3:00 am came too soon (does it ever come too late?) but I actually slept pretty good and was awake. Kirk and friends were moving around and we ate breakfast, coffee and headed out to the shuttle to bring us over to the swim start. The early morning was chilly (in the 50's) but very clear and felt like a great race day. The shuttle ride, borrowing a pump to air up tires and a lot of nervous peeing in the wetsuit was the blur of how it went till the mass start.
At the 5 minute till race mark I swam out to the bouey and treaded water about the 3rd row back. The water was chilly (66 degrees) but I had my earplugs in and extra head cap for warmth. All of sudden the gun went off and it was a churning mess. 2000 or so swimmers full of arms and legs. The first 200 meters were fine and I was out front a bit more than I should I have been. It was 4 turns per lap and two laps. A lot of bottlenecks. My arms, as all previous times with a wetsuit, were tight and heavy. I hate hate hate the feeling of swimming in a wetsuit. If I slowed down I would get run over and if I sped up I would run people over. I tried to feel a groove and actually started swimming ok, a bit slow but ok. The last turn finally came and I swam to shore. Wow the first leg was over and my watch showed 1:05 out of the water-- 1:07 according to timing chip. Not great by any means and I really need to evaluate the wetsuit-- my out of shape 100m average is easily a 1:30 split and I can do that all day long (in a warm pool). My race pace in "shape" (these days) for the 1600m is a 1:20 average per 100m. I just don't see how with a wetsuit (which is supposed to be faster) puts me at a 1:44 per 100m. I know it's an open cold water swim but still I don't understand it and should look further (better fit?) if I do another one of these b/c I always feel much worse with a wetsuit than without.
In any case I was not very tired (or dizzy) and that was the most important. Someone came over and stripped my wetsuit off and I went into the changing tent. I took my time and ate a bunch of gu's, powerbar fruit thingy's, drank a lot and then ran over to my bike.... and here comes one heck of a long ride.