I musta been kidding myself when I thought I was gonna keep a blog.
Nevertheless, here I am with an update after a couple months when,at that time, I was telling you all about my DQ and how I was pulled out of the water during my first triathlon.
Because that was my first triathlon (sprint) and first open water swim (EVER) , I went ahead and took the bull by the horns and began doing open water swims like crazy before my upcoming olympic distance.
I needed to build confidence in the open water. I needed to be okay without having the ground so close to save me. I needed to not have the wall there to rest on each length. I needed to be able to be okay with being blind in the water and begin sighting in order to make my aquatic journey.
I did it.
The hard work paid off when I got to the Olympic distance triathlon. I had done a few 1 mile dry runs at Chicago’s Ohio Street Beach in preparation… 59 mins, 68 mins, 54 mins.
Mentally, it’s good to know that I can cover the distance. Next, is doing it within the cut off times.
For cutoffs in swimming, I always think in relation to the 70 min half Ironman cutoff and 140 min full Ironman cutoff.
The Olympic distance I did was completed in about 43 minutes. Sh*t! I covered JUST shy of a mile in the water in under 45 minutes! WOOP WOOP!
That was just 2 weeks before my 1/2 ironman distance at Racine… So, all I had to do was a little over two tenths of a mile more… Piece of cake!
It wasn’t really a piece of cake but I did get it done! It took me about 54 minutes to complete that swim!!! The hardest parts?? Just two things…
It was point to point… So, seeing that line of buoys line the shore was a little intimidating. We had to walk pretty much the whole distance from transition to the start line.
It felt like forever… I started getting bored and tired and just wanted it to be over.
I got it done though!!! And, once I hit dry land, I can survive the rest (knock on wood!).
So, another mental boost… I just gotta swim double in about 2 months (now exactly 4 weeks away) from then.
Then, we get to last weekend where I was out with CES for a training weekend in Mad Town. It started on Saturday morning with a swim in Lake Monona (race site).
It was really early (by my standards) and at 6:15 I already saw several people swimming about in the lake. WHOA! COOL!
I get there… I start getting into my full wetsuit… Folks coming out say to me, “you’re going to regret that. It’s hot!”
I tell them, “I’ll suffer through with it because I’d otherwise just drown. Amd, in my head I was thinking I’d be just fine!
We started with a little clinic where we had to tread water while listening to the coach… Umm… KEN DOESN’T TREAD H2O!!!
Well, Ken had to keep calm and make it seem like he could. And, he did for about 10-15 minutes. Go Ken!
Ok, time to swim… We were going to do 45 minutes.
HOLY HECK THAT SWIM SUCKED!!!!! I was hotter than the cake that I was craving in the oven at the local bakery!!! I could not believe how HOT that water was! And, my wetsuit just made it worse!
When I checked the water temp, it said 85 degrees! Whoa! Now, I know why 83(?) is the cutoff for wetsuits for safety reasons!
83, degree water temperature plus body temperature plus insulation properties of a wetsuit just equaled disaster!
Needless to say, I didn’t get very far… I only got from the jetski ramp (race start line) to the end of the terrace parking entrance and back while most everyone else was way off in the distance.
How did I survive?
Well, I tried not to panic too much. And, I went to my back a few times to just relax, float and breathe. Oh, and I kept sighting for the most direct route back to the boat ramp so i could get out as soon as possible!
When I got out, I was relieved. But, I was also really worn out from that short little swim because of the heat. Even when I was just out of my wetsuit and only in my jammers after drying myself off, I started to sweat like crazy!!!! I was POOPED!!!
That hot swim haunted me mentally during my first of two loops on the bike course.
Some of the many thoughts:
What if the race isn’t wetsuit legal? What if it doesn’t cool off? If it’s hot but wetsuit legal, will I go for it? Or, will I just spectate? How the heck am I going to do this without a wetsuit? Swim buoy to buoy and hang out to take breaks? I wasn’t able to complete the prescribed swim by my coach because it was so damn hot- am I in trouble?
Fast forward to today…
During the week, I found the USGS site that reports water temperature. And, the charts, showed the downward tend of the temperature. In fact, the temperature read just 72 degrees yesterday!
So, I was put at ease. I went to the pool (in lieu of choppy, gas filled, stinky Ohio Street Beach) to swim my 2 miles for the day. And, I did it in about 1:50.
Here, I admit that I use a pull buoy without gripping it hard just so I can get a little help with the buoyancy. Don’t worry, I’m still kicking from the hips and have the chafing from the pull buoy to prove it!
So, that’s a huge accomplishment for the day. And, next week I get to cover a full 2.4 miles in Lake Monona as part of a race. Just don’t get bored, right?!?
When did I ever think I would be BORED while swimming?!? I NEVER thought I was ever be in this place now! Just a tiny bit over a year ago I signed up for Wisconsin without knowing how to swim. Now, I’m getting bored?!?
I’m ever so thankful to those that have gotten me this far today! My coaches that continue to teach me, my friends, my co-workers and my ever so awesome partner, Anthony!
I’ve become a ball of emotions in the past couple weeks because of all the rigors of training, the mental battles from missing workouts, and just every day life. Apparently, this is not uncommon as I near the peak of Ironman training.
Since I became active in 2007, I have continued to prove to myself that I’ve got more in me to give physically and mentally. The road isn’t always paved like fresh blacktop, but the feeling of accomplishment, especially as i reflect back on the past 11 months of training, is huge!
I always thought Ironman athletes were crazy! Well, I’m going to soon become one of those crazy ones!