As I said in my earlier post, I am going to breakdown Redman into three separate posts. The first of the posts is of course going to be the swim.
I woke up at 4:15 that morning and went downstairs of the hotel to get a bagel. Then I was back in the room getting ready and trying to get myself psyched up for the race. I started having some serious doubts at this point about the race. I knew I would be fine on the swim and the bike ( as long as I had no flat tires like Branson 70.3) but I was really worried more about the run.
We got to the race site and my bride dropped me off and went and parked the car. It was a long walk to the site it felt like, but it really gave me some time to myself to get into race mindset. The road was dark and lonely and I was accompanied by a few triathletes, but we were not really saying much to each other.
Setting up my transition area was really different for me because this was the first race I had done that had a changing tent. I had my bags (1 for T1, T2, Special Needs Bike and special Needs Run) and I was not really sure what to do with them, so I really just kind of followed everyone lead. I dropped off my special needs bas and then just placed my transition bags at the foot of my bike. I then decided that I was just going to take the entire bag with me to the changing tent, so there was no need to spread everything out. Later I figured out they had bins for us to place the transition bags in (lesson learned). So once everything was laid out, I took Stella (my bike) to get the tires topped off and put my wetsuit on halfway. I then hung around my wife and son and talked to them and also spent some time talking to Jeff from Dangle the Carrot! Jeff was doing the HIM and he killed it!
The temperature that morning was 57 degrees, and it was cold. I was so ready to get into the water (temp 74 degrees). My feet were freezing while I was waiting for the swim to start. Soon they got us into the coral and then we waded out in the water.
The swim was in Lake Hefner in OKC. The course was a rectangle course and we had to do two laps. The first wave started at 7:15 and it was just the full triathlon athletes. I had finally decided to not worry about the run yet and just get ready to swim. They began the countdown and then we were off.
My first thought after the siren? "I am doing an Ironman!" My second thought? "Dude, there is a lot of bumping going on!" This was one of the rougher swims starts I have ever done and it wasn't until midway through the first segment that I found open water. I felt good. the water felt good. The wetsuit felt good, it is rare that I get it on and it feels good, but this time I got it right. I got into a groove and kept reminding myself to back off some, I was not interested in cramping up because I went out to hard, so I really wanted to control myself on the swim. The second segment went fine as well, but since it was a rectangle course, and it was not a wide distance between the sides, I did have some trouble sighting. On the second lap, there was more traffic because the other waves had started, so I really had to work through others swimmers, but it wasn't that bad.
Once I was finished with the second lap, I headed to the swim exit. They had some guys standing in about knee deep water that was helping all the swimmers up, so I headed for him. He helped me stand up and undid my wetsuit and unzipped me. I got my wetsuit down to my waist and was directed over the wetsuit strippers. I had not really talk to anyone about how this was suppose to work, but these two high school aged girls yelled at me to lay down, which I did, and then they ripped my wetsuit right off and threw it on me! Easiest I have ever gotten that thing off!
I made my way to my bike, dumped my suit, goggles and swim cap, grabbed my bag and headed to the changing tent.
SWIM TIME: 1:28:52
T1 and the bike report coming soon!