I debated even writing this, but I'm admitting my defeat and I learned some great lessons at my 1st real tri. A few years ago I did an indoor tri, but this was the first real outdoor tri. I felt ready had done OW swimming, plenty of biking and running, but things were not going to go as planned on Sunday...500 meter swim/15 mile bike/5K run.

Arrived at the park early on Sunday to set up my transition area and then sat with Matt down by the lake until the pre-race meeting started. The swim course didn't look too bad. I was in wave 3 and had decided against a wet suit since the water temp was 77* and I was fine during my OW swims. This morning the air temp was much colder then during my past 2 OW swims. When I got in the water to start I was shivering. I swam about 100 meters (1/2 way to the 1st turn) and felt my lungs tighten up. I just couldn't get any air. I tried to backstroke for the next 100 and take some deep breathes which only slightly helped. At this point I had 300 meters to go and could only go 3-4 strokes until I started coughing, which doesn't work too well in water. I took time to rest on the buoy and even had a chat with a lifegaurd. I continued to backstroke croookedly and finally finshed the 500 meter swim in 40 minutes The last time I swam this course in practice I did 550 meters in 20 minutes, so I was hoping to be under that. I made it through the swim, there was no way I was quiting.

I finally got to my bike and was happy to see other bikes, although not many still in transition. The bike course was really hilly, but I had biked a lot of hills. I was still having problems with my breathing, and noticed I was breathing harder then I typically do when I bike. I just kept a steady pace and managed to pass 40 people on the bike!I finished the bike in 55 minutes, I was hoping for 50 or less. At least at this point I was on dry land and back with the majority of people.

Put on my running shoes and was looking forward to the run and passing more people, my legs felt great. I headed out and made it about 1/10 of a mile and was wheezing and coughing. This was when I knew the swim wasn't just some mental thing causing me issues in the water. I started walking and thought I'd be fine in a couple minutes, but I was wrong. I could run about 30 seconds at a time, but walked most of the course. The end was downhil so I managed to run that and cross the finish line running. I finished the run in 38 minutes. Pretty bad for someone who's strength is running. (had hoped for 23 minutes)

On the positive side I was not the last swimmer or last finisher, there were actually many people behind me. I think a wet suit may help me in the future on OW swims with cold air temps. I am happy that I managed to finish this thing, even though it was not how I had planned it. I will do another tri and Matt even said he wants to do some too. I was still having breathing issues until Tuesday and when I tried to get an appointment to see my doctor on Monday I was told "no, that is an emergency" Uh hello people I am currently calling you from a hospital don't you think I'd rather be there if it was a true emergency. I had a similar issue after the TC 1 miler when I ran in colder air, which is why I tend to avoid cold weather races. I haven't needed my inhaler in over a year so I never bring it with and it is now expired. Guess I'll rethink that in the future too.


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