I drove down to Reston with one of my attorney friends and a woman in her (our) tri club. We got to Reston easily and inhaled Chinese food for dinner. Oh, and then we really wanted pastries, so we went to Panaras for cookies (gotta love hanging out with people who love to eat as much as I do ;)). Cathy then had the brilliant idea to check out the lake... and that's when I started to really get nervous. We dipped our toes in - freezing! (it would be 65 deg on race morning) - and then drove back to the hotel. Here are Deb and Cathy standing in their respective heats
Modeling my wetsuit ---
After chatting for a bit, double checking our bags, and watching the SATC marathon, I fell asleep. Our wake up call was at 6:00 a.m. -- the 2 miler didn't start until 9:30, but my race (the 1 miler) started at 8:00, so Cathy and Deb woke up to drive with me to the lake. We had breakfast at the hotel (cinnamon bun and french toast for me =D) and then put on our swim suits and then headed for the lake. When we got there, we checked in, got marked, and got our caps. And... 40 minutes until my race started. We sat around and when I was at T - 20 minutes, I Body Glided up and put on my wetsuit and my chip. Nerves were REALLY kicking in at this point! I had NEVER swam in open water before ...
I lined up with my heat and waited to head into the water -- finally, it was our term! We waded in, swam out to the first buoy, and waited to hear our GO! ... and then, we were off. It was SO weird not to be able to see (1) the bottom or (2) anything in front of me. I started swimming a smooth freestyle, looking up every 6-7 strokes to check for the next orange buoy. I did get hit a few times, and I grabbed a couple legs (on accident, of course), but it wasn't too bad. It was very strange not to know where I was, and at one point I finally looked at my watch: 24 minutes, and I knew I must have been pretty close to end.
I swam around the barge, looked up, and saw the finish. I kicked it into gear, swam it in, and ran up (looking like a drunkard) to the finish. My official time: 31:18 -- good enough for third place in my age group, which is third place, even when there are only THREE PEOPLE IN YOUR AGE GROUP! (in all fairness, no. 1 finished 2 minutes ahead of me, and no. 2 finished a minute ahead of me .. so I wasn't too far behind them ;)).
I rinsed off (in the cold showers, boo), changed, and waited with Deb and Cathy until the 2 miler start. I took a glorious 30 minute nap in the sun, then headed back down to the finish line to wait for Deb and Cathy.
The ladies at the finish (right before we went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries).