It was just me and the kids making this trip. The race is on a Wednesday, so Ryan would need a few days off work. He has the extra vacation days, but his work has been pretty demanding lately. We had planned to pick up my packet, go to Island Lake the night before and get a park pass, and let the kids play at the beach. The one thing that is really lacking in Louisville is a clean quickly accessible beach. I was so spoiled in MI because Island Lake has 3 beaches, Kensington has at least 2, and Lakeshore Park has 1 as well, and all of those were within 15 minutes of the condo. As tiny and old as it was, it was a fabulous location. They didn't care that the water temp was 75 degrees! The air was 73, so they were actually warmer in the water.
The next morning, we got together with one of my former coworkers and her children that are the same ages as Keira and Soren. It is fabulous that the kids just pick right up where they left off. I enjoyed catching up too. We went to a favorite park in Novi, the Sports Park, with a great playground.
Then it was time to head back and get ready for the race. The evening races are always so weird to prepare for. I got there super early to make sure nothing extra strange happened (as is sometimes the case when packing up my bike small in the mazda). To make things super awesome, Cristina and Kari pulled in right next to me! We had a good time getting set up and saying hi to everyone. Really, the social aspect of this race was fabulous (are you guys noticing a theme here in my post crash recaps...everything is all about hanging out with friends and not being fast???).
Kari, Cristina, and I looking fashionable in transition
Me and Erika
Cristina, Mary, and I
Julie, Cristina, and I
The race itself was OK. It was a wetsuit swim. I opted to not start elite, so I didn't really have anyone to start with. Cristina and Erika both started elite, and they were in my age group. I did get to meet a new Carrie, the wife of my Aquaphor teammate, Ben, and she was in my AG. I hung out with her before the race and she helped me get zipped into my wetsuit. This was my first wetsuit swim in 2 years!! I hadn't used my wetsuits since I moved to KY. It felt tight, and I had a wrinkle in my tri kit. Oh well, it was just a sprint, right?
My swim wasn't great, but it was ok. What was really bad was my T1. It was total amateur hour. Well, it wasn't quite an hour, but it was still really long and hysterical. I was completely stuck in my wetsuit. Wrists and ankles both got stuck! Eek! Then, I couldn't get on my bike. I thought I was in a decent gear for getting on my bike, but I nearly tipped over going up this little grass hill. Cristina's husband asked me if I had ever done this before!!! Yes, it was really bad. However, I still managed to average 19mph on the bike. Woo hoo! It helps to know the course like the back of my hand. It was only my second outdoor ride since the crash, so this really helped me regain my confidence. I really can't believe I have been doing this race for 5 years! My run was pretty decent (7:40avg), but again, I mixed up the order of my stuff in T2, so I had a bunch of extra time in transition. I really think it was my long transition times that contributed to the averageness of this race. My bike average and my run average were pretty good, my swim was its usual slow, but my overall time wasn't anything special. I did still qualify for elite, and I think I will do that next year, since obviously all the cool kids did it.
Also, I got to see Amy. She came to the race with a friend after going to the Tiger's game in the afternoon. She is doing so much better, but has a long way to go still. She isn't allowed to go anywhere alone, but she is working hard at her therapy. Mindy also came out, and I saw a few other friends who were just spectating. It was a fun time, and I'm so glad I did it. I guess crashing has given me a better perspective on racing. Muncie was also still in the back of my mind, and I wanted to do this for certain to see how the swim bike run all together felt. It felt hard, and the arm hurt on the bike, but it felt good.
Cristina and I post race. Cristina was 2nd OA and 1st in our AG
Kari, Me, and Mindy
Team Aquaphor- Me, Ben, and Cristina. Ben won his AG too. If you look closely, you can see my arm all bandaged up.
This was a great trip. It showed me that Muncie was still a distinct possibility, although I still had to sign up. I knew Cristina and Kari would be there, and I was finally starting to get excited about it again, although I needed more time on the road.