Beach start, but only with 100 or so people. To be honest, I didn’t stop to count. The start was a bit messy, but cleaned up pretty quickly and I felt like I was swimming well. Lots of narrow turns which slowed things down, but meant it was quite easy to stay on feet and get a good draft. And hey, it wasn’t the complete cluster that Lanzarote was. Maybe having done that hellish swim I am finally getting over my fear of swimming in close proximity to others – swings and roundabouts.
About halfway through the first lap, the competent swimmers had opened a gap of whatever it was and I’d formed up in a chasing group of 6 or 7 swimmers. A bit fed up of some muppet in a green Orca wetsuit who couldn’t swim in a straight line for the life of him, I decided that the second half of the swim having more straight lines, I’d start stretching my arms a bit and powered to the front of the group. I dragged our little pack of neoprene weirdos around to the lap buoy, which felt like an accomplishment. They promptly decided to start actually swimming at that point and left me for dead, which felt horribly unfair because I don’t think I was swimming any worse, but dented my confidence and will probably end up being a good lesson.
My only company on the second lap was the fast guys from the wave starting 15 minutes after mine. They weren’t super quick, they must have just entered the water very shortly after I started my second lap. I don’t think I swam as well on the second lap, and my watch says I completed the swim in just over 30 minutes. Kick in the teeth number 1, as that’s not any faster than my first Olympic distance, 2 years ago.
Keep moving. After all, the disc wheel has come out, the limbs are shorn and bare, get over yourself. Except I couldn’t. I made it 5 minutes down the road before the why bothers beat the bothers; pulled into a sideroad, turned about, and rolled gently back. Thankfully the mirrored twat visor obscured my face at this point because there were a lot of confused cyclists looking at me. Then followed the ignomy of having to explain to every single marshall on the route back into the castle grounds that no, I wasn’t the race leader, I’d quit.
To be fair, the marshals were pretty good. They let me collect my stuff and make a discrete exit despite transition still being live and in full swing. Two groups of marshals, a BTF official, and some St John’s Ambulance volunteers all stopped me to ask if I was okay (no) and if I needed any help (still no, or not from you, or maybe from you but oh fuck I don’t know).
Currently deciding if I want to do any training this week, if I should defer the Swedeman, if I should defer everything and go and live in a hole in the floor somewhere. This whole misadventure was a stupid idea.
Listening: Laura – Mark the Day; do you have any idea how infuriating it is to find this band with any search function ever
Reading: Beginner Triathlete – Triathletes and Depression; “If you are running, not only from T2, but from depression – please seek help” is a line I really wish I wrote.