The swim for Gulf Coast Triathlon was really hard. I was told it was more difficult than St. Anthony's swim which was cut short so nobody would get hurt. I am not saying they should have canceled, or cut it short, but just that it was more difficult than I thought it would be. So my goal in the swim was to find a fast person, and draft for dear life. Then I found out that the current was pulling people from right to left, so people were going way off course. So, I positioned myself at the far right thinking this is where I should be so that the current will pull me into the course and I will line up with the buoy just fine, (this is also where the slow people swim on the outside so that they do not get trampled). So the horn sounds, and we stalk into the breakers. Yes, I said we STALKED into the BREAKERS. The waves pushed us back, but we stubbornly walked into them. As I started getting hit above the waist with waves, I started diving into them kinda like you see the surfers do it on TV. That worked OK, and all the sudden I was swimming. I did what I had intended for a while, and followed some feet. This was GREAT! Then after a while, I looked up to find a buoy and see how close I was to the big red one signaling the turn.
There were no buoys! What the hell! That is when I also got my first sinus cleaning and throat gargle of salt water. Awesome. So I waited until I was at the top of a wave, and looked again. I was off course. WAY off course. I was very near Texas I was so off course. The other problem, is that I could only see two buoys. I could see the one I was parallel to, and the one I was supposed to be going to, and i guess the one that i should be going away from THREE buoys. I could see three buoys. So course correction, I started seeing some little hands windmilling over by the buoy I was supposed to be near, so I headed that direction. After two more course corrections, I finally made it to the big turn. Gulped another mouthful of salt water, and then turned and headed out to sea. After about 10 strokes, the nice man in the kayak trying not to fall over said, "HEY, THAT WAY" and pointed me back towards shore. Swim, Swim, Swim, look up, drink seawater, swim some more. It went this way for a lot longer. Then I hit a sand bar. I walked for about 25 feet in 2 foot water, then swim again the last little bit to the beach. Unfortunately, the waves were not regular enough to body surf them. Oh, well. During this long swim, I was passed by the orange capped guys, and most of the purple capped guys, and was seeing some of the women from the wave behind them. All in all, 54 minutes to get out of the water, about 15 minutes more than I thought I would do, But I was still alive and racing. I sauntered up the beach, rinsed off in the shower things, and tippy-toed over to transition and my waiting bike for my favorite part of the race.
Stay tuned for "I am a dumbass and didn't reapply sunscreen even though I have had one of the most deadly skin cancers there is...TWICE!"