Friday, August 29, 2014

Final Thoughts on the Go Girl Triathlon

It's been six days since I tri'd and the flurry of training for my upcoming fall half has afforded me the ability to put the race behind me - like really behind me.

Every once in a while, though, when I talk to someone who didn't see me earlier in the week or isn't a Facebook junkie like myself, I am inclined to rehash the details and shrug off the race. I find it a bit awkward as with even the worst running events, I can always say I finished. However, as the week has gone on and the story has been retold, I have been able to reflect without the sting of disappointment. I have been able to think about the day and the efforts and whether it was all worthwhile.

And it was. But I still don't have answers to all of the questions.

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Will I try a triathlon again?  I am quite torn on this one. There is a part of me that wants to prove myself and go back to Go Girl next year and rock the hell out of the race. Another part of me thinks that maybe swimming isn't for me. As I enjoyed the running and biking, a duathlon could be more up my alley. Go Girl had a duathlon option and the triathlon series at a nearby state park has a duathlon as well.

Why did I panic in the water? I have no idea. I have been rehashing this, and I can't come up with a clear reason. I snorkeled on my honeymoon and swam in a cenote. I can tread water like the best of them, and I used to think I was proficient at floating. Neither of those seemed to help during the race. And though more open water experience would have benefited me, I heard women in the swim queue talking about not swimming in a lake and only doing 250 meters in the pool. I had done 250 meters - actually 750 one swim and a solid 500 another. I have no idea why they could do it, and I couldn't. It makes me mad.

Would I try a race with a pool swim? Absolutely. I haven't had any problems in the pool, and I love the idea. I think our YMCA has one in the winter as does another local fitness club. I think no matter what I choose that I would benefit from some swim lessons, and I might take the opportunity this winter to really learn.

Some other notes:

By the rules? The day after the triathlon, I ran with a guy who is training for a 140.2. He told me that swimmers in a triathlon can hold onto buoys and kayaks without penalty. I did read the rules before the race (and after) but I was under the impression that once I touched the kayak that my race was done. I think I might have panicked less if I thought this was an option. Again, I don't know if it was but ...

No. 1! The Go Girl Triathlon was a perfect pick for a first go at multi-sport events. The race was well-organized, the volunteers were very kind and everything went smoothly. There were definitely people there who were in it but, for the most part, everyone was very supportive and relaxed. I liked the location, as well, with Eagle Creek a beautiful place to swim, bike and run. The race had about 500 participants, which was enough that you were never alone but not so many that it was a stampede of women trying to overtake you. If I decide to do another triathlon, it will be this one.

Got my back. I have received so many supportive and kind comments after the triathlon, and I feel incredibly grateful. From friends and family to y'all (yes, I just used y'all) to the social media folks at Tuxedo Brothers, everyone has been quick to point out the successes and not the mistakes. Thank you.


  1. I applaud you for finishing the race. A lesser person would not have. I know you will do another one because that's the kind of person you are. You want to show the swimming portion who's the boss!

  2. The swim is what does me in, too. I did great in my first tri and almost DNF's the 2nd because I panicked in the water (actually before I even got in). I haven't completely eliminated the possibility of another tri, but for right now I know it's not my thing.

  3. I think that during a tri with the masses in open water your adrenaline is going. A lot of people freak out. It is experience I think. The more practice the easier it will be. That totally sucks that you didn't know the rules about holding onto the kayak! I think that you should take a couple lessons this winter. Maybe tri in a pool swim but definitely try the tri again next year. I bet you have a better race!! :)

  4. Open water panic is super common! It's actually related to a reflex known as the mammalian diving reflex and very normal. I panicked on my first open water tri and a year later completed a half Ironman. I NEVER thought I would be able to swim over a mile in open water and yet I did and I loved it. You can google open water panic tips and get a lot of information. Warming up in the water prior to the start and wearing a wetsuit helped me.

  5. From my understanding, as long as a triathlon is USAT certified, the participants are allowed to hold onto a kayak or buoy as long as there is no forward motion. If they have forward motion when holding onto something, then there is a penalty.