|Arms raised...trying to exude confidence as my mind was saying "Don't do it!"|
|That's me just to the lefts of the yellow starting line bouy. Just breathe!|
Rounding the first turn I settled down and was able to keep my face in the water for brief stretches. Stroke. Breathe. Stroke. Breathe. Then the cramps hit. First my right calf. Then my left. Then my right hamstring. are you kidding me? Half a mile in to a 70.3-mile race and I'm cramping. Not good. What do you normally do when you get a calf cramp? Scream, right? Then what? Stand on it or grab your big toe and pull, right? How do you do that treading water? It's not easy.
|That's me in the center of the picture approaching the loading ramp. Face in the water!|
Rounding the second turn I was now breathing OK and able to keep my face in the water, but was dragging my legs uselessly behind me. I couldn't bear to look at my watch, thinking I was probably approaching an hour in the water. I thought of Leslie standing on the shore getting worried. I could see the swim finish now. The light at the end of this very dark tunnel. So I picked up the pace and finally reached the dock. Then I saw the concrete of the boat ramp below me...then the carpet they laid for us.
|Struggling to get out of the wetsuit.|
Happy to be on land...alive!