Sunday, April 17, 2011

Escape from Fort Desoto

I did it in 1:26 and change. Left the house at 3:45am yuck. I needed to pick up my packet and figured the parking may be an issue with over 1500 participants. All week I dreaded getting in the cold water. If it were wetsuit legal that would eliminate that problem but create the new problem of escape from the wetsuit transition time. Crossing over the sky way bridge the water looked calm. Great because there had been mention of choppy seas. When I pulled into the main drive of the park, there was a huge flag pole with the Old Glory waving fiercely. Um. I arrived at 5:10 am and got a great spot across from the transition area. Perfect. I got my packet and took my gear to the transition area and set up. They announced the water was 74F and wetsuit legal. 74F you bet I was going to wear my wetsuit.
About 6:45 we walked down to the beach. It was still dark but I could see the water exit which seemed to be way out in some sort of lagoon. We walked the half mile down the beautiful white sand beach to the swim start. I got in for a warm up swim not too bad. Triathlons are much more competitive then marathons. You catch people looking at your swim cap color and leg number. If they are the same they check you out. I am still interested in doing my best and don't really care much about the competition other then how to judge myself.
The OVER 40 women group was the third wave. Off we went thrashing about. I noticed pretty quick I was getting pounded by waves that I had not noticed warming up. I ignorantly thought at first it was off a boat. Nope. 4-5 ft chop. Then I learned breathing to the right was a good way to get a drink of salt water. My breathing became erratic and I had no rhythm I started to breathe to the left but I was catching waves and plopping over them like an old wooden canoe. I stopped and looked around every now and then. I was still with the pink caps but not making good time. I finally got a little rhythm right before the last buoy. I definitely need to get out of the early flow and get a rhythm next time. We had to run through the lagoon to get back to the beach. Nice muddy water.
I got my chip Velcro stuck in my wetsuit making transition a little longer. Doesn't take long to kill 4 minutes.
Off on the bike. Felt great. My new Trek is embarrassingly sweat. Too good for me. Oh well I enjoyed it. I passed lot of people. I am proud to report a bike split of 27:54 for 10 miles. It was pretty windy so I was a little caution and only took fluids twice. I was having too much fun passing people. On your left, it is me the slow swimmer.
The run was down a bike path to the Fort. In years past the route climbed the fort. I was waiting but we just went around. They were doing construction. Good enough. Was not that excited about climbing stairs at that point. The return was on a sandy trail that was tough footing in places. The run was 3.4 miles and finished in the parking lot near transition.
It was a very organized event. They had lots to drink and eat and the park was beautiful. I will definitely do this race again. But I need more swimming experience.

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