|I'm straight up there in the middle closest to this side--one of the few without their arms out of the water! |
About an hour after the official race start, I made my way over to the lake to start with my wave. STRONG, CALM, I thought over and over again. I also made peace with the fact that I might hyperventilate at the beginning of the swim. Instead of telling myself, "You won't hyperventilate!" I decided it was best to make my peace with the fact that it might happen, as well as the fact that I would breathe, calm down, keep swimming, and find my groove. I told myself that I had had trouble catching my breath with each open water swim, but had never NOT caught it, had never NOT found my groove, and had definitely never come anywhere near drowning. I got my head in the game, positioned myself at the BACK CORNER of my wave, and jumped into the water.
Guess what? I DID NOT FREAK OUT, HYPERVENTILATE, PANIC, or DROWN!!! At all. Zero freaking out in the water. I cannot even tell you how amazing this felt. Seriously, once I started swimming (breast stroke, even though I've been training with freestyle, whatcha gonna do...a swim is a swim...), I just kept breathing, kept repeating STRONG, CALM, and kept moving forward. When I had made a little progress and hadn't panicked yet, I realized that I wasn't GOING to panic! And I unearthed a massive store of confidence in the process. I knew I HAD this. I knew I wasn't going to hyperventilate and that I was going to make it through the swim without ANY problems. Women all around me were swimming side stroke, back stroke, and clutching noodles for swimming help (love women's tris), but me? I was breaststroking my way around the lake with confidence and ease. I finished the 1/2 mile swim in 21:13 according to my watch (possibly a tiny bit quicker, but for some reason my chip time is just a time for each leg and a total time--no separate times for transitions).
|Thanks photographer Dad!|
|Check me out rockin' the purple top and IT band straps ;)|
SheRox, my first tri, I had one goal: FINISH. After finishing that race strong, I decided my goals for #2 would be to speed up transitions and NOT PANIC during the swim. I'd say I succeeded in both those goals! Hooray! :)
All in all it was a wonderful race--I felt great the whole time and finished feeling overwhelming proud of myself and how far I've come. One of the mantras I carried with me was, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and I truly believe now more than ever that if you have faith, confidence, and courage, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. Bring on the next challenge. BRING IT ON.