So, I will start with my first Tri of the season - Rumpus in Bumpass - Oly. Remember last year, Rumpus was my first Triathlon ever - sprint. (Recap HERE)
This year since I was a little more confident, I opted for the Olympic Distance. As I am sure you heard, the race was moved about a week ahead of time due a fuel spill about 4 miles up the road and proved to be slightly more challenging, although the water temp was warmer and the bike course was slightly shorter. Did I mention that the run - the 6.2 mile run was about 5.5 miles on gravel and dirt. Yeah - not fun at all.
I was excited because a Tough Chik team member, Meredith was there from the RIC and a surprise visit from Ginny helped calm my nerves.
Several DC Tri friends where racing as well: Jay, Dave, Brent, Steve, Andy, Joyce, Gary, TG, Catherine and Elaine was our official photographer due to nasty sinus infection.
Transition was quick. Ran into Ginny and Meredith just as I entered and seemed to be more worried about everyone else than myself. I anxiously set everything up and got ready for the swim, ie wet suit, and thankfully as we were heading out of transition, Ginny noticed my chain was off. FAIL! OMGosh... had she not know that, I would have cried coming out of the swim trying to get that on. THANKS, Ginny! (BTW: for another post - I got a new bike).
Headed to the swim start, down a long gravel road - thankfully Kiera let me borrow and I mean never return to her), her flip-flops to discard since I had read that the new start had a gravel trail so walking barefoot would have been painful. Note: 85% of the participants walked barefoot - OUCH!
I was nervous at the start. I tried to play it off... but I think Ginny could see. I got in the water... cold... and immediately my heart went into tachycardia. (Please note: Most athlete's heart does this - an irregular heart beat... that eventually calms down.) I could not for the life of my get my goggles to stop fogging up. I was starting to panic. We were off and I knew this heart thing was different. It wasn't like the last race. It wasn't stopping. I did breast, back, doggie paddle.... nothing would stop my heart from racing. I eyed the shore line... I eyed the volunteers on kayaks... but I was determined. I started swimming a couple of strokes and counting them, like TG had told me in the past. I got further and further, but my heart would not stop racing. It would go on for the next 3/4 of a mile. By the last 1/4, I was exhausted, but could actually swim about 10 strokes without sighting. I could not have been happier to be done. I now know, that my heart... will be issues in the future (more on that in another post).
I started to run into transition (up a hill unzipping my wet suit), but I was too exhausted. Having an irregular heart beat for so long really did a number on my body. I decided to walk. Take my time and relax.
I had no problem in T1 and was ready for the bike. The ride was uneventful. I was pretty much alone out there on the second loop, because I was passed by just about everyone one the swim. I NEVER got passed on the bike. I felt great and my new bike was amazing. I drank, I fueled... I felt like it could not have gone any smoother!
Enter T2, nervous about the run on gravel. I had not be able to see the run course due to arriving late, but it was two loops and mostly on gravel - not tiny rocks, but large rocks and lots of dirt. By the 1/2 mile mark there was a cloud of dust. The cool part about a double loop is that you pass people and they are encouraging. I was able to cheer on friends, even though they were almost finished their 2nd loop as I started my first. I decided to take the run conservative - with my weak ankles and knees. I felt the pain immediately and did not want to injury myself. It was hot so I took water at every chance.
I was glad to be finished... It was my first Oly at this race. I did race an Oly in Philly with completely different circumstances, but my results were not great.
Run: 1:06:31 - slowest 10k in my life.
I finished Philly in 3:03 - I know it was a different race, but my heart... yeah... my heart didn't help on this one.
My cardiologist said I should have stopped. The "condition" I have means when and if I go into tachycardia... it doesn't just stop. And thus my body was very tired. He gave me some hints to try and "snap" my heart out of it the next time: Sneeze (stare at the sun), hold my breath (TG said that would be easy during the swim ;-) ), and have a bowel movement (ewwww).
BTW: The by the next day, I had signed up for my next Oly - in July. Not because I was excited to do another one... but because I know I can break 3 hours! :-)