Up at 4, I was starting to question this brilliant idea, but my team (mom, dad, & Gabriella) were in full swing getting coffee on and my gear ready to ride down to South Beach.
Thanks to dad's front door service to the transition area, I was set up in no time, and by 6 AM, I was taking the presunrise 1 mile stroll up to the Olympic starting point.
The sea was far less helpful than my team. The chop was strong and endless, causing a delay in our start time, even for the professionals. This news had me shaking in my wetsuit (which incidentally I had accidentally put on backwards in my nervous state). Soon it was time to go or go home, so I manned up and started my flailing attempts to dolphin (manatee more like) out to the bouey while the sun rose with quicker pace over the gorgeous seascape.
While the ocean looked beautiful, it felt brutal! I really felt like I was being tossed around in a washing machine and my chosen swim mantra bubble, bubble, breathe quickly turned into bubble, bubble, gulp-spit-cough. I won't go into detail regarding how I managed to make the mile to the orange bouey, but suffice it to say, a lot of backstroke and other forms of flailing which can hardly be classified as strokes were involved.
When the beach finally spit me out, I was on my bike within two sips of a Gatorade bottle. Ah, finally I could breathe, if not relax during the stunning 25 mi ride over the causeways, through Key Biscayne, on closed roads to the consternation of locals trying to get to brunch in their Lambourginis. #thumbsup!
I was spared the despair of a flat (thank you Tri gods!) and made it back to transition at my target pace. My rubber legs felt less rubbery than expected as I repeated my run mantra light quick feet, light quick feet! I was passing people left and right feeling super--see my smile as I said hi to my team which had grown to include my brother (photo creds) and sister-in-law:
The smile and feeling were very short lived, ending as soon as my feet hit the two mile soft sand part of the run (meanies!). The rest was painful and hot despite my light and spry mantra. I honestly, felt like walking it in, but just kept putting one foot in front of the other until finally I saw the finish line up ahead. I managed to sprint it in and not pass out immediately...however, I was not smiling!
I was exhausted, but I felt great when I joined my family and Mandell & Rocket colleagues. We headed to Big Pink where I welcomed the biggest pancake I've ever seen to my table.
That's it...my race story: Reason to Race #28, for the story & the glory!
Though the race is over, it's not too late to donate to my race cause, Scholarship America. If you'd like to, please click the link below. And that's a wrap for the SoBe Tri. Thanks for all the support and love along the way. It's been so motivating! #thumbsup