Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lake Logan Aquathlon 2011

I had been looking forward to the Lake Logan Aquathlon for several months (1500 meter swim & 5k run), excited about venturing into a new sport. Sadly, we know that my high hopes for being able to compete were shot when the Orthopedist told me no running for six weeks due to being on the verge of a stress fracture. I decided to go ahead and go to the event and at least do the swim. I couldn't get any money back at that point so may as well make the most of it.

I switched my attitude from competitor to mom on vacation for 24 hours. I did decide I would at least attempt to walk the 5k so I wouldn't have a DNF. The weather forecast was iffy for the weekend and I was worried that it would storm and ruin my camping experience and even worse cancel the swim portion!

During the drive up there I ran into some really bad rain and was quite worried what the weekend had in store. Turns out when I arrived at Lake Logan it was dry as a bone! Sweet. I picked up my packet and asked a few newbie questions then headed off to find my camping spot and set up my tent.

Once I got my tent set up I grabbed my camera and checked out the venue. I took a peek at the mysterious and fear inducing transition area. Ha, you don't look so scary, for now.

I checked out the dock where we would be exiting the water. Then I walked over to the bridge and checked out the HUGE lake. The water didn't feel all that cold, very similar to the temp of the water at the YMCA. The water by the exit dock was cold but that was a teeny tiny fraction of the swim. At this point I started to contemplate the need for a wetsuit. Seemed everyone was opting for it. I figured I'd try it out. If I didn't end up liking it there would be no big loss since I wasn't really competing.

My night of camping was uneventful, other than the guy in the tent next to me that snored. OMG, don't camp in a group campsite if you snore! It's just rude! Thank goodness for my ipod.

I spent my morning getting my first body marking, setting up my transition area, and picking up my chip. Everyone I spoke with was really nice and helpful. I watched the experienced people and hoped to pick up some cool tricks. If I did see any cool tricks I've completely forgotten them now. I eventually put my wetsuit on and made my way over to the start of the swim with everyone else. I enjoyed watching the sprint triathletes head off for their much shorter swim. It is interesting to see everyone's swim style. There was even one guy that was breast stroking the whole sprint swim instead of freestyle. That looked really slow going, but, at least he was out there getting the job done.

Our turn came to swim and I was actually pretty calm, probably because I had no pressure on myself. I enjoyed getting a view of the surrounding mountains with each breath, that was amazing. I felt like I did really well sighting on the way to the first turn buoy. That all changed once I turned around the second one. There were fewer buoys and the other swimmers were well spread out by then. There was so much more empty space and my right pull started to kick in. I felt like I needed to sight more because I kept drifting to the right back towards the start dock instead of under the bridge to the exit dock. I thought I'd never get to the bridge. Once I finally got close the current from the stream that fed the lake made me feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream, ugh. The water was much cooler there but was very welcome at that point. Thank goodness they had people there to help us onto the dock since I felt a bit disoriented upon standing up.

I thanked my helpers and started my slow march to the transition area. I took my time in transition since there was no reason to rush. I kept an eye on how others were going about things. I struggled to get my wetsuit off my legs and was glad to see it gone. I got all my gear on and grabbed two fig cookies since I knew I'd be out there for a good long time. I hit the potties too since I figured there wouldn't be one on course. My transition time was around 3:30min. Not too bad for taking my time. I now know what I will and won't do next year in transition. I won't be wearing a wetsuit next year either. I'll save that for truly cold water.

I'll admit it was tough to have everyone cheering and being all overly supportive when you're just walking. I felt so silly but I thanked everyone who was giving me support. I just wanted to wear a sign that said, "No running for 6 weeks on Dr's orders, I swear I can actually run." After I got past the thick crowd of spectators I almost cried from disappointment of having to walk. I did my best to turn that around and enjoy my walk. I admire my fellow competitors and took in the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. I had one runner that tried to get me motivated to run with her. I told her I was walking on Dr's orders and she gave me kudos for not letting that stop me from having a good event. I had several other runners ask if I was okay. I really enjoyed the friendliness of the triathletes, very similar to my beloved trail runners.

I was happy to reach the finish. I was second to last in the aquathlon. The only reason that happened was one swimmer took nearly an hour for the swim. But, I'm fine with it. I learned a lot that day. I learned that I definitely need help with the swim if I want to be competitive. It took me 32 mins for the swim, that counts my walk to transition. My watch gave me just a hair over 30 mins. With that time I was 9th out of 13 women in the swim. The winner swam in 20 mins! Wow, I've got some serious work to do. I now know next year I will wear a swim suit only for the swim and run. I'll have some shoes I can slip on easier and I'll skip the potty break.

I'm looking forward to next year. It was a beautiful place to visit. I hope I'll have a much improved swim time and I'll be uninjured so I can run instead of walk!

Sunrise at Lake Logan:

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Blog Name- Adventures of Broken Mom

Just a quick update. Last week I went to the orthopaedist to check out what I thought was a soleus pull in my right calf. Sadly I was wrong. It was worse than that. I was told I am on the way to a stress fracture on the inside of my right tibia if I don't take a break from running. I was shocked that my tibia is where the pain originates, never did I dream of poking around the inside of my tibia for pain when this latest injury cropped up. When he poked my tibia in the spot next to where I thought the soleus pull was I about hit the ceiling.

Of course the second he finished with the sentence, "No running for six weeks," I broke down and cried. I blubbered something to the effect of there goes everything. He tried to tell me all is not lost that I will run again. But I continued to sob and rattle off my three big races I've been looking forward to and specifically training for are all out of the equation now. He gave me some tissue to get the snot under control and I tried to compose myself. He assured me this was nothing that happened from bad training or over training. I just had some bad luck recently and put my foot wrong at some point, which is easy to do when you are a crazy trail runner.

I am finished with week one of rest. I've officially taken myself out of 2 of my 3 races. The only one I'm still doing is this weekend. I know, I've been told not to, but it's an aquathlon, Lake Logan. I could have gotten some of my entry fee back but I couldn't get my camping and pre-paid cafeteria meals back. So I'm going ahead and heading to the event on Saturday afternoon, hopefully with Laura (my reason to tri). I'll camp and enjoy a quiet evening away from home then have a lovely 1500 meter swim surrounded by beautiful mountains and call it a day. For me the challenge is the swim anyway. I'd like to see how I measure up in a race situation with my swimming. I'm still quite a newbie at it and hope this is a good learning experience for me.

So no Blue Ridge Relay or Medoc 10 mile trail race. There is always next year. Now that I have a tent, and no ordinary muggle tent, I can afford to travel a bit farther for some trail races. (Feast your eyes on the Hobitat.) I won't feel so bad going out of town for a short race if I'm only dropping between $10-$25 for lodging. Medoc Trail races are planning on holding some spring races for the first time next year, a 5k and 15k, so I think I'll head up for that since they are such a fun bunch of runners.

On the bright side: I don't have to run in the summer heat any more. I will be a stronger swimmer at the end of my 6 weeks. I also have more time to craft, something I have felt either too busy or tired to do this summer. I've even pondered maybe trying mountain biking to see if I could be an off road triathlete. I'm not convinced I'd do all that well on a mountain bike. Thank goodness for USNWC where I can rent a bike and ride the trails before investing in something I won't like.

Well, so much for a quick update, more like a novella. Hope everyone else is still in one piece. Hopefully I'll have a fun report after next weekend.