Pre race: I would certainly say I was exhausted pre race! I didnt have a great taper. Everyone kept saying i would feel like a million bucks, but i didnt. I felt cranky and tired and struggled to get to the pool to swim a 2500 M set. Since i swim LCM in the summer i wanted to suddenly trade that in for a short pool. And a warm pool! We lost summer pretty quick the first week of september. The one good thing about taper was the US OPEN tennis. I had dreams of being done with my IM and sitting in the stands ( not walking, of course, having someone carry me) watching tennis. I had a little VMO flare up. My medial quad decided that the short and fast efforts were really not appropriate after doing 100+ rides on hilly courses, this flat and fast stuff was just not right. So that put a bit of a red flag up till it calmed down. I have had that before so i knew that a few days of no riding and the right treatment would be fine. None the less it made for some anxiety. People told me that if i didnt have some " pseudo " injury in taper i wasnt normal:) so true.
We drove to Madison friday AM, stood in a way too long line to register ( over 90 minutes) and then by the time i got to the hotel friday night i could barely move i was so tired. IT was raining at flushing meadow so my plans for a tv night were dashed. So we hit State Street for some Pizza and hung out watching one of my faves, with Sandra Bullock...the Proposal. Sleep was not good that night, i had the pre race " lets go thru the entire race plan in my head..." going and the replay button just kept going and going.
I had so much anxiety about the swim i knew i just had to get in that water and swim, no matter where i started i was going to get some beatings. So finally saturday night i sorta slept, at least i wasnt playing the race in my head:)
So race morning came and i was ready! I did all the stuff i need to do, and I was so lucky to meet Michelle ( Rural Girl, no rolldown girl)and hang out pre race. We had met up to swim saturday and then we had bumped into each other race morning. It was meant to be. It was her 6th? IM?I think. so she talked me thru alot and helped me time my dressing, and all that. I just followed her around like a new kid at school.
As it got closer to the race we walked down to the lake and saw Jenny and Jerome. That was a nice break and a nice way to start my first IM. Then we went to the lake and procrastinated till it looked like the inevitable was about to happen. I had to get in and find a spot.
I decided to start a bit Right, and in the front. I mean it. FRONT. As the people got in the water it was amazing to me, i didnt want to look back, but the space was getting very tight. More and more men, many many green caps, and so few pink caps. I wanted the women to come around me and unite! I asked a woman next to me her expected time and said "If you are going under 60, get ahead of me."
She said " no i think 1:15." I was thinking...??? why are you in the front row?
Suddenly after some dude was groping me, the cannon fired and we were off. It was just as i expected.
I cant explain it, but there was nowhere to go, I had been in the front or close to it about 2 min before the cannon and now i was suddenly in a sea of green caps. How did i get back so far? Even if i had wanted to hammer there was no hammering to be done, it was suddenly a total doggy paddle, breathe and try not to panic race. I got into "Just get thru this" mode. If i was able to put my head down for 1-2 strokes i could breathe but after what felt like 15 minutes of head out doggy paddle i was drinking water and just trying to not get kicked. Suddenly some open water appeared and i would go there. Then it would get congested with green caps.AGAIN. The first turn buoy was madness. I didnt go Vertical but i did take a few head pounds from a big green capped arm till i seriously yelled at the top of my lungs " DUDE, STOP, YOU ARE HURTING ME." it stopped:)
I know nobody means to hurt anyone, and other than that one outburst i really tried my hardest to know that the swim was like this for everyone. Its not a personal assault against me. As we turned to come back the other side i had some water, and I had gotten inside the buoys, this was awesome. I still had some navigation but overall i was swimming:) When i was nearing the end of the 1st lap i heard the flyover for 9/11. I was amazed that it was 7:30 am, so my time was not that bad. I had given up hope that i would go under 1:10. But i guess taking a beating meant i was also getting a draft.
I rounded the turn buoy for the 2nd lap and actually felt hot. I was comfortable and really swimming in my zone. I dont know what my split was and it doesnt matter, i found feet that seemed to be going straight and then they would stall and i would motor on. I was able to do some pick ups to get thru tight spaces of green caps, and was able to get on some good feet ( with neoprene booties, really? it was hot in there!) for most of the back side of the last lap. Coming into the final turn i was so happy. I had survived.
I hadnt intended to look at the clock, but it is RIGHT there so when i saw 1:06:xx I was so happy!
I got stripped then did the calf workout up the helix to T1.
Lots of great pictures from Terry Lee and Yndecam, here is one i found which cracks me up. At least i look like i am doing a crunch:)
T1 was uneventful....got dresssed, out the door, and to my bike. It's a LONG transition, so lotsa running in barefeet. But i was off on the bike and down the helix and started my ride knowing i had done a great swim.