The weekend of firsts continued on Sunday with the plan of 2.4 open water miles, my first Iron-distance and longest ever swim, followed by a 12 mile run. It was going to get hot, quickly, but I was riding the coattails of Saturday’s ride and I was ready to tackle the workout.
I was sure to lube up to avoid any more wetsuit hickies and made my way into the open water to practice a deep water start. Coach Paul “EERRRR’d!” and we were off.
Much like my last open water swim, I was just cruising and enjoying the swim. As a matter of fact, I was even thinking to myself about how I would probably blog about how I actually like open water swimming more than pool swimming now – GASP!
The workout consisted of a the “big triangle” at Shadow Cliffs, into the cove, along the wall to the rock pile, back to home base, then out to the rock pile and back one more. As I started my way out to the rock pile for the final time, I could tell I was getting a bit more tired than usual – I was approaching new territory. But as I was about to start the final 800 yards of the swim, it hit me like a, well, pile of rocks.
It was like the moment my mind realized that I had never swam that far before, it signaled to my body to freak-the-f-out. I started hacking, not just coughing, hacking as I would have bet money that my wetsuit was choking me. On Saturday night, I had some chest pain, so my mind started racing, “What if I have a heart attack in the open water? What if I die?” I know it’s a morbid thought, but it happened.
I flipped over, I paddled along, I started to unzip the top of my wetsuit to relieve the “choking” feeling but once the water poured in, I started freaking out more and zipped it back up. I was a mess and I only had 800 yards to go.
Somehow, I made it back to the shore and came up hacking some more. It was a dry, painful hacking that didn’t stop for the rest of the day. Needless to say, I was frustrated.
I rinsed off and changed into my running gear for what I thought would be a 12-mile run. But as I started to run, I just couldn’t bring my body to do it. It felt as if every ounce of energy in me had been drained. Paul saw me sitting on the side of the road and we agreed that I would postpone my long run until Monday morning. I was frustrated, no, no, just plain ol’ pissed off.
So what’s happening? It’s clear that my volume has drastically increased, but Paul reassured me that while we didn’t originally plan for this, I would be able to recover quicker because of my age. However, I think my body went into a bit of overload this week and just said, “Thank you. Bye bye.”
I went home in a bad mood, tried to perk up with this bad boy and continued on this emotional rollercoaster that is Ironman training.
One day you’re up, the next day you’re down, and then you’re in the therapy chair of your coach. Ahhhh, Ironman training, sounds appealing ‘eh?