Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forilla this time!

I'm baaaack. I know you were waiting with baited breath! There's really so much that can happen in a few short days it's amazing. I will preface everything by saying that I had a great time but I equate Miami to Las Vegas - love it for 3-4 days and then I'm done. Today, I was done. Things I learned while I was away:

Miami is like living in another country - not just South American 'stuff' either. I had two waiters at different restaurants from France.

There are lots of homeless people in Miami - I guess I would go there too if I were homeless. Killer weather. Besides homeless, lots of crazy homeless, shouting random stuff at you - you're the problem lady and another who kept trying to look up our skirts and shorts.

Miaimians like to wear as little as possible without regard to age or size.

I finally found the beautiful people and it was like a parade on Lincoln St. They knew it and just walked up and down hoping to get discovered, I suppose.

Pre-race pix and random shiz (if you're hardcore and just want to hear about the race part, scroll down):

Goal #1 - Accomplished - one Speedo Bag and one purse was all I needed, travel light is the way to go. My clothes were meeting the end of their wearable road but this backpack is the dealio.

Goal #2 - Accomplished - Cuban food is gooood. Everyone was right. I mean, where else are you going to get a plantain omelet?

Goal #3 - Accomplished - Thong wearing, gut having beach goers. Yep, she would have been sliced into two pieces if she bent over. AT least she didn't look like the guy below. Wow, that's some serious beer calories he's hammering down. When do you think the baby is due!?

Goal #4 - Accomplished!!! - 5K Open Water Swim

Race Report

I was totally nervous and freaked out. My gut was in a wrench and it wasn't the cocktails from two days before. It was the pre-race jitters. I haven't had them in a while so I was getting freaked out. I was happy to learn that they let the junior Olympic kids go first, then the men, then the women. Interesting note - no jewelry or watches are allowed. I really wanted to keep my eye on my time but that's the idea, Open Water Swimming is about pacing yourself and navigating without aid, so drop the watch. I've got Vaseline lubed on the important stuff because you do end up chafing, I learned. Seriously, chafing from all the salt water and my suit rubbing together. My bathing suit strap lines were on FI-rah!

It is an in water start, swim up to the imaginary line that the boat man says is there. I swam up and made my way to the very back. I was nervous and didn't want to get caught in the melee. It was very windy too so my strategy was to take it easy and feel my way through loop 1 and pick it up for loop 2. I took it very easy and just swam. I had to get the feel of the water and the current and what I was going to use to help me site my way through this course. The only buoys were at either end of a rectangle - five big buoys in all. So, you almost can't actually see the buoys at 'the other end' and you just have to make your way there and ensure you loop around them correctly (counterclockwise, left shoulder, like most tris). I'm fairly certain I swam more than 3.1 with my killer siting skillz.

I'm swimming and I come up for air and the current smacks me in the face, mouthful of salt water, so gross. I'm swimming and I come up for air and the current smacks me in the face, knocked my goggles loose. Repeat about five more times, I stop, empty my goggles, tighten the straps and shove the eye pieces into my eye sockets. These mofers are NOT going to come loose, dang it. I wear contacts too so the salt was wreaking havoc on my eyes. Those suckers were on, felt like they were sucking my brains out through my eyes.

First loop, check. OK, now that I know where I'm going, I go, I pick it up - I think. I don't really know because I don't have a watch. I feel comfortable that I can push forward a little bit. Who knows if I really did? I had to go by feel. There were no major incidents, other than my little goggle mechanical. There is joy in passing people, I don't care who you are! There was even more joy in passing men (because they started ahead of us).

When I saw the Red Bull finish line, I tried to push as hard as I could to get there. I swear I felt like I wasn't moving with the current and all. I felt like I was sitting still. Pushed it until my feet hit sand, looked over my shoulder to make sure there were no women right behind me, and just walked (sauntered even) to the timing mat. My equilibrium was jacked up after swimming in a dayum washing machine for that long.

We had celebratory champagne post race. Our whole crew did very well. I was not particularly pleased with my time. It was way closer to my half marathon time that I would have liked (1:42 swim vs. 1:48 run, ouch). Did I have more in the tank, yes, I just didn't know what to expect so I was careful not to blow it on the first go round. I felt like I trained for 'better than that.' HOWEVER, I shouldn't complain, that's why we do all of this. Some things you can't train for, per se, you just have to do it, adapt, do it more, get used to it, do it again, feel comfortable. No excuses just slightly on the bummed side. I did end up in third for the 35-39 age group. There was a HUGE range of abilities, though. Minutes, not seconds between 1st and 2nd (12 minutes) and 4 minutes between 2nd and 3rd, me.

Would I do it again...??? That is still up for debate. I have grown to like the swim a lot. I made a goal and accomplished it. I just don't know if I got the goods AND I really miss my bike a whole lot. Sooo, I think it's time to get back on the cycling and running wagon!!! Yep, I'm ready.

Thanks so much for all the well wishes. I was thinking about everyone...I had plenty of time to think in that murky water (just how I like it, truly) as I kept paddling away. Oh, yeah, sunburned back...apparently, my mad sunscreen skillz were NOT in effect. Funny, you can see the line on the back of my arm - it's like I fell asleep face first in the sand OR swam a 5K!!! Now where the heck did I put my bike and running shoes!?!


Diana said...

Love the tramp stamp on the thong biaatch! Then again, I am a tatt nut! Welcome back to the cycling and running world.....great swim report!

Carly said...

Great report about the race and your trip to Miami. Ouch to the sunburn!!!!

kristen said...

Gotta admit - that girl in the thong was H.O.T. did you take that pic? no re-touch cellulite?

