Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ironman Canada Part 1

So I know that I have a pretty short attention span, and I assume other people might as I've decided to write about my Ironman in different parts, so you and I don't get bored with my experience...I mean it was a pretty long day, so it's good to break it into smaller parts.

Anyway, I woke up Sunday morning at 3:30am super excited. Not really because I had an Ironman to do, but because I got to drink coffee! On the advice of my coach Tony I had given up coffee and all other caffeine for two weeks, and it had been a hard two weeks. I didn't have headaches or anything, but I have such an emotional attachment to coffee that I would wake up every morning and the first thing I would think was: "I can't have coffee today." Then I would go to work, and I would think: "I can't have coffee today", then I would go home from work and think: "I can't have coffee tomorrow." But on Sunday I woke up and thought: "I CAN have coffee today!!!!!" And although I don't really know how much of a difference it made having caffeine on the course all day after not having had it for 2 weeks, it made a huge difference that morning and I was able to go three times before I even left the hotel room! Woo hoo!

So anyway, Jasmine and Dana and I got ready and then went to the hotel lobby and got on the bus down to the start. We were there early, and I guess we hung out, got our wetsuits on, and got ready for the swim. When it got closer to 7am I went down to the water and got in and swam around a little. Then I went to the left of the crowd of people forming in the water and started asking people how fast they thought they were going to swim the 2.4 miles. I wanted to be behind people who were going to go a little faster than me, so I wouldn't have to swim over anyone. I finally found a guy that said he would do it in 1 hour and 4 minutes, so I stood behind him (about 3 or 4 people back from the very front of the line). I had swam it in 1 hour and 8 minutes at Vineman, so I figured it would be good to be behind someone 4 minutes faster.

Then it was time to start the race. I don't really remember if there was a gun or not, but everyone started walking forward and swimming, so I did as well. I was surprised and pleased at my placement. I didn't necessarily feel a huge pull forward like I was told would happen, but it wasn't crazy. There were a lot of people I was swimming next to, but we were all quite civilized. I didn't get kicked at all, and when I could feel people touching my feet, I would stop kicking, so as not to hurt them. Quite a few times I was stuck right in between two swimmers and we were all going the same pace and were a little too close, so our arms would hit each other, but everyone was always trying to find a clear space, so we would eventually move away from each other. For a lot of the time I could see people all around me, but had my own little space to swim in. I guess I was lucky to start near the front because most of the people knew how to swim straight and weren't zig zagging in front of me.

All in all it was a pretty good swim, but I wasn't pushing myself as hard as at Vineman. There were A LOT more people in the water (3,200) than at Vineman, so even though it wasn't crazy, I was also never alone, so I pretty much stuck to my breathing every two strokes. I also wanted the swim to be over. It's funny because swimming is basically the only thing I am any good at, but I find it the least fun. I was thinking about why this is, and I think part of it has to do with the fact that you can't really interact with people while you are swimming, and you can't really look at the scenery. So I was pretty happy to get out of the water after 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 17 seconds. At this point I was in 798th place out of 3,240 athletes. Pretty good, huh? Well don't worry...that was all about to change...but that will be in the next part of this report. :)

1 comment:

  1. Yay I am so excited to read all about your race!! I am so proud of you Em!