Alarm went off and I popped out of bed after only hitting the snooze button once.
Made my way to the kitchen to make coffee. Then went to the bedroom to get dressed. Came back to the kitchen and there was coffee everywhere. I don't know why, but about once out of every 10 times that I make coffee, I do something wrong and we end up with a coffee mess everywhere.
To have it happen on this particular morning wasn't so good. I found myself cleaning up the coffee mess when I should have been drinking coffee and eating breakfast. I managed to get everything cleaned up well enough the the rest of the family could make coffee when they woke up. But I was now running out of time. There would be no coffee for me and my breakfast was reduced to whatever I could find to grab and go. Which turned out to be a strawberry milk chug and a small POM Wonderful.
I also wasn't able to rewrap my finger. Somewhere in the midst of the coffee disaster, I misplaced the tape. Couldn't find it anywhere. Time was ticking, and I needed to go.
This time the event was at a location a bit farther from my house. The drive over stressed me out a bit, but I made it on time. Got body marked, signed a waiver, and then went back to my car to rummage through my first aid kit in search of tape.
Found some white tape that seemed like it would work. Taped my finger to the one next to it. Went over to the pool and tested it out. I found that it didn't hurt too much if I bent my two fingers in toward the palm of my hand. My swim was definately going to be compromised, the entry and pull on the left was messed up, but I could do it.
Got lined up and waited my turn to start...
The SWIM (400M)
The swim was up and back in each lane, then under the rope to the next lane, and so on until the 400M swim was complete. The were starting us 30secs apart. I had estimated my swim at 8:15, a pace of 2:04/100 based on my last month's splash & dash result.
I turned to the person behind me and apologized in advance. I expected to be swimming slower than my estimated time. She said "no worries" the lanes were wide enough, she'd just pass if she needed to.
My watch says that I finished in 9:20, a pace of 2:19/100. Definately slower than my estimate, but not as bad as I expected with the compromised left hand. And while the lady behind me made ground on me, she never got close enough to pass (in the water).
There isn't too much to set up in transition for a splash & dash. I set up my shoes, socks, hat, and small handheld full of Nuun.
The run course consisted of going up and over a highway on a pedestrian bridge, then running along side the highway on a bike path. Possibly one of the least scenic courses ever. The first part was on a gradual incline, then after the turn around, it was a gradual decline.
I knew I was in trouble about 100 yds into my run. The combination of lack of coffee and decent breakfast, extra energy spent in the pool trying to make up for issues with my left hand, and the sloshing in my stomach of strawberry milk and pomagrante juice was not doing good things for my body. My stomach was upset and I seriously contemplated if puking might make me feel better.
Struggling the whole time, I was passed on the run by many participants who started well after me in the swim. Run time ended up being 33:45, an 11:12 pace. For a 5K?!?! Ugggh. I think that's the slowest 5K I've run in 3 yrs, possibly ever. The only exception was the 5K at the end of the Patriot Tri last year which I mostly walked due to my knee, so that doesn't count.
My total combined time ended up being 44:06. While I wasn't the last to cross the finish line because of the seeded swim start, I think there is a good chance that I had the slowest combined time and will be listed in the results as the final finisher.
What can I say? It definately wasn't my day. I expected a slower swim, but never anticipated having such trouble on the run. Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.
But that isn't a good reason to give up, right? I thanked the race director on my way out and told him that I planned to be back for the next one...
[Edited several hours later to thank you all for your comments so far! I still can't believe just how sucky this was, but I like to think it was more a situation gone awry than a reflection of my ability. The next one will surely be better!]