I am Iron Girl! Mastering the Swim

Sunday I finished one of my most difficult athletic events EVER. It was harder than 6 games of soccer in a row. It was harder than my half marathon. It was hard. But I can officially say I am an Iron Girl.

Yesterday, I competed with over 1000 women in the Atlanta Iron Girl sprint triathlon. We swam 1/3 mile (600 meters), biked 19 miles, and run 5K. For my fist triathlon, it was pretty dramatic.It took place at the beautiful Lake Lanier Islands Resort. It was so nice, we’ll most definitely have to go back for a non-event weekend.

My age group (18-24) was the last wave to begin. We were all given color-coded swim caps for our age group, so we looked like a rainbow all lined up by the water. The event started at 7am, but my wave didn’t go till 7:40, so I had almost an hour to work myself up on the shore. By the time my group go into the water, I was visibly shaking. At first I thought it was because the wind and water were cold, but as I was adjusting my goggle, I realized it was because I was so flipping nervous.

The swim didn’t go as planned. I couldn’t get my groove early on and my breathing was thrown off by all the people swimming around me causing waves and kicking water in my face. My goggled started fogging up/filling with water, so I ended up swimming the whole race with my head above water. Also, when I tried getting in the groove of swimming like I do in the YMCA pool, the combo of waves/murky water freaked me out.

I got to the halfway point where there were boats and kayaks to help people who needed a break. You could hold on to one of them as long as you didn’t move forward. As I was heading back to the swim finish, I kept hearing whistling and yelling. Finally a boat, yes a boat, wooshed past me. It was pretty hard swimming in the wake of that. However, I soon realized the screaming was a women freaking the heck out. She was flailing around shouting, “I can’t breathe. Please help me! I can’t breathe.”

What a scary way to start your first triathlon! A man in the boat kept trying to throw a buoy out to her, but she missed it every time, and even went under a few times. I wondered if I should try to swim over to her to help her get the buoy. It scared the bejesus out of me. They ended up pulling her into the boat. I hope she ended up ok. It sure did startle me to hear someone screaming, so afraid of drowning. Whew.

Water is scary, you guys. Be safe! Tomorrow–the crazy bike! Spoiler: There was blood!


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