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
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!?!