Saturday, February 16, 2008

February TCSD Race (aka The 9th Circle of Hell)

Days like today remind me how crazy (and sometimes stupid) I really am. I'm a sucker for competition. That is the only way I can explain it. It's February, and even though it's San Diego....It's COLD! Many mornings are in the low 40s, the water is in the low 50s. The flu has been going around, and I am traveling later this week to ice cold Minneapolis. In addition, it rained like crazy on Thursday, causing nasty runoff into Mission Bay......and.... it is jellyfish season!

Despite all of this, I took the plunge.

The race consisted of a 2 loop, 800 m swim, a 12.5 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. After putting on my wetsuit, I walked down to the water. The sand was wet and COLD! I can't even put into words how cold my feet were. Pure pain! Paul, Elizabeth, and JT were sitting on the sand with their feet up in the air because it was too cold for them. Usually when the sand is this cold, the water feels warmer. Not today. The water was just as cold. The gun went off and we all jumped in. As soon as my face hit the water, I was again in pure pain. After swimming about 50 m, I decided I was done. My whole body hurt from the cold, and I was hyperventilating a bit. I started swimming towards shore, and then saw Leann swimming behind me. She couldn't even put her face in the water. She talked me into sticking with it....we could do it together. That was the extra push that I needed. I decided to go for it. The first loop of the swim was marked by hitting warm spots (relatively warm spots), and really really cold spots that caused my whole body to tingle with pain. There was also a jellyfish or 200 that I had to swim through. Usually this grosses me out, but I was so cold, I didn't even care. The 2nd loop was more of the same, except we had finally scared the jellyfish out of the way.

T1 came, and was SLOW. 3 minutes or so. I took my time. I couldn't really move my hands or feet, so putting on my socks and long sleeve jersey were quite the challenge. Oh well, being warm was more important to me at that time than being fast.

The bike was 5 small loops around Fiesta Island for 12.5 total miles. It was a good speed workout other than the fact that my feet were like blocks of ice. Most of my thoughts on the bike were about how much the run was going to hurt with my frozen feet.

The run was short. It was a very bizarre feeling to start my run on complete ice blocks. My feet finally thawed at 1.5 miles, so the last half mile I finally felt pretty good, and actually a little WARM! Pat had finished the race about 10 minutes before me, so he ran back and ran the last 1/4 mile with me to the finish.

I finished to find out that 3 of the top men (Paul, Eric, and Dean) had all dropped out of the race during the first 100 m of the swim because they were too cold. Even though I did not win, that definitely made me feel like a champ. :)

18:55 Swim
3:31 T1
40:27 Bike
1:10 T2
15:49 Run
Total = 1:19:54 (1:19:49 TCSD Time)