The Poseidon Triventure was an excellent reminder of the difference between planning an event and actually doing it.
Doing it is much, much harder.
The morning of the swim was a chilly 45 degrees, but the water was, thankfully, much warmer, probably about 70 to 72. This temperature difference created a beautiful mist over the water. There was no wind and the lake was so flat, you could see little bubbles popping on the surface.
I swam on my own for an hour and then Paul joined me with the kayak and we headed out into the lake. I tried warm Perpetuem and was disgusted by it. This is a bummer because I need those calories and Perpetuem is perfectly balanced for endurance events. Maybe if it's just sort of cool that would be better. Fortunately, I had also made a bottle of cold Perpetuem, so I had something to drink.
We were making a loop around the lake and, of course, had a headwind on the way back. It's just as big of an obstacle in swimming as it is in cycling - the waves pick up and it just seems to make the water harder to get through. I was also getting cold.
We made it back to the beach at exactly 10K. I was shivering so hard, it was difficult to get my cycling gloves on. But the skies were clear and it didn't take long to warm up as I pedaled up hill and out of the park.
The next 5 plus hours were consumed by pedaling and panting. I stopped about an hour in and discovered a blessed tube of sunscreen in my bike bag. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and I could feel my skin wrinkling under the baking sun.
I stopped in Ceresco for one of those cold Starbucks drinks. It was the best f**king thing I'd ever tasted. So, so good. I had a fiver for the coffee drink, water and a cereal bar, which was 18 cents short. Fortunately, the cashier let me off so I didn't have to go begging in the parking lot.
More cycling. Covering 62.5 miles takes a long time. Again, I had to push into a headwind on the way back to the lake. But whatever. The wind is going to blow no matter which way you go. Fortunately, most of the county was at the Nebraska football game, so I didn't have a lot of traffic to deal with.
I finally - FINALLY - got back to my car at the lake after 5 hours and 15 minutes of cycling (which includes about 30 minutes of various rest breaks along the way). I peeled off my shoes and socks and got into new shoes and socks and attempted to run.
That didn't work. At all.
My quads instantly cramped up and I had to stop and stretch them out. Every time I increased my speed beyond a stroll, my quads kicked my ass. So, I just walked. I didn't care if it was going to take me 3 hours, I was going to finish this motherlovin event.
Endurance events are interesting in that your body will do so much more than you think possible. After walking a couple of miles, my legs settled down and I was able to jog a little. "Jog" may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a fast shuffle.
The football game ended and Paul scootered out to see me finish. I had a mile to go when he arrived. It was a glorious, fantastic, triumphant mile. I knew I was going to finish. It took me all freaking day and I was as slow as a 3-legged goat, but I was going to make it. In fact, I jogged further than I needed to: 6.5 miles.
I was really, really happy to take those last steps to reach the car. And I was so glad Paul was there to share in the accomplishment.
I felt good - fine really, except for a very sore butt from cycling and crampy legs from shuffling. It felt so wonderful to get all that salty sweat and grime washed off in the showers. Whoever thought to put locked showers at Branched Oak was a genius and a saint.
Paul and I celebrated my WINNING the inaugural Poseidon Triventure with dinner at Red Robin. I wore my finishers t-shirt :-)
The event was just what I needed - a long day of continuous movement. I needed to know I could do that. Now, I just need to do that while swimming the whole time. In cold water.