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: