After the Race: High Cloud Peasantman Triathlon, 5-06-2012

Holy freakin’ schnitzel!!  That race was NOT easy at all!  Well, for someone who hasn’t done an open-water swim in nearly a year, I felt totally wiped out once I finally finished the swim.  Add to that the fact that I hurt my foot and can’t run and, well, it was incredibly tough, and I was super-slow.  And I couldn’t do my favorite part of the race, which is the run, so I knew I’d be getting a DNF.

The High Cloud Peasantman Tri was held at Lake Anna, and was a practice tri that was put on by the High Cloud Foundation, composed mainly of DC Tri Club members.  I desperately needed the practice of doing a triathlon, especially since I’ve got this little thing called Kinetic Half next Saturday.  Yes, six days from now.  I realize that I have gotten myself way in over my head, and it an absolutely blessing that the National Harbor 70.3 got cancelled.  I’d still like to know why that race was cancelled, but today was a rude awakening that I have no business spending $250 on a race in which I will hopeless flounder.  And, in the same vein, it’s a good thing I can’t run, because a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride, is going to completely kick my butt.  I’ll go into the race knowing that I’ll DNF, but it’s ok, it’s ok, I just need to keep reminding myself of that. 

Backing up to the beginning, I got up at 4:30am today and then my got a ride with my friend Maureen and her daughter down to the race.  We showed up with plenty of time to spare; I set up my gear (which seemed like it was minimal), changed into my tri top and shorts, and finally put on my wetsuit.  Ick.  Maybe it was the humidity or something, but that thing was DARN difficult to put on!  But I think that putting on a wetsuit is one of the only times when it is ok to constantly grab your crotch in public 🙂

We started on the shore and once the whistle/horn/whatever-it-was-I-don’t-remember was sounded, we ran (or waddled) into the water and started swimming.  Silly me had decided pre-race to get a little practice in, and I ended up tiring myself before the race even started.  Then we started, two loops for the Olympic race, and I can’t remember ever haivng such a tough open-water swim.  What gives?  Even my very first OWS a couple years ago didn’t leave me so wiped out.  Am Ithathopeless and out-of-shape???  There were only three main buoys, and it was difficult for me not only to see them, but to stay on course.  I think that’s a major reason why I felt so drained after the swim- I probably swam waaay more than 1.5 km! 

I’d rather not look up my time, but let’s just say two hours later, I came out of the water (ok, it wasn’t really two hours, but it sure felt like it!) and my head was spinning and I barely had the energy to take off my swim cap or the top half of my wetsuit.  Maybe I shouldn’t have even worn a wetsuit, because the water wasn’t even cold.  I slowly walked to transition while people were cheering them on.  You know that kind of half-smile you give to people when you’re pissed off, but not necessarily at them?  Yeah, that’s what my morning was like.  All these great volunteers cheering me on, and I’m pissed that I can’t really race, that I’m just participating, and not very well.  I wonder if it’s possible for me to sound more negative!!

Once I finally got my wetsuit off, and slowly put on my bike gear (remember, I was still exhausted at this point), I got up and walked my bike to the Bike Mount area and rolled off.  I can easily say I felt a lot better on the bike than on the swim, though by that point most people are already gone.  Sigh…. I needed the practice, and that’s what I got.  Because the Sprint distance had started their race only a few minutes after the Olympic, and the run was on the same roads as the bike, there were quite a few people on foot as I was biking by.  I felt doofily slow, but at least I wasn’t on the roads all by myself. 

As with the swim, Olympic distance did two loops of the bike course (I think it came out to 22 miles, but I really have no idea).  There was no stretch of road that felt totally flat to me, they were gently rolling the whole way.  No major hills, though!  As I finally rolled in to the end of Loop #2, I got off my bike and casually walked to transition.  My race was over.  Let’s see how Kinetic Half goes…. aye carumba!

See that? That’s the finish line, and I would have loved to run across it. (note: I had changed and cleaned up prior to this photo)

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