Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The swim

Over the course of 19 week I swam 168,575 yards. I was trained. Unfortunately due to 6 months of neck/nerve injuries I was unable to swim from July 07-January 08 so I had lost a LOT of speed. The first couple months of training were getting the feel back, and being very very careful not to tweak anything. Slowly, I got my rhythm back and started movin in the water again. I wasn't quite as fast as I was the previous year, but I knew I could swim a 1:10, 1:15 slowest, with minimal effort....

We did a couple of pre-race swims and I felt great. No arm pain, or neck pain, although I did have some tingling going down to my fingers... I was hoping it was just from being stiff and running around like crazy for a couple days. The water was COLD. Like hurt your skin cold, but my wetsuit is awesome and my core stayed very comfortable. The swim was totally "doable."

Come race day, after all the body marking, and pre-race jitters we were on our way to the water.... I felt SO different this time. Last year I was scared out of my mind. I was trembling, and CRYING.

Not this year. This I was nervous, but not terrified. And, as we got to the beach and the crowds began to form and the music started I got EXCITED! Miss Suplinds was dancing... and I was eating it up.

The cannon scared the shit out of me, but I dove in and never looked back. Unfortunately, I don't think we picked the best place to start. We had people veering in from both sides, inside and outside the buoys. I was getting my ass handed to me on a silver platter.... I swam very protected, as not to get kicked. I didn't get to do much actual swimming, but somehow the last buoy was there and we were rounding to head back in...

On the way in I felt great. I was sighting and veering a little to my right, but not much... I got out of the water and my watch said 36:and some change. I looked up at the crowd... walked the beach and spotted my beautiful niece Taylor. She was up on her Dad's shoulders. I yelled at her and she saw me and waved. With a big smile on my face I dove back in...

I felt great and decided to pick up the pace a little. It did seem to take a bit longer to get to the last buoy, but I figured it was from less draft, and the wind and chop picked up a little. Out the 100yard(ish) buoy then heading in to shore. I was in a zone. My stroke felt good, besides some numbness in my right arm and I had room. Each time I spotted I noticed I was getting outside (to my right a bit too much) so I would try to turn in.... Somewhere in there I REALLY got turned out. Like, so much when I looked up I saw NOTHING. I saw the Resort dock and Tubbs hill in front of me. No beach, no people, no swimmers....

SHIT. I had a panic moment, then turned (good 90degs) until I saw the beach. I had swum off course a good 200-250 yards in the WRONG directions. Just as I figured it out a jet ski came by to get me on course. I waved and put my head in the water. I swam hard. I gave it what I had to get back on course and make up some time.

I got in my head a bit. Disappointment, anger.... I went from Excited and confident to this. Every few strokes I checked my course and I was STILL veering some to the right. I couldn't figure it out....

I eventually hit the water, checked my watch and tried to just move on.

Swim time: 1:17:59....

I lost 4-5mins with my extra distance, maybe more because I swam harder on the second loop. I've gone thru this over and over in my head trying to figure out what went wrong. My right arm is my GOOD form arm. My left arm crosses a bit on my pull. How could my left arm have pulled me so far in that direction?

Then it came to me. With my nerve issues and my arm going somewhat numb on the swim, my right arm must not have been really pulling.... So, my left arm, bad form and all was doing the majority of the work... and it showed.

All in all I had a "Good" swim.... I never got scared and I SWAM. Unfortunately I just swam the wrong way for a bit.... I know eventually I will get my swim down... I will.

I tried to make up some time in T1, but my wetsuit got stuck on my watch so that was a bit of a challenge... and a potty break of course. I did make it out of there under 10mins though, I was pretty happy with that!


Flatman said...

That's a damn good swim time...especially for going off course by 250 yds! Congrats on a great race so far...can't wait to read more.


Supalinds said...

Hey when you feel like dancing, you gotta roll with it. I'm a cheerleader - it's what I do.

Now tell me this, what was the damn song they were playing because I sang it on the bike and during the swim and now I can't think of it????

Great swim time, especially after your visit to the resort!!

Supalinds said...

OH WAIT...It just came to me.

Well that day, best damn day
That day, that day, that day, was, such a wonderful day

How can you not dance to that????

Molly said...

I love that you had a limo ride...you are right, that is the way to go to Ironman and heaven kno you deserve it on the way back!
Your swim number was so good I am amazed that you went off corse!
Can't wait to hear more!
Take Care