Victory! Well, technically, I wasn’t first across the finish line (eleven guys actually beat me); the big win here was getting on the starting line. This race marked the end of my rest period and the beginning of my build up to Ironman Louisville. And being the first female across the finish line was a nice way to kick things off.
Race day started with my customized Element Endurance bar. Oaty core, cherries, almonds, and dark chocolate deliciousness! Almost made me look forward to waking up at 4am.
My teammate YC and I drove from Atlanta to LaGrange, Georgia, near the Alabama border. Since the race start order was based on swim time, with the fastest swimmers going first, YC and I decided to make the race a little more interesting. Swimming is my strength, while YC is more of a bike-run type of guy. This meant I would get a head start. We decided whoever got off the bike last would have to buy the other lunch. I do not like losing bets so I was prepared to swim and bike extra fast.
The gun went off and I ran into the lake. The water was a nice, crisp, EIGHTY-EIGHT DEGREES! Add a few jets and we could’ve called it a 25,000 acre hot tub! I barely managed to stay awake and slow-motion swim the 1500 meters to the beach.
Once on the bike I started guzzling water. If the lake temperature was any indication, I knew I was in for a hot day and hydration would be extra important. The 25 mile bike course had a few rolling hills and I worked on shifting to the small ring while going uphill to keep my cadence high and my heart rate low. I wanted to be as efficient as possible and save some energy for the run.
I was off the bike right behind a guy wearing a multi-colored speedo and sporting a moustache that would make Burt Reynolds jealous. I really wanted to see him up close, so it gave me extra motivation to run fast.
Speedo-man wasn’t the only attraction on the run. The out-and-back course meant I got to see a bunch of my Dynamo Multisport teammates. A friendly cheer can make even running in triple digit heat seem cool!
Thanks to my awesome teammates and super cheerleader Coach Maria I survived the heat and was the first woman across the finish line. It was a solid performance for me, which gives me confidence my new training plan is working. I still have a lot to do before I’m Ironman ready, but at least I seem to be on the right path.
Winning the race was awesome, but watching YC fork over the cash for my post-race turkey sandwich was even better!