Trisport Canada Milton Try-A-Tri Race Recap: Part 1

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Hello!

First, the good news: We are ALIVE.

Second, thank you for your encouraging comments and tweets yesterday and today!

Third…the recappart 1…because you know I am too chatty for just 1 part! :whistle:

Let’s just say I had a wee bit too much caffeine this morning! I turned into a crazy ninja before Eric’s eyes.

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5 hours sleep + Adrenaline + a couple cups of green tea = Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery.

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I may have let out a few rawrs and growls. Two necessary acts when you are scared. I’ve heard the open water can smell your fear!

The weather was probably the worst it could have been! Hard rain, cold, and wind.

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The parking lot was really far from the start area, so we had a long walk to our transition and got fully soaked in the process. Go big or go home, right? :lol:

Finally we made it to our transition area!

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My arms were already sore and tired from hauling the heavy garbage bag of gear and the bike.

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Soggy clothes!

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Thankfully we put our bags (with our gear) in black garbage bags to keep all the rain out. It worked perfectly!

After racking our bikes, we headed to get our time chip and number mark-ups. We waited in the pouring rain and got colder and colder!

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On the left arm goes your race number and on the left leg goes your age!

Peeling off the wet clothes to put on my wetsuit was the second worst part of the day. I was absolutely freezing. At this point Eric and I were both shaking from the cold.

The rain also made the wetsuits hard to put on! 

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POP QUIZ: Do you notice anything wrong with my wetsuit in this picture?

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If you guessed that I put my wetsuit on BACKWARDS…you win!

I had the sleeves on and everything and I went to reach for the zip cord in the back and I realized I put it on the wrong way. Eric and I laughed so hard. I guess my practicing yesterday didn’t do me any good after all.

After an embarrassingly long time, I was suited up! It’s a good thing we got there over 1 hour early.

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The wetsuit was so nice to have. As soon as we put it on we felt much warmer.

Then we bumped into our friend Brenna!

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She deserves a medal for being a spectator in this weather. All of the spectators do!

Then it was time to head down to the lake of doom

The Warm-Up

As planned, we got into the water for a warm up swim! To our surprise, the water felt SO WARM compared to the wet & cool air. It was actually warmer to be IN the water than out of it. This was the opposite of yesterday, when the air was much warmer than the water felt.

We warmed up for about 10 minutes, with many other try-a-tri participants doing the same thing. During the warm-up, we felt very confident…even more so than yesterday. I thought we had this swim in the bag!

Below is a picture of the try-a-tri swim course which is 375 metres. The yellow line that I drew depicts our loop around 4 orange buoys (the two on the left I had to draw in because this picture was taken after all of the races were finished). I will get to the red X in a minute…

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As I mentioned, we were in WAVE #1 which was male and females between the ages of 20-29. I have no idea how many there were in our wave…maybe 100 or so?

The Race Begins

Off went the horn and Eric and I were in the middle of the pack. We were instantly swept into the group of swimmers. I was kicked a couple times as was Eric and later Eric told me that someone actually held onto his leg at one point! It was utter madness. We swam, and we swam fast, mostly keeping our head up to see the people (aka FEET!) in front of us. I felt like I was swimming quite strong despite all of this.

Then, suddenly, the Red X hit.

The Red X hit at around 75 metres into the swim.

I started to panic.

I looked at the distance ahead of me and I started to hyperventilate- I started breathing very fast, much faster than necessary. I was breathing so hard it felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Swimmers were passing me left and right and I was falling to the back of the pack quickly.

My eyes darted around to Eric, who was a bit ahead of me, and he started to struggle too. I said to myself, “I don’t think I can do this, I need to stop….I need to get out of this water asap.” I couldn’t believe that the swim was going so horribly wrong after just 100 metres.

We gave each other a pep talk and tried to calm down and stay positive. We went on our backs to float for a bit and all I could hear were my sharp gasps for air. Other swimmers around us struggled and many of them floated on their backs too. Eric and I decided to take as long as we needed, but we both agreed that we didn’t want to quit or to hold onto a canoe unless absolutely necessary. We were determined to carry on and we proceeded to make our way around the first buoy in slightly better spirits.

