Swim, bike, run. But not in that order.

Last weekend was to be my big race weekend. We drove 4 hours to Des Moines on Friday to the Dam to Dam Half packet pick-up. I was so excited! I was so surprised by how well the packet pick-up was run. They even had a blues band and a beer garden!

I put out my race outfit and set my alarm for 4:00 to give me time to eat and get to the bus. (Race access for the half requires you to take a bus for this point-to-point race.)

And then my alarm went off. I struggled for half an hour to get up but I just could not do it. My body was not having it and I knew there was no way I would be able to run.  Another disappointing DNS.

I slept in a bit before getting dressed (I was going to wear my singlet for pictures anyway, dammit!) and headed to the finish to see my Oiselle Volee teammates. We had made plans to meet up at the sculpture garden for a group picture and lunch at Exile Brewery. While I was waiting on Juliana and Sara, I realized that it probably was a good thing I didn’t try to run. It was super hot out, and I got a sunburn in the short time I waited. Had I ran, I probably would have had a full on photo-sensitivity meltdown, so at least there is that.


We snagged a picture and had an awesome lunch. Highly recommend Exile! Steven and I enjoyed a lot of great food in Des Moines. I had lived in West Des Moines, and later Waukee, a billion years ago and everything had changed so much! Downtown is just amazing now. I can’t wait to be back for another race there this fall!


We drove back on Sunday afternoon. My plan said 10 miles, but that was not going to happen. I did a gravel ride instead. Steven rode along with me for the first half, but he blew out his rear tire! Our son had to come out and pick him up while I finished my ride.


Monday was my first open water swim of the season. Every Monday in the summer, Kill Creek hosts open water swimming. The course is the 500m course used for the women’s triathlon held in September. It is a nice, low-key training option and I take advantage of it every week. I hadn’t swam since last year so I was not sure how I would do.

I got there late and had to hustle to get 3 or my 4 planned loops in. I slathered some swimmer’s itch stuff on my chest and stomach (where I had gotten bad swimmer’s itch last year), and headed out to the water. The first loop, I struggled. I hadn’t swam in a year and just couldn’t get into the rhythm and felt like I was drowning…. Which is silly. I know how to swim and there are lifeguards all over. I made it to the first buoy and talked to the lifeguard a bit before forcing myself onto the second buoy. Again, I stopped to catch my breath before swimming to shore. I took a minute to catch my breath and then headed back out.

My second loop went much better. I had my rhythm but my goggles weren’t sealing and were flooding with water. I couldn’t see well to sight and had to stop to fight with them a bit. I made it around the course with one stop. When I came into shore, I adjusted the band tighter to get a better seal. I’m probably due for new goggles anyway. I like to replace them each year as they tend to get scratched up and hazy from the green lake water. (Even with anti-fog spray).

My last loop I went without stopping. No issues and it felt really good.  I am so happy that I “remembered” how to swim again. It would have been really painful to have 3 bad laps.

Tuesday night, I had an easy trail run. It was really hot and I suffered the first 2 miles. I slowed the pace a bit and had a bit more shade for the rest, thank goodness!


Which goggles do you love? I have tried Tyr, Roka and Blue Seventy so far.

Have you ever gotten swimmer’s itch?

Have you had the “I can’t remember how to swim” first lap after a long break from swimming?


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