Sunday, March 4, 2012

Desert International Triathlon - HOT, HOT, HOT!

deserttrilogo2010Okay, so my guy and I were not able to outrun the heat! Neither were some other people! It was hot, hot, hot today at the Desert International Triathlon. It was 89 degrees but we didn't let the heat stop just slowed us down.

The triathlon started off with a 3/4 mile swim. I am working on my swim and don't have as much skill or confidence as I would like, so Robert had offered to hang back from his wave and swim with me. That made me happy and secure.

Then when we went to packet pick-up Robert found out that he could hang back with me, but his time would start when his wave went off. He could see the minutes adding up to his total time and he looked at me with puppy dog eyes and I told him to go off on his own and I would be fine.

My guy is standing behind my shoulder, thinking how he really needs to be my swim buddy since he said he would. My Triathlon Connection friends are all ready for the swim. They all rocked it without a swim buddy!!! I am going to be like them next time!

THANK GOODNESS Robert changed his mind at the last minute and went with me. I was a mess. After about two minutes in the water I told him I had made a mistake and I wasn't going to do the swim. He just patiently look at me and waited for me to work through my hysteria.

It didn't help that within a few more minutes we swam upon a woman going in the wrong direction. When I pointed out to her that she was going the wrong way, she said she had a horrible cramp and was going to shore. Uhm, I didn't have a cramp, so I couldn't use that excuse, so we continued on. I was breathing on every right stroke, but it was comforting that with each breath I could see Robert's blue swim cap. He kept me in line and heading in the right direction.

After we passed the first buoy, we swam up to a guy on his back making all kinds of weird noises and looked to be kind of flailing his arms. I asked him if he was okay, and he said yes, he just had bursitis and was just trying to get through the swim so he could get to the fun part - the run. I told him he was CRAZY, that the bike is the best part. "And by the way, your stroke is really weird," I told him. I think he beat me out of the water.

But we had a reason for taking 40 minutes to swim the 2/3 mile. Not too long after crazy, weird back-stroker, we swam up on another guy that was just treading water and didn't look too good. When I asked him if he was alright, he said, "No." "Do you need some help?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. So I started yelling for the guys in a boat about 100 yards away, "Hey, this guy with the green cap needs some help!!" and I pointed at the guy. The boat started toward us. I asked the man if he was going to be okay until the boat got to him and he said yes, so we swam on.

By this time, I was cold and tired of still being in the water. I wanted out so I could get on my bike, so I put my head down and swam, and swam and swam until my fingers touched the bottom and then we were out.

I really need to work on getting my wetsuit off. I tried to pull one arm off and it got stuck on my watch, and I tried to pull the other arm off and it was stuck. I was handcuffed in my own wetsuit.

Luckily, Robert yanked the arms off. I REALLY need to work on getting out of my wetsuit by MYSELF. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I did manage to get the rest of it off and get my bike helmet and shoes on and ready for the bike pretty quickly. I waited just a bit for Robert to gear up.

We biked the entire 24 miles together. It seemed more like a bike ride than a race. 

At one point, I told Robert, "See that person up there? That's our target. We are going to catch that person." He replied, "The one not pedaling?" We also laughed that it seemed no matter what direction we were riding, it seemed the wind was in our face. I did manage to pedal the entire time, though sometimes I find it hard to pedal fast when I am laughing.

I did not laugh, though, when I looked down and realized my chip was not on my leg. I don't know where it went. During the swim it felt like it was coming undone and twice I stopped to make it tighter and secure. I didn't feel it come off though. But now it was gone. Going into transition I told a man by the timing pads that my chip fell off somewhere and he said not to worry, that they wouldn't have my splits, but they would have my total time.

We also weren't laughing when we started running. By then it was HOT! I made a quick pit stop at the bathroom and it was so cool in the bathroom, I almost didn't want to come out. I was wearing my hydration belt and I was swigging away on that, plus taking two cups at the water stations - one to pour on my front and one to pour down my back. The first two miles were miserable. I was having abdominal cramps and had to stop and walk a couple of times. I got it together by mile 3, but then Robert started falling apart. I could tell that he was getting overheated. The last few miles I wasn't sure if he was going to make it. I ran ahead of him and flagged him to come on. A couple of times I even ran backwards and flagged him to come on. He offered to let me take his chip and finish without him, but I said no, he had been my swim buddy so I was sticking it out as he run buddy.

Later, I heard him tell his friend over the phone that if I had not been prodding him on, he might have called it a day.

We should both easily be able to set a new PR for next year's Desert Triathlon, especially if the weather is cooler. I never did get a time for the day, but I can use Robert's minus the three extra minutes they tacked on his for starting in a later wave. I plan to be a much better swimmer next year and I won't need Robert to be my swim buddy. He better plan on working on his run because next year it's every spouse for themselves.


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