I registerd for this tri after Chisago, when I decided I just hadn't had enough triathlon for this season. I somehow managed to coerce two of my friends into signing up too, so I wasn't going alone. Saturday afternoon I met up with Laura and Sandy and we headed to Brainerd. Laura forgot her helmet, so when we got into town we had to stop at local bike shop. She got a helmet, AND a new bike. Which means I inherited her old one! Yay for a road bike!
Sunday morning we were up and at the beach ready to go. While getting set up in transition, I ran into Wendy. It was great to chat with her. I would have taken a picture with her, but she is so cute and little, I would have looked like a giant ogre next to her and my weak self-esteem can't handled that. :)
After the pleasant distraction of meeting Wendy, it was back to thinking about the race ahead. The nerves started to kick in. It was windy. I was really worried about how difficult the wind might make the bike feel. I reminded myself that my last few bike training ride have been windy, so I was well trained.
Ready to go!
I was in wave 6 (waves were by sex/age), and I got more and more nervous standing there waiting for the swim start. The water looked rough. And the buoys looked oh so far. And the water looked rough. I had two really great 3/4 mile open water swims last week, so I kept telling myself that this was only 1/2 mile and tried to stay calm. All that went out the window when I got in the water. It was so choppy. I felt like I was being tossed around like a beach ball. And like I was going nowhere. To avoid full-on panic, I relied on the breast stroke. And just kept swimming. After what felt like at least an hour in the water, my fingers brushed sand during my stroke and I stood up. And promptly stumbled and fell sideways like a sloppy drunk. I have experienced dizziness during and after lake swims before, but this was way worse. I had trouble walking out of the water and staying upright.
Swim time (1/2 mile): 27:34 (slow, but not as bad as it felt!)
I managed to jog into transition and then just stood there staring at my stuff. I was really out of it, and still feeling dizzy from the swim. Finally I started remembering what I was supposed to be doing and got moving.
T1: 3:43 (why yes, I did lay down and take a quick nap before the bike)
So then I was onto my new inherited Raleigh bike and off. I drank some gatorade the first few miles in an attempt to chase away the drained feeling I had after the swim. For as windy as it was, the wind really did not bother me for most of the bike. I just kept pedalling away. There were a few decent hills, with one bigger, long hill at about 7 miles, and I felt awesome on the hills. The benefit of being one of the last people out of the water from the second to last wave was that I passed a lot of people on the bike, and I never got passed once!
Bike (17.3 miles): 1:00:40 (SO close to breaking 1 hour - next year!)
Back into transition, go to put my bike back, oh wait, someone else's bike is in my spot actually sitting on top of my towel and swim stuff. Thanks. I had to move a couple of bikes to get mine back in.
Then it was off for the run. I was so tired. I think my swim exhaustion finally caught up with me. I fought with myself to keep running, but ended up walking through the water stops. I still managed to pass quite a few people on the run. The final stretch back into the park to the finish felt slightly downhill and I knew I was getting close, so I was able to give a little kick at the end.
Run (3.9 miles): 37:49 (yeck, I can do better than that)
Total time: 2:10:49
After going through the finish, I grabbed some water and rushed to get my camara and get back to the finish in time to cheer on my friends (and get great pictures of them crossing the finish line). We then headed back to the water to cool off.
Done! Funny how the water looks so much calmer two hours later . . .
Even with the rough swim, this race just continued to build my love for triathlon. I can't wait for next summer and a new triathlon season to see how much I can improve.