Great job on the 5k. Sorry you feel like you trained for better than that, but I think that happens to the best of us. Especially when it's a new experice and you don't know the best way to really apprach something. It sounds like you did awesome to me and most of the population couldn't even dream of doing something like that. Kudos to you!

I am excited for your new crazy training stories. Bring it on!

IronBob said...

Thanks for the report.
Come on... that is actually you in the thong.. isn't it? I know, you put your own nudy photo at the end to prove it wasn't (no tat on the REAL Missy)

I think the jewelry and watch thing is to keep from attracting sharks...really.

Damn close to 1st place, I think you found your calling...

English Channel, here we come.

Southbay Girl said...

I wouldn't be caught dead in the THONG bathing suit-no matter what kind of body I had-and I sure as hell don't have her bod!

So glad you liked the cuban food-it's making me hungry!!!

I think you did amazingly wonderful!!! Seriously-you are an animal for attacking a 5K swim in open water, with currents and SHARKS! AAAHHHH!!!

Keith said...

Great photos, great race report! I would far rather come out of a race knowing I could have put a bit more into it, than to put too much in at the wrong time resulting in a DNF (or worse). There's always next time, and you'll know better from how you feel how hard to push yourself.

Better that the chick was in the thong, tattoo and all, than the fat dude. Quite the sunburn for you, though I was also expecting a bicep shot.

Melanie said...

Yikes, that looks like a b!tch of a sunburn! Awesome job on the swim!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Great job, sister and THANKS for that picture of your nekkid back because man will you ever learn?

Because I'm going to TOWN on that with photoshop! You thought that girl in the string thong had tats?

Wait'll you see what I have waiting for YOU, sister!

P.S. Are you sure that wasn't a guy in that thong, because that was not the greatest girl-@$$ I've ever seen and where are "her" hips, sister - where are "her" hips?

joyRuN said...

Your poor poor back!

I still can't believe you swam a 5k - here I am gagging at the prospect of maybedoidarenahidonotthinkso swimming a one-miler in July.

TRI-james said...

I'm still amazed - 5k ocean swim! Fantastic!

Jo Lynn said...

That is so awesome. I couldn't even imagine swimming in the ocean AT ALL, let alone for that long. You are incredible. Was that thong wearing girl for real? Or did you dig that out of someone's archives?

Side note: Discounts and benefits are better than the pay from REI. ;)

Marcy said...

OMFG you crack me up! You took those pics on the beach?! HAHAHAHA! I'd be the same way! "Excuse me, can i get a pic of you? I totally need it for my blog. I'm going to write a post and insult you" :P

Fabulous swimming chica!! You rock!

Jill said...

Wow...thong left nothing for the imagination. Yipes! And, I loved that beer gut...with those little wimpy arms. Can you imagine that guy doing a push up? Ha ha.

Congrats on the race! You did GREAT!! And that have some serious sunburn.

Runner Leana said...

Woo hoo Missy!!! I was so excited to read your race report! A 5K totally rock. Sorry to hear you didn't do quite as well as you hoped, but how awesome that you placed 3rd in your age group?!?!?

I love how you provided us with some beach shots...hilarious! Hope you enjoyed some good umbrella drinks!

Wes said...

Did you think that maybe they didn't want any jewelry or watches on to make sure you didn't attract any fishees :-)

Great job!!

Dave said...

Just got a chance to read the RR. What did I predict?...a top 3 finish!...thank you very much...You felt like you had more in the first race. I felt like I had more in the tank on my first 50 mile ultramarathon...but finishing strong is the priority for "virgin" you know what it's like and only experience can give you that. I start swimming this when is the first trail race?;-)

Tilghman Carroll said...

Great job!!! Way to take a goal and crush it! Who is going to stay in the pool with me until the brutal end at practice now?! ;)

Al's CL Reviews said...

The pic of the man has me cracking up...why are there feet in the picture?

Congrats on the race, and placing! You did great!

Carolina John said...

man that sounds like a great trip and a fun but incredibly challenging swim. glad you survived both.

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Great job out there - woo hoo! You did GREAT! I can't imagine being out there and swimming that far - absolutely fantastic! You ARE a swimmer! That's interesting about the watch and pacing and stuff - go figure! Congratulations - AWESOME job!

The Running Girl said...

Way to go!!! That's a long time to be in the water, but it sounds like things went great. Congrats.

JP said...

Great report Missy. Congrats on your latest adventure.I don't know many people that have done as much as you in such a short period of time.
You went from short tri's to half iron, then Ironman to 5K swim in less than 3 years it seems.... Damn Girl what's next?
You Rocked it!!!

Amy said...

Wow. Awesome job!!!!! 3rd in your AG is awesome! I agree with Kieth and Kristen. You had no idea what to expect and did great regardless.

theloosemoose said...

Nice job!!

Lana said...

Way to go Missy!!! You guys rock! Great report, too.

untpawgal02 said...

WooHoo... you accomplished all you wanted on your trip... including swimming a 5k. Your my HERO!

Melissa said...

Hey, I'm reading your last few posts in reverse order.

Awesome job!! both the swim and the photo-journalism. I love your comment about the excitement of passing people, :-)

I'm curious (sorry for the long comment)...did your hips get sore? That's the biggest thing that bothers me in non-wetsuit open water swims and I wonder if it's just me or other people experience the same thing.

RBR said...

HOLY SHITE!! I can not even fathom swimming 3.1 miles. I am currently blocking from my mind that I have to swim 2.4.

Then you are 3rd in you age group! Whoa! Serious rockstar status. Good show!

Lora said...

Congrats on that 5K swim!!! That's just awesome! I'm thinking of doing like a 1-mile swim over the summer, just as reprieve from tri life. Glad you're coming back to the tri world for a while now.

IronMissy - it's official!

IronMissy - it's official!
A vision in green!