Sunday, July 21, 2013

My First Triathlon Race Recap: The Swim

Part 1: The Swim
Distance: .25 mile


What a day.

So many emotions swirling around I don't know even where to start.  

I got up at 4:45 AM and this whole week I had a strange sense of calmness for such a big event for me. I felt like "I got this."  

And then I rounded the corner to the event and saw all the triathletes and bikes and began to hyperventilate. OMG I'm really going to do a triathlon! I suddenly got REALLY nervous. But I managed to get my bike out of my car and walk it over to the right place. I was feeling shaky though.

My coach and friend Dana called my name and I was so happy to see her. She's so comforting and positive and really helped me get into the right place (and space) without her I would've never had been able to rack my bike or set up my transition - I was just too nervous to focus. :) 

By the way, all of these great pictures you will see are courtesy of Dana as well. She's the very best. 

Getting ready 
A few of the other Moms In Motion were doing this one too so I wasn't entirely on my own, though the rest of them were doing the "Try a Tri" I along with one other MIM (she has done other Tri's before) was doing the sprint.

I forgot about the barefoot thing though and from the bike to the water was black top with pebbles and I've got sensitive tootsies.  Ouch, ooh, ouch… I thought to myself, "this should be interesting coming out of the water to bike."

136 baby - love those numbers - so official! 
I got in the water for a warm up. Temp was nice. On the very warm side which I personally like.

So far so good

Then I got out and started to scope the course. 


Um. I think I can make it.

How many buoys? What? Oh.
And then the race started and I was definitely last in my wave. There was about 15 or so in my wave and none of them looked like newbies so I was OK with being last but then all of a sudden I started getting mowed over by the fastest of the wave behind me. EEEKS! And then the fastest of the wave behind that. OY VEY. Where the hell am I? At some point I realized I had about a million buoys to go (or three - same thing).

How'd my swim go? A picture speaks a thousand words…

OMFG What the hell am I doing here? Heeeelllp Meeeeee! Gasp. Gasp.
Seriously. I laughed for forty minutes over this picture. Though it was no laughing matter at the moment. In addition to being totally demoralized by getting smoked by several other waves behind me, I kept hearing the lifeguards shout to one another: "Keep an eye on the blue cap." Well the Jersey in me was like "Don't you worry about the blue cap. I'm fine. I'm just slow... (and having trouble swimming and breathing but this is how I roll.)"

Though, I'm glad someone was on it in case I dropped dead in the middle of the swim. It was comforting they "had an eye on me."

And then I was done and feeling relieved that I made it out alive it was over. 

When I looked up my swim time I had to ask what "13:30" meant. They said that was my time. I said that was certainly an error because if I had to guess, I was in the water for at least 4 hours - minimum. They said, "nope, that's it." Longest 13 minutes of my life.

I've got a lot of work to do before my IronGirl which is twice the distance and probably in rougher waters. 

Good news about the swim though was that I was so shaky and appreciative for land that I didn't even notice my bare feet. I could've walked across glass coated nails and I would've been the happiest person on earth to be out of the water - I didn't even notice the run? crawl? shuffle? I don't know how I got to my bike but it was totally fine.

Despite the not-so-great swim experience, I'm proud of myself for doing it and not dying giving up. 



Unknown said...

There are at least 4 blue caps behind you and the last one is doing the BACK STROKE!

Julie said...

Jen, the picture definitely gave me a chuckle, but your recap was absolutely hilarious!!

Can't wait for the next recap!

Michael said...

Awesome job! That first swim in a tri is the most nerve wracking experience ever!! You did great!!!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Thank you for cementing the notion in my mind that I will absolutely never swim in open water! LOL There's a sprint tri right in my neighborhood 8/4- 500 meter swim, 16k bike, 5k run. I had to look up the meter to mile equivalency. .31 miles. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Life After Heels said...

Congratulations on you accomplishment.

Unknown said...

Angela, unfortunately, they repeated cap colors and I'm pretty sure that the blue caps behind me are the 50+ male wave that was just a few behind me. ;)

Linda, you could do it, you just have to train. I survived it and even though it was tough I would do it again. I actually learned a lot yesterday.

Thanks for all the well wishes - All in all it was a great day and I made it thru!

Anonymous said...

I must admit this cemented my notion of not in this lifetime for a tri!!! It is the swim part that freaks me out! I did however love this recap.....

Mary Sue said...

I know exactly how you felt in that swim. I got caught by the wave behind me in my tri last month! Great job on sticking with it and getting it done.

Colleen said...

Great recap- and way to stick with it! I can imagine that I would feel pretty much all those thoughts plus some extra panic during my first tri! Can't wait to read the rest!

Anonymous said...

Where and how did you learn to swim? I do breast stroke all my life and just cant stand being face in the water. And that's what is holding me back from doing tris....