It’s now taken me over a WEEK to sit down and write my race report… I’ve been thinking about it – I mean obsessing about it. I will start with two disclaimers:
1. this is really long
2. this has a TON of pictures
How am I going to put all of the emotions into words??? And find time to do it…
Thursday – April 14
I had a crazy day at work, I was hoping to get out early, around 2pm, but that didn’t happen. I ended up leaving at 4:45pm. I got home; we loaded up and hit the road. By the time we got out of
we had an 8 hour drive ahead of us. That’s.a.long.time. Dallas
We stopped in
Shreveport, about 3 hours outside of , and had dinner. Other than that the drive was pretty uneventful – we made it into NOLA around 2:00am… crawled into bed and slept – until 10am J Dallas
Friday – April 15
Bill and I got up and ate breakfast at Café Du Monde. A MUST if you are in
. We walked around the French Quarter and took in all NOLA had to offer. Bill had never been so I wanted to make sure we did all the walking and exploring on Friday so I could rest up on Saturday in preparation for the race on Sunday. New Orleans
After we explored around town (sans camera due to dead battery … grrrr!) we headed to packet pick up and the expo.
Packet Pick Up
Packet pick up was very well organized. You had a series of stations that they sent you to – starting with waivers, then pick up packet, then chip check in, t-shirts then bag pick up. After all of that – it led you straight into IRONMAN village (expo).
|Signing my life away|
After packet pick up (and a 15 minute session with the Recovery Pump) Bill and I headed back to the hotel to rest up and then out for a nice dinner.
|I really, really, really want one of these....|
Bill was so sweet to take me to a wonderful dinner at Bourbon House. The redfish on a half shell was UNBELIEVABLE! (And the bourbon milk punch was even better)
We finished off dinner with a homemade chocolate chip bread pudding. To.Die.For.
|The best after dinner drink ever....|
|We sat and listened to a jazz band play on a patio...|
Amber flew in at 9:40 on Saturday morning so we went to the airport and picked her up. We promptly headed to Café Du Monde for the second straight day for Café Au Lait and Beignets. Saturday morning at Café Du Monde is terrible….the lines are outrageous. Even the back side to-go line…. Lucky for me I found a rogue waiter. We placed our order; paid him cash and were G-T-G (good to go).
|We do what we are told....|
|This picture = a huge bruise on my leg|
|Alligator and Gumbo|
After lunch it was time for bike-check in. This is when the reality of what I had signed up for set in. We arrived at transition and saw the blow up bike in/run out tunnels were set up….the racks and signs were up…bike support was there…. It was REAL…and SCARY.
4:00am my alarm went off. I jumped out of bed – rested and feel great. I was excited…pumped up – ready to go!
I checked the weather on the ipad – 7mph winds – awesome J Flat water – no wind on the bike – I was ready to rock.
I ate my granola bar, drank a bottle of water and half of a Gatorade by 4:30am. I knew I needed to eat 3 hours prior to race time…I was scheduled for 7:31am start…perfect! I woke up everyone, they got ready and we were out the door by 5:15am.
On our way in – I heard the news. NO SWIM. I’m not going to lie – I was excited at first. The swim is what makes me puke…the swim is what scares me the most, the swim is what I have been dreading for 29 weeks. Then it hit me…no swim=no 70.3 The winds were sustained on the water at 25-30mph and gusting 40+ mph. They would not even deploy the kayaks to drop the buoys the winds were so bad. The race officials deemed it “unsafe conditions” and the swim was thus cancelled.
I ended up starting about an hour and half late…so now my nutrition routine was off. I ate a honey stinger waffle while waiting to go off on the time trial bike start. I was hoping it would hold me over until I could get into my nutrition on the bike.
Almost like a road rally type feel. B.O.R.I.N.G.
I was already in the mind set that this was a long workout day and not a race. Probably not the best mind set but it is what is.
We lined up “conga” line style on our way to start…before I knew it I was off….
We exited out of the chute to the right and went out 5 miles did a turn around and headed back towards transition. On the way out I was averaging 21+ mph. (Thank you tail wind) on the way end it was closer to 14mph (I hate you head wind). After we crossed back through transition I sat in for another 46 miles of biking around
. New Orleans
We went out about 5 miles on high way – crossed over two draw bridges and then made a left hand turn on to country type road where we straight away for 13 miles to the ½ way turnaround point.
