The Dam Tri


Lake Murray, Lexington SC
1000 meter swim
21k bike
7k run

This was my first Sprinternational distance event and also the first open water triathlon I’ve ever done.  I won’t lie or sugar coat anything, I did multiple things wrong at this race.  I knew going in that it was probably a bad decision.  So here is a list of a few mistakes and my thoughts before hand.

1. Never practiced in open water before (only pool).  But really how different could it be? I’ve swam with my eyes closed.

2. New wet suit… should I wear if they allow?  Never worn while swimming before?

3. First wave start.  I’ll just go in the back and will be ok.

We stayed with my brother and sister in law so it was like being at home.  Got up early and of course had a nervous stomach as always and could barley eat anything.  Shawn was driving me to the race start and everyone else would come later.  My daughter woke up with a slight fever as we were trying to leave and was crying for me.  Took 10 minutes to deal with that and calm her down enough so I could leave.  Event site was only about 10 minutes away so I wasn’t worried about being late.  We parked and got every thing out of the car and I realized I left 2 water bottles in the freezer.  I had one with me I was sipping on and said I’ll be ok on water.  Shawn said no I will run back and get for you. God love this man!

Got all my goods set up in transition, got my chip and body markings and headed down to the water to take a look.  First thought as I stood there and looked out on the water and the buoys… Holy Sh*t that is a long way to swim.  Swimming a 1000 meters in a pool is WAY different.  I tried to tell my self it’s just different not harder.  I can do the distance, I can do it… remember just stay calm and swim.  They had announced that the water temp was 76 so wet suits could be worn if you wanted to.  Shawn came back with my water and wet suit.  I told him that I didn’t think I wanted to wear it, didn’t want to add to my stress out level with the open swim.

They called out the waves to start lining up. All us ladies in purple caps got together and waited.  First men group went off and I was starting to panic. I started jumping around to just move hoping it would help some.  My wave moved into the water and it actually felt warmer than the air so I was glad I wouldn’t be freezing and swimming.  Shawn yells out to me just stay in the back.  BOOM… horn goes off and my heart jumping into my throat.  I’m not real religious but I think I said a quick prayer as my face went in the water.  Feet, legs, water is dark, oh no I just swallowed water, and I can’t get around this person, having trouble catching my breath…. Sheer panic kicked in full force.  I started to swim with my head up just to see where I was and move forward.  My heart rate was sky high.  I was maybe 300 meters in and I flipped over on my back to recover.  That was the first time I thought I can’t do this, I’m going to turn back to the shore and just DQ for the swim.  Then I flipped back over and tried to start swimming but I couldn’t get a good breath or  slow my breathing or my heart rate down. I flagged a kayaker and they came over and I held on. I knew this would kill my time but I figured I would not make it at all if I didn’t stop. I have no idea how long I was there but it did help.   I just told myself to get to the first buoy and stop again if I needed.  Small steps to get out of the water.  I also remember thinking, good thing I put my Road ID on before so if I drown than they know who I am.  It was in a fight or flight moment for sure. (-: I think I did every swim stroke possible and made up a few to get through that swim.  As I turned the final buoy the sun was right in my face.  I then started to worry I was going to go off course so I keep bringing my head up to see.  Just kept saying you are almost done.  I finally saw the bottom and stood up and started walking.  I was very disoriented and dizzy.  Shawn was right there at the swim finish and just said keep walking.  I got into transition and noticed A LOT of bikes were gone.  I knew I was one of the last out of the water and felt disappointed.  I sat down which I normally don’t do to get my shoes and socks on.  I grabbed a handful of cereal. Shawn came over and said are you ok. I told him yeah but that was the worst thing I ever had to do.  It totally sucked.  I got on my bike and said you’re out of the water and just get moving.  Rest of the race I actually felt strong.  I really tried to jam on the bike and run.  The course was awesome.  Riding and running on this giant Dam was pretty cool and Lake Murray is a beautiful lake.  I was happy with my times.  What could I really expect…? I finished and that is what matters.


Swim- 32:18
Bike- 1:13
Run- 34:59
Total Time- 2:23