So about two months ago I decided to do a triathlon just for kicks, I mean my bike is pretty strong, I can still run at least one six minute mile once every three months for work, so what the heck, there were no crits to do so I signed up. Knowing that swimming does not come easy to me, my game plan was to train for the swim a bit and get a wetsuit. So, I swam THREE times to prepare and actually swam 75 yards non stop on one of them so, yeah I am prepared! Everyone says that wetsuits make you more bouyant and you can swim faster and you know what it does make you go faster, for a bit. So here goes the story.
Got the wetsuit on Wednesday, went to the lake and got some help putting it on as they are tight, I mean real tight and even constrict your breathing (not good). I got in the lake and swam for a minute and said okay this is great, I am fast! Well I was for a minute!
Saturday dawns and I set up my transition area, seeing how everybody else put the their numbers on the bike and shirts, how they laid out their shoes and stuff. We hit the water (no I did not warm up I wanted to save energy). First fifty yards, I am thinking, "man I am fast, I am passing people, second fifty yards okay maybe I better flip over on my back for a minute but keep pushing! Make the turn and keep going, now 150 yards out and I am thinking this is not good, people are passing me now as I alternate laying on my back, get to 200 yards and see if there is a handle on the bouy so I can take a break as I am having trouble staying afloat, make the turn and fell the panic coming on, start looking for the safety kayak, thinking I may need to get a tow in but the banks are lined with spectators and that would be a walk of shame on I got to shore. Relegated to alternating dog paddling with resting on my back, get about 50 yards from the finish and if I stretch I can get a toe in the mud, so I bounce my way to the swim finish, as I get out of the water I look at the garmin, my heart rate is at 205! I am gassed but stumble jog to the bike, I am 170th out of 205 coming out of the water. Get on the bike after the slowest transition you can imagine, I am shook and blown up already. Get on the bike and start out somewhere around 179th. It's a hilly course and starts out with two climbs, I know this route so I hold a little back but am passing people. I pretty much have to stay to the left as I am passing people steadily as we go up and down over these rollers. I was miserable and hurting badly but still trying to hold back. I was 36th after the bike so that tells you I did a lot of passing! I am 39th out of the transition as I seem to have trouble putting on my shoes and have to sit down to do it, no fine motor skills left! I start the with a cramp in my side, I am trodding along, getting passed by a few more people and ma now getting to feel maybe a bit better. One miule left to go and it starts with a hill that's a quater of a mile. I open it up and pass and pass. End result 4th in age group, missing 3rd place by less than 30 econds and 1:45 down on second, I lost taht much time in transitions alone! 34th overall which I am fairly pleased with. Considering as one point in the race that I was seriuosly looking for a way out due to a pretty severe pani attack if drowning and that swim absolutely devastating me, I guess I cannot complain. I still think I could of won it. Oh by the way, both anecdotal evidence and recent magazine articles say that wetsuits will make you faster and I agree they do, but what I did not know was that they restrict your movement and cannot actually cause you problems. That was a lesson learned!