The weekend started out good. I was hitting all my marks - spin class on Thur morning, stacked brick Thur night, 6 mile run Fri morning, 53 mile bike Sat morning and then the curse of the last Sunday in June struck.
Today was the Ridges Resort 5K swim that I have had as a goal for myself when I first heard about it in 2009. Last year I couldn't do it since it was the same day as my Ironman. So, this years event would be the one year anniversary of my Ironman DNF on the swim course. Not really a good omen in retrospect.
Coeur D'Alene didn't even cross my mind this morning. I just thought about getting through the swim as best I could. After looking at the course by boat Saturday evening I began to realize how out in the open we would be throughout this swim. I started to wonder if I should just wear my sleeveless wetsuit just to ease my mind and make me feel more confident. Everyone seemed to think I would be way too hot and would hate wearing it after a while. There were only 2 out of 100+ people wearing wetsuits this morning so I went without and began my swim.
I started off feeling a bit nervous since I did not get to warm up. I had to stop every couple of strokes and catch my breath so my heart would slow down and I could continue swimming. This went on for quite a while but finally I got into a rhythm. Around this same time George (another GFA tri person and exceptional swimmer) started to hang back and encourage some other swimmers. Our support kayak stayed with them and I continued to swim. All was going well until we turned into what they called the channel but was more like open lake to me. Lots of boats and ski jets zoomed around the periphery but the race crew kept them away from us for the most part. The only problem was that it created a little bit of chop out there and made the crossing harder than expected. Finally, I made it across to the first big buoy that looked like a giant candy corn. The entire time I could see one or two swimmers a ways ahead of me but there were no race boats anywhere in the vicinity. I continued swimming along but there was still a bit of chop so it was slow going. I started to hear some thunder and when I was close to a boat I asked if it really was thunder. They started pulling close and said yes it was thunder and there was some lightning. I asked if they were going to pull swimmers since the sky looked kind of black and that's when they threw my a life preserver and started putting down the swim ladder. I was felling pretty cold and there were no other swimmers in sight so I decided to get in the boat. My day was over.
It wasn't until the car ride home that I realized it was the same Sunday in 2010 I had my bad swim in CDA. Today was different in that I chose to stop but I did feel I was not given clear info on what was going on. They did not pull any swimmers and told our kayaker that it was up to the swimmers to continue. I never asked for them to come get me. Just asked if there was thunder and a storm coming. In fact, there was no lightning and the skies cleared up pretty quickly afterwards. In the end though, I am just mad at myself for giving up. I did get cold but I would have been fine had I kept going. I also should probably have just worn the damn wetsuit from the very beginning and then it wouldn't have been an issue. The cold became an excuse and there really was no reason for me to stop. I was tired but I could have swam more.
The next question is do I sign up for the Acworth 5K swim in July or just concentrate on my race distance and work on getting faster and stronger? It is a burr in my behind right now, which probably wont be fixed until I do this event again but doing the Acworth 5K would help ease the self loathing that comes with a DNF. It will take some extra juggling at work to make it happen but I will see if I can do it before I commit. I know I did more than the people who failed to show up today but that really doesn't make me feel any better right now.