At the beginning of the week I was planning on doing the run portion of the relay and was contemplating how to work the run into my marathon training schedule given that it would be 2 weeks away from Savannah. After a panicked phone call to coach Tom Clifford on Tuesday, I had a plan to run 55 miles total for the week and do a specific workout during the race. Well, this was nice but it all went out the window Wednesday night around 10 pm when I started feeling really sick. I ended up alternating between vomiting & diarrhea every hour on the hour the entire night. I got zero sleep and it was not fun nor pretty. Thankfully, Lou covered for me at work on Thursday and I just laid in bed all day (I owe you Lou!!!) My stomach was so queasy, I couldn't eat anything. To sum it up, I was basically on a clear liquid diet on Thurs & Fri and I felt too ill too run. I also found out on Friday that I would be swimming as well as running on Saturday! I guess you could say the only silver lining in the situation was that by Saturday I was definitely at race weight!
Saturday morning I met up w/ fellow MFers, Lee, Keira, Ashely, & Alli. We all rode the bus to race start together and it was exciting to be taking part in this event again! I was really excited for Alli since it was her first 70.3 ever!!!
The Swim (1.2 miles) - 28:09
The relays started with men 30-34 and when I got in the water I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't that cold. The current was so strong that we were literally having to swim against it to stay behind the starting line! I had a tiny moment of nervousness because it's been a while since I've been in a mass swim start like that, but it quickly disappeared once the starting horn blasted and I found myself in a familiar rhythm. I felt really good and enjoyed the temperature of the water and the scenery of the swim. For whatever reason it felt like the last 250 yds of the swim were the most difficult. Maybe it was because there were so many swimmers closing in on SeaPath that it was choppier and more crowded. But I hit the deck, declined the wetsuit stripper, and hauled ass into T1 where Ashley was waiting for me ready to rock! She shot out of T1 like a woman on a mission and I met up with Kurt and we cheered on the rest of the incoming swimmers & outgoing bikers!
After a quick shower and bite to eat, Kurt & I headed downtown for my second leg of the relay. The transition area was loco!!! The runners were scattered among spectators and the bikers had to run out of T2 and find their runner. It made things kind of amusing watching the bikers run/hobble in their cycling shoes! When I saw Ashely come in, after a smoking' 2:47:09 bike split, I was excited to get out onto the run course.
The Run (13.1 mi) - 1:31:35
My plan for the run was to start out comfortable and see how things progressed. If I felt good, I wanted to negative split and perhaps drop a small hammer for the last 5-6 miles. At the start I felt fantastic, cruising around 7:05 pace. I decided to hold that for the first half before getting any crazy ideas. I saw soooo many friends on the run course which totally made my day!!! Around 5-6 miles, my legs started to feel tired - like my glycogen stores were empty...wait, they probably were empty considering I pretty much did the opposite of carbohydrate loading leading into this race. At that point, I just decided to try to hold pace and not worry about going faster - my body didn't seem like it wanted to drop below 7:00 miles and that was ok. I enjoyed being in the moment and got a huge thrill from crossing the finish line in downtown Wilmington amongst a cheering crowd!
I found Ashley, her husband Jackie, and Kurt and we chilled out for a while and watched our fellow MFers finish! Our total time was 4:51:21 and we ended up 4th in the mixed relay division - not too shabby! Almost on the podium!
Congrats to all finishers - it was a great day out there! Thanks to all volunteers & supporters for making it such an awesome event. Special congrats to Alli for finishing her first 70.3, to Keira for a solid 3rd AG finish, Lee for 3rd place Aquabike, and especially to Mike for gutting out a hell of a day and finishing his first 140.6!!!! You guys are awesome and I can't wait to train and race together in 2015. Many many more fun times to come :)