Wake up: 4:45 from an actually really good sleep.
Meet the “Team” at 5:15 at the front lobby
Pictures with the “TEAM” at 5:30
On the shuttle bus by 5:50
At transition by 6:05
All set up by 6:20 (with lot’s of double checking)
Over to Swim Start by 6:40
Swim Start: 8:57 – rough sea weed, grabbing at you, but smooth swimming down the middle of the Savannah River with a beautiful current! Yellow buoys lined the straight point to point course with two orange buoys marking the turn into the ramp out of the water. Cheering from coach Bruce on my right, and Stephanie up ahead on the bank. Wetsuit strippers ROCK! Finally over the timing mat into transition.
T1- Wipe off feet, stick in socks and shoes, put on helmet, glasses, race number….off we go.
Bike: AMAZING! Fun course. Some flat, some rollers, a couple little hills and one grinder that was like 2 miles long but not very steep. Couldn’t spread out, very congested, but everyone was friendly, and HAPPY (except the guy in SC who waved his sign for us all to go home, and get off the road). Some hairpin turns, all executed nicely. Water bottle handoff’s were GREAT. Fun times! Beautiful overcast skies kept it feeling amazing in the Georgia heat.
T2 – Rack bike, take off helmet, and shoes (socks), put on visor, socks and running shoes. Put on fuel belt and get frozen bottles out of the cooler and drop them in their spots, turn race number around….run out.
Run: HARD! HOT, the sun came blazing out and my body couldn’t handle all the heat. I kept taking salt tabs, and drinking water, and taking in nutrition, and pouring water on my head, and putting ice chips in my bra….nothing would keep me cool. Goosebumps all over, fingers tingling…slowing down. Walking more. Still moving. Finally some relief in the form of a thunderstorm with beautiful rain, but my muscles were already stiff from walking so much. Lot’s of stradegies to keep moving, run a block, walk a block, try to catch up to that person, walk here, run there….just keep moving. Clock is ticking, 3 miles left, is this run ever going to end? One hour to make it to my goal time. Can I do it? Just keep moving, one foot in front of the other, just keep moving. I WANT THIS!
Finish: 6 hours, 45 minutes and 57 seconds from the start I finished my first Half Ironman. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, completed. I DID IT!! Me, the girl who never wanted to do an Iron distance. The girl who WAS the lazy endurance athlete, took a season of training and worked really hard, and accomplished her goals! Yeah, THIS GIRL DID IT!!