I haven’t done a Splash and Dash in over four years. Tuesday nights are typically for Endurance Cycle (Pain Cave) Class or offseason during the April through October time frame. However, they were doing an awards thingee for our distance swim challenge with the awards for the race, and asked us to come. Well, if I’m there, I might as well race it, right?
I has a number. I race now.
My goal was to treat it like a short speed session, which is not something out of the ordinary for me to do on Tuesday of a race week. However, that meant going about 80-90% and holding some back. I think I did alright at that. I’m a little sore today but not any more sore than I’d normally be after a speed workout.
We sent the men folk off at the top of the hour and then got in place for our start 2 minutes later. I haven’t done a mass wave start since Pflugerville, but I swam up to the line… and then I looked back… and there were about 50 million people behind me. I halfway considered dropping back and then I was like, wait, don’t you usually come in top 1/4 or 1/3 in the swim leg? Nope. Stay there, woman.
It was a good decision. Besides the initial rush of all the pointy edge front of the pack swimmers taking the hell off like a shark swimming down it’s prey, I didn’t get passed at all. Weirdly enough, the first half of the swim, I had my own little bubble, no one in front of me and no one on my feet.
Also, right as I lined up for the swim, my garmin died, so this was all by the feels. I found that pace, the one in the long intervals and swim tests, the one where I think I can hold it but I’m not entirely sure, and stayed with it for a while. In the second half of the race, I was no longer alone, and luckily, I was finding THEIR feet and not the other way around.
Since my juiceless garmin gave me no insights into time elapsed, and I don’t have huge hope for official results since they haven’t even posted AUGUST yet, I can’t really judge my swim time. The only thing I know is my time overall, probably, and I was told I was the next person out of the water after Zliten (who had a bad swim day issue with his goggles). Unfortunately HE didn’t start his garmin right away so I just have no idea.
I love lake. How could you not enjoy a swim here?
I had a good swim, didn’t get passed, passed a lot of people on the second half, and paced it appropriately for me. My goal was to swim pretty hard, since lately all my open water swims are sorta la-de-da-de-da, and I remembered how to do that. Once that was done with, however, I really didn’t care about racing the rest of the race. I talked to Matt and Peri in transition and took my time. I even took the time to put my fitbit on so I got the 3k steps. The race-y part, for me, was over.
First loop, I settled into a tempo pace. Comfortably hard. Quite certain I was not going to blow up but not able to hold a full sentence conversation. Normally from there, my goal is to speed up, but yesterday, it was to just stick with it.
It took some conversations with myself not to go with people who were passing me, which is a good sign, but it was hard. Some people were obviously wayyyy faster than me, but then there was the girl who used me as a pacer the first lap and slingshotted ahead (and thanked me for the pull) and I wanted to follow her, but she was running my race pace. Not my tempo. So I told myself, “Sunday, you will go with her, today, you stay within yourself”.
The run was fairly unremarkable, nothing tragic or heroic, just a comfortably hard 2.05 miles in the high 90s and in the kitty litter. I let my stride open up the last tenth of a mile and I crossed and found Matt, who had been cheering for us all race and Zliten mumbling about gatorade, stat. It was weird just being all “ok, workout’s done” at the end of a race and not shelled, but I know I’ll thank myself this weekend.
I’m pretty sure I finished around 37:40-something, if we were indeed 2 minutes behind the boys (the clock said 39:40-something when I crossed). Looks like about a 30 second PR from 4 years ago. Yay! I know I didn’t make top 3, I know I didn’t finish last. I’m pretty sure I was top third out of the water, maybe top quarter for females, and then got passed passed passed on the run. Someday maybe I’ll suck equally at all the sports? 🙂
Seriously. This dumb expensive hard and awesome sport we love. Sigh.
We did all the post race things. I got my first tiny acai bowl and why did no one tell me that it’s healthy ice cream with yummy things in it? I had a beer. We hung out with our triathlon friends and met some new ones. We got our awards for the distance challenge and made tentative plans to continue it with a 7 loop swim sometime soon. I ate a hot dog because I was finally hungry and I was super stoked because it was charred and they had dill relish. And then… it was getting dark and everyone was packing up and we got busted by Reed for missing cycle class on the way to our car (d’oh!) and went home and drank some whiskey. The end.