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We kept telling each other, ‘You are doing good’ and ‘almost half way!! yawhoo’ and we mostly stayed within about 5 metres from each other, with Eric often ahead of me. I used any stroke I could, alternating between freestyle, breaststroke, doggie paddle, backstroke, and just floating on my back. My legs felt so weak and I could barely kick to support myself in the water. I think this is partly why I got so tired- my legs just weren’t doing their part!

I would not give up, but man oh man, I was going SO much slower than I thought I would.

Around the second buoy, some male swimmers from WAVE #2 (30-somethings) flew by us! Each of the 3 waves were 3 minutes apart and the men flying by us looked so strong. This started to freak Eric and I out a bit more because not only were we in the back of our pack, but the second wave was hot on our trail. We kept on and did our best…and we gave each other lots of pep talks along the way.

After the 4th buoy, the end was in sight, but the shore seemed so far away. I felt like I was slowing down with each minute. With around 50 metres to go, Eric got a second wind and began rocking his freestyle stroke at a pretty good pace. Go Eric!

I, on the other hand, could barely do the breaststroke…but I kept on. I would NOT quit. Eric got out of the water probably 10-15 seconds before me.

One piece of advice I remembered is to swim until your stomach basically touches the sand. Otherwise, if you stand up too soon, you waste precious energy trying to run through the water. I swam on my side until I was only about 1.5 feet deep.

I stood up out of the water and it was possibly one of the proudest moments of my life. I didn’t care that I was among the last of my pack to exit the water or that I struggled…all I cared about was that I did what I could at that moment. I said to myself, Ange, you did it girl!

I caught up to Eric and we gave each other a huge HIGH Five and gave each other a little congratulatory squeeze. It was a proud moment for both of us. We dedicated this swim to my sister Kristi who has a BIRTHDAY today!!! Happy Birthday Kristi! Sorry we didn’t get 1st place for you. :lol:

We finished with a time of 12:54 mins. for the 375 metres, which is an average of 3 mins and 27 secs per 100 metres. It honestly felt like so much longer than that, I can’t even begin to tell you. I thought we were in the water for 20 minutes at least!

We made our way to the transition area to take off our wetsuits and prepare for the bike leg

The bike & run legs will be coming up in part 2 tomorrow morning. This gal needs to go relax on the couch with a good chick flick!

I also need to find chocolate, oodles and oodles of chocolate.

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{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

OSGMOM June 6, 2010

Congrats to you and Eric. My heart was skipping beats today just thinking of what you and Eric had to accomplish & I tried very hard not to think about it! I was on the edge reading Part 1 and can’t wait for Part 2. Get lots of R&R.

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Jocelyn June 6, 2010

omggg girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds EPIC! You FINISHED .. you and eric! That is all that matters! Way to go! I so can’t wait to read more!! ENJOY YOUR CHOCOLATE!!!

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Brie (The Fit Bride) June 6, 2010

Great job! Open water swimming scares me so much–I love the IDEA of doing a Tri, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough for the swim.

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

If I can do it, you can do it! Trust me, I am a nervous nelly! haha

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Kelly June 6, 2010

Yay! You rock! I am so proud of you for not giving up! You are inspiring me to try my first tri!! You go, girl!!

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Miriam June 6, 2010

You go girl (and guy) ;) !! I was outside today biking under cold and pouring rain. It was Le tour de l’île which is a yearly event : 50 km biking through the city, + 10 km to go to the start and the same to get back (make it 70 km). I was soaking wet but very happy now. I feel you :)

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

Good job!!

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Eunice @ Food4Fit June 6, 2010

Congrats on getting through that rough swim! I bet having Eric there for support was helpful, as I’m sure you were for him too. Can’t wait for part 2!

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Jill June 6, 2010

Yay Angie & Eric!!!! I can’t believe you did it in less than 13 minutes!! I would most definitely have been in there for 20+. Enjoy your day of rest and chick flicks. I’m looking forward to the rest of the recap tomorrow!

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Sarah June 6, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS :)

Good job on finishing the open water swim! When I did my first open water swim (even as a swimmer growing up swimming in numerous lakes) it’s still scary-so it’s awesome that you fought through your panic to finish!!

