So, here it is....my first race report of a multiple sport race.
The morning started out well, as well as possible when the alarm goes off at 5am on a Sunday! I headed over to the lake, which is only a few miles from my house. Arrived, found a parking spot and started walking. During my walk I tried to soak it all in, my first race, all the competitors, the bikes, the atmosphere, it was wonderful. During my walk I also learned a few things, but we will get to that in a minute.
I arrived at T1 ready to unpack my things. Now this was a swim and then run event for me so setting up T1 was super easy....shoes, socks and a shirt. Once I was set up I walked through the T1 checking out the set ups that all the triathletes had. Checking out bikes, shoes, how their transitions were set up, etc. What a great learning opportunity. I then noticed an area that was crowded with people all wearing the same thing....red, white and blue! It turns out that there were a few Olympians running the triathlon and they had their full team there setting them up.
So, after I left the transition area I headed over to the start. Here is the view early in the morning,
Now my wave was scheduled to start at 8:15 with the first wave starting at 7:00. This gave me time to talk with people and watch the first several waves. After the first wave took off I was blown away by their swim speeds. So I headed over to the swim exit to watch them come out of the water and see first hand their transitions. Impressed was an understatement. The first three people out of the water were Olympians, with a 1500m OR 1.5K swim distance in under 18 minutes. The three of them were in and out of the transition area and on their bikes in under 1 minute 20 seconds according to the guy standing next to me with a stop watch....that is crazy fast considering the swim exit had a 100 yard run to the bikes and then about 150 yard run before the mounting line.
So, off I went back to the start. I texted wifey, received some encouraging words back and headed to the start line. The goal before the race.....don't drown, finish the race, and third have a swim time in the 10-11 minute range. The horn blew and we were off.
I found myself at ease entering the water, which was a surprise considering this was my first open water swim in a LONG time. I made it around the first buoy with ease, but then hit a wall right before the second buoy. I switched it up to a breast stroke to get around the second buoy and somehow found myself back in freestyle before I was on the boat dock.....still don't remember making the switch.
This is where things get interesting.
As I approach the transition and volunteer asked me if I was ok, I said yes as I was catching my breath and she then stated "caused you don't look ok." Is that because I just finished swimming in open water in a race or because something was actually wrong....I brushed it off. Was in my shoes and off on the run. Wow, I did not expect my legs to be heavy at this point but it must have been due to the breast stroke, but my legs felt like bricks for the first ten steps. I was then ok, and found my stride.
About 200 yards into the run I found myself trying not to fall as I had a major shooting pain behind my left eye. I kept my balance and kept my feet moving only to then find that my vision out of my left eye was completely blurred. I kept walking figuring that it would go away in a minute. I kept walking. Next thing I know I am at the turn around point and Gracie (a true sweetheart) asked me if I was ok as she could see something was wrong. She wanted me to sit down, but I was stubborn and kept walking.....so what did she do, she walked with me.
As I kept walking I realized that the pain was not going away and that it was actually getting worse. I also realized that I wanted to finish this race more than anything. I figured I would rather have a horrible time and come in last than have DNF next to my name. Gracie kept me talking the whole way back to the finish line. Crazy part is, she at one point went to the same church as us and between the two of us seem to know a ton of the same people. The Lord was looking out for me now that I look back.
So there I was at the finish line. I was done, but that is where things had just begun. Without getting into to many details, I was then taken away from the race by ambulance to a local hospital where my wife works in the ER, talk about having a connection. Spent the entire day there and sent home.
Now, it's Tuesday and I have spent three days in bed in a horizontal position. This sucks.
So.....first race down, all goals completed. Oh, by the way my official time in the swim was 7:19 when I had a goal of 10-11! I am happy! With that, what is in store for my triathlon future.....the jury is still out.