Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ironman Florida Part 1- the swim

ok you guys, i almost had to cancel my twitter, facebook, blog and cellphone accounts because of all the uproar and harassment over not putting up a race report yet. i kid, i kid! but almost!

i have gone back and forth with how to structure this RR and i think by splitting it up into swim/bike/run, it will be easier to blog about from a time management standpoint (both my thumbs pointing back at me) and also just based on my own experience when reading race reports, i actually prefer shorter pieces due to my poor attention span. the coolest part of all is, tomorrow will be the bike portion and then on Saturday, i will post the run portion of the race. that means,  i will have blogged 5 days in a row! i don't think that has EVER happened.

i will be honest, i lost a little sleep thinking about this swim. not about my abilities to do it, but what it was going to be like to (a) swimming with almost 3000 other crazy animals athletes, (b) the wind had been acting up since we rolled into town so i was concerned how that would affect the current and last but not least, (c) the pink meanies!!

prior to the start of the swim that morning, i got some sage advise from Chloe and Heidi about how and where i should position myself. they said exactly what i didn't want to hear ...get up in the front, just go and let the crowd pull you. i said to myself, "self, those chics killed the swim last year, they must know what they speak of so you should listen to them and just do it." as i did my death march towards the shore with the J-man and Sherpa Angie next to me, i  felt all the nerves just go away. i told myself as i always do before any open water swim, to swim as if i were in the pool. nice and calm, relaxed, not panicky, breathing smooth, and kicking easy. before i knew it the pro's went off and then 10 minutes later, the cannon went off for us and just like that, i was in the water in no time and swimming as if it were a day at the pool. i didn't even pay attention much to the amount of people around me, i just tried to stay within myself, holding my pace and just working thru/around the slower swimmers whenever that happened. i think that i imagined the swim to be something far crazier and chaotic, and from shore, it probably looks like chaos but it really isn't as bad as it looks. the current was pushing us to the inside of the buoys as we headed out and then to the outside as we headed back to shore. my sighting was spot on, no issues there and i felt like for the most part, i was holding a pretty good line, not all zig zag. even though i have less than 2 years of swimming under my belt, i can hold a straight line in an OWS.

round one of the swim was pretty uneventful. i exited the water at 37 minutes, grabbed some water, because my mouth was tasting soooo salty and dry, and then ran back for round 2 of the swim. this time, not as many people to pull me along as the first time, which was not a bad thing as i found myself with a little more personal space to swim in. i forgot to mention how absolutely beautiful and crystal clear the water was. so much so, that on the 2nd loop, i started to see things, really funky pink, glow in the dark things under me and then i remembered the race director mentioning, at the athletes dinner on Thursday, something about a new species of jellyfish. oh yeah, and they said, if you get stung by one of these 50 pound beasts with 70 foot tentacles (not testicles, ok?), don't panic, just relax, keep swimming and when you are done, see a medic. great! just what i needed to hear.

say hello to the pink meanie jellyfish! i bet even the bad ass honey badger wouldn't mess with this thing.

anyway, i kept seeing these huge-O-rama jellyfish under me. my depth perception was not very good and i kept thinking as i was going thru the pull phase of my stroke, that i was going to get a handful of pink meanie nastiness. thank goodness, i was one of the lucky one's. some of the swimmers wearing sleeveless wetsuits were not so lucky. 

on this last, mostly uneventful lap, i did get a little irritated on the way back in as i got sandwiched between 2 Sir. Hump-a-lots ( thank you Matty O for burning that name into my head)! i had enough of that BS, so i kicked into turbo bitch mode and ripped right thru the middle of these fools and left them eating my foot bubbles. 

once i stepped onto shore, i was thrilled to see the time of 1:20:30. that is 10 minutes faster than my first 140.6 race, last October. maybe 10 minutes doesn't seem all that impressive but when you consider the swim last year was in a body of water with no waves or currents worth mentioning and only about 200 athletes at the most, i think i did pretty darn well. i think what also helped me improve my swim, was kicking the YMCA to the curb and signing up at LA Fitness. i had more opportunities to swim and my consistency was much better this year. i also have my homegirl, Summer to thank for keeping my butt in line when i began to slack with the swimming over the summer. she made me step up my game and i wasn't about to disappoint her. 

getting thru the wetsuit stripper was uneventful but kinda fun to have them yank it off you. i hauled booty to the T1 area (swim to bike transition bag area for those non-triathletes reading this), yelled out my number so they could find it faster and a wonderful volunteer handed me the wrong bag. the bag had been bedazzled and had a huge pink bow on it. i mean this bag was beautified beyond belief. i don't decorate my bags, folks. not my style. anyway, my bag was right there so no prob, grabbed it and ran into the changing room. the only part i didn't like about this long jaunt from the shore to the changing area was the asphalt was really bumpy and rough. mind you, my feet are like rawhide from walking barefoot all the time but i felt like i was walking on a cheese grater, ouchies! 

to be continued tomorrow ...much love and peace out!!


  1. My first lap I saw the normal jellies on the second one I saw the meanies. They were scary. Good swim! 10 minutes is huge.

  2. "say hello to the pink meanie jellyfish! i bet even the bad ass honey badger wouldn't mess with this thing." <==== Can. Not. Stop. Laughing!

    I don't think I could have handled the jelly fish. No thank you.

