Monday, October 27, 2014

South Carolina, Sand and Ceremonies

That's how you do a first dance!!
October has been an event-filled month.  The month started off with my amazingly talented and gorgeous cousin Jennifer Bledsoe marrying the kind, caring and supportive Keith Haskins.  This was a wonderful ceremony and was Jennifer right down to the butterflies that were released at the end of the service.  Then, oh my, Jennifer and Keith performed an amazing dance.  Not only that, but my brother, Jonathan played the mandolin and... SANG!!  He has quite the awesome bluegrass voice!  Maybe Punch Brothers will give him a ring?  All in all, it was a great weekend in Atlantic Beach with the Corbin, Bledsoe and Haskins clans.  (Read all the way until the end and watch the song for all my old friends, especially Jon and Ashley!)

Rev3 Anderson

I have been prepping for Rev3 Anderson all summer.  The goal was to go sub 5 hours.  That did not happen, but it was a hilly and weather filled day.  My finishing time was 5:12:change.  I can honestly say that after the treacherous bike it was actually a wonderful experience.  I did not fall out after crossing the finish line and immediately started on recovery.

The Swim

We began setting up T1 and the rain came down.  It did not stop.  The swim was delayed over an hour because thunderstorm bands were crossing over the race location.  Sean English, the man on the mic, was risking electrocution keeping us anxious and fidgety athletes updated on the state of the weather.  Finally, Emergency Services gave us the OK, but all participants would be swimming the Olympic course.  The swim was not choppy, but not smooth because it had been raining over an hour.  People were bumping into each other.  (Waiting triathletes become aggressive people.)  I tried to swim around people and it seemed as if they would move over and block my way.  I did not pull any feet this time Jeremy Yoemans, but I was tempted to.  The swim seemed longer than an Oly and I stumbled out of the water.  I was a bit disoriented from getting smacked around.  Zack Russell, a fellow Fleet Feet High Point employee hollered at me in T1 and I blankly stared at him.  I made it to my bike and EVERYTHING was SOAKING WET!!  Pull on the pink Swiftwick socks, slip on the shoes and mount the bike, it was go time!

The Bike

SO COLD!!  So, so COLD!!  It seemed as if the elements had left us, but looming over the hills was an ominous black cloud.  I began to hammer down on the bike and monitor my nutrition.  Everything was going well and the BOOM!!  Rain, wind and HAIL!!  The elements were all around me.  My sunglasses were useless and the hail pelted my body.  The wind picked my bike up off the ground.  It was at this point that I dismounted and considered DNFing.  NO!  I took a few deep breaths, refocused, gritted my teeth and decided to keep rolling.  The weather finally subsided, which was fortunate because the hills were technical enough, and I began to dig in.  Every so often I would state, "Ride like Tommy Rodgers!!  Ride like Tommy Rodgers!!"  (He is an accomplished mountain and road cyclists.  He also coaches and provides nutritional guidance at E3: Elite Human Performance.)  The bike was finally finished and I knew that sub-5 was out the window.  At T2, I dismounted the bike and could not feel my feet and I really had to pee!!  Pearl Izumi TN1s on, race belt on, Rev3 Headsweats visor on and we're off!!

The Run

I started walking because of the aforementioned need to pee!!  A few steps out of transition, past a
Jessica chasing down 2nd!!
Port-a-Potty because that means I would be stopping and time is of the essence, right?!?!?  I walked right past the first aid station out of transition and FINALLY RELIEF (for all those reading this now, triathlon is so super sexy.  Dr. Laura I still need to work on my bike peeing skills.)  If this would have been any other setting, I would have been super embarrassed, but this was race day.  A kind volunteer biked next to me and she asked if I was OK and then saw what was occurring and promptly turned around.  (All right, enough about running and peeing.)
Once I started running, I was worried that I was done for, well that was not the case.  My first mile off the bike was a 7:00 flat!!  (It would've been faster, but again I had to GO!!)  The course was quite hilly and there was very little flat!  I kept ticking away and ran past the people partying at the BASE salt tab station.  They were too fun on their cruisers.  I tried their salt replacement on the run for the first time.  Again, if it is good enough for Andy Potts to try something new on race day, then why not?!?!?  The miles kept ticking by.  I caught up with this super fast young woman, Jessica.  She was currently in third over all.  Eric Opdyke, the Rev3 Race Director extraordinare was giving splits.  I told her I would help her out and provide a solid pace.  We stayed together the rest of the race and kept "killing" people (a RAGNAR term I just learned when you pass people, thanks Mandy!!).  At the last quarter mile of the 13.1 the second place woman was in our sites.  I told Jessica that her change to claim second was now or never!  She ran as if she was shot out of a cannon and passed 2nd place on the uphill.  Both women plowed to the finish line and Jessica took second.  I danced my way through the finish and gave Sean some "guns" (no, not bicep flexing, but finger guns, LOL!)  The time of the run was 1:34:change!!  It was a solid eleven minutes faster than Williamsburg!  Even though my overall time was seven minutes slower, having a stronger run was so satisfying!!  

3rd place Female is in front of me!
Anderson was in the books and it was epic!!  The last tri of the season is Rev3 Florida in about a week.  Before that I am once again pacing Alicia Rider at the City of Oaks Half Marathon in Raleigh.  Hopefully we'll go sub 1:30!  I had so much fun pacing her to first place overall woman at Run the Mountain.  


This weekend my brother from another mother Allen Amos got married.  It was a beautiful ceremony with amazing music!  The organist was incredible, but those who know the talented Maestro Allen Amos would expect nothing less.  Following Allen's wedding, my family booked it from Durham to Raleigh so that my brother, Jonathan, could make his sister-in-law's wedding.  The church was spectacular and the organ was over three million dollars.  It was quite the sight!  So, basically, double wedding!!  On that note, Michael and Lauren Vance celebrated their one year anniversary this weekend AND have just had their first child, James Howell Vance.  I guess people like to have wedding at the end of October.  

A perfect day with great people!
The day after the wedding, I drove back to Raleigh to hang out with old friends and see Jon and Ashley for one more day.  It was a good day.  It was topped off by having dinner with Jess and Eli!  For some reason, saying goodbye to Jon and Ashley was much harder this time than others.  Yes, they have to go back to Ithaca and yes, I have work, but it was such a perfect Sunday.  It was one of those days you wanted to hold onto for eternity, but everything is temporary.  They will come back Christmas for a few days.  Until then we will go about our daily lives.  I will train, work and race a few fun races.  Jon will research and apply for professorships CLOSE TO NC!  Ashley will make more money than either of us as she works in the medical field.  We will see each other again.  

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