Thursday, August 25, 2011

Number 658

Number 658 – that’s my IMWI number. It’s starting to get real and so I am starting to get real nervous. The other day I was watching the 2009 athlete video and when I saw the swim it made my stomach hurt. The bike ride down the parking ramp spiral didn’t calm my nerves much either. So many things to stress about!!

 I know I am more prepared than I was for IMCDA but I am still worried about all those cutoffs. Great Floridian had a very nice calm and less crowded swim and very generous cutoffs. This will be me and 2500 of my closest pals fighting it out in the water with an “in water” start! I wish I knew that before signing up. At CDA I waited on the beach until the crowd started the swim and felt pretty free and clear. If it wasn’t for the waves I would have been just fine. This time I have to position myself as far as possible from the crowd so I won’t get slammed when everyone leans over to start kicking and stroking and get caught up in the washing machine. Ugh! My stomach is hurting again just thinking about it. 

I always panic a little bit at the start of any swim but so far I have successfully been able to talk myself off the ledge and get back to swimming. This race will have the extra pressure of being the area where I failed before so I know I will be extra nervous. I am just hoping for relatively calm water and being able to stay away from the pack. As John always teases – “hope is not a plan”. I don’t know how I can train any better for waves than just trying to get stronger.
The big push for training finished the weekend before last with our crazy century in the Gaps. I am pleased to say I finished all 101 miles with around 8000 ft of climbing. Wolfpen is no joke!! The first loop went well and I felt really good but the second lap started to really wear on me, especially with the increasing temperatures. The nasty little climbs became even worse and I about lost it twice. My speed started dropping dramatically as my energy waned. I didn’t think I was going to make the Wolfpen climb again but after cooling off and re-fueling at the little store right before I was willing to give it a shot. Leslie and I kept each other company with our chatting and bitching all the way up and we did it!! We really didn’t think we were going to do it at the store but the Bad Ass Bitches got it done! We texted the boys not to come get us and we would meet them at the car (this was the backup plan if we didn’t make it up). We started down the backside of Wolfpen and then the rain started. It drizzled and then poured and then stung! We only had a few miles left but the rain made us ride faster and when we were half a mile from the car the sun was shining. The boys were clueless until they saw we looked like drowned rats. It was a great feeling to be done with that horrible ride and AI am no longer scared or intimidated by “the Gaps”. I just hope it will give me the strength to finish my 112 by 5:30 pm on 9/11/11.

Wolfpen, loop 1

Wolfpen x 2 - we made it!

With the century ride from hell behind us, John and I headed to Jamaica to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We spent 3.5 days at Sandals Whitehouse where we swam, rested and drank a lot! We got 2 almost 90 min ocean swims in before the drinking started, including some choppy water and wave training for me. The other vacationers must have thought I had lost my mind when the whitecaps started one afternoon and I headed out with my swim cap. Again, please no choppy water in Wisconsin!! I definitely felt stronger in the ocean currents than in the past but I can’t fight large waves for long and certainly not for 2.4 miles. Here is the beautiful water where we swam.

OK, so the trick now is not make myself and everyone else around me crazy for the next few weeks. Make sure my bike and gear are ready. Catch up on a few house chores and just rest, repair and relax. Yeah right!

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