Saturday, August 25, 2012

I've Never Had the Best Sense of Direction: ChelanMan Sprint Tri (the swim)

With this year being my big running comeback, I focused the majority of my energy on getting race-ready for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon (you guys may have read about it once or thrice).  However, there was this little voice in my head that whispered over the winter and spring months that I had signed up for a race in July.

My feeble attempts at whistling couldn't drown out the voice. 

True to form, I planned way ahead to make sure I would be ready for both races.  (Ok, not really.)  Around May-ish, I started saying: 

Around June-ish, we actually did start going to the pool every week. At which point I started saying:

And by "we" I definitely meant "me" "I".

I'd been fortunate to get in a swim with my Swimmer Family,

and one lesson with my friend Erika.

They were both very helpful, but before I knew it, July was upon me.  Two days before my race I did a quick open water swim in the wetsuit and called myself "ready".

The day before my race, Dr. Tim and I cheered on Ann Marie in her half marathon.

That same day, TriGuy did his first HALF IRONMAN!

We were all pretty impressed.

Race morning, I woke up confident in the knowledge that I could not have been more prepared unless I had actually trained properly.

I placed myself at the back of the group to avoid getting stuck in the washing machine of flailing arms and legs on the 800 metre swim.  (That's what they call strategery.)  The adorable race director counted down my wave start and we were off!

Well, I waited for the crowd to thin and then I made my move!

Did I mention I tend to swim to the right?

I found that I was actually faster than some of the other swimmers dog-paddlers and was quickly upon them.  This caused me to stop, breathe heavily, and try to find a hole to swim through.  After inevitably swimming too long without looking up, I found myself off-course.

Seriously.  Every time I looked up.

I actually added 5 minutes to last year's swim time. 

But on a good note, I probably swam a whole kilometre so...yay?

I tore into T1 (translation: transition area for the first switcheroo from the swim to the bike) and noticed Dr. Tim and TriGuy looking toward the water for me.  I ran to the edge of transition, calling TriGuy's name.

Just when I was going to give up, he and Dr. Tim both looked my way.  I immediately struck a pose.

And then,  I just stood there for some reason waiting for TriGuy to take my picture.

A picture he was clearly not aware he was supposed to take.

Seeing that I was frozen in the moment, TriGuy offered some incentive to get me moving again.

Huh?  Oh, right!

With my brain rebooted, I skipped off to my bike rack to prepare for the next leg.

*As usual I'm posting each leg of the race separately so I don't create the longest blog post in the history of the universe.  Check back soon for the bike portion of the race!


Check out the Yeah Write SpeakEasy Grid for some other great posts this week!


  1. Erik just came into the room to see what all the laughing is about. You are seriously just the best!

  2. And picture or not, you rocked that pose!

  3. VV: I <3 your comments :D Thank you!

  4. Loved the posed pic, too bad Dave missed out on the obvious photo op! No worries on adding time from last year, you still made it through!

  5. Bahahaha!! RUN!!!

    Love your "determination" to train for the swim and the "Official Course in Red" pic. Seriously, though, with all of the people, how are you supposed to go straight? And do people ever kick you in the face? Wait - have YOU ever kicked someone else's face? What's the face-kicking situation, Tri-girl?? Haha!!

    No matter what, though - you finished the race and, therefore, have my utmost respect. How many have you done, now?

  6. i'm not sure how tri guy didn't realize you were posing for the perfect picture. He needs to take his husband blog duties a little more seriously ;) I have to admit, I'm excited for your post about what you think of while on your long runs. I feel like that will def be entertaining :)

  7. I don't know how people stay ON course during the swim. They should have you hooked on guide wires. Of course looking up would help too, but where's the dedication to intensity if you do that?
    I'm the opposite of you, whereby people take my picture unexpectedly and I'll inevitably have an incredibly stupid look on my face.

  8. Bahahha there is no way i wouldn't get lost in the water, too.

  9. You have my new favorite Blog! You are cracking me up! I love it so much! Keep up the good work! and GOOD LUCK! you rock!

  10. I am so happy I recently found your blog. I love you, er, it.

    Seriously (or not) I've got tears running dowm my cheeks.

  11. Adrian: True enough, thanks!

    jennie: Well, I have been kicked and whacked a bunch (but you know, it's in water so it's not very hard). I'm sure I've tapped a few people, and I'm fairly confident that happened during this race. At some point you just need to get past a stagnant group of people o_O Oh, and I'm up to 4.

    Meg O: I know, right? Long runs are like my version of meditation but I'm stuck in the beginner stage.

    Pickleope: This race is particularly awesome in that way because the water is so clear you can see the buoy line on the lake floor. Unfortunately, swimming on the buoy line gets you overtaken by faster swimmers, and searching for the buoy line gets you very off-course...

    Gia: It's so annoying.

    Lea: Thank you so much!

    Debbie: I'm glad too!

  12. Hilarious! Love the pictures...I swim extra, too, usually veering off to the left before looking up and seeing the bouy way over to the right! Can't wait for the next installment.