    Great job on the swim! 10 minutes is a huge improvement!

    Kind of weird how even with 3000 people, the swim isn't as chaotic as you would think.

    Looking forward to the bike! Now go get something to eat and drink ;)

    PS: And remove the word verification while you are at it ;) Or Jason might blow a gasket!

  3. I'd probably have a panic attack if I saw a pink jelly underneath me, even me who loves pink! Glad you went unscathed in the jelly department!! For some reason, I thought you did IMFL last year....but I guess you did a different full tri. Bad me. Nice job on the 10 min swim PR, that is fantastic!!!

  4. Sweet swimming lady! Love your attitude in the water. I heard there might have been sharks?? Did you see any? I think Denise said she did. Great post. Can't wait for tomorrow! Stay warm!

  5. Sweet swimming lady! Love your attitude in the water. I heard there might have been sharks?? Did you see any? I think Denise said she did. Great post. Can't wait for tomorrow! Stay warm!

  6. Enjoying reading this RR. Looking forward to the future installments. Ten min PR is fantastic!!

  7. You are bad ass! Jellyfish like that would give me the creeps. Great job on the swimming!

  8. Way an amazing swim in 1:20! That's awesome! Those pink meanies looked nasty! I'm really glad you didn't get stung. Way to stay calm out there. You rock, and I can't wait to read the rest of the race!

  9. wonderful swim recap! Congrats on a nailing this...can't wait for the bike!!

  10. ok, that sucker looks TERRIFYING!!! crikey.

  11. Part II. Part II. Part II.......just kidding as this has satisfied me this morning.

    I thought the pink meanies you referenced at the beginning were the other women in pink swim caps and not jellyfish.

    I just about cried from laughing at imagining the Bad Ass honey badger and one of those things going at it.

    And yes, swim THRU those slower swimmers as you point out. I'm not trying to be a d*ck here but you got goals and being nice and swimming around them is not going to help you go Sub-11 next year and EARN a trip to KONA!

    OK, Part II.....Part II.

    Much Love and Peace Out

  12. LOL I thought the pink meanies were the other ladies too! Jelyyfish - UGH - A new argument for full sleeves over sleeveless.

    Good thought on the swim position. You have a better chance to draft and you might not have to fight through slower swimmers as much.

  13. Those pink guys scare me! Glad you didn't get attacked by one because I probably would not have gone in to rescue you ;)

    Props on the improvement on your swim time!!! That's HUGE!

    My favorite part of this post was the foot bubbles. Lol! Good stuff!

  14. I agree with you on the mass start. While it CAN be a crazy mosh pit of a mess at times, most often it's not as bad as it looks. Way to keep calm and get off to a great start!

    And 1:20?! That's awesome! Good thing you didn't haul one of those jellies in with you. I think that would have had me swimming a bit faster for sure.


    Dang girl, didn't realize TEN minutes?!?!?!? BOOYAH!!!

    Wondered what everyone did about drinking all that salt water because I know I was not thirsty for a good 45 minutes after our swim haha.

    Sir Humps A Lot... GRRRRRRRR, why do they always have to put horny guys in the water with us when we swim? I mean honestly now... start them in a separate wave already, PLEASE! I am happy to say, I have never humped anyone in the water... while swimming. Not sure what drives people to do this, maybe they are bored?

    PS, love the playlist today. Totally energy songs!

  16. THOSE PINK MEANIES LOOK SCARY! I think I am a now permanent IMFL cheerer now. ha ha

    Amazing swim. Nice positioning on the swim...I need to get braver I think!! 10 minutes!!

    Part 2 please!!

  17. Gah, giant jellyfish during an IM swim are NOT OK!! I'm glad you made it through unscathed and with a sweet 10 minute PR!! Congrats :)

  18. Wow that jelly fish looks like it could be very painful!

    Great swim, I've never done an ocean swim, (oh wait I did one when I was 11 in Colombia) just don't remember what it was like. I'm sure it's harder due to salty water and currents, waves etc.

    Good job!

  19. I didn't see the pink meanies either, thank goodness. I was sleeveless and didn't get stung Thank SBJ. I did see a stingray and some regular size pink jellies, but they were so far down I wasn't that worried about most of them.

    10 minutes is HUGE! That's a great swim time. Well done!

  20. finally got to read this! hot damn! you did so great on this swim lady. and i've seen you swim that straight line like nobody's business. so glad you didn't touch any of those testicles. i mean tentacles. having done olys in both lakes and oceans - i'll take a lake swim any day of the week. so congrats on swimming in the ocean with all those cootie bungalows. lol!


    I would advise against you canceling your networking accounts. I have a feeling you would have a mob outside your house protesting your absence!

    Pink Meanie Jellyfish be damned… I have a gun I can swim with. What now Jellyfish! Do they have suits that cover the face hands and feet… in case I need a backup plan?

    Look at that swim time. 10 minutes faster and you were fighting a current with all those people WHAT! That is Awesome! Seriously Bad ASS! Disappoint me are you kidding – COULD NOT HAPPEN, end of story!

    A Bedazzled T1 bag lol that cracks me up!


    Jason - Get mad about this word verification!

  22. good post and great swim!! looking forward to the rest... (i'm glad we skipped the race meeting - had no idea about the pink meanies...)