Got The Nerve? Triathlon - 2006 - SwimOther

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Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania
United States
Corps Fitness
80F / 27C
Total Time = 17m 20s
Overall Rank = 23/25
Age Group = Men's Relay
Age Group Rank = 9/9
Pre-race routine:

Drove to Mt. Gretna early in the moring to make sure the rest of my TnT tri-geek-peeps didn't have any trouble getting their transition area set up. I listened to some Pat Benetar and when that got too emotional (Jen had some real rockers on the mix CD's she made for her radiation therapy) I swtiched to Disturbed and Fort Minor. Drank a bottle of Myoplex on the way there to time it for 3 hours before start time.
Event warmup:

They didn't open the lake this year until starting time, so no chance to get into the water and swim. I was full of nervous energy too...
  • 17m 20s
  • 500 yards
  • 03m 28s / 100 yards

I started off in the 10th and last swim wave - relay teams. Thankfully there were some trees to stand under because it was starting to get hot and I'm wrapped up in neoprene. That is the FIRST and LAST time that I ever want to be in a swim wave with women. All this time I thought the women I knew were exaggerating, but they are not. I've never been kicked in the head and chest so many times. People swimming across me both over and underneath. I even had one person that climbed on board for a few yards and wouldn't get off of me. Geez, I know that with the goatee and wetsuit I look just like a manatee, but you're not supposed to ride them either...

I made it to the first buoy in great time to be out of the water right around 9 minutes - almost 2 minutes faster than last year. I swam a couple strokes of breaststroke to keep my face away from the flying feet and as I rounded the buoy, my left leg cramped. So I kinda' did this half-assed doggie paddle/breaststroke thing for 10 yards or so to work it out, but every time I'd try to put my face back in the water I would get dizzy. I tried to roll over onto my back to just float, but that made me dizzy AND pukey. What to do? I went back to the doggiestroke thing and finished the rest of the swim like that. Every now and then I'd try the freestyle or backstroke thing and would think that I was going to puke.

By the time I got to the 2nd buoy I was starting to get into serious oxygen debt and just wanted to quit. 10 minutes had already passed and I was hurting. People were swimming to the canoes and kayaks like crazy and that quitting feeling was starting to spread. I don't remember how many times I wanted to quit on the way in to the shore, but I started to think about how disappointed Jen would have been if I quit a race when all I was doing would be the swim... Then I started to cry and hyperventilate. Not good... Honestly, the only thing that got me back to the beach was being able to make out my mom, sister and a bunch of friends that came to cheer me on. I could hear them very clearly, but by then my vision was all out of whack. I remember having pretty good peripheral vision, but it was really blurry. Kinda like putting a plexiglass pipe up to my face. Straight ahead was the only place where things looked clear and dinstinct. That too would errode by the time I got out of the water.

I almost fell down a couple times trying to stand and when I got out of the water, I felt like a weeble wobble trying to make my way up to transition. I could hear my friend Jim walking up on the other side of the road telling me to focus and concentrate and that's exactly what I did. At one point I was just about walking by hearing because I couldn't see very well at all. You know that feeling you have right before you pass out where everything looks like a snowy black and white TV? I was probably a couple of minutes away from that... I also remember my friend Cathy taking some pictures. I can't wait to see them because I'm pretty sure that I looked like a zombie. The last thing that was really clear in my head was getting to the timing mats and yelling at my chip "Dammit, chirp already you little bastard" is what I allegedly said - obviously I was ready to be done with my part of the relay at that point. My teammates got the chip off and put it on our cyclist Mike. I walked to about the third rack of bikes and laid down for a few minutes. Well, 8 to be exact. I didn't pass out, but I remember being very out of breath and mumbling I'm OK over and over again. I didn't anyone to think I was going to die because I didn't feel that bad, although I'm sure I looked like hell. Barry (our runner) and Cathy stayed there with me until I got up to get back to our transition area. I decided it was time to get up when I heard the first cyclist come back through and the sound of his freewheel clicking was right beside my head. Even though I tried to lay down off to the side up against the racks, when I opened my eyes I realised I was more in the way that I thought I was :) I felt better at that point, drank some sports drink and felt even better. While I feel complete as an athlete that I had that experience, I NEVER want to feel that bad again.
What would you do differently?:

Seeing as I passed a couple of people in the wave ahead of us and almost caught up to another one, I guess I could have done a lot worse. Mostly I'm annoyed with myself because even though I'm not fast, I am a strong, confident swimmer. Out of all three sports, OW swimming is my thing. Although thinking more about it, were I not a strong, confident swimmer I would probably have quit. I guess I'm more than a little embarrassed that I had that many people that came to watch me and I made something as easy as an OW swim in a calm lake look like suicide...
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with Cathy and Barry until Mike got back. By then most of my friends and family came over to see me and chat. What a crazy morning. If I would have been doing the whole race, I think that I would have hung out in transition until I felt better, even if it took half an hour and then went out on the bike course. It's amazing to think about how bad I felt during the swim, but how normal I felt once I calmed down and snapped out of it. Totally strange day. But our relay team did end up with some hardware which we almost didn't get... They passed out the awards to the overall and AG winners and then started the swag toss. The swag toss was interrupted when they realised that they forgot the relay teams *whew* So in the end our team ended up with 3rd place medals - woohoo! My mom called it "tri-bling" - I like that.

Event comments:

Each year this race gets better and better. Chris makes little changes every year that make this one of the best events in the area. I think we had almost 600 entries this year.

Last updated: 2006-05-06 12:00 AM
00:17:20 | 500 yards | 03m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/25
Performance: Bad
Suit: Full Sleeve Wetsuit over trishorts and singlet
Course: Inverted triangle shaped course on a flat calm lake.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4