Naperville Subaru Women's Only Sprint Tri
Cloudy, Rainy, Plain ol yucky weather
Well, for starters, I was really nervous. I kind of gave up on the swimming a few weeks ago and I knew I would pay for that decision at the race. I had crazy dreams the two nights before the race--saw the swimming pool as a slide that I'd never manage to get up and saw Sheila in my dream having a great time while I stood there bug-eyed!
I met up with Sheila the day before the race, at the packet pickup. I went with my Mom, who came into town on Thursday. Her hair has grown back in and is a bit curly--Mom with a 'fro!!! She loved that the race was dedicated to ovarian cancer and even had a wave just for survivors. I called Sheila when I got there, she drove right over and called me when she parked. The girl was cursing within the first three sentences of the phone call and I knew then and there we were going to hit it off.
I found her walking, phone attached to her ear, pink shirt on. Yep--looks exactly like her blog pics. She picked up her packet, we visited some of the vendors and then walked over to the area of the swim. It's a very pretty quarry--a man-made beach--tho it freaked me out--it was bigger than I expected. But I kept putting the swim out of my mind--just kept trying to focus on having a good time. Sheila and I had fun just blabbering the whole time--this hard-core chick is one big sweetheart (don't tell her I said so).
Went home, got my gear all laid out and left it out for a few hours. I kept walking over to it and running thru my mind all the different legs of the race and tried tomake sure I had everything I needed. Was a bit overwhelmed with how much prep it took as opposed to a running race--added to my stress, but it was good stress--I was getting very excited!
I tried to sleep that night, but I only got in about 3 hrs, which didn't surprise me--was just glad the night before I had a healthy 8 hrs of rest. I got started moving around at 3am--woke Mom up as she was the only one going with me. My daughter went to one of those radio concerts and told me she wouldnt get home til around 2am--she hasnt been very up on the race, didnt train except for swimming, so I let her off the hook. Mom got right up, dressed and we were off. I stopped at the White Hen by my house and bought Sheila's favorite drink to keep me awake--Code Red Mountain Dew, along with a strong cup of java.
The race was an hour away, with the transition area opening at 5 am. I wanted to make sure I got a good spot for my bike and had enough time to set up. We finally got there and noticed only around 10 other ladies were up that early. More women that couldnt sleep I'm sure!
The transition area was set up by the wave you were in. Wave 1 was for the elite. Wave 2, for the cancer survivors. Wave 3 for 50-55--Sheilas wave. Mine was Wave 4--45-49. OK--now that Sheila was out of my wave maybe I could place!! (Yeah right Lora....maintain that delusion!) Setting up was fun...women all around in all shapes and sizes trying to get their areas in order. It was drizzling so we all tried to hold off fully setting up until the last 15 mins or so. Sheila came by my spot and gave me a few pointers (Lora...what the hell do you need biking gloves for--it's only 14 miles--get rid of them!) I guzzled down some mountain dew, made my last potty run and took off to the swim area. My big problem?????--what to do with my glasses??? Sheila said there was a table just for glasses right at the swim usually and marked them with my number with her magic marker and tape she had in her bag (noticing the need for some of her 173 items has a purpose!!)
When we got down to the swim, there was NO setup for glassess, so I left them with one of the "water ladies". And we were off. The crowd was all around, cheering each wave, with Wave 2 getting a huge response. I got in the water, ok, not bad....felt warm (78 degrees) and took off with the horn! I didn't make it too far before I was winded and decided to basically backstroke the rest of the way. Swimming with the women was funny---lots of 'sorry', 'excuse me', 'are you ok"s going on. I had fun swimming, made some jokes with other women around me that were struggling and soon enough we were out. I found my glasses and ran what seemed like 1/4 mile to the transition area.
The transition went well--dry off, socks and shoes on, number snapped on, pull bike off rack, run to exit. Jumped on bike and took off. The bike part was great. I managed to ride around 18 mph--fast for me, but it was drizzling and had to be real careful around the turns. Only saw one rider with scratches all over her legs.
Transition again---where are my dry socks??? Couldnt find them--Mom was nearby and offered me hers (is she cute or what) but I said no thanks and kept my wet ones. Running shoes on, cap on OFF again!My legs felt stiff.....not surprising....unfortunately they never eased up so I just kept a comfy pace the entire 3 miles. As I neared the finish, out from the sidelines pops Sheila!! "Come on Lora--bring it home, lets move it, finish strong" She was running me in!! It was awesome--the crowd all around cheered me and her and got a real laugh when she shouted out, "Dig in hard--you can throw up at the finish!" Well I made it, got a freakin heavy medal, found my Mom and Haight, flowers gotten from both of them and just gloried in the accomplishment.
Will I tri again? I don't know---the swim takes up lots of time, time that I just don't have at this point in my life. But I love running and biking. So time will tell---in the meantime, I'm a triathlete!! Damn Lora, not bad for a 48-yr old chick!!!!