Saturday morning I was up early and working and decided to forego the planned swim of the triathlon as we'd found out the night before that not only had the bike course been changed but that the swim would not start from the island (due to unanticipated early turtle nesting) so there ended up being no swim familiarization anyway. When I was done working for the morning, everyone but Jesse (as it turns out, the smart one) headed down for package pickup. I had No paperwork whatsoever, not even my emails but somehow my mind remembered my FMTri number and they located my information and package. If you hadn't affiliated with the national triathlon federation you needed to pony up an extra $100 ($8USD) and affiliate for the day and fill out all kinds of computer stuff and the wait for that was rather long, but I just needed to photocopy my ID (FM3) and hand it over for pickup which inlcuded....SALT TABLETS!!! The girl handing them out acknowledged that they indeed, were NOT available anywhere in Mexico so they must have imported them. With the forecast for 38C for the day I was over the moon and Very excited to get such a treat.
We ended up timing package pickup with the first junta previa and since the meetings were obligatory I headed out for it (at a different hotel from entrega de paquetes) while Jamie, the girls and Pike hung out at the beach at the first hotel. The meeting was super long as the first order was a long drawn out apology and explanation for not leaving from the Isla de Sacrificios. I was okay with it and it seemed like most were and then there was the bike re-routing explanation and once we got to the run route explanation (don't think there was a change there) I pretty much understood the bike route. They said they'd let us know if the swim was clockwise or counterclockwise the morning of the event. They'd wait for the capitania del puerto to decide which would favor us best. It was a long meeting with lots of questions and that is where I found out they were Very Serious about no drafting and that Jamie would not be able to hand me Electrolit on the course BUT they would have Powerbars and GU for the bike and run. Except they really didn't. Luckily, I had accidentally planned for that.
I tried taking a nap in the midafternoon and I'm pretty sure I got some sleep in as I had been getting up at 5am to work and going to bed at 10pm or later by this day it was really catching up with me. I know your taper week is supposed to be a resting and hydrating week but mine was pretty much the opposite. That night as Jamie and I headed out for dinner (the kids stayed in the hotel) and found The Best pastor tacos we've ever had I got hit with incredibly awful stomach cramps and diarrhea and I was worried enough for the next day that we headed for a farmacia and got cramping meds.
I then had to figure out what I was going to wear for the triathlon. I really wanted a swimsuit for the swim, bib shorts and jersey for the bike and shirt and shorts for the run and got everything together. I had purchased some wide elastic and sewed it to make a belt for my first sprint triathlon in March and pinned this to the elastic of my shorts to change into in T2. I wasn't sure if there were bathrooms at transition for changing so I brought a large towel along just incase. I filled my bike jersey pockets with the salt tablets, a cliff bar and 2 GUs along with a CO2 cartridge and probably more. I refrigerated 2 750 mL bottles of 1-scoop Cytomax and got to bed.
I was up at 4:45 am without any alarm. I made coffee and completely changed my race wardrobe and dropped the swimsuit and bib shorts for tri shorts and a run top over a running bra. Jamie was up a little before 6am (transition was open from 6am to 6:45) and we squeaked into transition at 6:30. there was absolutely No Place to put my stuff - the ladies on both sides of me had taken all the space. So I put my bike shoes in front of my bike, hung my sunglasses and helmet on my bike and left 2 bags of my stuff directly under my bike and behind my bike and headed out of transition to the beach. We had to get out behind the sets of breakers to see the course and I finally decided I had pretty much the gist of the course and as all the women started together (and dead last) I'd just follow the waves of men ahead of us. The elites were off first and while I didn't see any women there were apparently 2 elite women in there. One finished just over 5 hours, the 2nd in 5:25ish (and I beat her bike time).
I'd had a cliff bar back at the hotel around 6am and since I'd actually tested this nutrition on my very last brick at home I knew it would work and was happy with the choice. I tried to swig some Electrolit, expecting a very hot day but had to leave it all in transition. The swim wasn't bad once we got past the breakers and I think I swam through 2 waves of men before exiting but my time wasn't all that hot (41 min) and I know I swam way wide for open water. I thought I had taken a short cut (direct line) at the base of the triangle (300 m) but maybe I was actually way off course. Hard to say. It was GREAT to have the swim over and one part finished and done with. Bike was next.