  13. Oh my word I LOVE the cartoons!!! I have a feeling if I dared to tri I would be way off course in the swim too!! Love your recap!!

  14. Hahaha, I love that you posed and he told you to run! Thanks for the laughs!

  15. My husband missed me crossing the finish line of a race and like you I was ready for a GREAT photo!

    Can't wait to read about your bike portion ;)

  16. Alison: Thanks! it's so annoying, isn't it? Frustrating.

    fancy nancy: Thank you :D It is really hard to stay on course!

    LetsTalkandWalk: Thanks so much :)

    runningonwords: Yep (though truth be told, maybe I just kinda stood there. That is a possibility.) I'm glad to hear I made you laugh-it means I did my job :)

    AmyC: Oh no! That happened to me at a big race once-I called him to say I was done and he had been standing at the finish line with the camera all ready.

  17. Yay! Can't wait to read the rest:)

  18. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the race! If it makes you feel any better, I don't think I would swim straight either. :-)
    I love going to Chelan, but it is usually to just drink wine....I hope you indulged a little while you were there and celebrated.

  19. hiker mom: Thanks! Coming soon :)

    Tasha: To be honest, I've never gone to one of the wineries there (a crying shame I know!) because my race is always on Sunday.

  20. Are you right handed? Because I remember from my swimming days that I tended to veer right as well and I just attributed it to being right handed.

  21. I can't wait to read the rest! I love this and thanks for the shout out and drawing too! I of course love it :) and I think you did amazing!!!!

  22. oh wow you are so hysterical I WOULD TOTALLY STAND THERE POSING AND FORGET TO RACE. i love you even more than ever right now.


  23. Sigh sad but usual this is sooo funny. You crack me up every time. Keep up the tradition.

  24. Dwei: Interesting--I am right-handed but didn't really think about that. Could definitely be part of it. Also, I have a wonky left shoulder so I don't think that helps much.

    Erika: I tried to draw your suit as best I could remember :) And thanks, I did alright.

    Pensive Pumpkin: Hehe, that's why we get along.

    not athletic: You know I will :D

  25. Awesome! Well done - at least you got an extra hundred metres or so in that swim, right?

    My favourite pic has to be you wearing half a wet-suit. Thanks for making me smile :-)

  26. I loved this. Don't know if I ever commented on here that my "triathlon phase" a few years ago was my official midlife crisis. I never could bilateral breath (still can't) and I breath every breath. Thanks for the laugh.

  27. I take a breath every stroke. (Along with breathing every breath. ha.

  28. You totally explained my swim-direction troubles! Ha.

  29. Kate: You're so welcome :) So glad I could do that! And hey, it's more exercise and that's what this is all about, right????

    SouthMaineMuse: I have wondered if it's mine too. And don't overestimate my bilateral breathing skills...I'm exhausted after 25 yards!

    Flood: Excellent! So nice to know I'm not alone :D

  30. Oh this is hilarious! You strike the pose perfect ;) LOL

  31. LOL .... just LOL ... LOOOOOL smh.

  32. This was so awesome, I just loved it! I've never done a tri and don't have any plans too. I'm intimidated by all the people!

  33. I love the pictures! I would have totally gotten lost in the water too.

  34. Congrats! I liked how you posed, waiting, and then he said, "Run!" So funny.

  35. Jamie: Thanks! It was perfect for a picture, right?

    Tomekha: Hehe, thank you :)

    Stacie: Thanks...some races are bigger than others, so if you wanted to, you could always choose a small race! Now you have no excuse :D

    Larks: Thank you :) I feel like we could start a support group for wonky swimmers!

    Marcy: Thanks! He was just keepin' it real :)

  36. I think the "washing machine of arms and legs" is part of why my husband just decided to plan his own olympic tri and bully a buddy or two into doing it with him. Downside of that was that there was no one to cheer (or to take pictures... ahem). :)

  37. bahaha love it ... why am I not following you yet? Damn must remedy that now. ..
    I've done 1km in swimming.. but to continue on after that? I don't think so. I can barely drag myself to the fridge to load up on the carbs I was supposed to have gotten rid of. Good for you for doing this, I admire you.

  38. So it's acceptable to doggy paddle in a triathlon?? Awesome! Because I've always wanted to do one. I just have the minor detail of not really being able to swim or bike standing in my way!

  39. Attaway - even if you did detour a bit ;)

    Stopping by from the Not Mommy Hop!

  40. aplaceofgreatersafety: I have to admit, I do love the spectators at a race- that's at least half the fun of it!

    Larissa T: Thanks for that lovely comment! Glad to have you here :D

    Alex: Thank you! Love that hop!

  41. ratherthecouch: Well, I couldn't swim or bike (and didn't run) when I signed up for my first triathlon. And now I can sort of do all three. I would say it's more fun once you have a little bit of training under your belt so you don't think you're going to a) drown, b) crash your bike, or c) trip over your feet :)


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