You totally deserved oodles and oodles of chocolate maybe while watching Chocolat??

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Lin June 6, 2010

Congratulations, Angela!!!! Everybody who follows your blog is so proud of you… you guys are inspirational. Not only have you accomplished the huge physical challenge ahead of you, but you did something that is possibly the hardest thing EVER for any human being… facing your fear with courage and spirit and coming through it. Outstanding job! :)

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Allison @ Food For Healing June 6, 2010

good job, proud of you! can’t wait to hear the rest of the recap.

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Kristina June 6, 2010

WOO HOO ! you guys are EPIC ! congrats !!

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aisha June 6, 2010

You are awesome. Seriously awesome, you and Eric. Well done and I can’t wait to hear about the rest of it. And aww that is so cute on the wetsuit thing.

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Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt June 6, 2010

Congrats! You should be so proud of yourself for making it through the rough patch. You set a great example!

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Ellene Quais June 6, 2010

Want to do marathon but am all insecure without makeup/wet hair! ahhh! both at once?!

good JOB not giving up!
is amazing!
tre bien!
-Ellene

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Bridget June 6, 2010

You guys should be so proud of yourselves – you rocked it! You didn’t give up, even when it got difficult. Make sure to rest up well with some nice chocolate (perhaps chocolate covered raisins?)

Can’t wait for part deux!

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Monica Ptaszynski June 6, 2010

Congratulations to the both of you! You two did amazing! It would have been a quick decision to grab onto that canoe, but you both pulled through. You are so strong!
I can’t wait for part two and three :)
You deserve all the chocolate you can get!
Wooo! So …. epic!

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Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinnt Jeans June 6, 2010

Congratulations! The weather did totally suck this morning which only makes you guys that much more awesome for doing this!

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Kara @ MyWellnest June 6, 2010

You did it!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait for Part 2!

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Bethany @ More Fruit Please June 6, 2010

Wow, your race recaps are always so gripping! I actually felt the prickling of tears starting to form while reading your story! WAY TO GO!!! I’m so happy that you had Eric with you. That must be a wonderful feeling to have accomplished this together! :-D

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Nancy June 6, 2010

YAY ANGELA! You did it!!!!

I have no idea if you even knew who I was – but I was there cheering you on in the transition today!! (I couldn’t remember Eric’s name for the life of me.) I even got to snap a picture of you, except by that point you both were way ahead of me – so it’s not a very good one haha!

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

YES! I recognized you…you were amazing! You don’t know how much the words of encouragement helped!

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Nancy June 7, 2010

I’m really glad! I was SO excited.

Every time anyone I know is in a race, I try and think of something really encouraging to say. That is, until I see them. All my thoughts fly out of my head, I get all excited and wave my hands (like I did for you both LOL) and say YAAAHH! My Boyfriend whizzes past me so fast that I always forget to say stuff. Finally, yesterday I chased him up that mucky steep hill after he was on the bike yesterday and finally shouted out “Kill that hill” instead of ‘way to go” :) haha so something different!

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Natalie @ Keep It Sassy June 6, 2010

You survived the lake of doom! That weather sounds absolutely awful, but it makes everything even more impressive! Can’t wait to read the rest of your recap. Hopefully the sun makes an appearance!

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Deanna June 6, 2010

Congratulations! They’ll get easier, I promise. The first open water swim in a race is always ridiculously nerve-wracking. If you figure out where to seed yourself at the start it is SO much easier. Middle of the pack = toughest place to be. So – pat yourself on the back for doing an OWS from the toughest possible starting position!

I can’t wait to hear about the bike and run parts.

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

In retrospect I think we should have started at the back!?

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Deanna June 7, 2010

It depends – had you not panicked, would you have been last out of the water? Then, yes, start at the back. But, if you feel like you would have been “in the mix” coming out of the water, I’d say start at the side. If you prefer to sight/breath from one side over the other, make sure to start on the side where it’ll be easiest to sight as you breath. For example, I breath/sight right (most comfortably). So, I start on the left side of the pack. Then, I can sight off the pack, but have “space” around me. Make sense?

