Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Ironman Lake Placid - The Swim
When I signed up for Ironman last year, I knew I needed someone by my side every step of the way. I needed someone who would put me on the line healthy and strong. I needed someone who would be my personal cheerleader, but also kick me in the ass when I needed it most. Someone who would save me from myself when I wanted to do more more MORE. I needed someone who would work with my crazy life schedule, and most importantly understand that I wasn't willing to be a crappy mom, just to satisfy the selfish desire of completing an Ironman.
I reached out to so many coaches, as the "fit" was so incredibly important to me. There are a lot of GREAT coaches out there, and I was fortunate enough to speak with many of them. When I found Katie, however, something just clicked (yes, fully aware I sound like I'm recapping a first date here...). I was able to check off of the boxes, and knew I could completely trust her. I tell everyone who asks that hiring a coach was the best thing I could have ever done for Ironman, and that is 100% the truth. I was fortunate enough to get a really great friend out of it too; a win/win!
All that said, Katie put me on that line happy, healthy, and prepared. It was that calmness and confidence that helped me to execute an amazing first Ironman.
I am going to skip over the days leading up to Placid, because I don't think anyone necessarily cares about what I ate, how terrified I was, and how intimidating being in a sea of 3000 ridiculously fit people can be.
I lined up a few steps in front of the 1:20 sign, and ran into Amanda in the corral. It was so nice to see a familiar face, and if I remember correctly we sang along loudly to "Call Me Maybe" while waiting for the cannon to sound. When it finally was time, this face came out. Holy shit.
I happily bounced into the water, but I immediately got tangled up in a mess of people. I tried to swim just off the line, and ended up swimming WAY too far out. Once I realized how far out I was, I would head back towards the line, get my butt kicked, move back out again, repeat. I know many people who have had calm peaceful Ironman swims at Placid, but that definitely wasn't me this year. I adore swimming, but I never felt like I could get in a good groove. I was either surging forward, pulling back, sitting up, or changing direction. I believe the fix to this is simply more open water experience, and overall, it was a good swim. I tried to smile as much as I could, reminding myself that I was swimming in my first Ironman!
I don't wear a watch when I swim, and therefore had no idea of my time. It wasn't until I was on my bike that I heard people had gotten pulled from the swim due to the lightening around Mirror Lake. I was fortunate enough to be able to complete the 2 loops, and for that, I am grateful.
I hopped out of the lake to downpours, hit up the wetsuit strippers, and made my way towards T1. I absolutely took my time, as it was slippery, and I wasn't willing to end my day due to a faceplant on the way to the changing tent.
Once there, I found an open seat, ate my snack, and let the volunteer do most of the work (minus the chamois cream... I spared her that responsibility). I took the extra minute to make sure I had everything I needed, and clack clack clacked my way out of the changing tent. I could hear the rain coming down, and truth be told, I was absolutely terrified....