Thursday, August 28, 2014

REV3 Maine Triathlon My first OLY RECAP: The Swim

I am very happy and proud of myself.

I am up more than I'd like to be in weight.

I haven't been able to train (like I would of liked to) but have kept consistent in doing something.

It's been a tough summer of lots of work and dealing with my autistic son.

AND... I competed in and accomplished my first OLY Triathlon.

AND... I came in close to last place.

But I'm thrilled.

So much of my accomplishing this was in the exercise I've kept up on (even if it wasn't close to full-on training) and so much of it was because I went into it believing and willing myself to make it happen.   Which if you know me and the negative voices that reside in my head is a big fricken deal.

Much of it was also having good friends (thank you Scott and Angela) by my side - no doubt. They stuck with me through the swim, bike and run and that was AWESOME.

So here goes the report:

I was undertrained and a bit nervous but because of being not trained it was the most relaxed I'd ever been going into a race. I really took the attitude of "nothing to lose." The pressure was off. If I finished it, good for me. If I didn't, I had valid reasons. But I was determined to get to the finish line.

Side note: I am in a tri club called RTA. They are pretty hard core. Many of them place in their AG and I was feeling bad about representing them knowing that I would be a back of packer... Maine is a team race and I was invited to the team dinner. They made me feel welcomed and I was so proud and happy to wear that kit.

So the night before, I put out my clothes and tatted myself up. Shit was about to get real.

And I wake up at 5AM ready to go. 

I head to transition, set up my crap, then head to the ocean. I go into the water and as I'm coming out of my warm up I realize that my wave is already in the queue and ready to swim! Shit. So I hustle on into the group and find my friends Angela and Scott. Scott actually took a green athena cap just so he could do this thing with me and Angela. They are awesome. 

So we get to swimming. Wow. This is hard. The current was decent and my lack of training was in full-effect. I'd swim, swim, swim and  the buoys still seemed a million miles away. Holy crap. Can I make it? Angela or Scott would call out, "Already a fourth of the way there!" And I would think, "Oh man, that's it? I'll never get there." But we just kept swimming. 

My rock star friends kept me going though. "Let's just do 20 strokes and then take a rest!" Scott would call out, "Looking strong, Jen" and Angela would say, "I'm keeping on your right to make sure you don't go too far out to sea in the wrong direction!" When things were looking grim they'd make a joke - the friendship and support just overwhelming. I wish everyone had this type of love and support during a tough race!

And when we were swimming I would fight the negative voices in my head by silently repeating mantras of being strong and capable. I kept focused on the fact that my body could accomplish it I just had faith in myself. 

Of course during the final push of the swim my legs started to cramp. No surprise as this happened during my (trained for) sprint last year. Awesomely painful charley horse/calf cramps in both legs. This worried me. What if they didn't uncramp? I was terrified of the pain. Terrified that this could undo me. 

A little bit from shore the water became shallow enough to walk and with the help of my friends I was able to get my heels to the floor of the ocean and walk in. My legs hurt from the cramping but the pain began to subside enough. I was going to be OK. 

Scott, Angela, Me. What's up with my swim cap? 

cramping but still smiling
So my time was like 50 minutes in the water for .9 of a mile. This might be absurd for some athletes but for me who has had 20 minutes of total swim training this entire summer - I'll take it. I made it out of the water and on to the bike.

Now on to a 25 mile bike ride. Did I mention that the most I've biked was 8 miles last September? (I have since taken a few spin classes but no outside bike riding since!) or that I'd be doing these 25 miles on a hybrid bike with regular pedals? Yep.  Stay tuned.

Race report continues HERE.


1 comment:

Melissa @ Faster In Water said...

Great job on the swim!

I am so impressed at your willingness to do an OLY despite having several reasons to not.

YOu are an inspiration!