Oh and one last thanks to Cass, Kellie, Diane, and Jen for taking such great pics and videos and allowing me to use them here on my blog. Thanks guys!
The day before the race was pretty hectic for me. I've been burried in work and have been fairly stressed about all of that and it wasn't until Friday at 5pm that I allowed myself to shut that out for the weekend. Once 5pm on Friday hit if felt like the whole weekend was on fast forward. And yet every moment of it was awesome! But it all went by so quickly! I desperately wanted it all to slow down. Saturday got away from me in a hurry and was just moving way too fast. So I had to refocus and recenter a little and change my plans around and calm down and get my act together for the race in the best way I know how. So sadly I missed out on the Tri-Newenglad carb loading lunch, but it meant that I was able to get everything done in time and get to bed before it got too late. I'm usually way more organized than that but the week just went by too quickly. Saturday also included a trip to Narragansett for packet pickup and the prerace meeting which included some interesting tidbits and the comedy of Fred Bartlett describing the course. Speaking of which he and his team of volunteers worked very hard to get the course ready for all of us and to put on a very safe fun and friendly race. So kudos should go out to him and his team of volunteers as well as FIRM racing for doing such a great job! It was truly appreciated! As well as packet pickup and the pre race meeting I also went for a quick ten minute ride on the bike to make sure my calf that had been tight all week was going to behave and be ok and to do something to burn off a little nervous energy.
I got to bed on Saturday night by 10pm or so. Not as early as I wanted to but it wouldn't have mattered if I'd gone to bed at 8pm. Sleep was hard to come by. So I spent much of the night going through my race plan in my head over and over again and going through how each transition would go again and again until I fell asleep.
Race Day Pre-Race:
I walked back onto the beach and a few minutes later the first wave of elites went out.....
(Note: The results and splits shown below don't quite match the FIRM website as I have removed the Aquabike totals from these to compare apples to apples as it were)
The Swim: 36:10 239th/280 Overall 24th/32 in Males 35-39 Age Group (Goal Time was 40 Minutes, but I wasn't expecting the current to be as strong and help out so much!)
I watched the elites go out and the first thing that I noticed was how they rounded the buoy. I knew that the current was with us this morning and would be flowing in the direction of the course but I didn't realize how strong it was. Many of the swimmers that started in line with the buoy had to swim against the current to round it as they had gotten swept to the wrong side of it by the current on their way towards it. Mental note... start further to the left.
Wave 2 goes off... holy crap I have to start this thing in 8 minutes! I think at that point I ended up next to Kevan. He and I think alike in some ways and we were both full of excitement and totally pumped up. Seeing him and all of my friends at the start made my first race so much easier. If I had been all alone there I would have been a mess! So after a few silly moments of fun between us all we all started to get serious.
Wave 3 goes off... Uh oh! Were next!
We started to line up to the left of the swim area as we had all seen the current drag people too far right before the buoy. I never looked behind me. I didn't want to know how many people were in my wave. I just kept looking at the buoy and did my best to grasp the enormity of what was about to happen. Your standing there waiting for the countdown thinking stuff like.... Sure I have to swim 1.2 miles... but then I have to bike 56 and then run a half marathon? Am I fricking insane? And then someone yells "30 Seconds" in a megaphone and you think.. "Oh F@#$!!!"