Okay, so we get to Clermont so early it is still dark out. It is an ungodly hour and I start to question my own motives as to why on earth I would wake up this early to do something so horrific to my own body! As we pulled into the parking lot I could feel my adrenaline increasing by the moment, my heart was pumping as I was watching the other Tri-athletes, getting there bikes off the rack. We went to registration, and walked into the "Newbie" section. This is where you must present your UAST membership, we were not yet members therefore needed to purchase one. We had to fill out multiple papers with signatures and initials every where, at some point I asked "What is this our will?", but we signed away. Next you go into the room where you must show a picture ID so that you can pick up your packet, with race cap, numbers etc. As we are here we run into a few friends from the Legacy group and chat!
Next you set up your bike in the transition area so that you are ready when you come out of the swim. After that you put your number on your bike, helmet, legs ,arms and they put your age on your right leg, apparently I found out "how many people does it take to write your number all over your body? well,three. I must interject here and let you know they were VERY surprised when I told them how old I was:)
We ran into our friends to compare numbers, one of them had just gotten in from a trip from Israel, yes, and she still came to this thing, the creepy part, her number was 666, I am not lying, bizarre,right?
We head to the swim area, we put on swim caps, goggles and get in line. It is freezing outside, the wind has picked up. Others venture to the water, I am too afraid if I feel how cold it is , I will cop out of this thing .(note to self:get used to water before running into it) As we are standing getting ready to approach the front line, Gail says "I am going to throw up", now it is our turn, they call out your name individually as you take off. I go full speed like some Olympian goddess, straight through the water, I run as fast as I can, I run so far that there is a drop off that I am unaware of, and I sink, yup, straight down. The water is so cold, I lose my breathe, the water is so black ,I can't see my hand in front of my face! I emerge,only my neck sticks out of the water and begin to swim, well more like a dog paddle! I can't get my mind to function, I was like how do I swim? really, I could not remember.There are other swimmers around me that are passing to the right, to the left, I pull with my arms, kick with my feet, I still am just a head out of the water, I go around one buoy. My body feels tight and heavy. I can't keep my back legs up, I am not parallel to the water. The rescuer in the canoe comes closer and is eyeing me, I force my head back in the water, try to pull my legs up, it doesn't help. Now I have swallowed water and I am coughing. Screw it, I begin to breast stroke it and decide just get the hell out of this water.Don't die. Meanwhile, Gail is swimming like she is a water polo player. She keeps saying"well can you at least try to float? She is flipping around from her back to her front graceful, as if she is a frigging mermaid. I am flailing in the water, and I swear the wind was blowing , so it felt as if I was treading water in one place and not moving forward.
I finally get to where I can stand and I am up on both legs, running for security, pounding my feet on the sand , I can't catch my breath, I am just about to start walking to the transition area and then I see the camera, so I keep running, Pose, I hear a click, click, click----then walk.
Whew! I had made it through part one, with two events to go! We ran to the transition area, eat two bites of banana, drink water, put on hat, shoes, socks, bike helmet and race towards the bike path!
BTW I checked my times for my swim today, I did it in 6min&43sec, I rock! So dog paddling should be an Olympic sport!