After you turned at mile 28 we went up another 5 miles or so to another country road took a right hand turn and headed down there for about 8 miles to another turn around point and then we were home free back to the highway and to transition.
The entire bike race had more drafting than I ever thought would be allowed and I only saw one race official the entire time. I did not draft (although tempted with the winds). My nutrition was spot on during the race. I was consuming about 80 calories every 30 minutes and drinking either water or Gatorade every 15 minutes. I never felt hungry or thirsty and knew the entire time I was going to be prepared for the run. That was a good feeling.
Jorge was singing on his bike the whole time I was around him. It was in Spanish so I have no idea what he was singing – but he helped me pass the time and the miles. Jorge was on a mountain bike and looked as if he was just out for a Sunday ride……. I would pass him, he would pass me and we did this dance all the way to mile 53 when I pulled away and pushed it home to transition.
Mile 53 – I immediately wanted off my bike.
I tried something new on race day….I know they say never do this – but I thought what the hell….
I slipped my feet out of my bike shoes before I dismounted and ran in my socks through transition. I’ve always been scared to do this for fear of crashing my bike – but it was a great decision – running in bike shoes is never fun. However, transition was in a HUGE grass field so I had a few stickers to pick out of my socks before putting on my running shoes.
The run *dare I say* was not as difficult as I expected it to be. This could be because of my nutrition plan on the bike, it could be the level of fitness I am at (that I didn’t realize) or it could be that I just generally was EXCITED to get off my bike and run!
I headed out of transition and saw my family sitting on the curb….I had a HUGE smile – I was so happy to see them; and headed out for 13.1 miles of fun! I told them “I’ll meet you in 13.1 miles for a hurricane”
I ran my first mile in 8:50. WOWZA – I’m not that fast – my legs felt like jello and I wish I had that pace in me for an entire half marathon. But that is my pipe dream!
At mile 1 – and the first aid station – all of my proper hydration hit me. I had to pee. It was the most glorious 30 seconds of my life.
I ran the first 2 miles pretty steady and then decided it was time to deploy my run/walk strategy. I had planned on running 8 minutes walking 2 minutes to get through the distance but I ended up having to change it up. We ran through 2 different parks…. Each had light poles about equal distance apart for a good portion of the race. I would run the distance of 3 light poles and then walk the distance of 1. I did this until mile 10 when we turned to head into the French Quarter.
Mile 10 I started running distance between streets….run from one street to the next, walk the next so on and so forth.
At mile marker 11 – I flipped. I flipped shit…..I just about finished NOLA70.3 in jail…and not b/c I was a drunk idiot like Nicolas Cage.
I hit mile marker 11 and was ecstatic to be so close to the finish; when this douche bag police officer tried to make me stop. Here was our conversation (to the best of my recollection)
DBPO(Douche Bag Police Officer): Ma’am hold up!
Me: Excuse me?
DBPO: I said Hold Up!!! We have a parade coming
Me: You have GOT to be shitting me – I’m on mile 12 of a freaking 70.3 mile race and you are telling me to hold up?
DBPO: Ma’am you are going to have to wait until the parade is over…
Me: Sire you are crazy……– *sprinting through the intersection and on to Esplanade *
Me: I hope he isn’t yelling at us…
Lori: He can’t catch us….lets go!
Lori disappeared….. I can’t find her on the competitor list either….maybe she really was my angel…Who knows…..
As I crossed the finish line it was probably the most amazing moment of my life….honestly. (Short of never being married or having babies) – I sobbed, I stretched, I had a jungle juice and then I iced bathed…..
After the race we met up with my cousin and his wife for a hamburger at Port Of Call. It was great seeing them and catching up!
It was an amazing experience, even without the swim, and I look forward to my next race. Now it’s time to sit back and plan out my summer race schedule……But first…. Work calls..boo!
GRATUITOUS PHOTOS: (b/c some are really cute)
GRATUITOUS PHOTOS: (b/c some are really cute)
|Bill, Mom and Amber - Gambling while I was racing!|
|Oh yes and drinking!|
|Finishing in the french quarter|
|This one was for Cayla since she couldn't be there! HULA HOOP!|
|She attacked me - b/c she was the coolest girl on the street that day!|
|Mom and Amber dancin'|
|Nothing like a little stretch with a Jungle Juice!|
|The night after the race - I couldn't wait for a HAND GRENADE!|
|official finisher pic!|