Saturday, August 06, 2011

Caesar Creek Triathlon - Did it!

It's been a bit since I blogged so here's what I can remember about the Caesar Creek Triathlon in July. It was my first open water swim triathlon! There was also some added excitement since the water was closed the month before due to high levels of e. coli (we had a ton of rain and the water was 8 feet above normal catching all of the bird mess in the grass!) But we were cleared to swim in July!

Swim 750m - I finished the swim but bouy was it tough!

I remember checking out the swim course the day before the race - and it is not quite a 1/2 mile swim but the course looked long from the shore! I am not a good swimmer but I was armed with my new wetsuit and I was just hoping to finish the swim. Unfortunately the water temperature was 75 degrees which is still wetsuit legal but they said it would be hot - and it was! As soon as I got my wet suit on I was sweating so I tried to cool off in the water before the start but no good.

At the start I just let my wave go ahead of me and I took my time walking into the water and then swam behind the group so as not to be in the kicking and grabbing pack of swimmers. I started out with some easy swimming but by the first turn I was way too hot, out of breath and couldn't get my heart rate down. The turn is quite a ways from shore and deep and then you swim along shore for quite a ways so thinks looked bleak.

If you recall my creative swimming endevours from the years before (see "swalking") you may know that I am known to push the limits of a course. And this was no different. I decided that the bouy at the first turn was a great opportunity to stop and reassess the swim-bacle that was occurring. Also the wave of swimmers behind me were quickly coming at mob speed and I took an arm to the head at one point. It could have looked a little bit like the image to the right, but really I just grabbed on with one hand to hang out for a bit.

Things have to be going pretty poorly for someone to grab a bouy, but the "lifeguards" (read bored inattentive teenagers in kayaks) did not seem too concerned about me. Had they come over immediately I might have considered bailing because it seemed like a long way home at this rate. After a few minutes there my heart rate came down and I figured out to unzip my wetsuit a bit to let water in and cool me down. I think my wet suit acts more like a dry suit but that is a whole other story. After feeling better I decided to trudge on - swimming pretty slowly the rest of the way in.

I was excited just to finish the swim because I knew with my first open water swim that I could easily not have finished the swim - but once I did the rest was a pretty short course.

I also had the distinct honor of finishing the Sprint Swim in the exact same time as the fastest guy who started after me and swim 2 laps for the Olympic swim! He swam 1500m (almost 1 mile) in only 15 minutes!

I decided to take a LONG transition and had some food and lots of water. It was hot and the swim took a lot out of me.

Bike 22 km (~13.7 mi)- Time Trial deja-vu!
There isn't much to say about the bike other than that it was hot and much hillier than I was planning on. It reminded me of the time trial that turned out to be more hilly. About half-way through the biking I started to feel better and everything was fine. Also everyone who passed me commented on the Apple Jacks jersey - it is a crowd pleaser!

Run 5 km (3.1 mi) - WTF am I trail running?
The run wasn't too special besides being very hot and being an off road run on gravel! I was not expecting to do the XTERRA triathlon today but it was fine. I was too hot so I ran / walked.

Summary - Well at least I finished. I learned a lot. I learned that with a wet suit I want the water temperature to be 65 degrees and not 75 degrees (which makes the Tri for Joe triathlon in April more appealing) and I know I have to keep working on my swim.

I'm just glad I finished - and while my swim was ugly at least it wasn't this ugly:

Or this ugly:

or this ugly (this is a 5 km run!):

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