Please read Part Uno and Part Dos first. Thanks.
The story continues:
Now it's my turn to get into the water. I'm okay, I tell myself, still thinking about the busted zipper barely holding my tri-suit together. I have a shirt in my bag and will get it after the swim just in case my zipper decides to bust again while I'm on the bike or on the run. I feel better knowing I have a shirt.
I get into the water. The gun goes off. I start swimming strong. The girls in front of me are slow. I start swimming on top of a few, and I'm doing great. My zipper is holding, and I'm mowing over the slow swimmers. I kick and fight my way to the front of the swimming pack. Then all of a sudden, I feel my ankle strap (timing chip) come loose. I stop mid-stroke to fix it. I can't touch bottom. The girls I just swam over are coming at me, and I'm about to lose my timing chip and strap. I can't tread water and fix the strap at the same time. I swim out of the way and attempt to fix the damn strap as best I can. I think about swimming over to the life guards in canoes and asking for help, but I'm afraid I'll be disqualified. I try to fix it for what seems like hours.
I fix it as best I can. If I don't kick, maybe it won't come off, I tell myself. So, I pull myself through the lake- no kicking, just pulling through the water. I'm okay, but not good. First the zipper, now the damn timing chip. I'm done. I want to stop and cry. I want to give up, go home, and forget this day and this race. I just want to cry. Nothing is going as planned. But I just can’t stop. The voices in my head won’t let me give up. I have to keep going.
Finally, I finish the swim. It was awful. My time was awful, but I didn't quit…
Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.