Swim. Bike. Hobble.
I am also directionally-challenged. I walk into a store at the mall, walk out, and can’t remember which way I was originally headed. So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to stay on course in this open-water swim. I never realized how much I depended on that black line at the bottom of the swimming pool until it was gone. To keep from getting totally off-course, I swam a few strokes and then came up to make sure I was still headed in the right direction. Yet, somehow I still managed to swim past the buoy. And if the gators were swimming with me, I wouldn’t have even known. The water was so murky I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.
Really, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a bike ride on the Natchez Trace. I don’t know how we lucked out this year. The Heatwave Classic is named such for a reason. Last year they were riding in triple-digit temperatures.
If I didn’t have a stress fracture before I started the race, I am pretty sure I have one now. My foot has been bothering me for the past two months. I noticed it a little right before the Warrior Dash, but it didn’t really slow me down during that race. I had been trying to rest my foot as much as possible since then, while still teaching boot camp and spin classes, but I just knew it was going to cause me trouble during this race.
I packed my Nike Frees and planned to wear them, but when I transitioned off the bike, I got so excited to start my run that I didn’t want to stop. I hopped off my bike, threw off my helmet and cycling shoes and started running. I felt fine the first mile. I started hurting a little at the second mile. I was still able to fake it at mile three, but by mile four, I had to walk. I was limping by mile five and did my best Quasimodo impression from there all the way across the finish line. Monday morning I’ll be calling the orthopedist.
Was it worth the finish? Probably not. But will I do another triathlon and will I continue to run barefoot? Yes. And hell yes… After I heal, though, of course.