Random musings and activities of a 30 something mom, potential sprint triathlete, vegetarian, dog and cat owner, and a evolving urban homesteader just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us. If the blog seems random, it's because life is and hits us all at 100mph.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Midwest Mayhem Part 1 - The Swim

I'm not sure what to write here. When recapping this part of the Tri to a friend on Sunday, I ended up crying. It was not what I expected and while everyone keeps patting me on the back saying, "at least you finished", I'm not one to just finish, I want to excel at it.

But panic set in.

Then a cramp.

And unfortunately that set the tone for the rest of the day.

*thinks she should immediately register for another sprint to get this behind her*

First, everyone was talking that the swim was 600m, not 500m. Still not sure if this is true, but still freaks a person out.

Another surprise is that it was a treading water start, which actually was ok with me. The treading for 2-3 minutes was a little more of a warm up. At race time, they announced the water was 82, but outside temps at 75. Perfect day really, especially for Kansas in mid-summer.

*jump off the dock with 39 other people and wait the 5 minutes in between heats*

I did ok with the start, stayed towards the back and outside. Then it hit.

*white flash of lights in my head*
Pure panic.

I realized the water was so dark I couldn't see my hand when pulling under me.

*crap! I've only gone 50 yards*

I treaded water for an eternity (or approximately 60 seconds to the observers) trying to fight the urge to call it quits then. Luckily, my stubborn nature prevailed, and I started forward... with my head out of the water.

At this point, I'm swimming at the angle of a teeter totter with one person rather than flat. I am guessing this is what caused the best part of the swim.

The cramp. (insert doomsday music here)

About the 300m mark, I felt it. It was sudden. It was painful. As I wrote yesterday, my first reactions were: 1. yelling, "cramp" and 2. rolling on my back, float, with my knee pulled to my chest and try to keep my pain-induced obscenities to a indoor decibel level.

* Oh my &$*(&#$(* leg! OMG! (*$&#)(*&% NO! I can finish on my own! ($#*$&(#*$& I'm ok! No, don't help me! (*#&(FUOI#%&#*

At this point, I swim approximately 75-100 yards and stop to treat water and give my cramp a break. It hurts. I stop 4 more times before I reach the beach. To give the water rescue people credit, they stayed by me the whole time.

Another swimmer was also having trouble, and I told her after the race when we were the only 2 left in the water with 200 yards to go, that she was my inspiration to keep going.

*have to catch that other yellow cap*

Because if I had been alone out there, I would have quit I think. I hurt and the distance seem insurmountable to a beginner swimmer (I took lessons 5 months ago in Feb) who had never swam (swum? swimmed? stupid verb) more than 1000 yards in a session.

When I finally made it to the beach, there was a small run up the sandy hill and the cheer from the crowd was both awesome and embarrassing. I was happy for the support, but knew they were cheering because most probably thought I wouldn't finish.

I almost forgot to step on the mat for my chip timer. Thank you volunteers for yelling at me.

I almost forgot to put on my helmet before grabbing my bike I was so flustered. Thank you husband of woman near me who reminded me and also told me to slow down, take a Cliff shot, drink some water, and gather myself. You're awesome. I was flustered for being last out of the water and in pain. Can't believe I almost forgot to drink and get my helmet!


I hopped on my bike and the swim and T1 were finished. Tri 1 Jen 0.

Next time? I won't let a defeated attitude get me so early in the race.

Yes, I said next time! I'm not done with Triathlons yet!

Triathlon Mistake #1 of the Day:
Underestimating the open water swim. Why can't the water in a lake be as still clear as the indoor pool? Life would be easier. I still can't figure out why the murkiness caused such a panic. Maybe because I couldn't see the bottom? Any ideas?

Funny Triathlon Moment #1 of the Day:
Women who wore makeup for the tri, and obviously were not wearing waterproof mascara as the infamous racoon look proves later in the day.


Dave said...

Nice. Great job. Really.

JustJen said...

Thanks Dave.

I think once I feel secure in 1000m in a lake, I'll attempt this again!

Now, I just need to find a sitter for the open water swim times at Shawnee Mission Park!

Mauricio Sanchez said...

The swim is my weakest event...by far! I have learned that each one gets better than the one before. After I did my first tri 14 months ago, I thought I would give up tris because of the swim, I thought I would stick to duathlons but that would have been quitting and quitting is not an option! Right? I was freaked as well by the darkness of the water, so I bought an extra pair of goggles and covered the lenses with dark electrical tape for practices in the pool. This was a tremendous help, really! I had a coach look at my stroke and give me two things to work on before my next event. After that event I went back and had him give me two more things to work on. Although the swim still scares me, I am battling through it... I have registered for the Ironman 70.3 Augusta... 1.2 miles in the water!!! After your next event you will look at this first one and smile, guaranteed! Good Luck

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Quotes as I come across them......

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it last forever.” ~~~Lance Armstrong

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer. (Will-Weber's "Voices From the Midpack" chapter.)

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.~~~Denis Watley

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)


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