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

That actually makes perfect sense to me! We were definitely in the middle…should have known. Oh well, that is why it is a tri-a-try I guess! =) I breathe best on my right so I will keep in mind about starting on the left net time. Not that I am committing to a next time just yet though! haha ;)

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

Oops I meant TRY-a-TRI :) I guess tri-a-try also works in my case.

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Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter June 6, 2010

Yay! You made it! I’m sorry the swim was pretty rough but you still made it!

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Melissa Cari @ Miles for Markets June 6, 2010

Congrats Angela and Eric! I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest! :)

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Stacey@http://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ June 6, 2010

Your mom’s comment is so cute and the fact that she has probably been waiting for that post all day since she was the first to comment. Love mom’s they are the best support.

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

hahaha I know, I love her.

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theemptynutjar June 6, 2010

u guys are so cool.
its neat that u show such great enthusiasm for life for others to look up to.

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 6, 2010

Oh wow… GO YOU!!! That’s AMAZING!!!!!! I would be scared out of my mind for an open water swim!

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Jessica @ Jessica Balances June 6, 2010

Congrats!!! To both of you! :) Can’t wait for the second part – until then, enjoy some chocolate and some REST!

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Melissa June 6, 2010

I am training for my first tri and my boyfriend does 1/2 ironmen competitions for breakfast so to say the least I am intimidated wont have a partner to help me along the way….However, your story is really inspiring to me- the swim portion is real and human and that is what makes it so incredible!! You are awesome and I think I am a little too!!

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

Goodluck with your training! That is amazing that your boyfriend does 1/2 ironmen comps…WOW…I can’t imagine.

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Liz June 6, 2010

Congrats! You are so awesome!
I have been checking your blog all day for a recap!
I live in Europe (Belgium) so I’m about 6 hours ahead of you (I think). So I had to wait a looooong time. (I was probably already waiting before you even started to race :D)

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

hahaha aww that is so sweet!

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Stacy (StacyGrowsHealthy) June 6, 2010

Congrats on getting through the swim!

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Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit June 6, 2010

Congrats on getting through the swim – that’s HUGE! You know you’re a rockstar!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 6, 2010

Angela – I am so proud of you and Eric. I had EXACTLY the same experience in my first tri – and wanted to give up so bad. But I kept swimming (albeit backstroke?!) and when I reached the beach I have never felt so proud and happy! Just know that this is how many people feel during their first tri – and the important thing is that you kept going!

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

So it does get easier??

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 6, 2010

Angela – I am so proud of you and Eric. I had a very similar experience in my first tri – where I panicked in the swim. I wanted to give up – but told myself to keep swimming (albeit back strole / side stroke) and the moment I reached the beach was one of the happiest moments of my life. please know that so many people have this experience during their first tri – and the important thing is that you kept going. You rock girl!!
(Ps – I posted this before but it didn’t work so sorry if it shows up twice!!!)

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 6, 2010

yay! So glad you made it alive! haha. I knew you would of course. Glad you had eachother to get through it.

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 6, 2010

OMG congratulations to both of you!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!! The one part ya’ll were scared the most for is over- and you dominated it despite the struggles. You go, girl! (and guy!)

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 6, 2010

omg dude! So amazing. But I have to say, just reading this is giving me major anxiety for my first tri’s. ugh the open water sucks. swimming sucks blaaa

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AngelaOSG June 7, 2010

Don’t worry, it will be fine…trust me. If we can do it, you can do it!

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Lizzie June 6, 2010

I just had some low fat chocolate yoghurt with some choc chips thrown in for good measure – want some? :)

SUPER AMAZING EFFORT!!! Can’t wait to read about the rest of it!!

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Tamara June 6, 2010

Ohh I can’t wait to read part 2. Congrats to you two!!!!

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Michelle @ Eatingjourney June 6, 2010

I think that the swimming portion was the hardest for me as well when I first started out. I think it’s because 1. It’s not something that you normally do in a race situation 2. You are getting kicked 3. I feels like you don’t have your own space.

Swimming gets at the mental toughness area of your brain that I don’t think that running and/or biking can. It’s weird. You actually have to be in your own personal zone and unaffected by others ‘getting into it’. It’s the area that I’d work on the most again, mentally, because I do had a hard time. I remember panicking and I think that it’s normal. Good on your for NOT giving up.

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