Monday, November 5, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

The massiveness of an Ironman swim is impressive.  I remember last year watching as the canon went off, seeing the glass-like Gulf of Mexico turn into a washing machine of flailing arms and legs.

An Ironman Swim - Wisconsin 2008

Crikey.  Do you see that? 

Fast forward 365 days later where I stood now as the athlete, I was getting ready to kill this one last fear. All I had to do was get into the water and swim. The rest of the day would take care of itself.

We corralled ourselves after the pro start, and then awaited the canon boom.  Due to the current in the water, and the fact that I had no desire to be caught up in all of that flailing business, I seeded myself far to the right.

The Ironman Florida swim course is a 2-loop show-box that takes you out into the ocean, then directly into the sun, then back to shore where you get to walk along the beach for a bit and hop back in to do it all over again.

The canon goes off, and we slowly enter the water.  The waves were a little rougher than the day prior, but not nearly as bad as what we swam in on Wednesday.  I was ready.

I get in, hug Annelise no less than 5 times, then get ready to start swimming.  Once we crossed the break, I dove in and went to business.  The current pushed me over towards the buoys as I swam further out.  I swan in a straight line into the ocean, and magically hit the turn buoy right when I needed to.  I was far enough to the right when I started that I was pretty much alone the entire swim.

I kept swimming too far to the right of the finish line on the way back into shore due to the current, but all in all I nailed a 46 minute first lap which is right on par to what I expected based on the 5' waves, the current, and a 2-3 minute delay on my part after the canon went off.

Once cleared of lap 1, I walked along the beach, taking in fresh water to get the salt out of my mouth.  I took my time getting back into the water and then once it was time, dove back in.  I was fearless for teh first time in the water.  I felt happy and was just swimming along!  Lap 2 was just as uneventful as the first, and considering the beach walk time and current swimming, I managed a very similar pace the second time around.

After reaching the shore a 2nd time, I got out of the water, was stripped of my wetsuit by the peelers, and made sure to hang out in the fresh water shower for a bit before making my way to T1.

I made it.  I swam in the ocean for not 1.2 miles, but for 2.4 miles and did not even think about it.  I swear that I was smiling the entire way, which in hindsight explains how I managed to drink so much ocean during the swim ;-).   I not only beat down my last fear, but I finished right in my estimated time frame of 1:30-1:40.

Final swim time (including the delay at the start to let people go ahead of me and the walk on the beach to start lap 2):  1:36:04

I saw tons of Fraser people on my way up to the transition area, then after getting my Bike Gear Bag, I saw Mike!  I gave him a hug and kiss and made my way into the changing area.  I wiped off, pulled on my bike shorts, put on my race number belt, my shoes, my helmet, and made sure to get sprayed down with sun screen before making my way to my bike. 

They called my number and I was greeted with Lady, all ready and waiting for me.   I can hardly believe it.  I was already done with the swim and now off for a little 112 mile bike ride.

*beep beep* went the mat as I crossed it and got on my bike.  I do not think that I could have had a larger smile on my face.   Time to sit back and enjoy the ride ahead of me!

T1 time (including walk to T1, shower, change, porta-potty break and getting to the mount line): 12:40

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