Snakes on a Trail: Aquathon RR!

Aquathon #2 was last week. I love these events. Super laid back, extremely well organized, and only $20. 
I left work early, thinking I’d get in a warm up before the 6:30 race. Nope, the walk to my car was enough of a warm up, it was hot that day.
Screenshot from my phone – shameless cutie niece plug 🙂
After packet pickup, I pansied out and chilled by the lake. A lot of other people had the same idea. Did I mention it was hot? I mean we chilled IN the lake.
With two swim legs ahead, this sign seemed a bit ironic. 
However, there were boats in the water before the race so I assume it’s really unsafe to swim without big orange buoys and people in kayaks to tell the boats to beat it. 
There were two mats – one for when we finished the swim and another for when we finished the run so no transition times, however I did have my handy Timex watch to try to catch the splits. 
Passing over the matt so they can register our chips.
Since my bruises from the last aquathon had barely healed, I stayed in the back due to the non-waved start. No kicks to the head!! No kicks anywhere. The swim was uneventful. 400m 9:16
The run was hurtful. I was wearing my Minimus trails. The trail was gravel. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. It was hot. I got passed by two guys on the way to the turn around and didn’t pass anyone. There was a woman I was chasing the whole way out. I finally passed her at the turn around. This is when things got interesting. 
Now, my mind might have been playing tricks on me. Mr T (the Timex) said 16:xx when I got to the turn around. Since it was really hot, the trails were rocky, and I was in between swims, I was anticipating 32 min to finish the 3 mile run. I was perfectly fine with a time that slow.
About a quarter mile after the turn around, I saw it. A dark brown snake, about 3 feet long, was crossing the trail.  
It looked like this, which I now know is a cottonmouth. I hope it really was something else.
I was freakin out. The snake didnt seem bothered by me but I still stepped off the trail and jumped. After clearing the snake I screamed “SNAKE!” to the lady about a  minute behind me. I’m sure it was gone by the time she came though and she just thinks I’m psychotic.
In my mind, the snake was following me and trying to bite my ankles. Images from the Anaconda movie were running through my mind. The snake is going to eat me. I kept thinking I saw more snakes along the trail. My feet no longer hurt when I stepped on rocks. I didnt think about the heat. My breathing was a non-issue. I just ran as fast as I could. 
Where is Samuel L when you need him???
People finally started to come into view and I passed another chick and a guy (although the guy had on a weighted vest so I dont think he counts). I really dont know how, but my run time was 27:19. 
I wish I had Gary to confirm the splits….but it was a straight out and back. 16 min out and 11 min back? Talk about negative splits! I am fairly certain I’ve never ran that fast in my life. That fight or flight junk is no joke!
I was feeling good going into the 2nd swim but I was too scared swimming closer to shore, which had a lot of vegetation. After seeing a snake, the last thing you want to feel while swimming is something brushing against you. I kept wondering if the snake I saw liked water…and if he was coming for me. So my swim literally ended up looking something like this
The extra distance def hurt me. 2nd swim took 10:12, but I was extremely happy coming out of the water, snakebite free.
After the race, they had PB&J at the shelter. I love this series. It’s like summer camp. 
In other running news William and I finally won free beer at the club run. Of course it was the week M couldn’t come. Before you feel bad for her, she’s on vacation. I wont spill where but we hate her 🙂

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