Health & Fitness.

First Open Water Triathlon

Full Disclosure: I realized after my last triathlon that I never wrote a race report for THIS one. So, you know. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!

Since my first triathlon a month ago, I’ve made HUGE improvements in my bike (plus, I bought a new-to-me road bike) and tiny improvements in my swim. I’ve “learned” how to freestyle but I don’t do it more than 25m at a time without stopping. Also? My shoulder was tweaked last week so I’m not even enjoying the motion of the freestyle. BUT! More comfortable in the pool!

The start to the swim of the Wet Dog Triathlon was a “beach start” – meaning you just run in from the shore. We just had to swim out 200m and back to shore. I did “warm up” a bit first, testing out my sidestroke with my wonky shoulder and getting used to the feel of the open water. I had never swam in open water until that moment. I had played in it, of course, but never SWAM in it.

Before the race started, the announcer pointed out that there would be kayaks and rescue swimmers with buoys for anyone who needed to take a break during their swim. He even said we could do that SEVERAL times. I immediately made out with him I loved him so much.

I got in the water and immediately panicked. LIKE I DO. I sidestroked a bit and breast stroked a bit. I found myself WAY more anxious about the bodies around me than about being in open water. I was trying to avoid people but I couldn’t…THEY WERE EVERYWHERE. I started to panic more and thought about grabbing a boat to breathe on but OH MY GOD…THERE WERE PEOPLE THERE TOO! It did make me feel better that I wasn’t the only one struggling, but I could not find a space on a boat or a buoy where I could take a breather.

So I just trudged on.

I waffled between sidestroking and breaststroking the entire way. I was really short on breath and kept getting worked up about the people around me. I finally made it back around and felt like I had just sprinted for 12 days I was SO TIRED.

I made my way to transition and to my bike.

OH, MAN. The bike ride went SO much better this time. I still had never been more than 30 minutes on my bike, so I was still really saddle-sore by the time it was over (Sidenote from the future: I realized my seat was in a horrible position for a girl about a week later. That adjustment made all the improvements in the world.) but it also realized that pushed me to cycle the last two miles in EVEN FASTER. I probably passed 10 people on those last two miles alone!

And then the run? I was zapped. I forgot to get any fuel anywhere along the race so I had about no energy. I felt like I was running SUPER slow the entire time. Turned out my time was about the same as the last race, but still. SO TIRED.

All in all? A much better race. No tears. No major anxiety attacks. And a much-improved bike. Here are the two results side by side.


I mean…LOOK at that bike improvement! That’s probably 80% bike, 20% me. I actually got a FASTER time on this race it the bike was 2 miles longer!

All in all? Success.

Wet Dog Triathlon 2013
Wet Dog Triathlon 2013. As always, thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville for his photos.

1 thought on “First Open Water Triathlon”

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