After tearing my house apart for 2 days prior to this race, I could not find my wetsuit anywhere. I could have sworn that I mailed it to myself after my last triathlon in Germany, but considering I also moved back to the states the day after my last triathlon I could have been mistaken. Two days after my triathlon this weekend, we were emailed by our friends that my wetsuit, indeed, was still in Germany.
I was freaking out about this Friday, and a guy waiting in line with us for packet pickup overheard my complaints about having no wetsuit. He called one of his buddies, and I had a wetsuit 20 minutes before the race started the next morning!! Thank you, Brad and Fitness Fanatics for that!
Anyway, our Saturday morning started at 4:45am since it was a 45 minute drive to Coeur d’Alane from Spokane. The sun was just coming up. It was really peaceful outside, and I was a ball of nerves. If you have been reading my blog for a while, this is a normal thing.
When we got there, I set up my transition area and tried some breathing exercises. Thank you, honey, for only getting shots of me bent over in transition. :/
And another butt shot.
The Swim: supposed to be 1500 meters (~1700)
Once I managed to squeeze into my wetsuit, I headed down to the water. Everyone 39 and under wore the green caps with everyone older than that wearing a silver cap. The silver caps left 10 min after the green caps. I seeded myself near the back, but it seems like everyone else had that idea, and there was a wall on the beach sort of holding everyone in. My wetsuit felt really restricting in the shoulders, but I tried to ignore that, and breathe!
I hate open water swims. I hate open water swims. I hate open water swims!
Of course, this is the wrong thing to be thinking before a race especially with an open water swim, but this is an honest space here.
The race started, and people started inching their way forward into the water from the nice safe sandy beach. All of the sudden I was immersed in the water with flailing legs and arms everywhere. I took a swift kick to the chest. Some guy swam right over me. I was almost to the first buoy at 500 meters, and I started freaking out. I felt so claustrophobic in my constricting wetsuit that I couldn’t breath. I side stroked for about a minute to catch my breath.
What is wrong with me? I can swim 2500-3000 meters in a pool in an hour and actually have fun. I’m not having fun right now. Calm down. Yes, you are having fun. Why am I lying to myself? Just get through this. The bike and the run is the fun part. Just get this part over with so you can get out of this suffocating wetsuit.
As I rounded the first buoy, the pack thinned out. I just focused on getting to the next buoy. The gray caps had already started at this point.
After the second buoy, I decided to save some time sighting and follow another swimmer. This was my first time doing this, and of course I had to pick one who had no idea where he was going. BAD IDEA. It was like the blind leading the blind. I took the liberty of drawing out my route for you.
As you can see, I took the longer route after the second buoy. I would not be surprised if I swam an extra 200 meters with how far I went out. I was pretty far from the pack. ;( I got out of the water happy to be alive and happy as hell to be out of that water, finally! My time was less than to be desired: 33:35. I’m embarrassed to even type that.
I took my time during transition getting my tighter than normal wetsuit off, and getting ready for the bike- gloves, sunscreen, helmet, rearranging clothing, plucking my eyebrows. Just kidding, but with a transition time of 4:28, I might as well have been! Yes, I know that is bad, but at least it is better than my last transition time!
The Bike: 24 miles
Yes, there I am with that goofy smile again. What was I thinking? My borrowed bike did not have a water bottle holder so I had to throw one on my back. I look like a real cyclist with that thing, don’t I? (insert sarcasm) Hey, but it was a bike, and beggars can’t be choosers, and my bike still is with the rest of our furniture making its way from Germany.
The bike was not a great leg for me either. Although I was really happy to have the bike to borrow, it was not the best bike to race with. I was frustrated on the straightaways as I had the chain all the way over to the right and felt like there was no resistance for me to pedal with plus an annoying clinking noise that plagued me for the entire ride. And this bike was supposedly tuned up a couple days earlier!
About 5 miles in, my chain flew off. When I proceeded to get off my bike to fix it, I promptly puked on the side of my bike. I believe it was from all the lake water I swallowed during the swim. Some passerby’s asked if I was okay. I wiped my mouth, and said I was fine as I fixed the chain and hopped back on my bike.
I did manage to regain back some of by dignity passing a few people when the hills started, but soon lost it on the downhills when my bike chain decided to STOP TURNING. Oh yeah, it was fun.
Because my garmin decided to lock up on me as well during the bike, I had no idea how long this ego beating was going to take place, and I was ecstatic, to say the least, when it was over with! I usually enjoy the bike portion of triathlons the best, but being without my gear, throwing up, and being passed by people who did not look they should have been passing me did not make me happy! My time was 1 hour and 28 minutes. NOT A HAPPY CAMPER with this time AT.ALL !
Since I had lots of time to think on the bike:
I started getting really down on myself. It is funny, the range of emotions a person goes through in a race is crazy. I started getting upset about the fact that I get so worked up for all my races. I put entirely TOO much pressure on myself for every race that I do, that it just gets to be painful. I love training for races, but DO NOT love doing them. I told myself that was going to change.
From now on, I’m just doing races “for fun.” If I feel like pushing myself, I will push myself. If I don’t, then I won’t. This all, of course, would start on the the next leg of the race- the run.
Transition went by quickly (2:28)- this is quick for me, okay? I headed out for the run. Things were about to change including a run PR….
Stay tuned for Part 2!!!