I usually do my race reports all in one, but a double iron distance race deserves more than one post. Plus, I'm not doing anything but recovering for the next little while, so I'll write more and add more pictures instead!
So my crew and I started the journey down to Tampa on Wednesday. We made it about halfway, and finished up the drive on Thursday.
Then, we had a little carb loading lunch.
And headed over to Flatwoods State Park. There we got all of my registration stuff: numbers, timing chip, blood testing, etc.
That evening, we gathered by a pool, ate spaghetti, met the other racers, and had the pre-race meeting. We discussed very important things, such as what animals we might see on the course.
It was a long-ish meeting, and there were these cool bugs flying around. We might have picked a few of them up. Dani and I decided that they were good luck. George made friends with one. Anne thought they were shifty and didn't trust them.
Here are a couple of Pre-race shots:
Feeling pretty nervous in the hotel before we leave!
The swim was 4.8 miles. That is 76 laps, or 152 lengths (which is how I count them) in an outdoor 50 meter pool. I really enjoy swimming, so being in a pool that long is not a big deal for me. And this was a pretty one too!
The big decision was the wetsuit. They turned the heater off in the pool to make it wetsuit legal. I have a really nice wetsuit (thanks to my amazing team). The trouble is--I don't like wetsuits. I really don't. Even the nice ones. I don't like having stuff on my skin. I just like to SWIM! So, I was one of the few that decided not to wear it. Don't you worry. I was a nervous wreck about the decision. But I made it, and we stuck with it. No wetsuit. I got a little chilly at one point, but I just prefer to swim without one. I am in the pink cap shivering a little bit!
And it starts! It is always a really really exciting to start a race. You spend SO much time preparing and training, that I have a sense of relief in starting!
Not much to say about the actual swim! I just went back and forth! Sometimes I was able to be on a train with the three Swedish athletes in my lane.
And other times I was swimming on my own.
We were able to all put our bottles and nutrition at one end of the pool, and there were official lap counters on the other side.
And here is a picture of some of my crew. Look how rested, not sunburned, and calm they look. Don't worry--it won't last.
So, while I was doing this:
They were playing...swim bingo! S&G get in trouble is Sparkles and George. We put it on every bingo board...because it was a sure thing :-)
They were also putting up funny signs for me. I love Finding Nemo, so there were lots of references from that!
I didn't know it until later, but there was a turtle in the pool! Here's the crazy video!
I got out of the pool after 2 hours and 42 minutes. I wasn't thrilled with the time, but I wasn't upset with it either. My shoulder had been really hurting in the two weeks leading up to the race, and I was very nervous about it. It didn't bother me at all, which was really nice.
I got out of the pool to my cheering crew, and then I walked into the YMCA locker room to change into my bike gear!