Up at 5:20. Motel 6 has very limited supplies as in nothing. I needed to make my Rokitfuel and realized that I didn’t have anything to make it in, heat it up or eat it with. So I cleaned the ice bucket found in my room and measured out a cup of the good stuff and added water. I gathered the rest of my things and headed to the car with my gear bag and bucket. I stopped by the front desk. Well, desk is a stretch, it was more of a booth or cage. I wanted to see if they had any plastic forks. Nothing, so I took a Styrofoam plastic cup and tore off a side to use as a spoon. The cold Rokitfuel actually wasn't bad and went down just fine!
I arrived to the bike area with plenty of time to set up. The night before I looked on-line to find that my wave was scheduled to go off at 8:04. This gave me plenty of time to get into the wetsuit after the men’s and woman’s pro waves went off. I walked down to the beach and found a great spot to spectate from a reclining beach chair. So with wetsuit, swim cap and goggles in hand, I listened to the national anthem and as always, enjoyed seeing the pros take off on their swim.
To get to the swim start I walked down a long dock. This is where the athletes jump in and swim 20 meters to a deep water start. As I lay stretched out in my beach chair enjoying the sites, I notices a large group of fit looking individuals standing all the way at the end of the doc. They have the same color orange swim caps as the one I had in my possession. I jumped up in a panic, as these athletes started to jump in the water preparing for their wave start. I scrambled through the crowds of athletes and spectators and ran down the dock to reach my competitors in disbelief. I asked if this was the 30-34 mens wave. I guy looked at me like I was an idiot as I was still holding my wetsuit and said, “Yes, they moved us up.”
“One minute!” is the next thing I hear from the guy who is sending the race waves off. I quickly turn my wetsuit right side out and jump in the legs. For anyone that has tried to get on a swimming wetsuit, it takes time and care. I didn’t have time for care at this point. I got the bottom on and pulled the top up over my shoulders. I was now standing all by myself with all the other orange caps floating in the water. With a sheepish face I asked the guy holding the clip board if he could be so kind as to zip me up. With all the confusion, I hadn’t taken my pre race Dub shots and Powerbar.... I pulled out the two shots and slammed them down while being zipped. “10 seconds!” I throw on my cap and goggles and plunge into the water - BANG and we were off! I had swam right to the front in time for the gun to go off. I wanted to see how fast the good swimmer in my age took off. It was incredible! With just five strokes, they were 4 - 5 body lengths ahead of me and pulling out of sight. I kept a good steady pace and tried to remain calm after such a hectic start.
The swim course was a point to point swim. It starts by swimming straight out to the first marker where we made a left turn. We swim across the top, make another left turn, then back to the shore & water exit back at T1. The winds were much weaker than the day before, but still blowing enough to kick up some water. The swim was much more manageable than last week in New Orleans. I swam in control and for the third race in a row I didn’t break stride. This was a big deal if you know my swim background. A nose plug and the breast stroke were very much a part of my routine in the water.
The fast swimmers of my group were long gone and I had clear water for the most of the swim. I weaved around the slower swimmers as I came up on them and made my way successfully to the shore. My swim time was the slowest of the three but I feel that I am getting stronger each race. After looking at the results I noticed that my swim time was exactly where it usually is compared to the rest of the competitors, which means the swim course was a little long- whew.