The air was cold, real cold. I had my wetsuit on and was shivering. The water was warmer - so I got in it. I did a warm up but suspect my nerves were getting the better of me as I slowly swam back to shore thinking about how slow I was going. (the photo is Ben's new Nuvi computer from Garmin, at one point it said 'turn in 184 miles').
The male pros took off - then the women's pro field took off. then ALL men left - that included me. I got tacked, mounted and punched - stopped, got going again and slowly got around the 1st buoy. I looked into the distance and due to the fog on the water and sunlight hitting the fog - you couldn't see anything. I looked right (because that's the only side I can breathe on) and just hoped that somoene else could see. I swam, doubted my swim and swam some more. At some point (halfway) I got OUT of the water because it was a 2 lap swim and then got in the water. I stepped on something, rock like which really hurt. I figured a rock was stuck to my wet foot - I ran some more (the total run was about 15 steps in and out) with the rock stuck to my foot then it came out after I stopped and wiped my foot clear of it. I jumped back into the water and tried not to notice how many times I had already been 'chiced' (passed by the women's field behind you). The 2nd half sucked. I felt me feet falling, I swallowed so much water in a breath that I had to cough it up - scaring one of the guys in the boats, then keep going. My goal of sub-30 min swim was gone. It was terrible and before I even got out of the water, I got a cramp in my leg which basically flapped my leg for me - it hurt but I kept going figuring the spasm would help me go forward.
I got out of the water to a pretty empty T1. I rode and rode. I passed a male with 70 on his calf. Man was that a bad swim. I passed a lot of people - it was downhill for about 3-4 miles and I had a disc wheel. I saw 39mph for a while and just flew. Once the course flattend I struggled to ride hard - I felt absolutely no aggression to push it and rode about 10 beats lower than I normally would ride. I finished the ride in about 1:07 or so, not fast at all.
I came into T2 with Lara Brown right in front of me - starting her 2nd lap of the run course. I T2'd and got going on the run - pretty demoralized by the swim still but hopeful I could have a good run and have something positive to bring home. I ran out onto the course - my foot hurt like hell. I thought it was a cramp as I've had some issues lately with that - so I slowed a tick. Over the PA I heard Greg Remaly come in 1st, followed by Matt Chrabot and then Ben Collins 3rd Great race for him - but my foot was killing me. I slowed even more... then walked... the cramp was not going away. I stopped. I took off my shoe, then saw a bloody sock. Ick - I took off the sock and saw a slice in my foot about 2cm long and when I touched it - about 1cm deep. It made sense why it hurt. I considered walking the course but thought 1) I'm going to kill my USAT ranking 2) it could get infected 3) ben is going to wait a long time for me 4) is it ok to DNF? 5) it's the end of my season and Ben had a great race - so these things happen
I took the low road and walked back to T2. Disappointed - I have never DNF'd in a triathlon. Since it wasn't Kona, I figured I would live. I definitely didn't ever want to do that again. It was the lowest point of my season for sure.
I saw Ben, gave him the story then headed to the med tent. They (click away now if you're squeamish) took out a scrubber with medicine on it and had me hold open the cut so they could scrub all of the dirt and rocks out of it.
They then finished scrubbing the open wound and took out a surgical scooper of sorts with a sharp point and dug into the cut to get out a few bits of rock that the scubber didn't get out. They do this with no regard for the recipient of the injury. They then saw a few more pieces they couldn't get out - so I had to get Ben's tweezers to get the last bits out.
They had me hold open the wound some more so they could pull out the rest of the junk with tweezers. The last little bit just would not come out - they tried and tried then they got it. My eyes felt like they crossed in the back of my head as they yanked on what I think was a vein. I said 'I think that's good enough' and they bandaged it and sent me on my way.
END OF GROSS PART
I caught up with Lara (5th), Kelly (3rd), Ben (3rd), Amanda (10th) and Chris (16th) -all did well on a hard hard course. My foot hurt and we then had to drive about 280 miles so I could be home for my birthday party and to be there for some friends who were coming into town (which meant Ben got the Princess Bed again).
I'm still bumed about the race but home I can end the season on a high note next Sunday in Napa.
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