Alrighty my IAMTRI friends here's the LD on my first (of many ahead for sure) HIM's...
Background info...I live about 2 miles from the swim start of the Lake Stevens HIM. I've lived here for 3 years and have always been out of town during race weekend. Well, a friend convinced me that I needed to do the race back in December so I signed my life in blood on December 28th to take a stab at a Half Ironman. I started tutoring students who had been suspended from school and saved to purchase my 2010 Specialized Tarmac at the end of May and did 2 Olympic distance races prior to yesterday's HIM.
Saturday, August 14th...I decided to do a practice swim since the course was all marked and it helps me visualize for race day. The only big orange bouys that were out Saturday were the two that marked turns WAY out in the water. I did my practice swim and was good to go.
Sunday, August 15th aka RACE DAY...I got everything set up in transition and headed over to the swim to realize 5 minutes before the pros started that I didn't have a GU. I ALWAYS GU before a swim. I ran back to transition and they were nice enough to let me go in and grab a GU. Made it back in time to watch the pros take off. I didn't scope out the swim course really in the morning because I already had...right? I socialized instead. Finally wave 8...my wave. Jumped in and the water felt like heaven. I usually never say that but it did. Horn goes and off I go. Totally in my groove feeling great about my swim. The nice thing about Lake Stevens is there's a nice white line underwater to follow. So, I hugged the white line and followed it and didn't sight really. Well, after a bit I figured I better look up and sight and boom...there was an orange bouy is the near distance. I thought to myself heck yea I'm killing this swim. Did a little more swimming and sighted to get ready to turn. However, I noticed no one was turning...they were all swimming for the NEXT orange bouy. Silly me had only swam about 1/4 of a mile and seriously was thinking I was on the homestretch. That sure did take the wind out of my sails. Oh, wait my friends there's more...I finally made it to the FAR bouy and turned to head back. Following the white line I didn't sight when all of a sudden I turn my head to the left to take in a breath and I was sucking on an orange bouy. Freaked me out for sure as I fought to get out from under it. Oh, wait...that's not all. Shortly after that my leg and timing chip got tangled on ANOTHER bouy and I had to stop swimming and unwrap my leg and make sure my timing chip was still on. FINALLY I made it to the swim out and T1 rocked minus the moron who rear ended me at the mounting line.
The bike course is very hilly (about 700 feet of elevation gain over the course). I love hills, I love speed, chugged my Cytomax, GU'ed a few times and just had a blast. Met quite a few people out there and came in off the course with a bike time of 3:22. Very happy with it.
Headed out for the run and the heat really started to settle in. OMG...the sun really decided to create an oven around Lake Stevens and there really was no shade. Cups and cups and cups of ice were stored in my sports bra and I let every kid with a hose soak me as I ran. Not thinking that water equates to heavy shoes!!! I ended up walking WAY more of the run than I had wanted but in training I had only bricked a 56 bike and 5 run so I wasn't sure how my body would respond to all the miles and the 90 plus temps. So, I took it easy. I had a blast and smiled tons.
When I came around the last turn to cross that finish line was one frickin' awesome moment!!! I jumped, danced and celebrated so much the guy on the mic commented on how much energy I had at the finish line...opps guess I should have ran a bit harder. LOL Who cares...I did it! I finished my first Half Ironman in 6:34 and it would have been my goal of 6:30 if I knew how to stay away from bouys. hehehehe