This year, we camped with Mom and Dad at Campland on the Bay (one of our favorite family campgrounds that we have been visiting each year for 20+ years) leading up to the race... and yes, I slept in a tent the night before the race. I knew I was risking no sleep as some of our neighbors did not follow the quiet time rules, but I went to bed at 8:30PM (had to be up at 3:30AM), had my bottle of water with me, and even bought ear plugs to help with the camping noise (quiet time didn't start until 11PM and the Sea World fireworks went off at 9:50PM, so I knew I would need some help.) All was well until several of our neighbors decided to have a camp fire... at midnight... about 10 feet from my pillow... and announced they would be staying up until 3AM... I SOOOOO hate confrontation, but could not sit there and get 30 minutes of sleep before the race, so I had a little chat with them... and surprisingly, they closed everything up and it was quiet within 5 minutes.
There is more to our "camp neighbor" story, but that will wait until the end of this post. For now, it is time to let the photos tell the story... of my race... and the story of a new friend who blew her own race OUT OF THE WATER!
|My Sweet Little Bug... before the race. Last time |
she would get near me until I showered after the race...
|... and My Sweet Husband... look at that cute smile... after getting up at 5AM...|
to support me! I love you, Sweetheart! :-)
|Almost our turn... I'm in the white cap group...|
|...not happy with my time, but I see my Sweet Bug and Husband which of |
course makes me smile! :-) Time for the bike...
|... bike done, and it was tough... but the dismount line|
is right in front of me!
Run... only 6.2 miles to go...
... and I see my Sweet Bug and Husband again...
... and the smile... again!
|Mom, Dad and Anna... waiting for me at the finish line.|
|... long story... see below...|
At 3.5 miles, Lee (in the yellow shirt) ran up next to me and asked if I had a margarita in my water bottle, because he would really like some. :-) Turns out that Lee works for one of the race sponsors and they had a few relay teams in the race. He is a cyclist, but only one run leg was open so he took it. He had never run before, but figured "he could finish 6.2 miles." So here he is talking, being funny, and TOTALLY distracting me from my mantra. I spent the next 5 minutes or so being really upset with him... my breathing was off... my mantra was off... I did not have enough air to breathe, much less carry on a conversation... then he said to me, "You are running a very nice pace. Since this is my first race and you are the veteran, is it okay if I run with you to the finish?"
"No problem," I told Lee, and I had to smile to myself. I was so focused on getting through the pain I was not enjoying the ride... and it looks like God thought that we could help distract each other. I still couldn't talk very much, but the next 3 miles went by very quickly. Next thing I knew, we were at the finish and I told him he had to finish strong. This photo is Lee shouting, "TRACEY! LET'S GO, TRACEY!"
|Mom, Dad, Anna and Jeff are screaming and cheering|
and ringing their cowbells like CRAZY to help bring
me across the line! THAT was AWESOME!!!
|My cute Fashionista... busy at the finish line.|
|First and second place... :-)|
This is Jackie Bickford. She is an Athena 40+ triathlete. I have seen her name on race rosters for the past several years, but had not yet had the chance to meet her... that changed race day. I met her in the water as we were waiting for our wave to start. We introduced ourselves and I knew THIS was "Jackie Bickford"... ellusive competitor of mine. She told me that her 4-year-old grandson had given her his "cheetah" powers for the race. Little did either of us know how right he was.
One thing that I knew about Jackie's race times was that I was faster than her. I'm not saying that to be sassy, but in previous races, I usually beat Jackie by atleast 20 minutes... which is why I was so confused when she passed me with a great big smile and a "Come on, let's go" on the bike. Now, half of the bike course is a loop, and I was on my 2nd loop, so I thought she was still on her first loop... but then I started thinking... she just FLEW by me... no... she couldn't be on her 2nd loop, too... what if she does have cheetah powers...
Flash forward to the finish of the race. After catching my breath, thanking Lee for being such a great race partner, and celebrating the finish with my family, I went straight to the results board to see if any results had been posted for my category. None yet... PHEW... although I had finished 10 minutes slower than my goal, maybe I had done alright... then I saw Jackie... looking all cooled down and looking for results... and they posted new results.
Jackie took first place in our category (I took 2nd)... not only did she take 1st place... she beat the time that I was shooting for... AND SHE CUT ALMOST 30 MINUTES OFF OF HER LAST RACE TIME!!! She TOTALLY killed it!!! :-) Yes, Jackie KICKED MY BUTT... but she KICKED HER OWN BUTT, TOO! We have become Facebook friends so we can keep in touch, but I still need to ask her what she did... how she changed her training... because she was AWESOME! :-)
Being an Athena triathlete is a specific group... we all have a story... and a journey to share... and now I have to step it up because you know the competitor in me... ;-)
... oh... and our "camping neighbors"... the afternoon of the race, one of our neighbors approached Jeff and Dad and asked if I really got up at 3:30AM and why? Jeff and Dad gushed over me... explained that I competed in a triathlon... took 2nd place... on and on. Turns out the guy owns a gym and was totally impressed by my race... go figure.
Next up... the "2nd Annual 25th High School Reunion Triathlon Relay Challenge"... this weekend... Carlsbad Triathlon... :-)