I got in the water the day before and thought it would be nice. The water was flat and the temp was perfect - about 71 degrees. Boy, was I wrong.
There was 2 foot swells and I took so much water in the face I thought about waving my arm and quitting before I hit the first buoy. I didn't, but it took some doggy paddling and back stroke just to make it to the first turn. After the first turn, things got better. Then worse. They could have used a few additional buoys on the second half of the course. The swells were so big, I had a hard time sighting. One wave actually picked me up enough my legs were out of the water. I got pushed off course and cut my leg on some rusty sheet piling trying to cut through to get back on course. I just wanted out of the water.
I was surprised with my swim split of 45:51. For how many times I stopped to clear my goggles, doggy paddled, and got off course, I felt like I have been in the water for over an hour. John said I'm usually smiling when I come out of the water and this time I just looked dismal.
The bike was flat, fast, and calm, exactly what I was hoping for. The pavement was rough and by the end I was intimately familiar with my saddle. I had a rockin' bike split of 2:46:23, averaging 20.2 mph.
By the time I got off the bike, it was about 78 and full sun. I am not acclimated to that weather just yet. The run was rough. I was having problems breathing. My chest felt compressed and it was like there was a golf ball in my chest. It hurt to take a deep breath. Needless to say, I did a lot of walking. Note the bloody leg. Yup, time to update my tetanus shot.
I *barely* made it in under 6 hours. The clock was off, so when I rounded the last corner, I thought I had 4 minutes to spare. My official time was 5:59:16. If I had know I was that close, I would have pushed a little harder on that last quarter mile. By pushed a little harder, I mean I might have picked up the pace to a 9:30 mile instead of the shuffling 10:30s I was averaging. I pulled my HR monitor off immediately, but it still hurt to breathe.
My friend MO raced it too and the look on his face says it all. This was his first 1/2 and he did well, somewhere around 5:51, I think. If this had been my first 1/2, I don't know if I could have finished.
There was a 3rd person from Prairie Village, which was funny. The announcer called us the Prairie Village Triathlon Team. If you're interested in joining, our membership dues are paid in beer.
Here's a shot of Andy Potts, the overall winner, coming in off the bike.
My wound, post race. There are some awesome professional pictures of me on the bike with a bright red streak of blood all the way down my leg. My shoe was pink from all the blood.
It was just a scratch, really, but I was going to milk it for all it was worth. I was bit by an alligator, fought him off, and still finished the race!
Time for some R & R. The new PR is nice, but that was a hard-fought race. Hopefully the next time I'm on Bourbon Street, it will just be for the Hurricanes.
Oh! I'll have to add more pictures later. The first night we were there, we got hurricanes at Pat O'Brian's. Great suggestion, Christi! And there were baby goats! I love Bourbon Street!