Friday, April 22, 2005

That scary half Ironman swim

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!


Wil said...

You got it! If you think you can, you can! And don't forget that a wetsuit will shave MAJOR time off of a lake swim.

Alicia said...

I'm just now stumbling across all these great triathlon blogs. I'm learning a lot of stuff from you guys.

That's great that you'll make your swim time! Swimming is my strong point and I'm still nervous about the open water and all the extra bodies! And see? I had no idea a wet suit would shave time off. I thought it would slow you down with weight. Huh!

soccerdad said...

you'll definitely make that cutoff. or race day, you will be faster because of the wetsuit (this does make a big difference), excitement, adrenaline, and because you'll be swimming with others. i was deathly scared of the imfl swim, and it turned out to be a totally enjoyable experience.

Flatman said...

What do you mean make the cutoff? I thought you were going to win your AG!!! What's with all these limitations you are putting on yourself. From your post above, JUST TELL YOURSELF YOU WILL DO IT!!!!!

LouBob said...

You think you can? You can! You can! You KNOW you can! You go girl!

nancytoby said...

Thanks guys! Heh, I should have qualified my "I can" statements a little, I see - I can talk myself into training, and I can talk myself into pushing myself to my limit - but I can't always talk myself into actually being faster! But if I talk myself into doing the training, I *WILL* be faster, some day!

Comm's said...

Your wearing cut-off's for the swim portion? Wha..oh cut off time, got ya.

Scares the begesesus outta me. Never swam that far in my life. Not even close. So see you are in better shape than me. You.Are.In.Better.Shape.Than.Me.

Doesn't that just motivate the heck outta you?