Unfortunately they weren’t letting the age group athletes on the beach so we stood in a group of athletes standing and waiting for about 20 minutes, that didn’t do good things for my nerves BUT I tried to breath slowly and calm down, I didn’t want to waste precious energy on being nervous. I was happy that the swim was a two loop course, it really felt like that broke things up and gave me a break in the middle.
Soon enough we were funneled unto the beach, heard Mike Reilly tell us to have a “perfect” day and that he couldn’t wait to call us all ironmen. The gun went off and I made my way down the beach to the water I wasn’t in a hurry because I wanted to avoid the more aggressive swimmers and to give myself a chance to get used to the water. I waded in to my waist and wasn’t too cold so I decided to go for it and start swimming. Thanks to adrenaline I wasn’t feeling too bad and didn’t get too much body contact until I rounded the first turn buoy.
I expected this area to be slow and congested so I took my time and made my way around slowly until I was headed back to shore. For some reason this was the worst part of the swim for me. I had a lot of contact during this part. One particular participant kept swimming over me and once punched me in the temple really hard, I saw stars for a few seconds and had to shake it off before really moving forward again.
Also at this point I was getting some pretty intense cramps in both legs, it made me nervous to be cramping SO badly so early in the race but I kept moving forward and soon enough I am standing up out of the water to run across the mat and start my second loop.
I glance at the clock and see 1 hr 20 something minutes and panic a little. The swim cut off is 2 hrs and 20 minutes if it took me and hour and twenty minutes to do one loop I was screwed! I didn’t think it had taken me that long but I wasn’t sure, A volunteer standing on the beach yelled that the time on the clock was the Pro’s time and we were at 40 something minutes. I felt good about that number and headed back out for my second loop. The swim out wasn’t too bad at first but then a storm rolled in, it got really windy and cold, there seemed to be huge waves to battle against and I couldn’t see the buoys easily. I made it to the turn where I really struggled to get around the first buoy because of a bad calf cramp, I pushed through and started my way back to shore. I was happy to be headed back to finish up the swim leg, I was cold and ready to be out of the water. I came out of the water at 1:39:25, it took me almost an hour to do the second loop, but I didn’t care I was happy to be out of the water before the cut off!
I ran up the beach and made my way to a wetsuit stripper, I almost always get calf cramps taking off my wetsuit so I was glad for the help.
Then a volunteer handed me my transition bag and I headed into the tent. At this point the tent was crowded and there weren’t any volunteers to help but I didn’t mind I grabbed my arm warmers and put them on as well as my helmet, socks, bike shoes and sunglasses. I wish I had grabbed my meds bag and put it in jersey pocket but that is a story for the next post. At the last minute I decided to throw on my rain jacket since I was cold and there were heavy clouds, this was one of my best decisions of the day. I asked a volunteer near my to pack up my bag, left my crap and headed out to find my bike.
Next up the Bike!
You can read about race prep Here