I know right off the bat your thinking, "Part 1? We know how your Ragnar reports were. Far and few between when broken up." I promise this will not be the case. I have broken them up because this was one hell of a long race. Not only the distance but the time. The time it took to do it and also the time it took to prepare. Many thoughts were going through my mind while I was on this journey. Both on and off the course.
I fell asleep around 10ish the night before. I set my alarms for 4 a.m. I was supposed to try and eat a 1200-1500 calorie breakfast at least 3 hours before the race. I started with a vanilla Ensure shake. These are great and have 250 calories. I then ate a banana, some yogurt and a bagel with honey. My room did not have a microwave for oatmeal so I figured I would use the coffee maker to heat some water. Turns out the coffee maker did not work. Hot tap water was next. Whoops. No bowl. I rinsed out the yogurt container and used it as a bowl. I love to camp and can improvise. The water didn't even get hot enough to soak in to the oatmeal. It was like eating a mushy peaches and cream flavored cookie. I had one more Ensure while taking a shower. I still could have used an assistant but I managed.
Off to the show. I usually try to get to tri's about an hour and a half before transition closes. I would rather be too early than rushing around. I had some time to spare for this one because my bike was racked the day before. I did not have to set up anything in transition except put some bottles on my bike. I just needed to hang my gear and essential needs bags. I ended up with about an hour to spare. What to do. It was still dark out.
Even though I reluctantly made a list, I still felt like I was missing something. I went back to my bags and double checked them just to make sure all I needed for the race was packed. Seems all was there.
I still had that need for something. Aah, my ipod. I was parked pretty close to transition so I walked back to the car. Put my music on. I felt pretty good and full of energy. For some reason I had no butterflies. I started drinking some water. I put my wetsuit on and had a gel at about 7:10. I made my way to the start.
I then spotted my family. They had just arrived I was told. The girls had Homecoming the night before. I told them they could have waited until later in the day to come over because I knew they would be tired. I heard my oldest say, "I am doing pretty good on 2 hours sleep. I didn't get to bed until 3 a.m." On any other morning I would have been like, "what!?! Seems I need to take your boyfriend on a trip." I was so focused that her comment didn't even register until later in the race. I gave hugs to all and went for a very short dip in the lake.
As I was coming out of the water, I heard some familiar voices yelling my name. It was Tom, V, Tanya and Kathy from BRA. They had come over for the early shift to wish me luck.
I was getting some pictures taken by Tom when I heard the 30 second count down to the start. I turned and walked into the water. Put my goggles on and set my watch. I may have helped that I didn't have time to stand with my toes in the water getting all nervous about the swim.
Part 2. The Swim...But I Wasn't Trying To Go Fast.