We had a fantastic weekend. We drove down on Friday and were able to stop by the Danbury Railroad Museum, which the boys loved. It was raining, so we couldn't look at the big trains in the train yard, but they didn't seem to mind. We checked into the hotel, the boys jumped on the beds for a little while, then we grabbed some dinner. Bedtime, which is always the scariest part of staying in one hotel room, went surprisingly smooth, and we were all asleep by 9:45 or so.
On Saturday morning we headed over to the race site, which was at Quassy Amusement Park. I had a Team Trakkers meeting, so the boys scoped out the park and spent some time down at the beach while I met the team.
And Bree Wee!!
Kel and Noah sporting their Trakkers gear.
Trimommy and the boys at Saturation Station!
Here it comes....
The race was on Sunday. I met a great couple on Saturday who were staying at our hotel. They offered to give me a ride to the race site, so Kel and the boys wouldn't have to get up and out so early. (Thanks Sue and Mike!!) We got to the race site around 6 a.m. It was very weird to not have a bike, but that made my transition set-up super easy. I had met my teammate, Tom, the day before, and he was already set up at transition when I got there. I was able to get a quick warm-up before they cleared the water for the pro wave. I had to hang around for about 20 minutes before my wave started, so I checked my Trakkers unit, and hung out with Sonja, one of my Trakkers teammates and fellow trimommy. (Unfortunately, my Trakkers unit did not track me. The units are dependent on cell service, which was very spotty at the park. Some of them worked great, and the team was really able to troubleshoot problems to tweak the units for the next race!)
The swim started and the water wasn't too cold. I felt good, and I was sighting well. The course was a diamond shape, and I made my turn, somewhat slowly, to attack the back portion. I had a hard time seeing the next buoy which freaked me out a little, so I slowed way down until I could find it. After the last turn, I started thinking, "Wow, this is a long swim." About that time, I started feeling like my calves were just on the cusp of cramping up. I was able to fend it off, but as soon as I stood up at the end of the swim, both legs cramped up like crazy. I walked out, and was able to shuffle along to transition. The run was a little long, but Tom was ready and waiting, and we had a super fast T1.
I hung out with the boys and watched all of the pros come into T2, which was cool. We tried to take some pics, but all we got was part of a wheel and the heel of a shoe...we really need a better camera. The waiting was the hardest part, and definitely has me thinking I probably won't do another relay. Ryan and Noah were really restless during this time, and Kel has told me they are definitely not ready for another half-ironman race just yet. Oh well, you never know until you try.
Tom did a great job on bike course, which was really difficult. He finished in 3:06, and I was off!!
The first two miles of the run course were great, except they were mostly downhill, and since the first 8 miles were an out and back, I knew I would have to be climbing up that hill later. At around 2.5 miles the hills began, and the did not stop. It was incredibly steep and difficult. I ended up walking some of the hills, because I felt like I could walk it faster than I could run it. The nice thing was that it was incredibly beautiful and shady, so not too hot. I really tried to run fast down the hills to make up for my walking. At around mile 8 I started coming up on three very fit men all walking together. As I passed them I said, "Come on you guys, you can do better!" That got them going and pretty soon they passed me back. After a while I caught up again with one of them--Matt from DC. He is in the army, has been to Iraq 12 times, races for Wounded Warriors, has three little girls, and went to Mississippi State, so is a Bulldog like me! We had a great time encouraging each other, and he flew by me at the finish! Thanks, Matt!!
Kel got a picture of me coming into the chute. My time for the run was 2:11.
Team Covert-Hughes at the finish line!
Me, Natascha Badmann, and Trakkers Teammate, Carol