Photo by Tom Marek
Vickie decided to organize a small half iron race since she didn't get to do the ones she had planned on this season. She named it Vickie's Hell Ain't This Hot Half and she really took the theme to the extreme! She showed up with a trident and little devil horn barrettes!
Photo by Tom Marek
First thing all the participants did was "packet pickup".In our packets was glow sticks, Hot Tamales, a trident, lava rocks, and a water gun!
Next was body marking, we all got body marked with tridents!
Then we set up our transition areas on the limestone rocks in the parking lot.
The swim was in Lake Pflugerville. Jody brought her kayaks and Jody and Vickie were our in water support. Thanks!! Some people did the full 1.2 mile swim (2 loops), others of us decided to just do 1 loop to try to get on the bike and run before it got too hot. I had a good swim, but I kept wondering why I couldn't catch Carolyn, she's usually just a little slower than me in the water. I assumed she'd gotten a lot faster this summer, but later she told me she wore fins for the swim! I'll have to look up the HATHH regulations to see if that's a violation, but something tells me it's perfectly legal! Photo by Tom Marek
I got started on the bike and felt good, it was even a little cloudy! We saw the zebras at the wildlife ranch near the lake! I had never seen them before. I had maps and directions with me, but I don't know the Pflugerville area at all, and about 5 miles into the ride Dustin and I missed a turn and went down a big hill, then of course had to climb back up it. Missing the turn put me in a mental funk so I was worried about missing turns and getting lost the rest of the first loop. My biggest challenges riding are mental and when I get into a negative attitude it's tough to have a good ride. I took a couple other wrong turns on the first loop and missed the water stop Jody had set up. By the time I got to Annette's water stop I was SUPER happy to see her, thanks SO much Annette! By that time I was almost finished with the first loop and Nicki, Julie, Sandra, Dustin, and I all rode the second loop mostly together. It was HOT on the second loop and the wind was pretty fierce, but Dustin did a lot of pulling for Sandra and I. He said he owed it to me for missing the turn on the first loop, but I think that was just as much my fault as his. Someone's melted gummy bears after the bike ewww! it was really hot! Photo by Tom Marek
The second loop went much better just because I had friends to pull me out of my mental funk! Jody and Emmie had 3 water stops for us, which was awesome because it really did feel hotter than hell out there! Turns out most of us made a couple of wrong turns on the first loop and we all did 60+ miles instead of the planned 56, oh well.
T2 included putting our bikes back in our cars.
People had planned on doing different run distances depending on their training. I was planning on doing the 13.2 mile option. But Kenneth and Tom both said it was too hot. Then Coach Jen (who had finished the Aquabike hours earlier!) told me I was only allowed to run the 3 mile loop around the lake. I started to whine about it, but then I decided I should shut my mouth and do what she said. It's not very often she tells me I'm not allowed to do something. Coach Jen with her "Hell uva Job" finisher's medal. Photo by Tom Marek
So Sandra and I started our 3 mile run around the lake. I actually felt good for most of the run, but it was really hot! I definitely couldn't have done 13, but I think maybe I could have done 6, although I would have been miserable the last mile or 2.Kenneth enjoying a post-race beer. Photo by Tom Marek
Vickie just after finishing. Photo by Tom Marek
Carolyn getting her finisher's medals. Photo by Tom Marek
Nicki showing off her finisher's medal
Me coming in to the finish
Jody got recycled Austin Marathon medals and turned them into Hell Ain't This Hot Half medals, how cool!
Cindy made "Hell uva Job" finisher's medals for us too! Awesome!
Coach Jen told us all to rehydrate really well tonight, and Vickie (she's a nurse) told us we all need to wear our compression socks the rest of the day after working out so hard in the heat so long today. I really feel pretty good right now. Although I did end up with helmet vent sunburn lines! 3 stripes on my forehead! That's only happened once before.
Thanks so much to Vickie for setting this up! And to Jody, Emmie, Annette, Vickie, Tom and any other volunteers I'm missing! Also thanks to Tom (and everyone who used my camera) for all the awesome pictures! It was so much fun, although some of the time, it was fun in that weird, painful kind of way. I guess that's what you get for doing something called Vickie's Hell Ain't This Hot Half!