The night went by fast and I felt like I was racing this morning. The alarm went off at 4:35am and Campy was in no mood to get up. So, it was just me getting ready this morning and I threw on my running shorts, tank top and visor and with my coffee in my hand I was out the door at 5am. I headed south to downtown Clearwater and at 545am I was parking for the shuttle.
I boarded the shuttle and I was at the beach by 6:10am.
I met up with Kate, her sis and family and I had my camera ready to go. Unfortunately, my rechargeable batteries are slowly approaching their last charge. I did make my near-empty battery last for the entire race by prioritizing my pics to the pros, my local friends and my blogging buddies.
The race was awesome for everyone out there and although it started out cool, it turned hot, hot, hot by 10am.
My good friends Hunter and Ange joined me for most of the race and after watching the pro's start and finish we headed to a local breakfast spot for a yummy garden omelet. After breakfast it was time to watch the Pro's come in and we timed it just perfect to see the men come in, followed by the pro women.
After seeing the pros it was time to find our spot for the age groupers coming in off the bike. So the end of the bike looked more like a group ride rather than a non-drafting triathlon but as I always say, it is what it is...just deal with it.
I spotted Ange and Kate and I had a few hellos from other local friends who were also spectating. I met up with Mel (CrazyMel) and it was just great to be around so many enthusiastic athletes. I was super excited to see Ange blow up the course and place 5th in her age group (35-39) for her 3rd 70.3!!! I've been working with Ange for the past 2 1/2 years on her nutrition and I've seen her progress as a "just do it" triathlete to a top age-grouper. Kate also looked great on her bike and although she pulled it out on the run, her tan looked just great (my way of motivating her to just enjoy the day :).
After spending all morning at the race, it was 1pm and time for me to head home for the dreaded homework. Time to get back to realty. I bumped into my buddy Dan as I was walking to the shuttle and luckily, he didn't arrest me. :) Dan (and his buddy John) are my good friends that I coached for this race last year. They represented the Clearwater police department and I had worked with them for an entire summer. What great guys!!! Also, in the future it might pay off to have a cop/friend in my life :)
As I was riding back to my car I did a bit of reflecting. I think this race was a good close to a chapter in my life. Not sure when the chapter started and why it ended today but I believe that this next year is going to be really exciting. I just love watching athletes work so hard for individual goals and it really inspires me to see all types of people out at races (no matter what the race). With a marathon, IM and the end of my schooling all approaching in 2009, I am really looking forward to the upcoming months. Also, with Karel in my life, I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive best friend/husband o help me through all the obstacles I face and inspire me along the way. Lastly, what would I do without my blogging friends. I have learned so much from people out there and I love hearing about the good and bad days from people just like myself...people who love staying active, eating healthy and working hard for a goal/dream.
Enjoy the pics!