Where is My Mojo

Veni, Vidi, Vici – My chronicle of the Egg Hunt

In Triathlons on April 25, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I came, I saw, I conquered…

D-day arrived. Saturday 4am. Alarm went off. I slept like a baby. For only four hours, but I slept like one. The minute the alarm went off I started feeling like I was headed for the slaughter house. Since the night before I had been feeling that way. I went to the movies with The Dude, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the swim portion of the race. I tried imagining myself victoriously arriving at the shore after free-styling my way to 400 meters. I did all types of visualization exercises, and still my stomach had the sensation of it being in flames.

I got up. Headed to the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet and I put my hands on my face, I almost wanted something to happen that would make me have to cancel the race. I really didn’t want anything horrible to happen, but something like Pocho vomiting a bit would’ve been enough for me to call it quits.

I was ever so silent even after The Dude woke up. The stress of what was going to come my way really didn’t allow for tolerance of early morning small talk. He knew I was nervous and didn’t make a lot of conversation. He did every once in a while remind me that everything would be ok.

I couldn’t understand what made me signed up again after such a terrible performance on my first triathlon. I guess we are masochists and as such we really like to suffer bad. My problem is not the overall event and the endurance you have to develop for it. My problem was the swim. The swim. The first discipline you need to complete in order to pass on to the other disciplines and complete the race. So if I don’t get pass it, and don’t get through the race. Simple.

Silence was king during the ride to the park. To be honest, I don’t even think I turned on Pandora for music. I was a bit irritated for my decision of registering for something that I was partially prepared for. This fear I didn’t feel prior to the first tri, but it makes sense, I had no clue what I was up to when it came to the swimming. But on Saturday April 23, I knew. I knew of the possibilities. Of the things that could happen. That really sucked.

Once I arrived in the park and saw my coach and my team mates I started feeling a little bit more at ease. They knew how well or not I was prepared. A dip into the water before the race began helped in discovering I was not panicking. It wasn’t like last time, when I couldn’t even stick my head into the water without my heart racing like a horse. This time that didn’t happen. I swam some strokes and got comfortable. My team mates did the same.

So it was time for the ladies with the light blue swimming caps to go out. I was holding on to one of my friends’ hands. She was as nervous as I. We had agreed to swim together alongside each other just like we had done before in the course of our training. Off we went until I started to get tired, not nervous, and flipped on my back to do some back strokes. At one point I had to make a pit stop on one of the life guard’s kayaks. When I hanged on to it, the “Kayak Lady” asked if I just wanted to take a break or if I wanted to be pulled out. Now, that was a tempting proposition I have to admit. But something inside of me answered out loud: “No, just a break”. My friend was getting tired of slowing down to wait for me, so I told her not to worry and to go ahead and continue. I made two more pit stops before I made my way back to the shore. All back stroking. I tried several times to free style, but I have the impression that it’s harder to swim in a lake. It’s harder in terms of buoyancy. I need to check this out and confirm my little theory. In any case, once I was in route to the shore, between two kayaks as a reference, I gave it all I had with my arms.

I’m pleased to say I made it to the shore without the need of a life saver. Objective #1 was accomplished! As I got out of the water I couldn’t help but to jump facing the life guards and saying thank you, thank you, thank you for being there for me. I was so happy, I had this huge smile on my face. I realized then I was not the last one out of the water, which is extra brownie points for me!! It took me 24 minutes, but I made. At the shore I saw the team coaches, Andy and Lee, and then The Dude shooting as many pictures as he could while shouting my name and cheering me all the way to the transition area. I couldn’t but shout to Andy that I had made it without the life saver! I felt proud!!! I was celebrating! I was a winner in my little own fantasy world!

P.S.: More to come on the Bike & Run.

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