Well, this was the last weekend to train before the Green Lakes Triathlon next Saturday. On Saturday morning I was signed up to do the 800 yd swim for the Oneida Shores Open Water Swim. Last year's swim was cancelled due to thunder and lightning, but this year, the sky was beautiful and it looked like a great day for a swim.
First off were the men swimming 1,500 yds then the women swimming the same distance. They put the men and women together for my wave. On Friday I picked up my t-shirt and cap and was told the water temp was in the 70's. I was happy to hear it although I found it hard to believe. Well, I was right because the temp mysteriously went down to 65*. Unlike some of the swimmers, I didn't warm up beforehand. Last year I swam in the lake around this time of year with no warm up, so I figured I wouldn't have a problem. After the 2nd wave went off, my wave waded out into the water. The water was cold, but I still didn't think it would cause me any problems. Three, two, one, GO!
I dove into the water...HOLY CRAP THIS WATER IS COLD!!!!! I swam for about a minute in total shock, lifted my head out of the water, and had serious doubts that I would make it. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I'm not sure if it was the shock of the cold water, the tighness of my wetsuit around my neck, my head playing tricks on me, or some combination of the above. I continued on as best as I could, but I wasn't getting any rhythm to my stroke.
Eventually, I made a deal with myself: swim 10 strokes freestyle, then you can swim 10 breastrokes. 10 free/10 breast/10 free/ 10 breast... I was starting to calm down a bit and settled into a rhythm. Almost to the buoy, I increased my freestyle stroke count to 15. When I eventually got to the buoy, I wanted to hug and kiss it, but I just made the turn and headed for dry land. Part way back, I increased my freestyle stroke count to 20. I still wasn't feeling great, but I was doing much better.
I was very happy to get to the point where I could touch. However, the dreaded zebra mussels did a number on my feet:
When I got out of the water, I looked at the clock and it read 30:something. My understanding was that my wave started 6 minutes after the first wave, so I figured I had a finish time of 24:something. If you look at the Yellow Jacket Racing website, my finish time is posted at 21:43. However, they have my bib number wrong. I was number 127, but the website has 128. When I looked at the time for number 128, it is listed at 24:08, so I think they got out timing chips messed up because that sounds more realistic for me.
So, my lesson learned is that I WILL warm up before the tri on Saturday so I can get the shock out of my body BEFORE my wave starts.
Today, I met Shawn, Caroline, and Shioban at Green Lakes to do the bike ride. Last time I did the GL course, my gears jammed and I couldn't get into my easier gears for the hills and I had to walk up. Today I had a fully functioning bike and I was ready to tackle the hills.
I felt great going up the first hill out of the park and on the second hill about halfway through. The next hill was a big one on Pierson. This is one of the hills I had to walk last time. I was about halfway up and was at what I thought was my easiest gear. I was struggling a little then discovered my front gear was still on the big wheel. Woo hoo! I've still got easier gears. I quickly got into the easier ones and made it up the hill, but not without huffing and puffing all the way.
Last, but not least, was THE BIG HILL leading into the park. Last time, I didn't even attempt it. I just hopped off at the bottom and walked the whole way. This time, I was going to go as far as I could. I ALMOST made it to the top, but gave up about 90% there. Now that I know there wasn't much left to go, I think on Saturday I'll be able to make it. Today I didn't have a clue what was left, so I gave into the pain. I have to remember my mantra: "Embrace the Pain!"
After our ride, Shioban had to leave, but Kelly E. joined us for a swim. I was going to gain some confidence that had been shaken yesterday. But, like yesterday, the water was FREEZING! Kelly swam a lap and said it got better a lap in...and she was right. I swam about 10 laps total before having to quit because my right shoulder started bugging me. But, I was happy I got the swim in and I'll be more ready come Saturday.
So, the countdown is on...6 days to go!