I ran into transition (not far from swim exit) and took off the run top which had chafed me badly under each arm and stepped into my bike jersey and headed out. While on the swim someone had dumped all my bags of stuff on the ground under my bike and taken the towel (we weren't supposed to have backpacks or any bags there but I had no room to put my stuff so I left everything in bags) and I figured I'd figure out the run stuff in T2 and headed out on the bike. It turned out I was 21/68 women and I thought sure I'd done better than that so definitely room for improvement there.
It apparently had rained HARD during the swim and the roads were very wet and full of large deep puddles. I found it impossible to keep my HR under 150 for the first 18km lap and durin gthe 2nd couldn't keep it under 140 so I just gave up and in the headwinds took it easier and tucked tight on the downhills. I ended up averaging just under 30km/hr at 3:01 for the bike. Exactly where I'd hoped I'd be. Jamie was on the course for at least the 1st lap and maybe then 2nd and then headed to the hotel to get the kids. I saw them the 4th and 5th laps and drank both water (1L) and poweraid along with the Cytomax I'd brought and 1 Cliff bar I'd brought and took 1 salt tablet at one point thinking I'd save the last 2 for the run. I never saw those again.
The bike really was very good. I didn't suffer at all and I did not let 1 single female pass me from any age group. I was very happy with my bike portion but I was really worried I had not left enough for the run. I knew I'd worked hard - not ridiculously hard - but hard and I was shocked at how high my HR had been because in training I had to work So Hard to get it that high and during the race I just could not bring the intensity down at all but it wasn't really hurting. I guess that means I trained well.
When I came into T2 I had an amazing sight - 3 racks of bikes, mine, the one to both left and right were EMPTY! I'd beaten at least 3 age groups of females into T2. I grabbed my run shorts, stripped off my jersey, put on my run shirt and ran to the bathroom to change and tentatively headed out for the run. I knew it was going to hurt and it was a huge question as to whether I'd actually be able to do it or not. I had not gone further than 12 km in training and this was going to be 22 km. I was scared.
My plan was to Gallowalk - 9 min run and 45s to 1 min walk. I spotted a guy in front of my coming out of T2 who was shuffling quite a lot like I was and I wondered if I should just shuffle with him or Gallowalk but after 3 Gallowalks I had left him quite solidly behind me. I expected to start feeling worse and worse but by 30 minutes (5km ish) I was feeling better than expected. Not great by any stretch but not like I was going to die and I started thinking I just might be able to finish. I kept looking for "U" on calves but never saw one the entire race. I was sure I had one of my age group ahead of me but wasn't sure. I kept to my 9m:45s and found that not only did the promised Powerbars never appear on the bike leg but that the promised GUs never appeared on the run leg. Luckliy I had brought 3 GU with me just in case and stashed them in my bra coming out of T2.
The rest stations along the run were heaven. They had pretzels, coke (not defizzed but I drank 2 anyway) rasins (I was afraid to take these that they'd give me gas), ice, Poweraid, water, oranges and bananas. They had a fire truck throwing a DRENCHING shower at one end of the course. They had a water tunnel at the other. On the 2nd lap the rest stop volunteers poured ice cold water in a shower over you if you so desired. There were private citizens along the course with ice cold baggies of water, gatorade, oranges, other drinks, coke and incredible spirit. They MADE the run course. Towards the end of the laps there was one guy who was VERY LOUD and YELLING at you, encouraging you, calling you out by number and what an inspiration. There was one family with empty water bottles filled with rocks shaking and yelling "VENGA VAMOS" and encouraging us. By the 2nd lap I really looked forward to all the little groups of people yelling for their own athlete and the rest of us as well. By the 2nd half of the 2nd run loop I knew I was going to finish. I decided to stop run/walk and just run but stop in the rest stations to pick up ice and poweraid. I had to stop taking in liquids a couple times on the bike due to sloshing but paced myself well enough on the run that I never got bloated or sloshing tummy thankfully but I really wish I'd had more solid food available. I did take pretzels 3-4 times on the course hoping for the salt to kick in.
Jesse ran the last 6km wiht me (in CROCS!!) and talked me as I shuffled along. Sometimes he walked while I "ran". I was very happy to be done as those last 6km my hips were KILLING me - I'm used to running on non concrete and this was all concrete and asphalt. Plus there was the lack of training and distance. So my first 1/2 marathon was at the end of a triathlon. :)
I finished in 6:22 and ended up winning my age group. We never were able to find the prize ceremony but honestly I was very happy to finish, to win my AG and to have my family around to celebrate with. I could not have asked for more. But honestly, an IM is TWICE this? ACK!!! NOW i'm REALLY worried!