May 14, 2006
I don't know why I woke up so early...maybe it was because I wanted to make sure I was awake and ready for my 5:50am race start. Or maybe it was because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to digest my coffee and plain oatmeal. Well, I ended up having too much time to sit and wait and be bored. I was trying to be quiet as Serena was still sleeping, but I didn't know what to do when I looked at my watch and saw that I still had an hour to kill before going down to the transition area. And by the way, I woke at 3:30am!
I had my gear packed the night before, so there was really nothing left to do but wait...finally 4:45 come and I took the elevator 34 flights down to the Lobby, rode my bike the 1/2 mile to the transition area and started to set up.
There were plenty of lights for us to see which made it easy to get ready. I had visualized my race with the swim in particular because I knew I wanted to exit the water with a pack. After my transition was set, I went to the water to get in a nice warm up swim. I think this is the first time that I've swam in the ocean when it's been dark outside! With dark goggles it made it hard to see.
This was a non-wetsuit swim in the warm waters of Honolulu!! But at 5:30am, the water was a bit chilly! The start time was pushed back til 6am for the men and 5 minutes after for the women, because the sun hadn't risen!
The was a drum ceremony just prior to the announcing of the mens race. It was pretty cool, to be up at sunrise listening to a drumming just prior to starting a race! I'm cheesy for these things.
The race announcer called each girl out individually to the start line where we could pick any number of spots on a marked carpet layed out across the sand. There were many photographers shooting pictures and I was glad they got out of the way just prior to the gun going off! It was a pretty brutal start as I was shoved out of the way as each girl was jockying for position. I entered the water and started swimming in hopes of staying with the pack. Within 500-600m of the start, I slowly started to loose the girls and I eventually was by myself for the remainder of the swim. I exited the water and knew that I would have a lot of work to do on the bike to try and catch some women. I exited the swim in a 22:25.
I did notice however that upon entering T1 not only was my bike on the rack but there was one other on the rack...yeah, I wasn't last out of the water! After a quick transition I was out on the course which started with about 8-9 speed bumps. I felt strong on the ride and kept looking ahead to find the pack. I eventually saw a lone girl and I made it a point to catch her; I did and she hung on my wheel for a short bit and she pulled once or twice before we can to a slight rise in the road and i dropped her. I pushed on thinking I would see a pack just ahead of me. It wasn't until just prior to the turn around that I saw a pack of about 7 women. I kept pushing thinking maybe they weren't working together well and that I could catch them. Unfortunately I wasn't able to and ended up riding by myself. My ride time was 1:02:35. I had a good ride and entered T2 once again hoping to catch a woman or two on the run. I kept a steady pace but wasn't able to catch anyone. The run was flat, two loops and the weather remained cool thank goodness.
The streets weren't lined with too many spectators as it was a sunday morning and I finished a little after 8am. My run time was 39:41 for an overall time of 2:06:01.
So, I now have a good idea of what and where I need to work for the next few weeks and the next few months!
After the race, Serena and I went back to our room had some lunch and then it was a good 3 hour nap before we decided to go out into the sunshine and for me to begin my mini vacation in Hawaii.