This was my first time to our smallest state, as well as my first IRONMAN brand race. I was told that the course was hilly and that this race had a split transition. I really had no idea what that meant for me … but I’d soon find out! Ted, my husband, joined me for this race. This would be his first experience as a spectator and supporter for this distance triathlon. I was sure to forewarn him that we’d be looking at a long day for him and I knew what a challenge that would be, especially with the heat wave we were experiencing.
We began our drive to the east coast on Friday afternoon and drove partway, to about Albany, NY. Our first attempt to get a room resulted in a 15 mile detour, only to find out there was no room available. Onward to the next attempt, which got us an overpriced room with a continental breakfast. We were sure to take full advantage of the breakfast, and even considered loading up the cooler for snacks for later!
Sat. we finished the trip to Rhode Island, checked into our room in Coventry, then headed north to Providence. It was a lovely sunny day, and it was pretty toasty out. We headed to the Convention Center to pick up my packet and do a little shopping. I bought bike shorts and a cycling jersey with the IM Providence logo – a risky move, because I knew would need to finish this race to feel like I could wear it and be “legit” – not a poser!
Being a split transition, there were lots of logistical issues for me to consider. I’ve never had to think through my needs for one transition vs. the other, so this would be challenging. For T2, I put in my running shoes, a pair of socks and a bandana … is that it?? We were told that it was to likely to rain overnight so I tied the bag to the rack in hopes of keeping everything dry if it were to rain. We then headed over to get some lunch at Joe’s and while we were eating, the sky opened up and it POURED! For at least an hour: torrential rain! I began to worry about my shoes! I was tempted to go check on my shoes, but the point was mute. I resolved to “let it be” and tried to let it go. Struggles of a type A personality…
Next we headed south to the ocean and T1. It sure felt like 56 miles south – when we arrived there, it was sunny and dry – not a drop of rain. We were given 15 minutes to drop off my bike, and after racking, I covered the seat and computer with a bag. One of the workers noticed my license plate on our way out and said, “Sorry to hear about LaBron, you guys got screwed” … La Who?
Now that the majority of the day was over, we headed back to the hotel and just mellowed out for the rest of the evening. I laid out my clothes and equipment and tried to figure out just what I needed for the next day’s race. Off to bed and up at 3:30 am to prepare … eat, PRP, dress for the race. We left for the race. As usual, there was a pretty good caravan of triathletes heading down to the start.
Got there in plenty of time. Checked my tires, laid out my gear and on last visit to the portapotty. I was surprised and dismayed to see a guy standing among all the athletes SMOKING A CIGARETTE! Boo! :(
The heat went off and out we went. The course was a rectangle and the “out” portion was met with pretty big waves! I had a little challenge with the waves, but no panic. Once we turned for the “back portion, the waves proved to be helpful, as there was a small degree of body surfing that could be done! I was happy to end my swim and was a little disappointed with my time, but thrilled not to have had a panic attack! Later I was told that many people had slower times due to the water conditions, so that made me feel a bit better about it.
Transition went smoothly as I easily peeled out of my wetsuit. One of the volunteers was there to assist me - ??? – this was new! But I didn’t need any assistance. The volunteer commented: WOW, you are good at that!
|Checking the sugar and taking some insulin!|
Came across Mike Rosenberg on my last loop – he was looking good and I later learned he improved on his 70.3 time!
At my first loop I asked Ted to have a coke for me at the finish line. I’m telling you, there is nothing like the deliciousness of a coke after finishing a race! The carbonation helps with the bloat that develops too. I found myself approaching the finish line … with an uphill climb! But I was bound and determined to make it strong so I plodded forth until I could kick it into the chute. Crossed the line in 7:11 and was happy to get that yummy coke!! Whew, that was a pretty fun race!