I did my second tri today. In hindsight it was probably a bad idea to even go. Work was nuts and I was both stressed out and running late. I had to scarf down dinner in the car and use the bathroom at winding trails.

As I lined up at the swim start I felt fairly confident. When the horn blew I found a gap and dove in. I focused on being relaxed and tried to work on sighting. I am terrible at that so instead I just followed the rope line which I could see every time I took a breath. I only ran into one person, so no issues with the stops and starts like last time.

In fact, I nearly swam right passed the turn around. I ended up seeing the buoy just in time and taking the turn wide. I woman was in the water next to me, and as I approached her she flipped on her back, and then flipped back. We matched each other matched stroke for stroke. I’m not sure what happened next exactly. I think I was distracted such that I stopped thinking about swim stuff. I think I was holding my breath AND kicking, so that I actually couldn’t catch my breath. I think I was hyperventilating.

I flipped on my back but it felt weird, and I still couldn’t catch my breath. I started swimming towards the ropes and ended up seeing how far I was from shore. It seemed like I was a long way off, and my mind really got to me. I started pulling myself along the rope. Of course I would have been DQ’d in a real tri, but I just didn’t care. I finally caught my breath enough to swim, and before long I was on the shore.

I walked to my towel both absolutely spent, and mad at my self. As I got to my towel I heard a guy say, “he looks spent” another guy responds “yeah he was the one pulling himself on the rope.” Nice right?

I was really spent, they were right. I ran to transition, and got on the bike. Once again I struggled to get going. It was brutal. Lots of people passed me on the bike, not as many as before, but it was still brutal. My legs were burning at I was gasping for air.

I finally got off the bike and started the run. It felt like my legs were lead. The whole run felt more like a jog. It was brutal. Of course I. Got passed by two 12 year olds in the back Half of the mile, brutal. Although the mile felt really slow, I did a 9:41 which is pretty good for me.

The final time was 39 and change, a 6 minute improvement over last time despite the struggle. I’m not happy, but close enough. I have a lot to improve on for next time, including getting over my fear of swimming.