Earlier this week I wrote about how scared I was about my upcoming double triathlon. I was very nervous about two things: 1) not making the time cut-0ff, and thereby getting pulled from the course, and 2) getting into the cold Mission Bay water without a wetsuit for my second swim. I am happy to report that both of these fears are now gone.
On Saturday I went to a free clinic put on by the triathlon sponsors. They did some running drills and some swimming instruction (in the water with our wetsuits) and we then had to run 2 miles, then do a quick T3 (this is the term for the transition between the first run and the second swim) and then get in the water to swim about 100 meters--sans wetsuit.
First, I have to report on the swim instruction. This part of the clinic was taught by a swim instructor for the San Diego Triathlon Club. I got to swim to her in the water while she critiqued me. She said that I actually looked pretty good! She did give me some tips for improving my stroke, but I was very pleased with what she said. Considering that I just started swimming (for sport) at the end of June, having the coach say that I looked good was music to my ears!
Anyhow, after the instruction we got out, took off our wetsuits, put on our running shoes, and did a 2 mile run. Then we were to get in the water. Some people (there were about 20 people there) didn't get back in. These were people who were either going to try to get back into their wetsuit, or even had a second (dry) wetsuit they were planning on using for the second swim. But I decided I needed to do it. So I kicked off my running shoes and headed into the water. And you know what? It wasn't even cold! It felt MUCH colder during my first swim in my wetsuit! I think it helped that my heartrate was up since I had just run. Whatever the reason, I easily swam the 100 meters, and the water felt great! So now that I already DID it, I have no fear about getting back in without my wetsuit during the actual triathlon.
After the clinic was over, I approached the race director about my time fear. I told him how slow I am, and that I was heavily doubtful that I would make the 2 hour cut off, but didn't want to get pulled from the race. He responded that they did have to close the race promptly at 9:00, per their permit, but that they had a plan. Anyone still on the second swim would be pulled. But at 9:00 they would send someone out on the course (by bike or by car) and anyone still on the bike or the run would get their number/bib pulled, but they could still finish the race. By pulling the bib, technically they are not "racing" anymore...anyone could run or bike on Fiesta Island. But if this happened, I would simply hand over my bib, and keep racing...I could still cross the finish line and get my time (and get my bib back later). I anticipate being on the last mile of the run at the 2 hour mark (assuming my calculations are correct) so I am very happy I will be able to finish the race.
And now that my 2 fears have been lifted, I am ready to race! Bring it on!