I am certain this will be one of many, but I had a major freak out about Ironman cut off times this week. I don't know if it was because Wednesday marked 5 months until Ironman Coeur d'Alene, or if the reality of my slowness coupled with the calculations of the pace required to meet the IM cutoffs finally sunk in, but
I. Freaked. Out.
It seems like the timing was mutual for a friend of mine.
Ironically, the incident that sparked the furious calculations was my first victory in the pool at the dreaded swim masters. But before I tell you the victory, I want to get honest about swim masters.
I know I have told you that I am the slowest person at swim masters, but honestly everyone says shit like that about their weakest sport and then posts race times where they come in first in their age group. Well, I am so slow at masters I have my own lane. Thank God another guy showed up that sucks almost as much as me, so he is now in my lane.
Seriously, I get there late because of school and the rest of the swimmers reserve this lane for us. They will be circle swimming four in a lane and we have a double wide lane all to ourselves.
Better yet, the coach gives us a different workout than everyone else. Why? Because we can't hang.
Yep, I am "riding the short bus" of swim masters.
I honestly think the only reason he hasn't told me to go back to pre-masters is because:
1. He was my Team in Training coach, so he feels somewhat obligated to be nice to me.
2. He thinks I am funny.
3. He is, at base, a highly competitive person and I represent the ultimate coach challenge. If he can get ME through an Ironman swim, he will truly be the king of all coaches. An Iron Coach, if you will.
Anyway, back to the victory.
When I started swim masters 3 weeks ago coach had me do a 3 X 100 yd for time with the goal of getting the same time for each to get a baseline. My times were 2:15, 2:18, 2:11. On Tuesday I did a timed 100 yd. swim at the end of the workout, when I was tired, and instructed to go hard, but at a pace I could maintain for a long swim. I did what felt like the same intensity as 3 weeks before, but this time I did it in 2:00. Not a direct comparison, but it is the first positive thing that has happened in masters so I am clinging to it.
I keep having the recurring vision of emerging from the water, seeing the sad faces of my family and friends standing alone on the beach since all the other spectators have moved on to follow their racers on the bike, and a solemn IM volunteer comes over and takes the timing chip off my leg. My Ironman ending at 9:30 in the morning. I don't want to be done in time to have breakfast with my family.
This gets me to swim at masters. Every time I don't want to go (which is every time) I see this in my head and I put on my suit and hop in the "short lane" for another day of humiliation.
Let's say by some miracle I do finish the swim within the cut off the best I can hope for is a 2 hour to 2:15 swim, with a 10 minute transition I am looking at about 8 hours for 112 miles of Idaho hills.
I need to stop thinking about this.
4 hours ago