I won’t go into the prep and what is needed because that’s a all covered in another post if I get around to writing it and well let’s be honest the Pro’s can tell you the right things to do, I’m just going to tell you how I felt about to and during the race.
Personally I couldn’t sleep I was up at 3:30am and dressed and ready to leave by 4am. Crazy seeing as I was a 15min walk from the transition area.
It’s not so much as butterflies but just excitement and impatience that I felt. I mean 6months leading up to it and now you just want the day to arrive. I mean enough already let’s go. I’d been to the briefing done all the training, there really wasn’t much left to do but start the swim.
I left the apartment and you know that this is big the streets are filled with signs and barricades for the route. You get caught up in the atmosphere and know you are going to have a great day.
Saying all that going through everything it didn’t quite hit me till I was standing on the barge waiting to start the swim section.
That’s when I said fuck is that how far I have to swim. I’ve never jumped out of the plane and I’m jot comparing the two but I reckon it’s the same feeling you have, no chance to turn back and then someone just shouting at you go go go and you jump.
My advise don’t swallow. Hold your breath and don’t swallow the water. The water is murky and well I don’t recommend tasting the water. I think I mentioned it already but yeah don’t swallow. Firstly people Pee in the hudson. Something to do with the nerves, the water temp or just simply because you’ve been in line for the last 90mins in a tri or wet suit and it’s not exactly comfortable to try and pee in a porta potty so yeah people pee. Don’t let them lie to you I did and I’m not ashamed of it.
Moving swiftly on I had major issues with the swim. I couldn’t find my breath and I was starting to panic.
Word to the wise always keep calm during the swim you waste to much energy if you don’t and well you could drown. Just kidding. Not really its a possibility.
Anyway I managed to sort out my swim and was fine till about 300metres when my eyes started to sting like crazy, basically it was my first time using a swim cap and well my goggles started to leak. Rookie mistake never use something for the first time when you are going to race, always test your equipment out beforehand. At 300 metres I had to switch to breast stroke and try to clear my goggles. Once I switched and talked to myself I calmed down I ignored my surroundings and just thought about calmly swimming and breathing.
Yes there were some awkward moments when people were overtaking and hitting it’s just unnatural being in that environment, it’s not something that you train for to be honest I mean you can do sea swims and laps in a pool but nothing compares to that experience. It wasn’t until I reached the 1200metre mark I realized I could do it. Not till then did I understand what I had done so far. The hardest part was almost over and I would be free. I would be able to get out of the water and scramble my way to the transition area.
I think the last 50metres happened in slow motion in my mind, it was a crazy bottleneck, everyone trying to get out of the water and people standing on the edge of the barge pulling participants out. Your instinct is to put your foot down and walk out. I strongly advise against this. The feeling is unpleasant to say the least actually is just gross. I did it and sank about a foot down into this disgusting pit of quick sand you won’t believe it actually just forget I said anything. Anyway like I said I reached out looking for help and was a little self conscious of the small young girl who had the task of pulling out this wet panda out of the water no disrespect intended but I do weight 130kg’s.
I could have finished the race then and there I was so happy. Actually delighted I’d done the swim I had conquered my fear and i was ecstatic a little to much so which annoyed the shit out of me because I realized I spent more than 9mins on the first transition a little less time here and well I could have been under 3hr 30mins but whatever no big deal. If you are ever going to do the NYC Tri which I highly recommend just remember to put a spare pair of shoes along with a fresh pair of socks, a small towel and some water under one of the benches located at the barge at the end of the swim. It’s six to seven hundred meters to the transition area and doing it barefoot is not fun regardless of how much the path has been cleared. Why take the risk? Anyway don’t take my word for me but believe me you’ll thank me later.
That was the swim now on to the cycle my bread and butter but maybe not …