We drove into Orlando after dinner and decided to check out the night life scene. We were pretty tired and needed a quick rest so we slept in the car in the parking lot and were pleasantly woken by a cop car shining his lights directly in our car. We were unsure of what to do so we drove off and parked someplace else to try and catch some more sleep. .......and again, we were woken by a pair of cops on little scooters tapping on the window. They asked what we were up to and John replied, "we are just really tired and don't want to drive being tired so we are going to take a little nap and then finish the drive to Orlando." .....wellll guess what, we were in Orlando. I'm pretty sure the cops thought that we we drinking or something because we were so out of it! They recommended buying some energy drinks since they work so well, haha. So no trouble caused! We walked around for a bit and then decided it was time to sleep for real. Wellll, we didn't really plan the trip too well and didn't have a room to sleep in for the night. Being the cheap college grads that we are, we pulled into the lot of our hotel and moved all of our equipment and bikes to the front seat of the van. We put the bike egg cartons on the floor and slept on the floor. Check out our nice sleeping arrangements:
So yea..two guys in the back of a van...it sure was a lovely wake up when I could hear people saying, "hey look there are two guys sleeping in the back of that van!" ...and yes that is a towel used as a pillow.
That next day, John and I decided that we need to go pick up our packet info and look around the race scene. We got all of that taken care of and went back to the hotel so that we could check in and bring all the gear and finally clean out the van. Wellllll, we look at our reservations and realized that it wasnt for another day that we could check in. Wonderful.. now what? Sleep in the van again? No way.
We decided that the best option would be to drive for 1.5 hours over to Clearwater and stay in John's parent's condo. His dad was there for the week anyways and needed some company so we went over there to visit him and actually have a bed to sleep in 2 nights before the race. It ended up being the best decision since we were able to actually shower, have a bed, and get some actual food from a restaurant instead of donuts and powerbars. We ended up sleeping for a reallllly long time that night. The next day we finally checked into the hotel and went over to the race sight for a pre-race bike and then bike check in. Here are some pics from that:
Ok, so we finished with everything, then went out to dinner for a pre race pizza meal. Back at the hotel I couldn't fall asleep at all. I was up til 1 am and I needed to be up at 3am. I wasn't too worried though because I have been used to racing on little to no sleep. The only thing that I was worried about was my lack of training leading up to the race. I came down with a bad flu before leaving making me not able to work out for 4 days straight. I also had an ankle injury 2.5 weeks out of the race making me unable to run at all. I ran a total of 6 miles in those two weeks. I was pretty happy that my ankle was feeling better by the time the race came up, but was unsure on how fast I would be able to go.
Race morning was a blast. John and I were pumped and ready to just have a fun race. Of course we would like to have good races, but having fun while we were out there was more important.
So the swim...it was a beach start, my first one ever! I decided that I have quick speed and I could sprint out and get ahead of everyone if I was fast enough. Then I would not have to deal with the crowds, pushing, and pulling. It ended up being perfect. I was actually in the lead..but not for long and my swimming weakness was shown. I still felt great in the water and went along at my normal speed without using too much energy. I finished the swim in right around 33 minutes..yikes. I need to get that down under 30 realllllly soon.
Onto the bike, I felt good right away. I started hammering early and was hoping that I could hold my pace for most of the bike. In previous half ironmans I died near the end because I always go out too hard. I was averaged right around 24.5 mph and felt great the whole ride. It even started to rain for a little while out on the course. With about 7 miles left...it hit me. I was tired and just wanted to be done. I strolled into transition and ended up averaged 24.0 mph according to my computer, but the results showed slower since the bike course was over a mile long!
I started the run feeling ok, but wow. I was really out of running shape. I felt slow and tired the whole run. It was a 3 loop course...and very boring. Not much of anything going on and most of it was in the grass! I had to walk after my first loop because I was not feeling good at all and almost just wanted to drop out. I kept taking in liquids and putting sponges on my neck, but nothing was working. I just plugged through the run really wanting everything to just be over. It was the most unpleasant thing ever. I seriously was unsure if my body was going to be able to make it through the race. I ended up running a 1:33 or so which is very terrible for me. I should definitely be under a 1:20 with my leg speed and 1:09 open 1/2 marathon. But the lack of running leading up to the race put me in a bad position. Even after the race for a few weeks it was very hard for me to run without being fatigued. (Luckfully it is coming back now with no injury!). That is the most important thing.
I ended up placing third in my age group...right off of 1st! Darn...but I qualified for the 70.3 world championships in Clearwater and I will for sure be tearing it up there. I know that I should be around a 4:10 70.3 triathlete with the training that I do. We will see what happens though when I race in November! I am pretty excited about it and will be training for a bunch of races leading up to it.
Thats about it for the race..I'll update more about my trip and other races that I've been doing over the next few days! So there will be a lot of stories, just make sure you check back!!!
In the meantime, keep training!