Augusta at Last!

Sunday,  Steven and I completed in the inaugural 70.3 Ironman in Augusta Georgia.  We left early Friday morning, and drove the 12 hours straight.  We made it to the hotel just in time to attend the last mandatory pre race meeting, and then get our numbers( my swim cap color was pink! Sweet!), and check out the expo.  We got some pretty good swag, and some great stuff at the expo.  Steven drooled over the new Giant TT bike.  I got a couple of running hats and t-shirts for the boys.

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The next morning we went for little run, down the river walk to check out the swim start.  After a shower we took our bikes to transition and got them checked in.  All slots were numbered, so it didn’t matter when you dropped of your bike, just sometime before 7:30 pm, unless your a Pro, then I guess you didn’t have too.  Steven and I then drove the bike course to see what we were up against.   Overall it didn’t look to bad.  A few technical turns and somehills.  We went to dinner around 5 at a neat little bar called 1103.  I was starting to get nervous.  After dinner, it was back to the hotel.  I think I was asleep by 9.

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The alarm went off about 5.  I think I finally got up around 5:30.  We had everything pretty much ready, so we ate a PBJ and drank some coffee before catching the shuttle to transition.  The shuttle, and transition areas were set up great.  I got my transition area set up with little drama.  I wandered over to Steven’s and helped him out (it’s been a while since he’s had to set up in transition).  We then took the shuttle to the swim start, got our chips and hit the porta pottys one last time.  At the start of the race, the announced the Pros.  Wow, I’m at the same race as Pip Taylor, and Greg  Bennett!  It was the coolest moment ever!   I got my wet suit on and waited with Steven until his heat was going to start.  I was in heat 12.   Waiting on the docks before my heat, I felt strangely calm.  They called our heat to the water, and I jumped in and held on to a rope on the dock.  The water was 70 degrees, man I was glad I had the wet suit on.  The swim was point to point down river, and we had a current that helped push us a little.  I swam through so much crap though, at one point I thought I was caught in a fishing net.   My swim time was still 26:36.

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After I came out of the water I was trying to run and get my arms out of my wet suit.  Thank God for the wetsuit strippers.  Helmet, shoes, glasses, a bite of poptart andI was off on the bike.  I started out strong on the bike, but I didn’t want to push it too hard.  I knew the run was going to be tough.  There was one hill that seemed never ending.  I saw a few flats, no wrecks.  I lucked out that I wasn’t one.  The last 10-15 mile there was a head wind that slowed me down a bit, but I did the bike in 3:04:53.  Way better than I thought I would!  I went through 2 bottles of Gatorade and some Hammer gel on the bike course.

The run was going to be a 2 loop up and down the streets of downtown Augusta.  When started the first mile you joined in with others who were on there 2nd lap.  I came up the hill out of transition and joined everyone else, a couple of people said”  welcome to the run”   The only thing I didn’t like about the run was passing the finish three different time before you actually got to.   Around mile 6 I had to stop and walk at an aid station.  The sun was out and it was hot and humid.  I took a quick porta potty break and continued on.   Around mile 10 I saw Steven on the side of the road.  He had just finished.  ” Hey babe you look great”  I think I told him to go away.  I was hot and crabby, and mad that he was done, and I still had 3 miles to go.  The crowds and the music was great, it helped push me through the last few miles.

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As I came around the corner and saw the finish, I couldn’t help but smile.  I did it!  Something I never dreamed I could do!  I saw Steven laying on the ground waiting for me.  I almost missed him.  “Kim, Kim ”  he mumbled.  I helped him up and gave him a big hug.  “I never could have done it without you”  I said, and that’s the truth.  We changed clothes and got some food and beer.  We checked the results before walking back to the hotel.  With my last few months of training being practically non existent, I just wanted to finish, but finishing  in 5hours 52 mins was way better than I ever thought I would do!  Steven did so awesome also.  He finished around 5:15.  Congrats toDan A. and to  Dan D. who also got a roll down slot to Clearwater.

I was so excited after the race, I can’t wait to do another.  Well after the wedding.