Sunday, May 18, 2008



The day began with 45 degrees and beautiful sunshine. I woke up at 5am to go over my last minute prep. I wasn't nervous at all which worried me. I ate a banana and a protein bar. Bino woke up then we loaded the car and took off. We picked up Iron Snoopy and Moose.

Galena is a point to point race. So we parked at T2/finish and I rechecked my gear. We went over and got in line to catch the bus to the start/T1. After getting off the bus, I set up all my stuff at T1. It was 8:15 and my wave was #21 at 10:00. Now I began to get nervous.

Iron Snoopy suggested that we put our wetsuits on and go jump in and get a feel for the water. Great idea. I slowly walked into the water---Sh**. I could not believe the cold. I waded out and tried to swim. I couldn't get my breath when I put my face in the water. I couldn't see 3 inches in front of my face it was so dirty. It was an instant brain freeze. Snoopy stayed close by and check if I was okay. I tried to swim out a little ways and had a small panic when I could not reach the bottom. I went back to shore and began watching as the race began.

The first wave took off. I watched to make sure that I could see how the course went. Suddenly I noticed a swimmer waving his arms over his head. One of the support boats went over and picked him up. I tried not to watch anymore.

SWIM- 660 yards/ 18:47=time
I lined up in the back of my wave which had 52 in it. We were the next to last wave. The group behind me had 68. I was alittle nervous but thankful that I had already been in the water for the initial shock. The gun went off.

I stayed back and let everyone go. I tried to swim and it just wasn't happening. Brain freeze! I dog-paddled for awhile. I made it to the first turn. Then I panicked and felt like an anxiety attack. Maybe I could get the support boat to pick me up. Then I could hear Coach in my head-rollover on your back and regroup. I did not learn how to swim and spend all those hours in the pool since October to have it end here. I flipped over and began to swim.

I finally fell into a rhythm. I looked up and founf that I was swimming into the middle of the lake. Damn. I changed direction. After swimming off course several times, I did make it to shore. My first open water swim in the books.

Later , I found out that the water temp at the furthest point out was actually 46.

Transition 1 - 5:25

Bike -16.8 miles/ 1:23:23 - time
Even though this was my third time on the bike course the 1100 ft. of climbing never gets easier.
The real challenge was the crosswind. I had never ridden in anything like it. Several times, I grabbed the bars tight to keep from going down. I felt strong.

Transition 2- 2:33

Run- 4.3 miles / 54:19=time/ 12:38=pace
The run was uneventful compared to the bike and swim. As I came down the final stretch to the finish -there was Iron Snoopy, Moose, and Kurt cheering me in. Around the corner was Bino.
I made it.

TIME: 2:44:25

I am a triathlete.

Iron Snoopy(right) and Me

2006 Duathlon 2:54:13-----24:20 RUN----1:28:29 BIKE---------56:37 RUN
2007 Duathlon 3:07:09-----22:25 RUN----1:31:13 BIKE--------1:08:28 RUN
2008 Triathlon 2:44:25----18:47 SWIM---1:23:23 BIKE---------54:29 RUN

Waddling and celebrating.............


Stef said...

CONGRATULATIONS I am so happy for you!! Way to take command of that swim after experiencing those nerves in that cold water. You made it happen! This is so AWESOME!

IronSnoopy said...

Congrats!!! You sure picked a doozy of a race for your first tri. I promise they get much better than this! If you can race this race, you can do anything. :)

Nice job!!!

Running Jayhawk said...

You are so freakin' awesome!! Way to go!!!!!!! :)

You had a MUCH better race than I had. And I applaud you for your incredible efforts.

We should do a chicago tri blogger OWS once the lake warms up...

Fe-lady said...

46???? And you carried on???? You are amazing to do this in your first open water swim.
The next thing I will be reading about on your blog is how you tackled Alcatraz!

21stCenturyMom said...

Congratulations! You did it in spite of that really cold water.

You look fabulous, too!

Vickie said...

Wow! You beat your duathlon times too! Way to go. I'm sure you are very proud of yourself, and you did well. That first swim is always the worst, and now its over. And that water, I can't believe how cold it was! Now on to the next!

Michelle said...

Oh man!! I'm so impressed. You rock! Thanks for sharing the down and dirty details.

Flo said...

Congrats!!!! You did an awesome job!! Having issues with the swim myself, you did an incredible job. 46?!?!?!?! Brrrr........

Juls said...

"Waddling and celebrating" - I like that.


Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

The water was pretty freaking cold, apparently!

Your swim experience sounds a lot like my first OWS race. Same panic, same thoughts, same flipping over, same eventual swimming. I think just getting through that warrants huge applause

(I'm clapping...can you hear it??)

Way to go!!!! YOU ROCK!!!

Joe said...

This is just so really persevered through that mental panic and the brutal temperature of the water...oh my, I can't fathom 46!!!! You kept your wits, did what the coach suggested, found yourself and kept swimming.

And crosswinds to boot!! Oh my!! Glad you hung on!!

Mega are a triathlete!!!

Mary Sunshine said...



I am so hugely proud of you!

What a shock to face such cold water. I think your water was colder than mine yesterday...but the memory is fresh is not easily understood unless you experience it.

Siren said...

I'm so impressed you pulled through in the cold!! I don't have a wetsuit yet, so I guess I'll have to hold off on putting Galena on my calendar for another year or two.

J~Mom said...

WOOHOO!! Congratulations!!! It's funny how so much of what you went through I did also. It's tough to hold the correct swim line in those situations. Sounds like an awesome race!!!

Mommymeepa said...

Way to rock it in Gelena. Sounds likeit was a tough one, but you kept waddling and made it. Welcome to the world of triathlon. It's an awesome ride and we are so glad you are part of it.

Take care,

Waddling to hug you {{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}}} Great job!!

Dan Seifring said...

Way to go Triathlete. You did a great job.

Kim said...

Hey if you are up for a road trip to Elmhurst on Thursday, John Bingham (the penguin) is speaking at Dick Ponds in Elmhurst!

Irene said...

I am so happy for you!!! I'm glad you stuck with it and finished! You really are a triathlete and an inpiration to me!

Formulaic said...


You lived through your first Tri. And you did a DAMN good job too.

Way to pull through. A lot of people wouldn't have done it.

Way to go!

rocketpants said...

Awesome job! Welcome to being a triathlete. Looking forward to more exciting adventures. Way to push through with the cold water.