Lost at Sea
We make it to Madison after the drive from hell (Coach is now Tier Y), where it is gray and gloomy with impending thunderstorms. I decide that I will get a swim in on the course. We pull up and as we are walking to the entrance I notice that the lake is WHITECAPPING! It’s a lake in the middle of Wisconsin…not the friggin ocean! I am thinking first don’t panic and second this is not a good idea! No lifeguards and lots of dark water. Coach obviously decided that I was worth more to her dead than alive. She insisted I suit up and get out there.
I decide to give it a try knowing I can always stop, turn around and come back. Before stepping in the water, I decided to have the wetsuit people check my fit. I am so glad I did because he showed me some adjustments in fit to make and how to make sure I am maximizing its material. After a few pictures, I jump into the water…okay that is a lie. I actually tripped into the water and twinged my knee. I can train my ass off but I never will qualify as graceful.
How to sum up the swim? OH MY GOD! I faced whitecaps swimming into the waves, swallowing the god awful water and developing motion sickness. Plus I was driven off course by the wind and waves. I zig, I zagged and I thought I would never get to the last buoy. Coach thinks I swam two miles from one buoy to the next when I account for my misdirection. The course is shaped in a rectangle. The first long length of the rectangle took me over 30 minutes. Hardly anyone was out there and I started to think there was no way I could do two laps of this in the race. Th e good news; my wetsuit is a buoyancy device and I knew to drown I would have to work damn hard. The whole thing took so long I am embarrassed to even admit the time. It was at least 10 minutes slower than my last half ironman loop!
I got out of the water relieved, discouraged and ready to slap anyone who asked how was my swim. Did I mention the nude guy next to us…Coach’s head blew off in embarrassment. As we walked away Coach said she needed to tell me something away from the small crowd. It turns out that it was so rough that many people did not even get in the water. Some got in and bobbed around and got out. I now feel slightly better. According to experienced athletes, this was very unusual and the result of a impending storm. Whew.
I am registered, tagged and released to do no harm. Will jump in water again tomorrow but a much shorter swim. Pity.