On Sunday, I woke up, rarin' to go for the Imperial Beach Triathlon. I felt well-rested and prepared. It was "just" a sprint, and I can finally say that I can do a sprint and it doesn't kill me anymore. I can actually go out there and relax and have fun and put forth a good effort. It feels good to reflect on how far I've come. There weren't that many people there, which gave it a laid-back, friendly atmosphere. The swim was surprisingly tough. Even though the water looked gentle and calm the day before and had felt warm, Sunday morning brought some rough surf and FREEZING cold water. I forced myself to warm-up, vital for a sprint when the swim is over before it begins. Hurried to the start and got completely pummeled by a wave coming in. I hate when a big wave sneaks up from behind and you get caught in just the wrong way. You get sucked under and don't know which way is up or down. I try to let myself go limp, and I can feel the force and power of the ocean taking my body and bending it forward and backward at its whim. There's always that terrifying moment when I'm not sure if the wave is going to snap me in two or bash my head on the ground (in addition to breathing in a ton of water). I stay calm and zen out, and sure enough, I always end up popping up like a drowned rat, with the ebbing surf giggling after me. After getting spun around and swallowing a good deal of salt water, I shook it off and lined up on the start. The actual swim itself was pretty uneventful after my traumatic warm-up. I had no problem jumping on the bike and pedaling off, although I had to yell twice at people (spectators) to get off the course. Oh, and another time when a volunteer waved a bus through an intersection that I was barreling through. Hello! I'm riding here! But I kept my road rage in check. The bike felt awesome. It was over so quickly. Then, I was off and running. Found my stride and felt myself relax into it. I ended up pacing next to another woman in my age group I introduced myself and we chatted the rest of the way. It's so nice to meet people like that at these events. Makes it a little less lonely. I had a great surge across the finish and met someone else in a tri club uniform afterwards. I'm constantly amazed at how friendly everyone is in this sport in San Diego and how easy it is to meet good people. It's very refreshing. Especially b/c that hasn't always been my experience.
Finish time ~1:20