I have been thinking about writing this race report for months. On every long ride I would imagine how the words would just flow about such an epic day, and now that the day has passed I'm finding the writing much more difficult than I expected. I'm positive that there is no way I can put together words that can accurately describe my emotions and feelings of the day, but yet, I will try because I want to remember as many moments as I can.
The week of the race began with an ominous start. A tickle in my throat progressed to a full on cold by Monday and I started to get nervous. Tuesday and Wednesday I woke with symptoms that were worse and headed to the doctor. Armed with antibiotics and an array of home remedies I went to bed, but by Thursday I made the decision to cancel everything on my calendar and spend the day in bed. Finally on Friday, I was feeling a little better but not 100%, but my time in bed and not doing anything had another effect. I was feeling very achy and creaky in my left lower back with pain radiating down to my left knee. I get this periodically when I am not doing as much, and I think it is nerve related. The pain doesn't bother me at all while I am working out, but if I am sitting still or trying to sleep it is unrelenting. Needless to say, the car ride on Friday was a challenge and I got very little sleep on Friday and Saturday evening.
Add into all of this that Ryan was sick and threw up about an hour after we got to Ohio, I was pretty freaked out. I just kept thinking that I couldn't believe all of this was happening so close to my race. Then I felt terribly selfish for thinking that when my child was sick. Then I went back to freaking out again. Fortunately, it seemed to be a quick passing thing and Ryan was fine in the morning.
On Saturday, I tried to stay in bed but was awake by 7 and downstairs by 7:15. I was excited to see my family who had gotten in late Friday night. I spent most of Saturday morning chilling out at the house we rented eating carbs and catching up with my sister. I was surprisingly calm about the race and seemed to be more obsessed with making sure that everyone was going to be okay while I was racing. Finally my mom just said to me, "Kelly, we are going to be fine. The boys are going to be fine. We'll be able to figure everything out." I think one of the hardest things about this weekend was just letting this stuff go and trusting other people to make sure everything was okay while I was racing.
Around 12:30 I headed over to the expo to check in and listen to the athlete meeting. As soon as I got out of the car, my stomach did a flip-flop and the race nerves definitely set in. It became so real at that moment!! I got all of my stuff done, checked in the bike, got lots of hugs from my awesome Rev3 teammates, and then headed back home where I laid in the bed in my Normatec Recovery boots and checked in with coach for some last words of encouragement.
While Kel and my mom cooked up dinner I began organizing my transition and special needs bags. It was pretty easy since I had made up lists before hand, but still stressful because I was just worried that I had forgotten something. Sonja had already talked me out of having extra contacts in every single bag, but the first time is tricky.
Once the dinner was in my tummy and all the bags were packed and lined up like soldiers ready for battle, there was nothing I could do but head off to bed. I got in some good snuggles with the boys, read a little in bed and was asleep by 9 or so, aided by a couple of advil to take the edge off the pain in my knee.
I actually slept pretty good and woke up around 2:55 a.m. and never really went back to sleep. My alarm was set for 4, and I ended up getting up around 3:45 for good. I was surprisingly calm and excited at the same time and just ready to get going!
Kel and I headed down to transition, and I turned in all my bags, pumped up the wheels, loaded the nutrition, and all the other little things you have to do race morning (I had made a list so I wouldn't forget anything.) I was done way early, so we went back to the car to hang out where it was a bit warmer until it was time to walk down to the swim start. I was really glad to have Kel there with me, and we just sat together in the warmth of the car in comforting silence.
Before I knew it, it was time to get the wetsuit on and head down to the swim start which was about a half mile walk down the beach. I ran into Tim and Jaime before we headed down, and it was so nice to have some of my Rev3 teammates with me.
As we walked to the water, the sun was rising and the sky was so beautiful I could hardly believe it. Today was my day and it was about to begin.
to be continued...