August 11, 2012

Near Swim Fail

Seems like every time I actually try to go to the pool, which isn't very often, something gets in the way and I end up not swimming. Usually it's just my laziness, but today I had hurdle after hurdle thrown my way, almost forcing me to bag yet another swim. I wouldn't particularly care, but next Sunday I'm doing the swim and run on a relay team for Ironman Steelhead 70.3 and I've only been to the pool about six times this year.

First challenge: I waited forever for a train that never came. After sweating half my body weight on the subway platform I gave up and left. The long wait meant I'd never make it to the pool in time to swim before the noodle lady class at 12:45. So I went home to relax in the air conditioning and snack on salami and cheddar. Perfect swim fuel, right?

Second challenge: I worried if I waited I'd lose the desire so I walked to the local Y and used a guest pass I'd horded from my former membership. While getting ready in the locker room, a little girl saw I was in my swimsuit and informed me the pool was closed. Apparently there was a strong gas smell on the pool deck so they evacuated. Lovely. I remembered exactly why I cancelled that membership and went back to Equinox.

Third challenge: The noodle lady class was in full swing, but I was already a mile from home and if I went back, the mission would be over. So I hopped on the train and headed uptown to a different pool and got myself into the water before I could drum up another excuse.

Given the last time I swam was on Cape Cod over the July 4th holiday, I felt pretty good and for once, wasn't bored. Since the Steelhead swim is 1.2 miles, I figured I'd just start with that distance. No point in building up since it's in seven days. I kept it simple and did 500x4 with a very short rest in between. I had burning arms at first and sloppy form at the end, but otherwise it was actually a little faster than my swimming was two months ago.

My swimming will always be mediocre, so it almost doesn't matter if I train or not. Since I don't have to get out of the water and bike 56 miles it won't matter if I'm beat up after the swim. I'll have three hours to rest and refuel for the run while my relay partner bikes. Best of all my parents will be there since Steelhead is near the town I grew up in. Can't beat that.


  1. Good luck at's on my list of possibles for next year but I'm not sure how I feel about a Half Iron my first season of tri. I think I may stick to Olympic & Sprint. I'm fairly confident on the bike & run, but it's the swim that has me nervous. I'm more concerned with saving energy & getting through it. I'm in the middle of trying to find an indoor pool to get in the water over the winter once my marathon is over.

  2. very impressed that you made that swim happen! i would have given up after the first challenge : / good luck at Steelhead!



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