All I could remember was the extreme dizziness that overwhelmed me when I got out of the water. It was my first time wearing a wetsuit and I inherited a very nice one from a friend. The problem was that this friend was only 5-feet tall. I am 5'6.
So, I got out of the water and stumbled into the transition area. I remember telling my husband, "Wow, I am dizzy!" as I tried to get out of my wetsuit.
There are a lot of pictures of me attempting to get the wetsuit off - I was quite stuck. And, after I shared the photos with my friends, they were quick to tell me that not only was my wetsuit too small, but I also wore it backwards.
But to this day, I really think that it only makes sense for the ZIPPER TO GO IN FRONT. I mean, you have to zip yourself and unzip yourself, so logic would be to put the zipper in a location where it is easy to do so.
Anyway, that travesty of a transition added over 4 minutes to my time! I figured this year I should have no problems in the transition area. After all, my wetsuit was the right size.
David and I dropped the kids off with Grandma and began our recreation of our 2006 excursion. It started off a bit stressful - we got lost and David had a falling out with our hotel clerk, but as we wandered around dowtown Flagstaff, holding hands, life felt very nice. We stopped for drinks at the same place that we did in 2006.
And yes, I am drinking a pre-race martini.
Back in 2006, that was my version of carbo-loading.
And I wore the same shirt on purpose - I really don't dress like a 24 year old anymore.
Most of the time.
Even in my ripened age, I managed to wake up without a hangover.It rained the night of the race but it was a beautiful morning.
I felt a little anxious because this was the first open-water swim NOT in Tempe Town Lake that I have done since '06. I felt a little dizzy but comforted by the perfect fit of my wetsuit.
My was to draft off my friend Tracey because she is a fast swimmer. But, I lost her toes during the first stroke. So I focused on my swimming. I tried breathing every 4th stroke and every 2nd stroke but found myself lured to every 3rd stroke. This was my first time bi-lateral breathing in a race. My goggles did not leak nor fog and my wetsuit kept me afloat. I think it was one of my best swims!
Unfortunately, this was not indicated in my time - 15:32.
But it was better than 6 years ago when my swim time was 16:39.
I was the 10th woman out of the water.
As soon as I emerged, I was greeting with a familiar dizziness.
I ran to my bike and peeled off my wetsuit. And then I tried to put on my bike shoes. Leaning forward only made my dizziness worse and I fell over. I grabbed the bike rack to break my fall, put on my helmet and ran out of the transition.
Transition time = 2:30! I fell back to 14th place.
But, at least it was under 4 minutes this time.
Getting on my bike was just as hard as getting on my bike shoes. I made numerous attempts before I successfully mounted. This added about 30 seconds to my bike time. I was so dizzy! Luckily, once I was moving, I felt much better. It was a fun ride, with rolling hills, and lovely scenery.
Final bike time was 32 minutes -
much better than the 35 minutes, 46 seconds that it took 6 years ago.
I moved up to 8th place.
Transition 2 was just as bad as Transition 1.
I have plenty of
Even 6 years ago I did it faster than that.
My biggest issue was my shoe laces. My hands were cold, I was dizzy once again, and I just could not get them tight.
"What are you doing??" my friend yelled to me as she passed me.
"I can't get my shoe laces right!"
"Stop thinking about it and just run!!" she ordered, as she left the transition.
It was good advice. Within minutes, I forgot about shoe laces.
I didn't wear a watch for the run but I felt like I was running slow.
Running at 7,000 feet elevation is weird - it's not like you are more fatigued, but rather that your body isn't working normally. When I passed the finish line, I didn't feel the need to prop my elbows on my knees and catch my breath like I usually do after a 5K.
I didn't feel tired.
I think my exact words were, "I feel funny. Like I just smoked weed."
I was right, my run was slow - 20:55!!
But I was still the fastest woman, even though there were other equal, if not better, runners in attendance. I guess everyone was feeling the elevation effects!
I ended up in 6th place, 2nd in my age group, and a final time of 1:13:29.
That is 10 minutes faster than 2006.
Even though it was different scenery, it was still the same familiar faces and friends. That is one of my favorite things about racing.