Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ironman Swim

What is the Ironman swim like? It's chaos and crazy and in a weird way beautiful. On top of the water there is nothing but arms and legs and colored swim caps and white water. Below beautiful fish and turtles and the occasional scuba diver flashing a picture. Oh to be able to swim down with the fish where there is ROOM to move!

Kona pier in background. Whitewater = swimmers.


I try to remind myself in Ironman swim starts that nobody is trying to hit me. Or punch me. Or get in my way. It just happens. 2500 nervous people all trying to swim as fast as they can for 2.4 miles = crowded! Paddleboarders are yelling at me to stay to the left. I hear "bubbles, STAY LE . . . bubbles . . . LEFT . . . bubbles".

And at some point (sometimes) the crowd spreads out. And then WHACK, I get smacked on the head again. The super salty water starts to make my skin tingle after a while. And if my suit is chaffing as I head back to the pier it starts to irritate my skin. And then, as quick as it all started, I am scrambling up fake-grass-covered stairs to the little garden-hose-showers. And the ocean becomes calm again. 11 Days!

15 comments:

Jen said...

Love it! Scares the hell outta me, but love it!

IAN said...

GRRRRRREEEEEAAAAAAAAAATTTTT!!!

(please hear the sarcasm)

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Ironman's version of Ultimate Fighting (but not on purpose). That's where 195 pound guys like me shine.... but were too damn big to qualify.

Keep up the good thoughts.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

That just takes my breath away!

Teresa said...

Love it! earnly drowned before we started last year. The treading water the legs (and long toenails...please everyone do the pre race pedi!) kicking, the nails digging at you before you even start. The waves throwing salt water down your throat...oh the FUN...can't wait!

tn

Meg Runs said...

Seems like such an intense experience! You're going to rock it...can't wait to hear how it goes!

Caroline said...

Just thinking about that swim gives me chills! When the Pacific water churns and the water turns white you'll be ready! You've been swimming great and will kill it in Kona!

Alaskan Assassin said...

I will stick with ultras. I have never been kicked in the face during one of those (yet). ha!

I saw your last post. Congrats on the overall win. You are for sure coming correct for Kona. I can not wait to read all about.

Also have you ever read what Timothy Noakes wrote in The Lore of Running about Mark Allen and Ironman racing. It is a great write up and very inspiring. That book is a running bible and has been worth every cent that I paid for it.

Hooterville Mayor said...

You are so impressive, I would run like hell AWAY from something like this!
Don't you ever get tired? ;)

Running and living said...

I guess there is no room for fear...brrr! You are going to rock it!

GoBigGreen said...

that looks terrifying but at the same time super cool.
I think that salt water for we midwesterners is another terrifying but cool natural wonder. Whoa. At least it is warm right?

t-odd said...

The swim is my favorite part of the IM broadcasts. Someday!

BTW - I have some more encouragement for you and all the other racers.

MM said...

Awesome. But this year you'll be out of it a little faster. Or a lot faster. Maybe before you start chafing!

ADC said...

That is why I stay at the back :)))

FLATOUT JIM said...

My experience was:

Swim 50m, Stop for logjam.
Swim 50m, Stop for logjam.

Next time, I'll be sure to get near the front.