Cleveland Steelman: Swim
I came last. By, oh, about two or three minutes. And behind Fat Bloke. Fat Bloke, who was doing breast stroke, with his goggles perched on top of his head, and never once even putting his face in the water. NOT that I’ve anything against Fat Bloke (or, indeed any fat blokes reading or that you know). It’s just that I look so skinny and in everyone else’s eyes, fit, that it’s just a little humiliating.
Or humbling - putting me in my place. That sounds better in my head at least.
Anyway, worse than this, I knew I was at the back by about 1/3 of the way round the first lap. Briefly there was another swimmer with me, and I managed to hook onto his heels for a minute or so before he suddenly vanished - not pulling away, I mean vanished. I have no idea where he went, but as they didn’t pull any bodies out of the water, I presume he just swam away from me while I was taking a breath, and I didn’t see where he went.
For the bike leg, I’d been prepared to be lapped - I’d looked at the swim+bike times from last year, and worked out that by the time I finished the first lap on the bike, the real triathlete Übermenschen would have built on their lead from the swim to just get past me on the bike. But I hadn’t been prepared to be lapped on the swim. Two guys came past me about 200m before the end of the first lap - they were going like speedboats. And then another gaggle of about half a dozen or so came around me (on both sides) just before the start / turn for the shore buoy (guys - if I got in your way, I’m sorry!)
I almost bailed out then. But figured that well, as I was here, I might as well continue . . .
On the second lap I had a marshall in a canoe to keep me company for most of the time, and the rescue divers shadowing me in their semi- for a fair bit too. It didn’t do my ego much good, but the thought is (and was at the time) very much appreciated - thank you!
I also had enough time to think about my swim stroke . . . I mean, really - I go to a masters swim session pretty much twice a week, so how come I’m so slow? So I took some out of body time to look at my stroke, and realised that I’m not pushing against the water with my hands; it’s as if I’m just stroking the water and letting it flow under my hands rather than grabbing a handful and shoving it down past my torso and legs. Hmmm . . . I tried pushing properly, and it did seem to make a difference to my speed . . . but seeing as I hadn’t trained like this, I didn’t want to keep it up - my priority was to finish the swim, and be ready to ride without any accumulated lactic acid.
I got out of the water in a convincing last place. Seeing as I was the only one left, the guy with the microphone had no trouble in looking up my name on the list and announcing to everyone exactly who I was, and which club I was with.
Thank you - that really helped.
- Type: Swim
- Date: 07/05/2008
- Time: 10:00:00
- Total Time: 00:55:00.00
- Distance: 2,000 m
- Average Pace: 2:44.48/100m