Me, Kim and Steph the day before the race, I love these girls! We have the best time training together-biking all summer, training swims in the lake, running, and yoga. Kim drove us to the Syracuse Half Ironman Tri in her "tri-mobile" a fabulous minivan with all the bells and whistles that carries us, our three bikes and all of our race gear. We shared a hotel room and headed to the start in the dark as night, rainy race day morning together.
Honestly, I really had to psych myself up for this last tri of the season. I'm so glad I had a couple of girlfriends to go with to the race and several other friends there racing as well. After the full ironman and training all summer, I was kind of ready for the end of the season. If the weather had been gorgeous for this race, I may have been a little more motivated. The day before the race was beautiful, sunny, near 70 degrees but race day was drizzly rain, dark, cold-you get the idea.
The Swim: Water temp was 61 which is pretty chilly. I actually didn't mind it too much and felt good in my wetsuit. Some people complained that their feet and faces were freezing but I felt decent all through, We swam in a rectangle in a reservoir for 1.2 miles. The water was calm and the way out was really nice, easy to sight and went by so fast. It was a wave swim start so everyone started in their age groups. Before I knew it I was nearing the finish and the best part of the whole race day was the wet suit peelers! No triathlons have this except Ford Ironman's and Ford Half-Ironman's. Volunteers meet you at the end of the swim, you lay on the ground and they strip your wetsuit off for you! This is amazing and if you've ever taken your own wetsuit on and off you appreciate the effort and time it saves to have two people peel your wetsuit off for you in SECONDS!
The Bike: The route was great! We trained on it once and it was a fiasco, pouring rain that day, felt like HILLS for MILES, and we got lost to top it all off!!!! Ended up with almost 70 miles and had a lot of fun laughing at ourselves and created a lot of inside jokes that day! (This was myself, Kim and Steph...) Well race day, the ride went much better! It was a hilly route, but fun to ride. The only downside for me was that it was a drizzly rain and foggy, which made it hard to push and ride hard because I didn't want to slide around or wreck on wet pavement. My max speed on one of the downhills was still 42.4 miles per hour! I wore arm warmers, tri shorts and a tank for the entire ride and was glad to have my arms covered, still cold pretty much the whole ride.
The Run: Uggh!!!! At least the rain stopped on the run. I was not a fan of the route which was a point to point 13.1 mile run that eventually put us on a 4 lane highway that went past all these really attractive strip malls. At least the people in the cars cheered for the runners, or some of them did. The runners had a lane all to ourselves, wow. To top it off, I was pretty tired and my IT band started hurting, I couldn't wait to reach the finish line which I did, FINALLY!
Overall, my friends and I all raced well and enjoyed the day. After I finished the rain cleared and it turned into a sunny afternoon, go figure! Weather affects me so much, I think I would have felt entirely different during the race if it had a been a nicer day. Logistically this race was my least favorite. We had to drive 10 miles or so from the host hotel to reach the transition area and race start. Race morning it took us 30 minutes, and some who left later took even longer, because of the long line of cars full of all the race participants trying to get to the same place. Then because the run was a point-to-point, it ended 13.1 miles from the race start and all of our gear, so we had to take shuttles back to the start to get our things and drive home. But we did get medals for finishing and made a few more triathlon memories together! I'm glad I got to do this race and was able to complete it. I don't want to take for granted that I can be out there doing it. Regardless of weather, you have to tough it out on race day, not just on the perfect day. Besides, when does "life" ever give us a "perfect" day everyday? :)
Overall Finish- 6:13:16