Okay, so the open water swim was definitely a bugger.
so for a full report, here goes.
Woke up this morning around 5:15 no alarm or anything else. I just woke up, maybe it was all the birds chirping around outside the tent. I slept well. I headed to the bathroom and laid back down for another 15 minutes and then started getting ready. No need for the finite details, but body glide in all the appropriate areas that could possibly rub (missed one) and grabbed the transition bag, helmet and bike shoes and off I went. I rode to the race start which was only a mile away. It was a nice casual warm up before the race. I pulled in to the race site after about 10 minutes and went straight to my rack to unpack. I had everything ready to go and went to meet my friend who drove down to kayak the swim. It was very nice to see her.
One thing I hate about race mornings is that the closer I get to start time, the more my body revolts. I've learned that a single imodium tablet stops that before it gets too bad and I can function. After two stops to plastic potty land, I got the wetsuit on, headed down to the water and in I went.
After the fiasco of 2008, I was concerned about not being able to breathe on the swim. The wetsuit definitely helped a lot. Once I was in, I pulled on the neck of the wetsuit to allow some water in and allow it to warm up. I didn't have to pee, so no pee in the wetsuit. (for my facebook friends reading that, there are two kinds of triathletes, those that do and those that lie about it. Same goes for scuba divers. It also warms you up a bit in the cold water. ) I know, I know, it sounds gross, but you do what you gotta do. So, I am in the water a good 20 minutes and warming up and finally line up with the group. I had a plan, I tried to stick with the plan, but between the mass start, getting hit, getting kicked and kicking too much, stopping and starting and stopping and starting, I lost my rhythm and then couldn't breathe. My wetsuit was doing a two-step on my breathing process. It was pulling down on my shoulders and up on my crotch so I was unable to breathe the way I normally do when swimming and add that to everything else, I made it to the 100 meter buoy and grabbed a kayak (my friend's.) I knew what I had to do. I had to slow down, catch my breath, close my eyes for a second and then start again. After catching my breath I got going again and I have to thank the woman who first worked with me on tri swimming. Her voice popped into my head as I was having trouble coming around the first turn buoy. So I flipped over onto my back, started kicking and caught my breath again. Rolled over and back to swimming. I continued that alternate until I got finished. It felt like I was in the water for over an hour, but now that I know my time, it just felt like forever. Total time for the swim was 26:17.
I got out of the water and began the long run (jog) down the pier, toward transition and was quite disconcerted with the whole swim and I'm sure when I see the pictures my husband took, they will show just how ticked off I was. I could see it just from the mini-display on the camera, let alone once it is full-size. All of a sudden though, at the end of the pier, I see my daughter and then I hear the words, I've couldn't hear for the 26 minutes I had been in the water. "GO MOMMY!!" All was right in the world and I was ready to tackle the rest of the race. Up the path into transition, pull the wetsuit off, socks and cycling shoes on, helmet and sunglasses on. Grab the bike and away I went. I ran out of the transition area, climbed on the bike and rode away for 14 miles.
For 14 miles, I rode. Two laps around White Lake from start to finish is 7 miles. Two laps around is the bike course. My plan was to go out steady on the first lap and build from that into the second lap. I realized halfway into the first lap that I was already at full bike pace and if I pushed any harder, I wouldn't have anything left for the run leg. I kept my speed and cadence steady, passing several other racers on the course. On the first lap I saw an ambulance where a racer had crashed earlier. On my second lap the ambulance and the racer were both gone. I later saw him at the finish and asked how he was. He said he was okay, but the er believed he had separated his shoulder, so of course his day was done on the bike. I had one little problem on the bike with my left cleat, it wouldn't stay clipped in. It would pop out at weird and different times, but for the most part, I was just in a zone and my effort was consistent and level. I don't remember my breathing ever getting out of control which means that I was at a good pace throughout. Total time for the bike was 52:03
Into transition at a good pace, I had to alter my strategy a little bit due to the issue with my cleats. I was going to leave the shoes on the bike, but couldn't. If I did and they fell off then I could get a penalty for abandoned equipment. So I left the shoes on, but loosened them heading into dismount and they were off, and shoes on fairly quickly, grabbed my race belt and hydration and away I went.
I headed out of transition on the run and I hear my friend, my daughter and husband cheering and it was the best sound to hear. I loved it. My daughter gave me a high five and I was off and running. I kept with my normal race strategy of walk and jog. As I was going out on the run, I was the 1 mile sign and I think it must have been short because my watch was reading around 9 minutes. WHAT!!! You've got to be kidding me. There is no way. I still think it was short, but still. If it was accurate. That was an insane first mile for me. I ended up bonking near the turnaround and made it back in 44:44 on the run.
My goal for the whole race was to finish in under 2 hours worst 2:15. I knew with my swim time that under 2 hours was out of the question, but when I finished and the results were posted, I came in with 2 hrs 8 min 20 seconds. I was so happy.
My best 5k time ever was 42:36 and that was a stand alone 5k. This was my best 5k in a triathlon. My bike average was also the best ever in a stand alone ride or triathlon. I am so happy with the race. Thank you all for your support and I'll post more as I am continuing to train for two upcoming 5k races.