Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Race Report: Amica Ironman 70.3 Swim

The swim is quickly becoming my worst discipline. Unfortunately, I'm less motivated to work on it because it's not terrible enough to put me in danger of missing a cutoff (knock on wood). I'm still much more scared that something will go wrong on the bike and so have focused most of my training on that.

Here's one big difference between this race in 2010 and now: this year, I had a wetsuit. In this case, though, that was really more a reflection on my overall preparedness and less an actual asset. As I mentioned in my previous post, the water in Providence that weekend was too warm for wetsuits (with exceptions if certain rules were followed).

Once I had my transition gear in place and had stopped off at the porta-potties, I headed down to the water and took a practice swim. Even though I knew the water was warm going in, I was still surprised at how warm it was when I set foot in the lake. I'm not sure what the temperature was that morning, but the previous day it had been recorded at 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

I was in the third wave. The first and second waves were pro men and women and my wave was women under 29 and over 50 (the historically slower swimmers, maybe?) and started at 6:05 on the dot. As usual, I dropped to the back pretty quickly and did my best to swim in a straight line, which is to say, swam every which direction in probably the least efficient way possible. Here's what the course looked like:

Toward the middle of the first side of the loop, the sun was positioned in such a way that we were swimming directly into it! As if I wasn't having a hard enough time with sighting already.

I chugged along and took note as different colored swim caps glided by. Although I was curious as to whether or not anyone with my own swim cap color was still around, I wasn't interested enough to stop and look around.

My time was a little over 55 minutes, which was about two minutes slower than it was in May. Not great, but hey, I wasn't even close to last out of the water (which I was in 2010) so didn't care too much. I booked it to T1, dried off, put all my crap on (number belt, sunglasses, helmet, socks, shoes) and headed out for the bike. 

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