Okay, let me preface this post by saying that I cannot give a full race report because I was forced to drop out after the swim d/t hypothermia. But my 2 friends I did it with did finish it so I can give somewhat of a full report.
I was scared shitless. The weather was freezing the day before. We were all at the pasta dinner the night before wearing winter coats and hats, with everyone's food blowing all over the place from the 40 MPH wind. We woke up at 5 race morning (of course I didn't sleep at all) and looked outside. Still windy as hell. The swim was in the snake river. They told us the day before that the water was a balmy 58 degrees. Which actually felt warm at first considering it was 38 degrees when we started the swim, with 40 MPH winds! I'm not joking. The swim was supposed to be super fast since it is downstream in the river. But the wind was blowing upstream, so what does that mean? It was like swimming against a current in the Pacific Ocean. Lots of people had booties and neoprene swim caps and I should have had that as well. Everyone was shivering, teeth chattering, doing jumping jacks to try to stay warm. My feet were already freezing getting into the water. So I somehow pushed myself in and we started and then, OMG I couldn't believe it! I am a good swimmer, and it took me 47 minutes to do a 1.2 mile swim! The entire time I was suffocating from the swells of the waves crashing into my face, as I swallow gulps of river water, then proceed to tread water and choke and cough for a minute or 2, catch my breath, just so I can do 5 more strokes of freestyle and have it happen again. So I resorted to side stroke, yes that's right, side stroke. I don't even know how to do side stroke! It was awful. I prayed the entire time just to finish it. When I finally got to the end of the swim I was so happy, but that's when the trouble really started.
My hands and feet were completely numb. Also I have Raynaud's syndrome so that didn't help things at all. I couldn't get my wetsuit off. My hands were so numb that I had no movement in them. It was like they were shaped like a claw. Then with the wind blowing, how cold it was outside, and being wet, it just got worse and worse. I wasn't the only one having this problem. You could hear people in the transition area almost screaming from pain of being so cold, moaning trying to get their clothes off and on. I've never experienced anything like it. Sooo, my body shut down. I was freaking out more and more and finally went to get help. I couldn't move and I could tell I was about to pass out. I got help and went inside some very one of the race volunteers cars as they blasted the heat and wrapped me in blankets. The race director came to talk to me and said that if i wanted to I could warm up and then go try the bike. Too bad it took 2 hours to warm me up! After that, I just said F it, I'm done. My friends have alot more body fat than me, I guess.
When I finally made my way to the transition area to cheer for my friends, I talked to at least 10 other people who had dropped out. Some had done IM's, others marathons, century rides, and never had to drop out of a race. This made me feel better. But still, for my first 1/2 Im, this really was a blow to my ego. Makes me feel doubt in myself and my ability to complete this. But nonetheless, I signed up for another one in September. Now I am more determined than ever to finish it. I have never dropped out of a race before.
My friends said that the bike was really flat and fast, the run was kind of rolling. They both finished and did well. This made it even harder to watch them do this. Oh well...
All in all, 100 people didn't even start it that signed up, and around 60 DNF'd. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I know that it was the conditions , but still, I feel like a failure. Note to self: Idaho is cold!
Sorry this was so long!