Me and 2,000 some odd ladies hit the Naperville quarry at 5:30 in the morning to partake in some extreme kick assness. We all had our numbers written in Sharpie down our upper arms, and our wave number on our right calves. We milled around in the morning chill, hoping that the water temp would feel warmer than it sounded (77 degrees, just cold enough to wear a wet suit should one so choose).
Seventy five ladies at a time were sheparded into the starting area. My wave was the last of the 4044 age group, aka “Tiffany”. I started the swim and quickly realized that this part of the event was more like boxing than swimming. Even in a friendly tri such as this, there was much kicking, slapping and general getting into everyone else’s way. If I had mustered the self confidence to be more at the front of the pack I might have done better. But we were all too bunched up for me to do much actual swimming. I just don’t have the killer instinct to whack people and kick past them. Maybe in time…
After swimming our half mile we were greeted with what I felt was an unreasonable run back up to transition. But, what could I do? I made it to my little area, got my gear on, and headed out on the bike. I have to say this was my absolute favorite part of the whole experience. I didn’t break any speed records, but I felt good and made it through in a respectable fashion. Most of the course was on a slight uphill grade, not too bad.
I have to admit I spent most of the bike worrying that soon I would have to run. You know me. The one bonus was that they said if you wanted to you could listen to an iPod on the run. giant sigh of relief. That would make the torture slightly more manageable.
It felt like an eternity, and most of the run was a straight shot, so you could see this endless line of women running in front of you. Nothing like knowing you aren’t anywhere near done to really keep your spirits up. I had promised myself that no matter how slow I was going, I would run the whole course. That was a very daunting promise when I hit the giant hill at the very beginning, but I managed it. That was my moral victory. Sure, the walkers could have passed me, but I was running dammit! The very last bit was downhill and through a lovely park. And they announced your name and where you are from as you crossed the finish line. Nice touch.
The important things were: I finished, and a bucket full of money was raised for ovarian cancer research.
The less important things:
- My time was 1:42.39
- I finished in the nine hundreds. You feel good about your time until you see your place. Bleck.
- Carb gels are the most disgusting food stuffs on the planet and will NEVER cross my lips again.
- I need to learn how to drink from cups while running. Coulter?
- I could shave about 5 minutes off my time if I could master transitioning.
- The Purple People Eater (my lavender tri suit) makes me very easy to spot.
Will I do another one? Right now, it’s hard to say. I keep thinking of all the things I could have done to get a better time. So that leads me to think I might.
Right now I am just glad to have it in my rear view mirror.