Friday, August 15, 2014

The Crabman

I felt pretty good leading up to The Crabman.  I didn't sleep great, but I really never do if my alarm is set for wake up in the middle of the night.

I ate my usual breakfast of two waffles with peanut butter, checked my list and put some last minute things in my truck before heading out to pick up Elaine.

Parking was easy, we grabbed our stuff and biked to the transition area.  Elaine and I were just a couple bike racks away.  We set up our stuff and then a woman came over to write my number on me.

Elaine and I walked around a bit to check things out and look at the ocean.  We had done the OWS clinic the week before and the waves were crazy rough.  Today, it was no better.  I knew it would be tough, but we had been though it once before and I knew we would finish and be fine.

We headed back to get our wetsuits on and found Bethany.  The three of us went to the start together.

We watched the first wave go in and then the second.  A man was rescued by a life guard and brought to shore. Not really sure why.  Everyone else seemed to be doing ok.  Bethany's wave went in and then it was the beginner wave.  Elaine lined up at the front and I lined up in the middle. We wished each other a good race and the horn blew.

Waves were just pelting us as we headed out but I knew I would be ok once I was around and past the first buoy.  I found a nice rhythm and feel like I was swimming well.  About 150 meters in, people called for help and stopped right in front of me.  The kayaker was on his way and they were not in immediate danger, so I went around them and swam on.

As I approached the last buoy, a man started to freak out right in front of me.  He was wearing a wetsuit and the women next to him, who I think actually knew him, started to yell, "Just roll over and and float for a minute!"  Again, I had to go around people but was soon past the buoy and headed to shore.  The waves just pushed me in and I felt great coming out of the water.

Got to my bike, wet suit off, rinsed my feet and put on my socks and bike shoes.  I ripped out my contacts, put on sunglasses and my helmet and headed out.  Getting to the road and the bike mount seemed liked forever.  Once I was on my bike though, I felt great.  This was a two loop course and pretty flat.  One of the fun parts was Beth was the flagger heading onto Rt. 1.  I love that I got to see her twice!

The bike was pretty uneventful. I fell in line with a girl who was pretty much riding the same pace as me.  We passed each other a couple times but I ended up getting off the bike first. She would later pass me in the run.

Off the bike and we had to run back to transition in a roped off kind of lane.  It was skinny and the people in front of me were walking.  I wasn't sure what to do.  It didn't look like I would fit if I said excuse me.  We had to make a left and it seemed to open up a bit so, that is when I made my break and ran the rest of the way back to my spot.

Changing my shoes was easier this time, thanks to Beth. She hooked me up with lock laces.  I grabbed my inhaler, watch, Gu and took one step and realized I forgot my race belt and number. Grabbed that and headed out for my run.
Thanks, Beth!

As soon as I started to run, I swear, I heard my legs laughing at me.  My pace was slow but I was running.  Run and done, run and done.  Just keep moving forward.  So that is what I did.

Looking at my watch, I knew I was not hitting any records with my run, but I was still ahead of my pervious time at Goddard.  Even with a bad run, I was still going to have a PR.

The last mile,  I went back and forth with a girl who was also new to triathlon.  She was on her way to a new PR too.  She did not have a watch and she kept asking me what time it was.  I was happy to have someone to chat with, but knew when the crowd was getting larger we were close.  I picked up my speed and yelled to her to do the same.  I never looked back though.

I was so excited as I was getting close to the finish line, I got tears in my eyes, and then I couldn't breathe. I reached in my pocket for my inhaler even though I knew it wasn't there. I discover it missing when I got my GU out of my pocket on the run.

I crossed the finish line to the smiling faces of Beth, Elaine and Bethany, but I could not stop there, I pointed to transition and I think I was able to say, "inhaler."

Bethany walked with me to my bike and I found it on my towel. I was in tears at this point. I took a couple puffs, drank water and just sat a bit trying to figure out why it wasn't in my pocket.  I knew I had it when I grabbed my watch and GU?

Once I felt better, Bethany and I walked back to the girls and the food. I was so happy to eat pizza.  From there, we headed to the computers to find out my official time.

That is 6:19 minute PR.  Basically, I took a full minute off my swim, a minute off of T1, :30 off of T2 and the rest came from my bike. I actually added a minute to my run, but with post Blessing legs, I am ok with that.
Me, with Beth and Elaine

The happy finishers!

I really enjoyed this race and would do it again.  The bike for me was my favorite part as opposed to Goddard where I favored the run.

I am now officially tapering for Rhode Warrior and not really feeling as excited as I hoped I would be. I am guessing it is because I am tired. I am ready to not "have to" do anything. I want to just run to run and get back to our normal schedule.  I know deep down that I will enjoy the race once I am there but till then, I am a bit of a mess.

Any last minute triathlon advice? Is there something you think I will need that is not as necessary for a sprint tri?  How do you handle your nerves leading up to a big race?

Oh and after thinking about it and talking my transition out with Elaine, I had put my inhaler down when I had to go back for my race belt.  Why I didn't put it in my pocket when I first picked it up, I just don't know.  Lesson learned and that will not happen at RW.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. You did AWESOME, Nicole! There are always little things that are way, way better than expected and sometimes some other things (inhaler!?) that we don't want to get stuck in our heads. Just keep remembering I AM PREPARED. I AM PREPARED. Forget EVERYTHING that scares you or doesn't excite you. YOU ALREADY KNOW that you can do each of these 3 things - swim, bike, run. Just go do it and remember to smile. You will be crazy phenomenal! Can't wait to hear all about it!

    1. Thank you Sharon! You have been quite the inspiration to me. I will keep everything you said in mind.

  2. You are amazing!! This race went so well and I'm so thankful you got to that inhaler when you did. You look incredibly awesome in that tri kit but more than that, you ARE incredibly awesome. Six minute PR! Go girl! Can't wait to hear all about Rhode Warrrior!

    1. Thank you for the kind words and all your support!

  3. Congrats! It sounds like that swim was really tough!!!! It's always a little freaky seeing people get pulled from the water.

    I've only done one 70.3 but I'll give you some advice that I learned the hard way. My race was really hot, so not sure what yours is going to be. If you aren't feeling great, it's ok to stop at the aid stations on the bike. I felt like I just needed to buzz by them. I should have stopped and thrown some water on my head or something. I also ran out of water on the bike multiple times. I called myself an idiot several times because I never thought to just grab an extra water and put it in my bike jersey. I had my nutrition in one bottle and the water in another and that's all the room I had on my I never took more than one water bottle and with the heat I always ran out before the next stop. By the time I reached the run I was dehydrated and getting made for a long race. Anyway....just remember to have fun. Crossing that finish line is amazing!!! Good luck!

    1. Thank you for the advice. My bike holds two bottles and there will be a bottle exchange at mile 28. I think that will work for me. The high for the day at this point is 77. It will be cool in the morning and i think for most of my time on the bike. I always look forward to the run and the course has a water stop every mile.

      Can't wait to cross that finish line. Thank you!