52 degrees, sharks, and the beauty of the skyline

alcatrazI keep getting these emails from the Alcatraz Triathlon. Wanna feel ill? Read the emails. So, the first one said “Congratulations!! You are officially entered into the Alcatraz Triathlon”! OK. Fair enough. I mean it was my decision to enter this race right? Like I said in blogs earlier… we don’t HAVE to do anything. We CHOOSE to do things. I am not quite sure what I chose but – could be bigger (and hopefully better!) than I have ever imagined.

Bucket List.

2nd email was about the swim. Said something about the water temp being 52-54 degrees. Brrrrrr!!!! It is currently 50 degrees outside (yes, I know that is NOT cold for all you people on the East Coast) – but – I am dressed in leggings, long sleeve thermal running shirt, vest, beanie, and gloves, and quite possibly still a little chilly. Yes, I will be wearing a wetsuit. And quite possibly anything else I can surround myself in to get warm. I am a swimmer. I can do this. Hey, the pool heater broke last week during workout and I survived that one…

I kept reading.

“One Way Boat Cruise”. Yes, of course. It has to be one-way. I mean, I am getting off when the boat starts slowing down (the boat never actually stops) is all part of the fun, right? Then it says blah blah blah something about wearing a neoprene cap and how the chin strap restricts breathing and – oh – blah blah may cause loss of balance. But at least that paragraph ends in it’s the “AIR temp, not the water temp where you will find the most difference this year”. WHAT!!!! So, now I have cold water and cold air being a major factor.

Bring it.

I keep reading….

You basically get with your age group and all your new best friends get to jump on top of each other and race to shore. But there is no time for hesitation — “Past year’s exodus off the California Belle has taken too much time; athletes were still hesitantly jumping 10 minutes after the start of the race. This is not a time to be mentally weak, BE READY TO JUMP!!” OK Jen. Just like bungee jumping. Just do it. (No, I have never bungee jumped but this might be the next best thing)


Something about enjoying the beauty of San Fran and stopping to make sure the current is not pulling you back to the “rock”… Ok. I will try to remember that one. Freezing cold and in a race and I stop to take a look at the skyline – oh, and also to make sure I am not swimming in circles. Awesome. I can do that. I love San Francisco.

And, finally, sharks. But not to worry, they are only 4 ft. long and not interested in us Alcatraz crazy triathletes. Phew.

Mom, if you are still reading this, don’t you worry. You raised me to be strong. And even with all these obstacles during the swim (not to mention the bike & run he he), nothing will be harder then the mental challenge of competing for dad.

……..I love Alcatraz emails. They give me that “I wanna puke” feeling and turn my stomach inside out. They make me nervous weeks before I actually need to be. They have taught me that sometimes being oblivious is a good thing. Sometimes LESS IS MORE.

But I do love them. I have saved them and I can’t wait to read all of them on March 4th, my flight home from the race with a feeling of pride and success.


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