TFP Muscles







Selina Carpenter - SwimNancy Toland - BikeStacy Plucinski - Run

Racine Half Ironman 2008 - Selina Carpenter

My 2008 goal was to complete IM Madison, and I hadn't planned to participate in Racine's Half Ironman as part of my training plan. I haven't ever done that race and wasn't planning on doing it. However, two of my workout/weight training partners asked me if I wanted to do the relay with them. They were prepping for their first half ironman - Steelhead. They offered me the chance to swim, while Nancy would bike, and Stacy would run. Nancy and Tom Ouimet, who was on another relay team, decided to place a little wager between our teams. Relays are always fun to do, and all of the other TFP members doing the race made it even more exciting. I have always heard how challenging Racine's swim portion could be, but I thought it would be great practice for Madison. As I signed us up we really couldn't think of a catchy name, but agreed upon "3 Brawn Brunettes".

Little did I know what that day would bring. If anyone has ever done Galena in May you know how cold the water can  be. I would have never thought that in July, Racine's water would be colder. Well, it was!!! It must have been close to 55 degrees. After making it through Galena, complaining the entire time, I thought I wouldn't have to swim in such cold water again. Wrong! So, if it wasn't for my friend Glenda getting some swim booties the week of the race, I think my toes would have been frostbitten. Not only was the water freezing, but it was foggy. You couldn't see the swimmers warming up from the shoreline. That morning I was thinking.....what did I agree to? I didn't want to let the team down so I just told myself to suck it up. Everyone else is out here so you can do this, too. I did not have a neoprene cap, but did wear two swim caps to try to keep the head warm. So, with the longsleeve wetsuit, booties, and two caps, I was set.

Coach Matt instructed me to swim 3-4 mins, then get out and get back in a few times. This definitely helped me adjust to the cold water. Melissa Jones, aka "polar bear", was swimming for the other team - "Golden Pursuit." I know Melissa is faster than me, so my goal was to just try and stay on her heels if I could. We were ragging each other all morning as the two teams walked us down to swim start together. The fog was so bad it delayed the beginning of the race an hour.,

Finally, the race starts! Melissa and I are in the last wave. The horn went off as I watched Melissa dolphin diving in the water. I took in a big drink, started coughing, and was thinking I won't catch her. As all swimmers were making their way buoy to buoy, I of course got a little too far to the right and kept having to swim out to get around the buoys on my left. So many of the racers were running in the water because of it being shallow. I jumped in behind one guy and drafted for a bit. He was runnning in the water as fast as I was swimming, so I got behind him for a short distance. Finally, going around the last buoy I assumed Melissa would have been in transition drinking a coffee waiting on me. Both teams had our runners wait on us right out of the swim to grab our chips and run them to our bikers.  Thank goodness they did that too, my heels were numb and white for a good 20 min after the run. I was only 29 secs. behind Melissa, and the current was with us, so the swim was fast. I finished in 30:58. I know some were saying the swim might have been short too, because that is the fastest I have ever swam that distance.. I had a great time that day. I was proud of our team and being able to cheer all fellow TFPers was rewarding.

I had a great time doing the relay and I want to thank Nancy and Stacy for having me be a part of their team. I would do it again in a heartbeat!





Copyright © 2008 The Fitness Pursuit, Inc. - Last updated 9/14/08