"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Sun, 09 Sep 2007 22:10
Triathlon Report


I hate the swim. I hate the swim. I hate the swim. This is chanting in my head as I stared at the ocean where I am going to be swimming a mile in my very near future. While this internal dialogue plays, I am also standing next to a sign posted on the railing above the beach that says “SHARK WARNING” and details the attack of a local surfer by a Great White shark just 12 days ago at a beach nearby.

Why the HELL I am doing this?!

The swim portion of the Pacific Grove triathlon is challenging for me anyway since: 1. I am not a talented swimmer (I am not even a mediocre swimmer if I am really honest), 2. I am not fond of being wet, cold, or salty and 3. I am deathly afraid of being eaten by a shark.

The biology-minded side of me knows that with 1000 people plunging into the ocean at intervals of every 15 minutes there is no absolutely NO wildlife in the area, but as a child of the JAWS era I can imagine a cunning, revenge-driven shark that is hungry for the blood of hapless swimmers. Since we are in wet suits (read: dressed up as sea lions) and I am a swimmer whose stroke makes them look like a sea lion in serious distress, you can see why I am concerned.

SWIM: 1hr 09min (REALLY, flippin’ slow. 5 min slower than 2006 which was also really flippin’ slow)

(Video of 2006 Women's swim starts) At Pac Grove you do two loops My first lap went well and I emerged, ran around the stupid rock and re-entered just in time for the next wave of swimmers to enter and swim over top of me.

The swell started to pick up and since I have inherited my mother’s chronic and easily-induced motion sickness, I soon start to not feel well. “Not feeling well” quickly escalates into, “I am going to puke” and I did. Unfortunately, vomiting makes me cry, always has, so when the canoe/rescue guy comes paddling over to me he was understandably concerned about my ability to finish the swim leg. I was only about 250 yards from the finish at this point and, dammit, I had swum this far I was NOT going to quit now.

I finished the swim and walked up to the transition area. I spent almost 15 minutes in the transition area (that is REALLY long time for a transition) deciding whether I was strong enough to continue. I ate a little, warmed up (after an hour and nine minutes in the Pacific Ocean you get a little hypothermic!) and decided to give it a try.

BIKE: 1 hr 43 min (I thought it would be better *sigh* 4 min slower than 2006)

My bike started slow, but I soon felt better and I rode as hard as I could to make up some time. Pretty uneventful, but Eddy said I looked tired on the bike. Not a good sign when I still have a 10K to run.

RUN: 1 hr 7 min (I was hoping for a lot better. 1 min faster than 2006)

Even though this year’s run was my fastest of the three years I didn’t ever really feel “in the groove” and it was a tough run. In pictures I look much happier on the run, but that is just because I like the run portion the best. I can breathe as fast as I need to (unlike in swimming!) and my ass doesn’t hurt (unlike in biking!). I may be a slow runner, but I am a happy runner! I am currently training for the Nike Women’s Marathon on October 21, 2007. Let’s see if I am still happy after 26.2 miles!

OVERALL: 4 hr 16 min (Lordy that sucks! I focused on the marathon training and it showed. 6 minutes slower than 2006)

I don’t think I ever quite recovered from being ill because I just didn’t have as much fun as I did in the last two years I have done this triathlon. The Triathlon at Pacific Grove is a really “nice” triathlon. The volunteers and the competitors (even the really hard core ones) are super nice and supportive and it makes it a really fun experience for slow, fat weekend warriors like me. Overall, my finish time was 6 minutes slower than last year, but I had an enjoyable time because I did it with my buddies! Any day out with the RBR Girls is a rousing success. Thank you to my girls. Run bitch run!

1 comment:

Willie said...

Oh my goodness that sounds so familiar! I think we may have separated at birth! I hate the swim, I hate the swim, I hate the swim! I may have chanted that a few weeks ago in a sprint triathlon! The shark warning may have sent me over the edge; no way I'm going in there. Sounds like you did great pushing through it and finishing. The only think keeping me from doing the Redman triathlon this summer, here in Oklahoma City, is the swim. I am so afraid that I won't be able to complete the swim and it's not like running or biking where you can pull over and stop. IF YOU STOP SWIMMING YOU DROWN! So the alternatives are not pleasing to me. Thanks for sharing and I love your blog, what a great name and you are a wonderful writer.