i have gone back and forth with how to structure this RR and i think by splitting it up into swim/bike/run, it will be easier to blog about from a time management standpoint (both my thumbs pointing back at me) and also just based on my own experience when reading race reports, i actually prefer shorter pieces due to my poor attention span. the coolest part of all is, tomorrow will be the bike portion and then on Saturday, i will post the run portion of the race. that means, i will have blogged 5 days in a row! i don't think that has EVER happened.
i will be honest, i lost a little sleep thinking about this swim. not about my abilities to do it, but what it was going to be like to (a) swimming with almost 3000 other crazy
prior to the start of the swim that morning, i got some sage advise from Chloe and Heidi about how and where i should position myself. they said exactly what i didn't want to hear ...get up in the front, just go and let the crowd pull you. i said to myself, "self, those chics killed the swim last year, they must know what they speak of so you should listen to them and just do it." as i did my death march towards the shore with the J-man and Sherpa Angie next to me, i felt all the nerves just go away. i told myself as i always do before any open water swim, to swim as if i were in the pool. nice and calm, relaxed, not panicky, breathing smooth, and kicking easy. before i knew it the pro's went off and then 10 minutes later, the cannon went off for us and just like that, i was in the water in no time and swimming as if it were a day at the pool. i didn't even pay attention much to the amount of people around me, i just tried to stay within myself, holding my pace and just working thru/around the slower swimmers whenever that happened. i think that i imagined the swim to be something far crazier and chaotic, and from shore, it probably looks like chaos but it really isn't as bad as it looks. the current was pushing us to the inside of the buoys as we headed out and then to the outside as we headed back to shore. my sighting was spot on, no issues there and i felt like for the most part, i was holding a pretty good line, not all zig zag. even though i have less than 2 years of swimming under my belt, i can hold a straight line in an OWS.
round one of the swim was pretty uneventful. i exited the water at 37 minutes, grabbed some water, because my mouth was tasting soooo salty and dry, and then ran back for round 2 of the swim. this time, not as many people to pull me along as the first time, which was not a bad thing as i found myself with a little more personal space to swim in. i forgot to mention how absolutely beautiful and crystal clear the water was. so much so, that on the 2nd loop, i started to see things, really funky pink, glow in the dark things under me and then i remembered the race director mentioning, at the athletes dinner on Thursday, something about a new species of jellyfish. oh yeah, and they said, if you get stung by one of these 50 pound beasts with 70 foot tentacles (not testicles, ok?), don't panic, just relax, keep swimming and when you are done, see a medic. great! just what i needed to hear.
say hello to the pink meanie jellyfish! i bet even the bad ass honey badger wouldn't mess with this thing.
anyway, i kept seeing these huge-O-rama jellyfish under me. my depth perception was not very good and i kept thinking as i was going thru the pull phase of my stroke, that i was going to get a handful of pink meanie nastiness. thank goodness, i was one of the lucky one's. some of the swimmers wearing sleeveless wetsuits were not so lucky.
on this last, mostly uneventful lap, i did get a little irritated on the way back in as i got sandwiched between 2 Sir. Hump-a-lots ( thank you Matty O for burning that name into my head)! i had enough of that BS, so i kicked into turbo bitch mode and ripped right thru the middle of these fools and left them eating my foot bubbles.
once i stepped onto shore, i was thrilled to see the time of 1:20:30. that is 10 minutes faster than my first 140.6 race, last October. maybe 10 minutes doesn't seem all that impressive but when you consider the swim last year was in a body of water with no waves or currents worth mentioning and only about 200 athletes at the most, i think i did pretty darn well. i think what also helped me improve my swim, was kicking the YMCA to the curb and signing up at LA Fitness. i had more opportunities to swim and my consistency was much better this year. i also have my homegirl, Summer to thank for keeping my butt in line when i began to slack with the swimming over the summer. she made me step up my game and i wasn't about to disappoint her.
getting thru the wetsuit stripper was uneventful but kinda fun to have them yank it off you. i hauled booty to the T1 area (swim to bike transition bag area for those non-triathletes reading this), yelled out my number so they could find it faster and a wonderful volunteer handed me the wrong bag. the bag had been bedazzled and had a huge pink bow on it. i mean this bag was beautified beyond belief. i don't decorate my bags, folks. not my style. anyway, my bag was right there so no prob, grabbed it and ran into the changing room. the only part i didn't like about this long jaunt from the shore to the changing area was the asphalt was really bumpy and rough. mind you, my feet are like rawhide from walking barefoot all the time but i felt like i was walking on a cheese grater, ouchies!
to be continued tomorrow ...much love and peace out!!