave. The roads are empty. The sun is nowhere in sight. I am in good spirits and Hubs is talkative, something that never happens this early.
4:45 a.m. We arrive at South Shores Park in Mission Bay. We take my gear but my bike is sluggish. The brakes rub on both tires. I go ahead of him and he fixes the problem.
4:45–5 a.m. More cars arrive equipped with bikes. There are so many women. We are told we cannot enter the transition area. We wait. It's cold and it rains.
5:05 a.m. The area opens and only athletes walk in. It still rains.
5:10-6:45 a.m. The rain will not let up. Gear and women are everywhere. Our gear areas are organized by wave. I am in wave five. I find the racks for my wave and claim a small spot on the end. I hesitate to unpack my gear because of the rain. Women complain the roads are slick and it will impede performance. The announcer conveys the same message.
I unpack my cycling shoes, running shoes, helmet and race belt. They are strategically placed and ready to go.
Wave one is reserved for the elite racers. They are nowhere to be seen. Lucky bastards.
I take off my jacket and my tight, black Spandex is revealed for the world to see.
6:45 a.m. Athletes leave the transition area. We herd ourselves to the boat ramp. Wet suits and goggles are everywhere. Spectators are mixed in with the group and offer final advice and well wishes. My stomach is in my throat.
7 a.m. The cannon fires. The first four waves go down the ramp and into the water. The race starts. It's go time.
7:08–8:40 a.m. Wave five heads into the water. The air is cold but the water feels warm against my skin. I tread water for what seems like hours. The siren wails. I turn horizontal and start my stroke.
I follow the other swimmers. I'm afraid to exert too much effort and hurt my performance on the other two events. Right arm. Left arm. Right arm. Left arm. Breathe. Look in front of you. Are you heading in a straight line?
The swim course turns. I turn. I follow the other green swim caps. My wave has green caps. I pass swimmers but I keep getting kicked. Ouch. That was my boob. Gah! That was my nose!
Am I going fast? I see pink swim caps. Pink swim caps went before me.
Right arm. Left arm. Right arm. Left arm. Breathe. Look in front of you. Are you heading in a straight line?
The dock is in sight! Faster. Faster. Rightarmleftarmrightarmleftarm. The water is at least knee deep. I turn vertical and jog up the ramp. I pass two swimmers who walk. Get out of my way. I run to my transition area. Let's get this cycle started.
I am in my transition are. Click. My helmet is secure. One sock. Two sock. One shoe. Scratch. Velcro is on. Two shoe. Scratch. Velcro is on. I dismount the bike. I run. I run to the Bike Out exit. I mount at the line. Oh no. I'm a terrible cyclist.
I pedal. I look at my speedometer. I am going fast! Really fast! Nearly 18 mph! Keep going! Keep going! Keep this pace going for the 12 miles!
I am at the first turnaround. I make the steep turn. I see Hubs! He screams my name and takes my picture. I keep peddling and turn to see how many racers are behind me. Not many. Good. Pedal, girl. Pedal.
Fiesta Island is in sight. Ten miles to go. I make the turn and head onto the island. More cyclists are now behind me.
I am being passed. Don't worry about it. I'm being passed again. Crap! Our wave numbers are marked on our legs. The women who are passing on from different waves. 6. 8. 10! What about wave five? What about those women? Am I at the end of my wave? Don't worry; keep pedaling!
One lap down. One more to go.
I am still pedaling hard. Very hard. My speeds are near 20 mph. Don't stop now. More women pass. It's all right. Just keep going.
I turn to head off the island. Other women start their second loop.
I see the transition area. I dismount my bike and run it into the area. My legs feel like bricks. Shit. I never practiced the run after a hard effort on the bike. Oh well. Too late now.
I peel off my shoes and slip on my running shoes. Elastic laces were a genius idea. Shoes are one. I grab my belt and run to the exit. Only 3.1 miles to go.
My legs hurt. My feet feel heavy as if cement blocks are attached. Ugh. This is going to be hard.
One foot. Two foot. One foot. Two foot. Keep going. The legs will shake it off, right?
I see Hubs. I scream and scare him. He thought I was still cycling. He shoots pictures. He cheers.
I am getting passed again by women from other waves! 6. 9. 10. 7. 11?! Shit! Where are all the fives? What's my pace? How fast am I going? More wave numbers!
Keep running. Keep running. One foot. Two foot. One foot. Two foot. I grab a water cup. I forgot to hydrate on the bike. I take two gulps the rest is now down my front.
Again with the double loop course. One lap down. That means I only have 1.6 miles to go!
One foot. Two foot. One foot. Two foot. Big steps. Big steps. Faster. Faster.
I am at the aid station again. I grab a cup of water and gulp. Ugh. I feel sick. Keep going. Keep going.
What the hell happened to the other fives?
Shit! That's the homestretch! Keep pushing! Sprint! Sprint!
I hear the cheers of the crowd. The lift up my spirits and my legs no longer hurt. My stride is long and my smile is big. I am running fast.
Not one runner is near me. I'm alone at the finish and that means everyone is only cheering me. Just me. I sprint hard. My smile is wide and my hands are in the air! I cross the finish mats.
My head is held high and my legs are rubber. I run straight to a volunteer and grab my medal.
Where's the time clock? What's my time? No clock? What a ripoff.
I did it! I'm a triathlete!
I search for Hubs. He found me. We hug. I'm relieved but I still have no idea what my time was. Did I reach my goal of under an hour and a half? Man, I hope so.
I am so proud of myself. I am so happy. I worked so hard and I feel great. Really great.
When can I do the next one?
Holy crap, do I want some carbs. Nomnomnom.
Swim Time (750 yards): 14:32 minutes
Transition 1: 1:05 minutes
Bike Time (12 miles): 41:03 minutes
Transition 2: 0:54 seconds
Run (3.1 miles): 24:12 minutes
Overall Time: 1:21:41