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Sunday, January 15, 2012

TNT Season #5 (A Look Back)

I took a year off.  I needed a year off.  I didn't really take a year off.  I still did fundraising, I still trained and participated in endurance events.  I did take a year off of fundraising for LLS and doing TNT event.  I still raised money for cancer research.  I felt like I was still doing good.  But it's not like the feeling of doing TNT and doing for LLS.  I came back.

My fifth season was supposed to be a repeat of season #3.  The Nike Women's Marathon.  I signed up to mentor again.  I was ready to go conquer the beast!  Except I wasn't.  I started having some foot and ankle pain right before the start of the season, and decided to switch to a triathlon instead.  Well not just any triathlon, a half ironman distance triathlon.

The season was amazing.  I actually hired my friend and first TNT coach to coach me, even though we had a great TNT coach for the team.  My friend understood my crazy schedule and what my goals for the race were.  The TNT coach would of probably been able to do the same, but his workouts had to be grouped towards the whole team, so I didn't feel like I could ask for so many changes.  I did get to workout with the team every now and then, but mostly worked out on my own with a really good friend who actually signed up for the race as well (he had a different coach as well).  I'm lucky that most of the team were alumni, that I knew already.  We all clicked really well and had fun whenever we got together.

Race weekend was AMAZING!!  I drove down with my friend and training partner a day earlier than the official team time.  We met up with another teammate to hang out and check out the course and do some short training before the big race.  We got water, we got food, we got all our stuff together. We did a training ride. We hung out, we ate dinner...we had fun.  We moved to the next hotel, we picked up our packets, we hung out with the team.  We got ready at the race site, set up our bikes, we got nervous, we got calm, we got nervous again.  We ate, we starved, we ate again.  All good happy things.

Race morning- got up early about about 4 am. Got down to take the "team" photo, then went over to take the bus.  The original plan had us "walking" to the race site (we all said no to that). I chit chatted with others going to the race site.  The getting your transition area ready, and tires pumped.  Then a bus ride to the actual start area, and the waiting game began.  I was in wave 24 out of 25 for the swim.  Which means I was waiting around FOREVER!!

The swim was amazing.  Wicked FAST.  The current in the Savannah River was really fast.  The 1.2 mile swim with the run into the transition area took 26 minutes.  Not to shabby.  I made it through transition, and hoped onto my bike.  Ahhhh, my bike ride was fun!  Yes 56 miles through Augusta and rural South Carolina was fun.  The best part was that it was overcast throughout the whole swim and bike.  I made it back to transtion, and felt really good.  I was so ready to rock out the run.  I was feeling so amazing.  Then the skies parted and the sun came out.  The sun the crazy hot sun.  My run turned into mostly a walk, but I did all of those 13.1 miles of running and walking.  I finally got to the finish line....and crossed it.  6 hours and 45 minutes after I started I finished my race.  70.3 miles all together.  I did it in under my goal time of 7 hours (or less).  If the sun hadn't of come out I'm sure I could of cut some more time off.  I'm really proud of what I did though.  I had tears streaming down my face at the end.  I did it, I really did it!  I was a Half Ironman.  Who knew this girl could raise this much money for cancer research and patient services and finish a Half Ironman, I didn't know....but I sure did do it!

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