One look at the soil and it's clear where the race and the state of Oklahoma got their names (Okla means red, homa mean man in one of the local Native American languages). I didn't have any expectations for this race other than I wanted the swim to go smoothly and I wanted to have fun. And I was hoping for a PR on the bike legs since it's flat, and really I was hoping for an overall PR too. Ok, there were expectations. Let's be honest - I don't think I can actually enter a race with no expectations, unless there is beer or costumes involved.
In the days leading up to the race, MO caught some nasty GI bug and was vomiting with a fever at 4am on Thursday. Friday morning on the drive down, he was finally able to eat something. Not exactly a good way to taper.
Luckily, MO was feeling well enough to race. It was an interesting race... MO and I took our friendship to a whole new level. Not only did I apply Body Glide (photo above) and help pull his wetsuit into place (photo below), but John was there photographing the whole giggling mess.
Thankfully, the water was calm and it was perfect condition. Ironically, the environmental conditions were probably the best I've ever swam in and it was the most physical contact in a race I've experienced. There seemed to be a lot of first-timers, thrashing and splashing and freaking out in general. Until the realized it was shallow enough, all they had to to was stand up.
I came out of the water in 39:47, a full 6 min faster than NOLA and my fastest swim to date. I averaged 1:53/100yd. MO was out in about 35 min.
The bike was gently rolling with not-so-gentle pavement. I thought it was a slightly more difficult course than NOLA, but I took about 1 min off my time. 2:45:36 for an average of 20.3 mph. At this point, I knew I could PR but I also knew my stomach was already a little off and it was going to be hot on the run.
It was a 2 loop run course, and totally flat. I saw MO's friend Eric 3 times on the course but kept missing MO. My run was going downhill and I was getting hot and I started to worry that MO might be holed up in a porta potty somewhere along the course, given his recent GI illness. I finally saw him on the last leg (Actually he saw me) and he looked good! At least he looked much better than I felt!
MO had a great day, setting a 12 or 13 min PR. Considering he was barely able to eat in the few days before, that was awesome!
I had to stop and take walk breaks at miles 6, 9, and 12 but I was still doing much better than NOLA. I barely looked at my Garmin, other than to check mileage so I really had no idea what the time was when I was coming down the chute. My official time was 5:41:13, an 18 min PR and good enough for 3rd place in my AG! My first long-distance podium! Too bad the awards were on Sunday or I would have stayed for the presentation.
I can honestly say when I finished, I had nothing left. I sat in the finisher tent for several minutes and when John and I walked to get my finishers t-shirt, I started getting dizzy. At least I know I laid it all out on the course. The last 2 miles of the run, all I was thinking about was how good it would feel to sit in the lake. So I sat, enjoying my new PR and the cool water.