Today Menlo Masters/Team Sheeper had its annual Memorial Day Swim/Run Duathlon. I hadn’t done a swim/run du since…oh, 2002, the summer I lived in Las Vegas and trained with Henderson Masters, coached by Frank Lowery (now race director of SilverMan). There was a Splash N Dash series, where we would swim 1.5 miles in Lake Mead (no wetsuit, too hot!), then jump out and run 5k. I would get so far behind everyone else that the fastest people would be done running by the time I came out of the water. GRR!
so even though Boss still thinks my swim is terrible, and it is, at least it has come a long way since 2002. Today I was able to hold my own in the water, at least enough that I wasn’t losing too much time and able to balance it out with the run. The format was a run/swim/run/swim/run in the pool and outside on the grass field. 3 laps running (~1 miles), then 800 yards swimming split into 2×400 with 5 push-ups in the middle, then 2 laps running (~2/3 mile), followed by 400y swimming as 2×200 with 5 push-ups, and finally half a lap running (~1/6 mile).
I learned one advantage of starting with the swim. I was the only girl wearing my regular one-piece swimsuit, the customary one or two sizes too small so that would be extra tight and more hydrodynamic in the water. Everyone else had pulled shorts over their suits or wore tri shorts. I had only gotten this swimsuit a couple swims ago, so it was not very stretched out at all yet, thus causing a massive wedgie from the get-go, which I tried to adjust, er, pick out, every 10 steps, as I was just sure it looked obscene, like I was racing in a thong, and even more uncomfortable. This wouldn’t have been as concerning if I was in the back of the pack, but it turned out I was one of the faster runners on the swim team, starting out the first lap in 3rd overall behind two guys, then fading to 5th as the wedgie-picking slowed me down.
It was cool and foggy, and jumping in the water felt like a sauna. I had trouble pulling myself up and banging out the 5 push-ups, but got through the first swim, and slipped on the shoes. I happily learned that once my suit was wet, it clung to the butt cheeks better, so no more wedgies, but wet feet in shoes with no socks made my feet slip around, not fun. I got re-passed by Lennard, who ran it barefooted, and I figured he saved transition time and I would do it for the last lap. Back in the water, then roll onto the deck for some weak girly push-ups, roll back into the pool, just 200y more, then pull myself back out.
Forewent the soggy shoes for the last half lap, it was all on grass, so off I went, sprinting in. As 1st woman and 4th overall, Coach Tim said maybe I should forgo Ironman and do short course instead, haha yeah right! Arms and shoulders have been sore lately as Boss is trying to convert me from a leg swimmer to an arm swimmer…makes it extra hard to get out of the pool. yes, the pulling of self out and onto the deck and push-ups were the hardest part of the duathlon. I was happy to hold my own against the swimmers today, things are improving, slowly but surely!