Time: 01:12:21 3862.4299 meters 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 23/74
Suit: Zoot Fuzion with Quintana Roo Speed Sleeves
Course: Semi-Rectangular, one loop
Start type: Deep Water
Water temp: 63F / 17C Comments:
So we were herded to the docks to hop in, and at about 6:45AM I ditched my socks on my feet and hopped on into the water. I easily swam out to the start line and positioned myself about 3/4 of the way over from the wall side and about 3-4 rows back. I floated, treaded some water, soaked it in, cheered off the pro’s, and hooped and hollered when Mike Riley was getting everyone motivated and then the National Anthem was played, and as I looked at that flag, and as Mike Riley mentioned doing it honor of those who serve our country I thought of my Soldiers, my friends, and I actually got a little choked up here. Ahh, can't cry now!! Thankfully, no crying, and the next thing I know there goes the gun and we're off!! It was meelee for the first 200-300m but not as bad as I thought it would be as far as crazy contact. I mean, it was there, but not insane, and then I was swimming normal. Sure, some folks got to close and hit my legs one too many times, but I'm not a docile person, and I wasn't going to play in this water, I was going to swim and no one was going to stop me. I got it if you hit my legs once or twice, but keep doing it and I'm going to react. So, I made it through fine. I did have a hard time seeing the buoys so I just kept swimming what I thought was a straight line towards the far bridge. I think I went fairly straight as I actually ended up inside the buoy line because it went with the curve of the lake. I just stayed right inside that buoy line, and was feeling awesome. I couldn't believe how good I felt. I kept thinking "strong, smooth, quick, and long, strong, smooth, quick, and long" exactly like the imagery script I had put together with Dan at the Army Center for Enhanced Performance. I also told myself, just like I did in the script (it was put to music, sound effects, and walked through the whole IM day), that I had blinders on, that I wasn't going to pay attention to the rest of the swimmers and swim my swim. I caught a few feet and just kept swimming, kept focused on good strokes, and finally good sighting, and of course when I got to the turn around it was all crazy crowded, but this was fun. WOW, I was doing an Ironman swim, I was now HALFWAY DONE with my Ironman swim and I was feeling SUPER! Seriously, at this point, usually much before, the thoughts of "am I done yet, am I done yet" are going through my mind, but this time I'm actually having a blast!! I love the people everywhere, I loved seeing the people on the bridges as we swam over the first time, it was just awesome!! I also had moments of thinking "swim like Blythe, swim like Liz" (they are fish!). So, now I was swimming back and feeling great, stayed right on the buoy line, no problems!! Then...there is always a then in each discipline during an IM, right, then my right calf cramps up right as I get to the first bridge on the way back. Seriously? Ugh...this is not good, usually such things last and bug me the whole day, but I'm going to be an Ironman, so I stop kicking with that leg and simply kick with the left leg, and pull. At the same time I'm praying, "Dear God, please work out the cramp, please work out the cramp." Sure enough, by the time I got under the second bridge it wasn't hurting any more and I just kept swimming, made the turn towards shore and I am THRILLED! I am about done with the Ironman swim and now I will get to bike!! I make it to the ladders, and I go for the far left one as it was free, I swim to the orange stripe and the awesome volunteer helps me out! That's it, I finished the swim! My BEST case guess scenario was a 1:10, my most likely scenario was a 1:15-1:20. When I looked at my watch and saw 1:12 I was SUPER HAPPY!! I never actually have fun in the swim, but this swim was a blast—couldn’t have picked a better day to have a great swim!
What would you do differently?:
More open water swimming in my wetsuit. I know this is the discipline where I need to get better, and it's going to require someone looking at my stroke and helping me get better, but to sustain this pace for the entire IM swim and feel SUPER SUPER at the end (usually I feel a little winded) makes me happy. Do I want to improve here in the future, yes. Do I need to swim more, yes. But as far as this day, and this race, there is nothing I'd do differently. I wore my sleeveless wetsuit as the long sleeve one I had is too hard on my shoulders. In anticipation of the cold, I had bought the Quintanna Roo Speed Sleeves—basically long wetsuit sleeves, but they don’t impede my range of motion in my shoulders…SUPER investment.