Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ironman: The Swim

I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: I'm not a good swimmer. I have bad form and can't swim a straight line to save my life. I don't enjoy swim workouts. I don't know what happened on race day but I... Loved... the Swim. Maybe I was just happy that the race was finally happening, or I was so relieved that the lake warmed up to a staggering 59.5 degrees but I had a great time in the water. The last song they played before the canon went off was "Bittersweet Symphony" which is one of my regular iPod training songs. It was a nice way to kick of the race.

I seeded myself too far in the back. I don't consider myself to be an aggressive swimmer, but I was definitely more hardcore than all the people who were stopped dead in the water 100 yards off-shore. All of the stories you hear about the "washing machine" are true; I was grabbed and kicked and pulled and pushed all over the place. There were a series of buoys marking the course, and Rich's dad had jokingly asked "is it supposed to be a slalom? Well, my race DID turn out to be a slalom. I would try to swim a straight line, but would get pushed to the left of some buoys and the right of others. I zig-zagged my way around the course.

I felt really good during the first loop. I checked my watch coming out of the water and it was about 45 minutes. Fantastic. I was hoping for a 1:30-1:45 swim so I was dead on. I was a bit tired for the second loop and I could feel myself getting sloppy, which is fine. It took me 55 minutes to do the second loop. But considering that I was worried that the cold water was going to add 15 minutes to my time, I was thrilled with a 1:40 swim. Even more surprising was the fact that I didn't feel dizzy getting out of the water at all. I was able to run through transition without any problems.

The wetsuit strippers are amazing. They had a little trouble getting my arms off because they said it was too tight (must have been my bulging biceps getting in the way) but they still had me out of the suit in no time.

The transition tent was a little odd. I had a volunteer who was just a little too eager to help me. He kept asking me what I needed out of my bag. "Do you want your socks?" "Do you want your jersey?" The thing is, I didn't know WHAT I wanted. I kept telling him that I just needed a moment to focus. He finally asked "Can I dump your bag for you?" and I just said "fine." and then I got dressed. I don't really remember handing him my wetsuit but I assume he just cleaned up after me as I ran out to get on the bike.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless those volunteers! I'm sure they had to deal with a lot of triathletes who were far less gracious than you that day!

4:30 PM  
Blogger SWTrigal said...

We figured the guys did not have help in the tents cause guys just don't touch each other like that but I guess they are there to help after all. Great swim! in the "balmy" water. It was friggin' cold to me anyway..

6:41 PM  
Blogger Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

"definitely more hardcore than all the people who were stopped dead in the water..." Yep, that's the last time I hang back. I've tried both, and the thrashfest is definitely less frustrating. As for the changing tent, I go for the back dump every time.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

I meant to say, "bag dump".

8:33 PM  
Blogger Tea said...

I loved those tent volunteers! As I was still trying to figure out where I was, she was putting socks and shoes on my feet and stuffing food in my pockets! After saying THanks, I'm pretty sure I asked her to marry me.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you end up using the foot booties?

2:22 PM  

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