Compared to last year, the race yesterday was a fiasco. Last year I felt prepared and rested and ready to kick major ass. This year I felt like sleeping in. I didn’t get enough sleep on Friday night, which is usually more important than the amount of sleep you get the night before the race. The night before the race we didn’t get home until nearly 10 o’clock. I threw my things in a pile and figured I’d sort it out the next day.
The first thing that went wrong was the temporary tattoos we were given to mark our arms. I’ve put on temporary tattoos I don’t even know how many times. I know how they work. And, yet, that morning I read the directions carefully just in case they were some fancy new tattoos. I put the first number on – a zero – and noticed something wasn’t right but soldiered on with the four and the five. They weren’t sticking and they had this weird clear sheet that I’d never seen before and I just knew they were going to fall off. I read the directions again and that’s when I saw – in the first step, no less – the direction to remove the protective covering before putting it on. I had forgotten about the protective covering and had ruined all the numbers. I wanted to cry because this is so typical of me and I’d been trying to change it but even when I tried I still screwed things up.
Driving to the race all I could think about was the tattoos and how stupid I felt for messing them up. We cut it close for the arrival and I was scrambling to get everything set up (and my numbers marked on me) before they closed the transition area. The start is about a 10 minute walk from the transition area so we walked over with 30 minutes to spare. There were people milling about a few announcements were made before the first wave went. A woman asked me about the run course and we were talking when a man interrupted us to ask if we were the third wave because it was up next. I panicked because I was the second wave and I hadn’t even heard the first wave start. I ran up to the start where a few other women were also wondering what just happened. The second wave was already half way across the first lagoon when we started.
So far: ruined tattoos and a late start. The late start, though, turned out to be a good thing because I wasn’t fighting for space in the group. My goggles fogged up and instead of letting them be I wiped them off on my way to the second lagoon and I swam the entire second lagoon with my goggles half full of water.
The bike part wasn’t as awful as I had been anticipating but I could definitely have used, oh, any amount of time training on my bike before the race. The wind caught up with my on the way back but for the most part I held my own.
The run, though, was pretty rough. My legs were heavy from the ride and my left leg hurt for most of the run. But I didn’t stop running.
The last half mile or so I started feeling better and managed to pick up my pace a bit to finish.
I crossed a 1:57, which hopefully means my time is closer to 1:46 (which is what I did last year), though I’m thinking it was probably closer to 1:50. Still, as we were leaving the race I was talking about signing up for one in March. Even when a race is rough, it’s still a great feeling when you cross that finish line.