Saturday, July 12, 2008

Swim AND Bike race weekend!

In keeping with this year’s theme of “firsts” (broken back, open water swim race, Camp HTFU, training in every time zone except Mountain, need I continue?), I am doing my first bike time trial tomorrow. 40 K! And I’m oddly nervous and excited – a bundle of energy, not knowing fully what I’ve gotten myself into.

But first – a blurb about today.

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 am. Not for a bike ride, not to make a special breakfast for Nathaniel, and no, not even to get on an airplane and fly half way around the world. No, instead I drove out to Panama City Beach to race in the Deer Point Lake Mile Open Water Swim.

For some reason, I only thought I would spend two hours in the car this morning.

But it turns out; it was two hours there and two hours back. I never was good at math.

So roughly – if I compute it correctly – that turns out to 60 minutes of driving for every 400 meters of swimming.

What can I say?

I know, I know – totally wrong. And somewhere in South Carolina, my Soul-Sister Ashley Long just threw up her chocolate-laden oatmeal.

But it was great: my second open water swimming race ever (without biking or running afterwards).

A race report will follow later this weekend – as in Monday or Tuesday of next week.

I am happy to report that I didn’t get eaten by the alligators (because they live in the lake – there are lots in the area… Florida Gators… duh!), and that one of the local sharks was caught last week.

I am not joking about the second.

Seriously – the assistant RD told me afterwards that a shark was pulled out near the dam.


(Say it!): If there is one, there are others!

(Had I known this before the swim, would I have done it? Would I have ventured out into the murky, weedy, critter-infested depths? Hhhhmmmmm. During the warm up and cool down I WAS thinking about the other “things” in the lake. But thankfully, was blissfully unaware of the sharks or the apparent large gator population. During the race though, my focus was only on the racing).

But obviously I’m here; I’m alive and well. And even though I have difficulty lifting my arms above my head or stretching my triceps, that’s okay. Because hopefully tomorrow I’ll just be using my legs.

Ah yes – the time trial.

I’m currently in Selma, Alabama – the nearest town to the TT location. This race is also billed as the Alabama State TT Championships. Which should be pretty interesting, as I’ve never raced a TT.

I emailed the RD of this race and asked him about where I would be, what category I would be in, and where I would start – and all the other things a very novice time trailer would ask. I finished off the email by writing, “I just don’t want to start or finish last…”

He emailed me back and replied, “Don’t worry, you won’t finish last.”

When I told my very-supportive Other Half this, Nathaniel laughed and commented, “Well, think about it. If the race director told everyone they wouldn’t be last, he would be right for 99% of the time.”

And then he laughed.

Thanks, sweetheart.

So that’s where it’s at.

I’m now in the hotel room, “Jurassic Park” is on in the background, the bike is ready, the air conditioning is finally working, and I’m wondering if there is anything else I can do to make myself any more aero for tomorrow.

Perhaps re-shape my eyebrows?

Perhaps not. I’ll be in enough pain tomorrow as it is.

Oh well – not that it really matters. I’m just out there to have fun, to learn, to experience, to go as fast as I can, and to see what it’s all about. And to make the Category 4 women – the novice-cycling-category – proud.

So here’s to not getting eaten by a shark, not being attacked by an alligator, road-tripping with Nathaniel (who made “moo-ing” noises at the cows, and “choo-choo” noises at the trains), swimming racing on Saturday, and time trialing on Sunday. Could it get any better?

Throw in Peanut Butter cups and peanut M&Ms, and I swear that I’m in heaven-on-earth.


Beth said...

Good luck Marit!! Hope you have a lot of fun and really go at it! Can't wait to hear all about it. And glad to know you didn't get eaten by an aligator either!! :)

Ness said...

Marit - I hope your race goes well. I'm sending you vibes right now.

Anonymous said...

OKKKK, I had NO idea about the alligators!!! Ick. Glad you didn't know either!! Glad your 1 mile OW swim went so well. Good luck today at the TT. Jerome is off to his 40k TT now too! :) Just not in Alabama!! Jen H.

TriBunny said...

Hey Marit, I got to your page thru Kellye's. She's a friend and teammate of mine. We did the Team TT together recently. Love reading your blog and can't wait to hear how your TT went. Hope you had fun and are feeling strong.

;) Amy

Kim said...

Glad you enjoyed your open water swim race. I just did a 2 mile open water race a few weeks ago and it seemed very, very, very long!! I also swallowed half the lake so it was surprising there was anything left for anyone else to swim in. Good luck on the TT. Sounds like fun. Zoom zoom.

Ashley said...

Way to gooooooo in your OW swim. No WAY would I drive that far to swim (I mean, it's getting better... but still, a swim ONLY race?!) Hey - GREAT job.