A year ago I wanted to get into aquathlon. I thought this would be a great sport for me: I'm a decent swimmer and obviously can keep up with the fasties in the run. But then I just had fun and had great results in running so I decided not to do any aquathlon races last year. Despite being pregnant, I had my focus most of the year on this aquathlon. I thought, "hey, I can win this thing." Going into the race this morning I was nervous. I wanted to win. Right off the bat, though, I knew I was in for a long race.
The swim was "1 mile". According to many people there it was much longer - more like 1.3 miles. This was my first open water swim in two years and only my fourth swim total since I had the baby. The water was chilly but not overwhelming. I eased my way in with the starting gun and found my rhythm. I got hit in the head a couple of times but then I found some space. I think I was sighting pretty well as I literally hit EVERY DAMN BUOY!
Visual proof I hit the buoy.
The girl in front of me couldn't sight, however, as she kept crossing right in front of me and cutting off my stroke. When we hit the buoys to turn around I became quite aware of how windy it was. The waves crashed over my head. Every time I went to sight I got hit with water in my face. The course was two loops and I kept thinking..."I wonder how mad Dave would be if I just stopped after the first loop?" Nevertheless, I kept going. Eventually I finished the stupid swim with a 47:43. Holy slowness! Really? I wasn't last; wasn't first. Whatever.
This race was weird. There were actually two "races" going on. One was just a one mile open water swim and the other was the aquathlon (1 mile swim; 5K run). No one wore chips in the swim. It was hand-timed. Your time stopped when your feet hit the beach. You told the timer your name and she recorded your time. If you were doing the aquathlon, your transition time did not count. So, I walked to transition, took my time getting off my wetsuit, put on my shoes, hat, and shirt, and then started my run only when I hit the line. The run was chipped time by the bib. Funny enough, the race director has all the swim times on the website but no run times. Hmmm....
I started off looking so fresh...
Anyway, the run was down the boardwalk (cement) until it ended. Then you went through a grass trail until the roadway for another mile or so. Then you turned around and came back. I was wearing my watch but forgot to record any splits. They were close to 9:00s however, which I just found to be absurd. There's no way I suck this bad?! I kept saying to myself, "You're doing this for Anderson." I wanted to set a good example for my son. Whatever. He didn't care. He was asleep in the stroller. I passed maybe two people on the run and ended with a time in the 27:00s. I'm hoping the run course was a little long too or else that is a personal worst for a 5K.
...and ended looking like death.
There have been no results posted so I have no idea how I actually did. Physically and mentally, I felt awful. Maybe I had my expectations too high but I really thought I would do better than I did. Let's look at the positives, though. I just had a baby. I'm already out there doing my second race. I was not fearful of the open water swim. I finished the race despite wanting to quit. And I already fit into my tiny running/triathlon clothes. Victories all around. Onto the next race.
The baby did this himself. This was not staged.