What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Panic! at the Reservoir

With great hopes and full blown praying all day, the only thing I wanted was for tonight's Stroke n' Stride to be cancelled. Much to my dismay, the storm clouds parted and the sun managed to make it's way out just around the time of the season's first open water swim/5k run at the Boulder Rez. Why, you ask? Two reasons. 1. I haven't swam in the open water yet. and 2. I thought the water was too cold for my sleeveless wetsuit.

However, by the grace of good fortune (not), as I phone up Petra to see if she was going tonight, her thoughtful and generous husband, Brian answered. After explaining that I might not swim because it was cold out (low 60's) and the water was cold (low 60's), he so graciously offered me his spare long-sleeved wetsuit. Are you freakin' jokin' me? WHO has a spare long sleeved wetsuit just laying around?? Oh wait, triathletes do. der. shit. shit. shit. I have to go now, there's no excuse. He tells me to HTFU and that's it...the guilt is out there. I have to do this.

Load up the car and race over to the rez. With all of 7 minutes to spare, I put on Brian's spare wetsuit, only to find out it's BJ's old wetsuit and has swam at Ironman before. hmmm, does good ju-ju stick to wetsuits? I'll find out. It's a little big but I manage to not look too stupid and walk down to the start and as I barely get my feet in the water and remember that I forgot to take my inhaler...the same inhaler I loaned Brian minutes earlier. shit. shit. shit. I run up to grab it and my HR is 171. sweet jeezus this is going to be a looong night.

The 1500 meter swimmers head out and I get in the water, inching in slowly. Hey, it's not so bad - it's not that cold. I can do this. I walk into where it's chest high and IT hits me. The panic. The fear. The breathlessness. shit. shit. shit. I back out and do it again. Same thing. Crap, 750 meters may as well be 750 miles when you can't swim. I get to the back of the line, there's a few of us arguing who's going to go last. no joke. We start. I put my face in the water. Oh hell no. This ain't gonna happen, not now. Not yet. So, I do what all crappy-first-time-in-the-open-water-swimmers do. I start cracking jokes to the crappy swimmers around me. "hey, at least we can sight really well. we won't be swimming crooked." "my mom would not be proud of me now, thank goodness she's not here." and the best, "wow, i wonder if ironman will be this hard."

Focus, K. You can do this. I am saying this out loud. I am telling the people around me. I think I tell the hottie on the jet ski. Ok, he's not hot, but still. I am doing this breast stroke, flail kind of thing and somehow get to the first buoy. exhausted. and then the lead swimmer for the 1500 meter swim passes me. shit. shit. shit. I am getting lapped. This is retarded. I try to swim more and can't so I flip on my back and sort of coast backwards. This is nice... I can do this. Flip over and try to swim again, putting face in the water. Nope. No breath, can't breathe, gonna die. Kids drown in toilets, I can certainly drown in the Boulder rez. Somehow I finish... and walk up to transition, trying not to squish goose poop between my toes. A few minutes later (like 2) Brian comes running up - he finished 1500 in the time it took me 750. Jess wasn't far behind, then BJ, then Mike.

To make myself feel better I think, "damn girl, they better be right on your ass, they're going to Ironman in 2 weeks! You have 12." I calm down, struggle to get my shoes on and Jess takes off. It takes me about a 1/2 mile to catch her and my breath - I thought I was going to cry (sorry coach, I was z4'ng it the whole way...like UPPER z4...) It was very evident that this was my first real speed workout. Did I mention I hate speedwork? Definitely not my last though... it was fun to be done with the run so quick. Time was somewhere around 24 minutes? No clue...waiting for results.
So my first Croak n' Cried of the year is over with and next week I think I might try to swim 750 meters rather than flail it.

*** Thank you so much triathlon family for getting my ass out there tonight - I LOVE you guys!! ***


Jackie said...

But you DID it !

Being someone who always has panic attacks in the water, I sympathise........

Next week will be GREAT......

We can practice at CdA?????

jess said...

Like you ever had the option not to swim, please girlfriend. We're all going through the same thing out there just on different levels.

I'm very proud of you - see you every Thursday night for the rest of the summer. No excuses, no praying for bad weather - there is only room to face your fears and succeed. These events are so freaking brutal and probably the best possible prep for IM.

Score one for Thrash n' Survive!

Jennifer Howie said...

Hey Kristina,

Oh boy, do I understand your experience out there! I was SOOOOO there at the Vegas race. I have full faith that you will have your open water breakthrough soon. Let us know what I can do to help. I'd be happy to meet you out there for a swim. Now that is love, offering to do what I swore I would never do again for you:)


RunnerChick said...

You're awesome! Way to go swimmer! Pick up Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox if you haven't read it already. It totally changed my perspective on swimming. You will love it!

Anonymous said...

SuperStar! So sad to have missed you last night. When can we fix that? Not sure yet about S&S next week. My wetsuit is already packed for CdA, though. Come on, fishy! Petra

Deanna said...

You got your first one under your belt! I was panicing just reading your blog, but you faced and pushed through your fear and did it! Great job!