I found this video of a midair skydive rescue inspirational. I guess if you’re skydiving, the chances you might have to be a hero are higher than normal, but you really just never know when you’re living your normal life and you’ll be called upon to act and make decisions that will have permanent implications for your self and/or others.
I’ve gone cycling three days in a row. Day 1 was the Magnuson Duathlon. I picked this as my first multisport race because I figured it would be easy. 3 miles run and 10 mile cycle – what could go wrong, right? Ha. Well, being Seattle, the obvious thing that could go wrong did – an unrelenting downpour. I decided to go in large part because I’d told two friends I’d be there, and I didn’t want to stand them up. In any case, it was in the low 40s and just pouring. I huddled in my car until a few minutes before the start and then did the run. I haven’t seen the results yet, but I did the run (2.5 mi) at about 8 minute pace. I was a bit chilly and damp, but I felt more or less fine, and not too tired. Then, I got to transition and found my stuff completely soaked. I’d forgotten to bring a plastic bag and figured the soft-sided bag I’d brought might provide some protection. Nope. The extra layer I’d planned to don was extremely wet. I decided not to put it on, which in retrospect I think was a mistake. The course had a lot of puddles, so my feet were utterly soaked. I put on my wet gloves, and switched out my soaking Gore-tex jacket for my precip jacket which was damp but not soaked, thanks to having been on the bottom of the bag. That was also a mistake – the precip jacket is water “resistant” and it resisted the pouring rain for all of about a quarter mile. 100 feet into the cycle I knew I was in trouble. I was just so cold. The whole thing was very tough. I knew cycling 10 miles should take only 40 or 50 minutes, but it felt very long. One of my friends cycled with me the whole time, which was nice.
After the cycle, I got off my bike. I guess I’d heard about the brick thing where your legs feel like bricks, but what I wasn’t prepare for was my feet to be completely numb. My feet were so numb from cold that I could barely walk / run on them. Fortunately, the second run was only half a mile. I’m not sure I could have made it much farther. I ran straight from the finish line to my car where I cranked up the heat and changed clothes, to the skin, into some warm clothes I had brought with me (my only smart move of the day). Then I drove home, which took about 35 minutes. I literally could not stop shaking from cold the entire time. I wasn’t really able to warm up until I got into a hot shower when I got home. That was HEAVEN. After the hot shower, I took a hot bath. Then I went and sat in front of the fire. So. Nice.
I’m not sure what lesson to take from all of this. Don’t do duathlons in the rain? Invest in more Gore-tex? It really makes me not want to do a triathlon featuring cold water. I had been considering doing a tri in early June which would feature water at about 60 degrees. I’m now thinking maybe I should wait until later in the season.
There were only 23 people crazy enough to do the duathlon. 11 of them were women, and I was the third female finisher. There were no awards, but my friend from work was kind enough to pick up a finisher’s medal for me. (I was too cold to notice or care that they had such items at the finish line.)