So..as we will on race day, we started with the swim. Susan and her son Clifton explained how the heats will be released for the tri - you will be in sectioned groups of people and each swimmer in that group will be released 10 seconds apart. I had been mentally preparing all day, or at least I thought I had. My self talk went a little something like this: "Don't freak - breathe - this is practice - no one is in a hurry and you don't have to prove anything - this is practice - go slow - etc." For some reason, my self talk didn't produce the result I was hoping for. When I jumped in the water, I totally lost my breath because it was cold and then I had to start ASAP because the person behind me was coming in 10 seconds later whether I was ready or not. So...I pushed of the wall and hoped for the best. I made it about 1/2 way down the 50 meter stretch when I started to feel as though I couldn't catch my breath. This horrid feeling just kept building and building until I felt like I was taking in zero oxygen and unable to put any out either. It was awful! I had to stop at the end of 50 meters and catch my breath and the return lap was just as severe. When I started the next lap and got to the end I was freaking out. Everyone was past me and swimming like trained swimmers and there I was suffocating. All I could think was "Why, why is this happening to me and not anyone else?" I had to stop and hang on to the wall (one of Susan's pet peeves I might add). Ann-Maria and Treacy saw me and I am sure were concerned by the looks on their faces and I am sure they were concerned because of the look on mine - (blue and faint). Ann-Maria came to my rescue - literally! She asked me what troubles I was having and through gasps for air I described it to her and then I am embarrassed to say - the tears came. Frustration and anger combined can't even begin to define what emotions I was feeling. Why can't I do this!? Why, why, why!? Ugh! She talked me down and said "Take your time, do your thing and I will be right here beside you." Thank goodness for her because I could not have done one more lap without her. THAT my friends is what TNT mentors are for. I don't know how many laps I did after that or how many times I had to rely on breast stroke to get through it, but I was happy with what I had done when I was finished. I know now I need lots more work before my event and admitting my weaknesses in this case was the best thing I could have done.
Before continuing on with the rest of my juicy details about today I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am once again humbled by swimming children and this time the swimmer is under 10 years of age. My niece Catherine Page swam this week in her teams "swimathon" to raise money for new suits, and other gear and the dear sweet child swam enough laps to equal 3/4 of a mile. WHAT!? I know! How insane is that? My 7 year old niece is out swimming me - that is a longer distance than my actual event. When asked repeatedly by her mother throughout her swim if she needed a break she replied "I'm not tired". Love her heart. Oh if I could only have half her energy. Go CPV. I am going to attach a picture of the little swimmer I can only aspire to be. Love you Ca!
I wish I could look this good in a Speedo
Once the swim was done and the quick change was made I picked my ego up off the Lancaster aquatic center floor and headed toward the "transition area" to get on the bike.
The bike was wonderful - gorgeous route and gorgeous weather (hot, but gorgeous). There were lots of hills to climb and we climbed them well. Props to team mate Erin for keeping up with us road bikers - on her hybrid - KUDOS girlie because that is no easy feat. Once we got back from the bike Janine and I had ants in our bike shorts because we knew there was packing left to do. Rather than dragging the details out I am just going to lay it out there for ya - I bit it. Yes, once again - fell....attached to my bike as before. I mean, the ride was over for crying out loud and I fell! Ugh! I just laid there flat on my bike and Janine came running over to see if I was okay. "I'm okay" I said, "but why does this happen to me". Janine had nothing but love for me and she picked me up off the floor and we rode off to finish up with packing their place up. I am proud to say the house got completely packed and I am okay - just banged up and a little bruised.
Taking a water stop at the 1/2 way point (Coach Susan)
This is Eric - I am going to affectionately refer to him as "The Bike Boss"
Here comes Ann-Maria!
This is my team mate Erin and I at the water stop.
This last image is just for giggles. This little blue dolphin sits on none other than Susan's bike: ha! Mind you, we were asked to take our reflectors off because they are "extra weight". Supposedly this dolphin squeaks so that Susan can get every one's attention if people are getting a little too chatty. hee-hee.
Next up on the training agenda: a bike ride tomorrow evening at Coldstream Park - we are breaking out of Beaumont Circle y'all - watch out.