So what did we do?
We saw a gorge
We shot some guns
|My biggest brother. He got 8/10 targets|
Did some training swims with some blogging buddies
Ran into some more blogging buddies on the street
We went on a train
I hung out some more KICKASS bloggers at the welcome dinner
We drove up Whiteface
|That is Lake Placid|
And we celebrated my mom's birthday.
|Happy Birthday Mom!|
THEN I went for a quick walk, chatted with my coach, and THEN it hit me finally.
I was about to do an Ironman!
Because I rented a house on Mirror Lake Drive at the run turnaround, it was an easy walk past the special needs drop off on my way to the Oval for transition. I saw Emily @ Sweat Once A Day on the way. Body marking was quick. I got all of my food into the transition bags and liquids onto the bike. I could tell I could immediately go into panic mode at any moment for any reason, but I knew what I was doing and just stayed calm. I had plenty of time to get into the water!
On the beach, DROG happened to walk right past me, so it was cool to calm the nerves with someone I knew. The water was warm due to the heatwave that enveloped the entire east coast. So warm in fact that if you wanted a Kona slot or AG award, wetsuits were illegal! This was the first time in Placid's history that it was a wetsuit optional swim.
|Thats my backside. Perfect 10, right? hahahahahahaha!|
I wore the wetsuit. Yeah, it was a bit warm, but I trained for this race wearing a wetsuit and I knew this race would always involve a wetsuit.
So! I lined up far to the right and about 7-10 rows back. It was a good place to start. Maybe it was a tad too far to the right, but the contact for the most of the swim was nothing too too bad. If I even attempted to get near the buoy line, I could see the carnage, so I stayed just to the right of them all.
Funny note, the water temp was kinda nice behind the start line. As soon as you pass the start line, the water temp jumped about 10 degrees! Wanna know why? Well, I am not gonna tell. I think you can figure that part out ;)
Coming out of the first loop, I saw my family, actually stopped and treaded water and waved to them all. They saw me too! It wasn't hard to see them. My family rocks! They made the most AWESOME T-shirts!!! Check these out!
|Front & Back|
Getting out of the water for loop #2 I was slow. I was hot. The water temp + wetsuit was starting to take a toll. I think it was doing that on everyone. So I trudged on.
Then I got a side stitch. Son of A!!!!! It freaking hurt but I just swam through it. Boy that hurt.....
Near the end of the out on loop #2, I got onto the buoy line! It was great. I really calmed down and had a smooth stroke for the first time all swim. It also took my mind off of that side stitch. After rounding the turn for the final leg home, I figured I would just stay on it. WRONG. People who just slap the water were all around me suddenly, so I drifted back right.
As we all came to the finish of the swim, naturally all of the swim lines started to condense. Out of the entire 2.4 miles, the MOST amount of contact I had was in this last 200 meters. Its like everyone started sprinting and panicking and kicking HARD all at once! I was like, "You have 10+ more hours out there!" So I tried to get to the right, but I couldn't. I was locked into this sea of crazy people and got nailed in the chin twice in the last 2 minutes of the swim. WTF?!?!
It wasn't anything I anticipated, but I survived and you know what? That was physically the EASIEST 2.4 mile swim! I was mentally and physically prepared for that swim more than I ever thought I was.
What I did right for this swim:
Every Friday was a 4000 yard swim. They sucked, mentally more than physically. Ok, physically they sucked too, but knowing that you can swim 4000 yards (not straight!) was a huge mental boost. Actually, starting off the swim with a 2000 yard straight warmup, building to race pace (which isn't fast!) really helped by knocking off 50% of the swim. Then spending the last 2000 yards doing intervals and descending/ascending sets really puts the hurt on, but man do those sets really put money in the bank!
What I should have done better for this swim:
More intervals, but at higher intensity. I won't lie, I had more swimming speed in January and February, then in April. From there, I went flat and actually lost speed. However! My endurance continued to creep up, but I never regained that "sharpness" that I had last winter, and in April. I honestly think I should have taken swimming rest weeks.
In January, my 100 times were getting down to 1:25/100 without even blinking. Heck, I went 14:47 for a 1000 yard TT. Now? Hitting 1:30/100 on an all out 100 is a dream come true! Just don't freak out if some of your speed gets sacrificied for endurance. Also, the accumulated fatigue from the massive volumes of biking and running sap your mojo in the pool as well.
What got it done:
I aimed for a 1:10 swim split, and I got that 1:10 swim split. My training got me there and I was happy with that time! For reference, I swam on average about 30,000 yards/month. A 1:10 isn't a blazing fast swim, and I am not a natural born swimmer, but this kind of volume got me there. In my case, my swim was 1/12th of my day! Was my swim training 1/12th of my overall training? No, but you have to remember that coming out of the swim fresh, which is what I did, only helps on the bike and later on in the run because you haven't blown it all in the first hour of the race.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for T1 and the bike!