Back in February I suffered a nasty bout of bronchitis, and for several months afterward, whenever I swallowed wrong, my breath would catch, almost as if my epiglottis got stuck. A whack on the back would set things right (and frighten the kids), until my husband convinced me to see the doctor. A steroid inhaler quelled the problem.
Sunday morning it happened again. But this time I was in a lake and there was no hubby to get it to stop. I looked toward the kayak, raised my hand and yelled for help. The lifeguard came right over. I told him the problem (between gasps), and rested for about two minutes. At one point, I asked him to whack me on the back with his paddle. "Really?" he asked. "Yep." Crazy or stupid, take 1. He instructed me to pull long, deep breaths, and things were set aright.
I thanked him, and started off. "You're going to keep going?" "Of course I am," I responded. Clearly this kid doesn't know me well. Crazy or stupid, take 2.
And thus began my 3-hour journey in and around Delta Lake State Park, in northern Oneida County, a place my mother took us often in the summer. The Olympic distance tri is generally a mile swim, a 24-mile bike ride, and a 6-mile run. I have competed at Delta three times, if memory serves, first in the sprint distance and then twice in the Olympic. It's a terrific, well-run and organized race, put on by ATC Endurance.
Even with that minute-or-so respite, I can't complain about my swim time. I tried a new strategy for the start--lining up on the buoy side, instead of in the middle of the pack. I was surprisingly untouched for a good deal of the race, and even drafted a swimmer ahead of me, careful to back off if her feet got too close to my face. And with the buoys right there, I didn't drift off track. I always feel triumphant when I pass the men, who yesterday started swimming five minutes ahead of the women, and I left several behind me as I exited the water.
Transition to the bike went pretty well--the new wetsuit I got for my birthday comes off much easier than the one it replaced. The bike was OK--my pace was 16.7 mph--an improvement but not even close to where I wish I could be. I am hopeful that the new bike I am saving to purchase later this year will be a faster ride.
|Me and my improved, less damaging, stride.|
While I wish I had placed higher in my age group, I conquered the only goal I set for myself--finishing faster than last year's time of 3:05:08. This year's finish clocked in at 3:04:38, a fact my astute husband pointed out as soon as I crossed the finish line.
|This is Jade. See Jade swim. See Jade bike. See Jade run.|
Next up for me: Cayuga Olympic Triathlon, Aug. 3. Last year's time was 3:14:57, but I did finish 3rd in my Age Group! The bike there is tough. So I'll aim for 3:11.