Total: 1:28: 38
I woke up at 3am, loaded the kids in the car and left home at 4.05am.
We reached Callaway Gardens at 5.45am, just as they were opening packet pickup. Picked up the packed, and drove to the far end to set up transition. Smothered myself with more body glide.
The water was nice and warm, but I’d overlooked a MAJOR thing – I need glasses to see and I had limited sight for all of the swim. Which proved to be my downfall.
I am a slow swimmer, but combined with the fact that I couldn’t see anything clearly. I bet I swam atleast 100 yards more than I had to. I was doing ok until someone asked me near the first buoy if I was ok. My first thought was – shouldn’t I be doing ok? and I panicked. I tried to land on my feet (it was supposed to be only 5ft deep) and couldn’t find the bottom and I panicked some more. I flipped over on my back and talked to her. She asked me to keep close to the shore. After that the murky waters scared me, and I had to talk myself to breeeeeaaaathe. I decided that I’d close eyes inside the water so I couldn’t see that I couldn’t see the bottom.
It worked, as I moved along pretty nicely. And at the second buoy and the end in sight. Then someone struck me on my leg. And I panicked. I tried to grab the rope, but she was holding it too and it was sinking. I was just talking myself into relaxing enough to float back up, when a group of 4-5 swimmers (in orange cap I think) gathered around me asking if I was ok. I was ok, but they were all crowding around me and giving me no space to stretch out and relax. Then I just decided to do my strokes to help me come up and move along. When I’m actually not relaxed enough to float, the first few strokes are futile; its more like the strokes bring my body up because its cutting through water, rather than my relaxed body doing that on its own. They all thought I was going down and tried to grab me, which made me stroke even harder. Then one lady saw that my strokes were actually rhythmic and not panicky and she held the others back.
So, I made it to the shore and thanked the ladies for staying with me. As I was coming out, I saw the lifeguard go in to help someone. Apparently there were quite a bit of demand for the lifeguards today.
I finished the swim in 18:24, very proud that I finished it all without needing to stand up (not that it was shallow enough to stand anyway). The normal swimmer took 10-12 minutes for the course. DH and the girls were waiting to cheer me on and that gave me a huge boost as I ran towards transition.
T1: I ran out of the water, and somehow managed to find my bike (no glasses = limited sight). I got the swim top off, got my shirt with race number on it, put on my run capris (I know I should’ve got a tri shorts). Washed my feet with the bottle of water I had, socks and shoes on. Opened up a Gu, bike off the rack and walked over to the start.
The bike went soooo much better than I expected. I hate my bike and I would always make excuses for outdoor riding. Today, something was propelling me much faster even with that crappy bike. I was actually passing people (although the people were all in waves later than me – my swim time was really bad).
The “rolling hills” seemed like monstrous hills to the tired me, but it definitely was very scenic. Awesome kids just flew past me on the bike and it was so inspiring to watch them!
The last 2-3 miles were tiring and I took a short slow down to chat with another girl who was cruising along. I was glad to see the end of the bike though and happy to see DH and the girls cheering me on from there!
Rushed to keep the bike back and started on the run. Someone had kept their bike over my stuff, and in that moment I spent 30 extra seconds trying to wonder what to do. Du’h like there’s anything to think about.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have rubber legs or crampy bottom. But my legs were really hurting, esp quads from the bike. Almost everyone on the run was walking. I was very very tempted to walk when each step was making my quad hurt more.I reckoned I was around 14:00 pace, I was *that* slow jogging. But I figured I’d make better time jogging at the 14:00 pace than walking at 18:00. So I kept on.
I tried to get my shuffle to work (no earphones on bike they said), but the volume was too low and I gave up. My first run ever without music. Soon my hurting quads became mechanical quads. I don’t think I could’ve got them to stop even if I wanted to. There was a small gravel path leading up to the water and walking on that to get water felt very awkward. So water break done, I set off again.
I think at one point I felt – Why the @%#$ am I doing this??? I tried to think of a reason, … but gave up and decided to ponder after I crossed the finish line. The crowd and my family cheering me on was reason enough 🙂
My run was under 13 pace! But it sure didn’t feel like it.
Post race Analysis
- My swim was way too slow, and I had those panic attacks and lost almost 2 minutes there. I also was swimming way off course to stay near the shoreline and I swam a lot more than needed.
- T1 could’ve been a tad faster if I’d had tri-shorts instead of having to wear something over my swim bottoms and to change my swim top into a tech t-shirt.
- Bike went better than expected. All those spin classes paid off. So other than the crappy bike I was on, no complaints.
- T2: Wasted stupid seconds trying to figure out where to squeeze in my bike after someone put theirs in my place. Du’h.
- Run: Good run by my standards. And as with any other of my runs, room for improvement which will come gradually.
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