One of the things oppressively hanging over my head these days is the thought of that Half Ironman swim I have coming up in seven weeks. That scares me! Eeek, 51 days from today I'm scheduled to swim ONE-POINT-TWO FRIGGIN' MILES! I'm nervous about swimming in open water, I'm nervous about swimming in the brackish Choptank River water, I'm nervous about swimming in black water, I'm nervous about the effects of wayward elbows and feet of fellow swimmers, but most of all - because of my slowness at swimming - I'm nervous about that cutoff. The race site says: "All triathletes must be capable of swimming at a 50 min/mile pace" - uh, yeah, I can swim that pace for a pool length or two. "Swim cut-off is at 1hr/10min. and will be enforced". Uh oh. I'm in trouble. Big trouble.
So today I set out to test myself. 40 lengths of the pool was the goal - let's just see how long it takes. Back and forth, back and forth I went. 3 or 4 laps in breaststroke, just for variety, but mostly freestyle. I did a few lengths bilateral breathing every 3rd stroke; a few lengths breathing every 6th stroke, stopped a couple of times to cough; but mostly tried to maintain my regular freestyle breathing on my right side every 4th stroke. Nothing fancy, just back and forth, back and forth. The water aerobics got underway and I watched their legs underwater, hopping around, for a little entertainment.
Finally I got there - the lap counter on my watch read 40, and the time said 1:08:35. YAY! I CAN DO IT!! Especially with a little help from an outgoing tide (hopefully) and a wetsuit!
But then after I got out of the pool I realized my old lap-counting disorder was cropping up again. Looking at the splits from the comfort of the hot tub, two laps were short, and I realized that I must have hit the watch an extra time at the wrong end of the pool. Damn, I really only swam 39 laps. *sigh* I halfway considered getting back in the pool for one more lap, and then decided that was way too anal.
But when I got home and checked the distances and converted it into yards and miles - YAY! 1950 meters is exactly 1.21 miles! I DID IT UNDER 1:10!!! I CAN MAKE THAT CUTOFF!