Monday, May 11, 2015

Gulf Coast Tri, Race Report

Nah, you didn't miss anything, I didn't race this weekend, but I did go to the race.

It all started a few weeks ago when some friends said they were going for the weekend and would do the sprint then cheer the 70.3, did I want to join? I stated I couldn't go because it was quarter finals for high school lacrosse. After some rolling of the eyes and gentle nudging, I agreed to take the weekend off from lacrosse and get some much (MUCH) needed beach time. To know me, is to know the beach is my happy place.

Here's my objective this time around with Ironman training part deux: Have some life balance. (Proud of me Dad?) This doesn't mean take my training any less seriously, but it does mean work it around life, not work life around it. Step 1: Put travel plans into Training Peaks. Step 2: Pack sunscreen (step 2 works better if you actually use it).

I headed down to Panama City Beach late Thursday night. Stacy was already down there. We compared notes and Friday morning we woke up and went for a ride. Stacy is a very strong triathlete and thankfully, a very good friend. We took off for what was supposed to be a 3:45 hour cruise. My issues, construction, etc and it took much longer. I really need to start identifying what is causing some rides to go well and what is making the others so tough. I'm not one to quit and Stacy isn't one to let me (told you she was a good friend). We kept plugging along. Gas station to gas station. Making friends with the locals. Pictures on top of bridges. Ice cream sandwiches and Subway. But it got done.

I was supposed to then run a 15 minute brick. I'd been texting with Coach much of the morning and sent him a text I was done my ride and I wasn't running. This conversation then happened and the end result...I shuffled for 10 minutes.

The rest of Friday was toes in sand and Corona time. The Gulf was perfectly refreshing, clear and nothing like the last time I saw it on November 1, 2014! We soaked in every moment.

Saturday morning was race day for Stacy and Lane. I had made the decision not to race and as rough as my legs felt that morning, I was very glad I hadn't changed my mind. After getting her transition set up, off we (Stacy, Nadya and I) went to bring some cheer and distraction to the athletes about to begin the 70.3.

I got to see some friends I was looking for and some I didn't know were going to be there.

Off the 70.3ers went in to the water and out they came. After spotting most of who I was looking for, I took off to get my hour run in. I headed out on to the bike course which allowed me to continue cheering. Even better, as I was coming back in, the sprint had started and I got to see Stacy and Lane, even if Lane tried to run me down! I did some math and realized that they both would be coming back before I could possibly finish my run (it was a 9 mile ride) so I kept an eye out for them and was able to grab a picture of Stacy and give Lane a high-5 as he went by.

Back to the finish line and I got to cheer them both in while hanging out with IRonMan and his awesome daughter. A nice leisurely breakfast and it was time to hit the run course of the 70.3.
She didn't come close to eating half of it!
Good lord it had gotten hot! The athletes that finished this race are all amazing no matter what their time was. We got to see lots of friends on the course and motivate lots of new friends! Cheering at races is becoming more fun than racing them. I have Stacy to thank for introducing me to this.
My friend Karen is amazing!
One gentleman asked me if we were angels, fairies, or what? I told him we were whatever he needed us to be at that moment! I explained that we just want to provide some motivation, encouragement and maybe even a bit of a distraction to help the triathletes finish up their race strong.

After the race, more beach time. Seriously, it doesn't get better than this. It was very tough to come home. I really wanted to stay and just be a squatter. I wonder if anyone would have noticed...

Sunday morning Lane and I took off for a nice leisurely 90 minute ride down Front Beach Road. We chatted the entire time and then stopped at Publix on the way back. I could have ridden all day.

Breakfast and then my first OWS (open water swim) of the season. Just like the ride on Friday, Stacy would pull ahead of me and at given intervals would either swim back or wait for me to catch up. Lanes bounced between staying with Stacy and staying with me. The water was so clear we could see straight to the bottom. Which was awesome and terrifying. As we were swimming a shadow caught my eye. I looked over and there was a school of about 8-10 fish that were each at least a foot long just swimming along. I grabbed Lane's arm. He asked if it was cool or terrifying, I said yes! A moment later, the fish caught up to Stacy. She picked her head up and started yelling at us... We laughed and said we saw them too. We agreed it was much cooler after they were gone.

All in all, a great weekend of beach time, friend time, and tri time!
Allie, Sally, and Lane :) :) :)

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