Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Family Who Tri's Together

Over the next few days, each of us will be posting our experiences in our given leg of the Tri.  We'll go in order, and since I had the swim leg- that means you get me first (which is fitting since its my blog and all )  :)

Tri day came, and I felt really good and relaxed at the start of the day.  I had continued to tell myself that "its only a 400"  while I was training for it, so I wouldn't put a whole lot of pressure on myself.

To give you a better idea (which I'm sure if you've been reading my blog with any frequency you'd know anyway)  but I swim between 1600 and 2000 meters on the mornings that I go to the pool.  Over the last few weeks Ive been swimming every day but once I get mired in school I'm lucky if I can get in three swims a week.  But my swims are broken up into 400m passes (so I swim 400 meters-rest-400 meters-rest etc)  So a 400 to me, really is nothing.

The only thing I had been really nervous about was when I had looked on the website, they had changed the course and made the entire course in the deep end.  I was really leery about swimming the whole course in the deep end, as I know that the swim portion of a Triathlon is a full contact sport.  They actually ended up moving it back to the traditional race course (half in the shallow end half in the deep end).

They had a moment of silence for the Triathlete who died in New York a few weeks ago.  This story has totally haunted me since I heard about it-  because the last race she did was the Naperville Women's triathlon in June.  (That is the Triathlon I did last year)... and it just really hit home that no matter how prepared you are for these events, there is still a bit of danger that each athlete puts themselves into competing.  Just a scary and sobering thought.

The race was self-seeded as it was last year (ie - you get to choose when you enter the water based on how fast you think you can swim the 400).  I hung back until the almost end (12 minute heat)- mainly because I wanted to make sure my family had arrived... and also I figured that the hyper competitive people would be long long gone before I even got into the water.  Problem with waiting that long, is that most people who are in the 12 minute heat are the ones who -aren't- all that comfortable with swimming.
Now, when I did the women's tri last year, they had members of like the Navy or Coast Guard or something like that (really cute guys) that would swim along side you (your "swim buddy") if you felt you needed one.  This Naperville Tri is a USAT sanctioned race so no swim buddies for nervous swimmers.

I get into the water, try to Clydesdale through my first 100, and Im just starting to get into a groove, when I tum my head to right to get some air, and suddenly I inhale a lungful of water due to a panicked swimmer flopping and flailing around -pushed water into my open and expecting mouth.   I managed to expel all the water, but the fight response set off my adrenaline system and I launched into a full fledged panic attack.  I switched from freestyle to breast stroke as I tried to get my breathing under control, and unfortunately it was to no avail.  It was near impossible for me to try and get my breathing back under control.

Thankfully, with swimming, you kind of get used to continuing on when you can't catch your breath, since once you get into your workouts, you are usually out of breath and continue to push.  It was just not the graceful way I wanted to complete my leg of the race.

I finished though, and managed a fairly decent time (roughly ten minutes) - and overall as Team 3 P's we rocked it!  We shaved like fifteen minutes off last years time- maybe even a bit more.  Our total time was 1:34  so yay us!


Margaret said...

Congratulations to the 3 P's- not only for completing the race but getting a PR (Personal Record) is really sweet! Way to go!