As much as I didn’t want to get in the water, I knew I had to. There was no way I was going back to school and telling the kids I chickened out or quit – I was going to get in the water and swim as long as I could – the only way I was getting out was if they pulled me.
The mass start is quite a sight and I had been told to take a moment to enjoy it. Once I finally jumped in the water I did just that – I turned around and looked up at the bridge to see all the people and the lights – it was pretty amazing. What was more amazing was as soon as I was in the water, the nerves were gone and I was ready to race.
we started early
I set my garmin to buzz at a mile & an hour … after first mile buzzed and I had a while until the hour buzzed, I knew my pace was okay … when the 2nd mile buzzed I felt like I was more than .4 away but just kept swimming. This was about the time my hands started going numb. I rounded the corner and my garmin buzzed again for a 3rd mile. It was about that time I heard the announcer telling the crowd to start cheering loud because ‘these are the swimmers who need it the most’ (or something to that effect) – meaning, we were the slowest swimmer and needed extra encouragement. It was also about this time that I realized I had to pee – but, I was so close to the end that I couldn’t pee in my wetsuit knowing someone else would be taking it off me!
Seeing the stairs was the best feeling in the world – especially because I hadn’t had the 2 hour buzz on the garmin – I knew I made it in time. On the stairs were a bunch of guys waiting to help pull me out of the water – one was crouched down on the bottom stair with his hand out. I swam to him and he really did all the work getting me out of the water!
I then headed to the wetsuit strippers and at this point my mind was pretty brain dead – two people stopped me and helped me get my wetsuit and booties off. Again, they pretty much did everything and handed me my stuff when they were done. I then ran (I use that term loosely) to get my transition bag – there was a volunteer with it ready for me – and headed into the changing room.
I stayed in there for a little while bundled in my towel. When I started to be able to think again I put my tri top on and took the towel off – at which point I remember the volunteer saying ‘wow, those are some biking legs’