This past weekend was an interesting turn of events amongst the PC crew. In the winter it seems that we always run long on one of the weekend days. I either see on my schedule run Saturday, and bike Sunday, or run Saturday and swim Sunday. To my surprise we had a Ride Saturday and a SWIM Sunday. The ride was a nice and easy 3 hours on the trainer if the weather was blah, and the swim was to be 6000 Meters straight. We started with 3000 Meters straight and the 17 hour training day crew is working up to 10K straight by May. So, Sunday was the monthly installment.
Andrea was so kind to use her wonderful connections and hooked us up with the most gorgous spin room in all of Denver at ICPH. The Penthouse suite is home to a pretty awesome Performance Center and the spin room is some 20 floors up with a 270 degree view of all Denver has to offer. It was amazing. After 2 hours most everyone was DONE, but Andrea, Anthony and I continued to pedal...ah the life of Ironman training. All in all it was a great morning, spent with great training partners, rocking out to some fun tunes. I sincerely apologize for singing at the top of my lungs at times...one of my weaknesses. Had to take a picture of the three of us left there to pedal for another hour. At least we had each other!
Then there is the incredibly peppy at 5:15am TYLER. Here he is in his full peppyness (cracking me up):
And don't forget Beth, she's always up for a laugh at 5:15am.
Enough goofing around, it was time to start swimming. I intentionally left my buoy and paddles at home Sunday morning. I really wanted to swim well and I didn't want the allure of tools to get it done. I also wanted to see how I was doing in comparison to previous long swims so I had to go tool-less. I was secretely really excited to see Tyler get in my lane. I knew that Tyler has been traveling for work a lot and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I might get luckly and he might be tired enough that it would slow him down so I could fight my tail off to hang onto him.
We took off at 5:30 on the dot and Tyler, me, and Keith swam one behind the other for a long time. We went out a little fast and after about 1000 Meters we settled into a more maintainable pace. After 1300 or so Keith had decided he had enough and passed Tyler and I in one fell swoop and then proceeded to swim speedily away. Keith is new to the group and I really enjoy training with him, or at least trying too :).
The swim progressed very smoothly. I kept my focus, I kept my pace. The thoughts that ran through my head were completely form based. Keep the abs in, the feet kicking at the surface, and the stroke efficient. Tyler and I would trade off leading and it was nice to both sit on his feet, but also to lead myself at times as well. At 4000 Meters I grabbed a drink of HEED and hit the split button on my watch and went back at it for another 2000. As I was swimming I glanced at my watch and noticed that it said 1:15:10. This got me really excited. The Ironman swim is equivalent to 3800 M, so 200 short of 4K. I was thinking my Ironman pace would be somewhere around 1:15, so to see that I was at that time for 4K was a little exciting. Granted pretty much EVERYTHING is different in the Ironman swim. Your in a WETSUIT, in a LAKE, with a monster in it called OGOPOGO, with 2,500 PEOPLE in your lane. But hey, if I didn't spend most of my time comparing Apples to Oranges, life would be dull.
The last 2K were spent counting laps, keeping my head in the game, and watching everyone else in the pool get out and go shower. Someday I'm not going to be the last one left in the pool, but alas that day was not Sunday.
When I was done I was a little sad it was over. It's always nice to look inside yourself, give yourself a little nod, and whisper "Good Work today". That's what it felt like. That was the farthest I have swam in one stint, and I look forward to going longer in the future months. Afterwards I rushed home to have breakfast with my family and walked into a house that was yet to wake up for the day. That was strange, I had done such much already and the day had barely started.