I went to pick up my packet from Tri On The Run on Saturday. I would be #48 and would be wearing a lovely forest green swim cap. Of course I checked my yellow shopping bag for cool swag…it was light on the cool swag. However, since the race was taking place in the lovely city of Baytown (aka “Dirty Bay”), there was a nice leaflet on the subject of “Shelter In Place” and a brochure about Baytown. Who would have thought there would be so much to do and see in Baytown? The race shirt was your typical 100% cotton tee. Shucks, not technical tee! Oh well. I’d also be starting at 8:00 am – 1 hour after the official race start. Apparently, those competing in the long course would be going out in waves first and us short course folks would be next.
Saturday afternoon, I began to feel a little “off”. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just felt a bit tired and my stomach didn’t feel right. It wasn’t horrible or anything, so I just went on with the day. Sunday, the stomach still felt kinda queasy. I’ve never had pre-race nerves, but I thought maybe that was it. The entire way to Baytown I wondered if I really felt up to this race. Having to drive through rain and seeing lightening here and there may have made me question this even more.
I arrived, parked in a big grassy field and started to unload my bike when it began to rain. No worries – there was no lightening and I was getting wet anyway, right? I headed over to check in, get my body marked and pick-up my chip and next I was off to transition. According to the packet, there would be assigned racking - it also stated that if you weren't in your assigned spot, you would be disqualified! However, I found that it was pretty much open racking and you just had to beware of the puddles of water. I found a puddle-less spot and got set up near the end of one of the racks – it was a good spot! I ran into fellow BTer Merry, who was there to support her hubby Pat. Next I ran into another BTer buddy, Keri. Getting in some chit chat with everyone took my mind of my stomach and I started to feel a little better.
Next thing I know, we’ve got about 30 minutes until the race start. I walked over to the transition area and debated on whether or not my stomach could handle my ½ PB&J. I decided it could not, so I skipped it. I also noticed that an additional rack had been added to the end of each row, so my prime spot near the end was now a middle of the rack spot. Oh well! Next, I found my fellow BTers near the water, which now included Craig and Justin, and we checked out the course. It didn’t look too terrible – for the short course anyway, the long course looked, well, LONG. Keri, Justin and I decided to go for a practice swim. At first, a race volunteer told us we were too late, but then she changed her mind and told us to go ahead and that she wouldn’t tell anyone. :-) I am soooo glad I did this – the water was much colder than I expected and there was interesting plant life to step on once you clear the boat ramp. I’m glad I didn’t have the element of surprise for the 1st time when I was heading in with my wave before the race!!! I also got a chance to see how slick the boat ramp was – something to be careful of when heading out of the water and into T1. After I finished my short practice swim, I headed over to the porta cans….just in case. The tummy was okay for the most part, but every now and then it would feel queasy.
While we were swimming, we missed the anthem and directions, but Merry and Pat filled us in. Apparently, each group of men and women for each race would all start together rather than go out in waves. Then, the Athena and Clydesdales would head out, then the relay teams.
Before I know it, it’s time for our race to line up…