Little Rock, ARSwim - Let me just start with saying that it was 87* at 8:30am and we didn't start until 10am! By the start it was in the mid 90s and freakin' HOT! The tiny body of water we swam in was not only murky and filled with who knows what, but it was a refreshing 88*. That's warmer than bath water! My plan was to swim as easy as possible and try my best not to overheat. I did just so and the funny thing is that I actually swam faster than I ever have. I really focused on the new things I learned during my swim stroke analysis and really stayed long and strong versus fighting the water and trying to catch up to the other packs. I was super excited and now have a much better outlook on swimming :)
6th Pro Woman
6th Pro Woman
Bike - Although I swam pretty easy, I was still exhausted from the hot water and the insanely hot air temperature. The course was really rocky and bumpy and really worked your whole body. My plan of freezing half my hydration pack the night before and filling the rest full of water to dilute the sports drink/calorie concentrate was an absolute disaster. The thermal pack didn't allow the bladder to melt and I only had a small amount of water and no calories! Talk about a bad time not to have fluid or sugar!!! At that point, I was already so hot that I just put it in cruise control with the goal of simply finishing the race. The two loop course was actually really fun, but the heat just made it 10x harder.
Run - As I was coming into T2, I saw Will soft pedaling into transition. He told me he had overdone it, crashed a few times and wanted to wait to run with me because all he wanted to do was finish too. WOW...talk about a teammate! By this point, it's already noon and well over 100*. The first 2 miles of the run were completely exposed and false flatish uphill. After that, you have a 300-400ft full body climb/hike up these crazy cliffs. Had Will not been with me and brought a water bottle, I honestly would never have made it. I was going off course, I was falling backwards, I was completley dilerious! At the top, we traverse for a good mile or so until you start to descend back down through loose, rocky switchbacks. I finally got my legs turning over, but was still suffering like a dog. The final part of the run consisted of another 300ft climb (a little more gradual) but very exposed. I almost cracked, but Will saved the day again and kept reassuring me I could do it. After another technical decent on the 'rock quarry', we hit the forest for a mile or so and to the finish...THANK GOD!
Finish - Holy crap that was hard. I am so proud of myself for getting through it and NOT going to the med tent! Yes, that is a huge step for me as I'm usually the first to head over. This isn't the first time Will has run with me in a race and helped me to the finish line and having a friend/teammate like that is absolutely priceless. Thank you sooo much Will and if I could do the same for you, I would in a heartbeat.