Finally, we headed down to the water. My goodness the turnaround buoy 325 yards away looked like it might have been a mile away. I freaked out inside (surprise surprise) and was very excited when I heard a group of women say they were just going to cut the swim short, and another saying she was just going to do laps between shore and the 25 yard buoy (keep in mind, not an official "race-race", and I was NOT competing). I chose option C. 50 yard laps, so I could quit whenever I felt necessary.
We all got in the water, and I assured the lady who took one look at me and said "go ahead, you are way faster than me" that Team Trakkers gave me this uniform for heart, and not for speed, and that she should go ahead of ME. Trust me woman. There was a count down, a horn was blown, and THEY went. I took my sweet a$$ time, as seen below.
I did a total of 150 yards. Three laps. Laugh if you will at a measly 150 yards, but for the girl who didn't even WANT to get in the water, it might as well hve been 150 miles. Technique wise, I felt really good! Strength wise, I better get back in the pool! On the third lap I started to get really tired, but what's more, is I started really looking around in the water, and that's when I remembered, I'm terrified of alligators. It's the northern girl in me, the only thing I ever had to fear in fresh water up north was maybe a curious blue gill nibbling on your toes. Leeches? Pluck them off. Snakes? Whatever. Sharks? I really don't bat an eye. But alligators? Noooo thanks! They assure me there are no gators in this pond, but any body of water like this in Myrtle Beach, I'm just going to go ahead and assume COULD have a gator in it. Heck, the pond next to the mall randomly has gators in it, and if I was an alligator, I'd sure as heck chose this beautiful pond over polluted mall puddle any day.
I took my time heading over to transition and getting onto my bike. Again, I wasn't here to push myself or race anyone. My bike still makes me nervous, so I'm serious, I REALLY took my time. Especially since I had to clip in and ride up this giant hill (in Myrtle Beach, all over passes are considered "giant hills")
The ONLY thing I didn't do was go into aero. Not once. Yeah, it was slightly uncomfortable, and yeah I need to grow some cycling gonads. One thing at a time. I was having a good day, I didn't want to ruin it.
After the high of the awesome bike ride, I had a little more pep in my step and zoomed through transition slightly faster. Still nothing speedy, but a little bit of hustle. And then I ran. 3.1 miles down a dirt road. Well, it started as dirt, but towards the turnaround, was deep sand, and it felt like running on the beach. It was the run that made me realize "Oh yeah, you've been a slacker lately". But it still felt good to pass a few more people. I can tell myself ALL DAY LONG that I'm not competing, but the thrill of competition never disappears completely.
I won't lie, I was glad to be done when I was done. I was BEAT. As I crossed the finish line, I made sure the timing lady KNEW that I didn't do the whole swim. Even though it wasn't a race-race, I didn't want any bad triathlon karma haunting me (because I would have been marked down as 4th place female, hahaha), so I 'fessed up.
I stood around transition/finish line cheering people in for a while, high on my "hey, I can probably do this after all" endorphins, when my friend Dawn came into T2 (she was doing the Oly). She said "come one, run with me" and so I did. I could tell in her face she needed some distraction. I took off with her thinking, "no problem, I got your back tri-buddy! " but about a quarter mile in, my body just started laughing at me and screaming "woman, you are lucky you made it this far completely untrained, don't push your luck". So at about a half mile in, I bid her farewell. Sorry Dawn, I know you needed someone at that point to push you, but I didn't have it in me! I ran BACK to the finish line for the second time, where I felt like a dufus while the timing dude tried to clock me again, and the guy with the camera took more "finishing" pictures, haha.
All in all, it was a PERFECT day. The weather was AMAZING, considering it's normally 150 thousand degrees in the summer in Myrtle, so it was a nice change to be COLD getting out of the water. And frankly, I'm glad I got it over with. Not the triathlon itself, but the leap into getting BACK into triathlons. Like I told my mom on the phone after the race...it was like going to the dentist. You freak out about it, but when it's over you realize "hey, that wasn't so bad after all!" Except way better than a good day at the dentist.
And best of all, I pushed myself way , WAY out of my comfort zone, and came out on top. That is the BEST feeling.
Here's to the next 11.5 weeks of 70.3 training. This is going to be crazy...but I'm finally ready for the challenge!