After so much build up and stress, it was finally race day. Steve walked me to the start and stayed with me until my swim wave began. I had jitters, but once my wave got into the water I felt absolutely calm and focused.
Vineman has the most beautiful swim that you can imagine. It's a picturesque mountain river and everywhere you look it's California redwoods and lush pine trees. This photo is my race start and it doesn't do it justice. It's absolutely stunning.
My stroke was even paced and relaxed. The one funny thing was that one swimmer kept smacking me. On the outbound leg she went exactly my pace and was constantly next to me and smacking. I finally got clear of her and thought that was the end of smacky-girl. On the return leg she would surge forward - smacking me on her way past, then fall back and smack me while she fell backward.
Finally, I caught the wake of one of the male competitors and rode his wave right to the swim finish. As I headed into the transition zone I was sad to have the swim end, it was so incredibly fun and beautiful.