Wednesday, July 29, 2009
LP RR continued
Ange and I had different plans. She planned to knock them dead, go straight to the frey, on the line, and hammer it out.
That wasn't my plan.
I planned to go all the way to the right--to the very, very end of the starting line. They day before I had found a rock I planned to stand on there. I told Rob, a Maine tri-friend who has done this race like a billion times, that I had found this rock. He laughed and said, "Yep, everyone knows about that rock."
Damn! Double Damn!
Well. It was still my plan. I made my way over to the right, half swimming, half dog-paddling. The water went up my wetsuit and I shivered. When I arrived at my special place and began to look for my rock, I noted that as Rob had indicted there were hundreds of people who also had my plan and were already hogging my rock. Still, that was a thousand or two fewer than the people whose plan it was to just move forward and try to find a place on the line. I knew my plan meant I'd have to swim another quarter mile at least, but the idea of not being pummeled was too appealing to not give into it.
I found my friend Pam after I arrived at the other side of the lake. She warned me not to stand on the ground (since I couldn't stand on my rock- grr) because there was glass and metal through the seemingly benign leaves of the lake floor. Yikes. Pam and I were one of only a handful of women close to the starting flags. The rest of the people were men. Hundreds of men.
Generally I like being around men. Generally I'm a fan.
I wanted to ask each what he thought he could do for a time, and if it was slower than an hour five I wanted to tell him to get the FUCK AWAY FROM THE STARTING LINE.
But it is not okay to do that. So I didn't.
I didn't expect the canon. My watch still said 6:59. I gasped, then started my watch, then tried to move.
Except there were like ten bodies surrounding me, all flailing like dead fish caught out of the water. Andy said that from the shore it looked as if the water just suddenly began boiling.
Then I was under.
Those bodies were on top of me, and I couldn't push them away.
I panicked. When I panic I can be super human.
I smashed my way to the surface, bashing whomever was in my way. I was like a mini-whale in breach. I raised my arms in the air and crashed them around me.
I was mad. Fucking men. FUCKING MEN!
And then I began to dog paddle.
And soon, I found a spot. And I could swim.
I swam way to the right, never even getting close to the line. When I arrived at the turn buoys I swam a good 200 yards to the right of them and around to avoid getting trapped again. I continued this strategy through the whole first loop. If someone so much as tapped me I kicked the living shit out of them and then swam away.
First loop was 30:35 or so.
Not so bad considering the flailing, breaching whale, dog paddle start, and the fact that I had swum probably twice what I had to swim.
Up over the mats, BEEP! (love the beep) and a dive into the water. Then another dolphin dive, and another. Then I swam to my right again.
Blah blah blah. Swimming is really hard to make interesting. I was happy. I love swimming. I was steady. I was strong. I was still kicking like a mad woman when anyone came close to me.
And then I was seeing that big IM arch. And then I was touching the sand and then I was stumbling out.
Here I am, peeling off my suit. I look sort of pregnant. Not sure what is up with that.
The dude next to me in the pic. I call Farmer John Man. He swam near me, but not into me- or I would have killed him, the whole swim. He had a Farmer John on, hence the name bestowed. We were buddies. He just didn't know it. We finished in about 1:02.
I got stripped and that was all good. Then I ran off to the oval for transition. Crossing into the oval it occurred to me that I wouldn't be back here for a very, very long time, and I wouldn't enter through this entrance until the very end of the race.
It was 8:04 a.m. At the earliest I wouldn't be done until dinner time.
Bring it on, Baby!
I got my bike bag which I had tied with a sparkly lime green bow and then spent a second trying to find where to get into the female tent. I put on all my shit (helmet, glasses (got fogged), hr monitor, Garmin, race belt, shoes).
I scrambled out of there, grabbed Mrs. Z, who it took a second to find, and then I was running to the bike start.
This, in my opinion, is where the day really began.
I clicked my watch. It was 8:08 a.m.