The upcoming weekend will mark the one year point … one year since I had to drop from my first St. Anthony’s. Against my better judgement I ate some food late the night before and woke up at 2:00 AM puking. I still was up with the team and at the race site at 5:30, got marked and suited up for the race. I was feeling pretty bad, but was determined to give it a shot …
And then it happened ….
Coach walked up to me and called me aside. He told me he wanted me to sign a paper releasing TNT and LLS from responsibility if I chose to race since he had not “seen me swim the race distance”.
Now, this may not seem like a big thing, but at that time I was even more worried about the swim than I am now, so any strides I had made to swallow the fear and get in the water was basically gone. I figured if coach didn’t have faith in my ability to complete this race, then maybe I couldn’t finish it. This, on top of the nausea, made me decide to drop the race.
I have been kicking myself over it for the past year.
Yes I was sick, but I think I would have been ok if I could have gotten through the swim, but any confidence I had was squelched. The funny thing was that every race after that last year I did well in the swim (save for Top Gun). I know that if I had some encouragement, instead of the negative aspect of having to sign that paper, I probably would have started the race and seen how I did.
I have spent that past year determined to prove that coach wrong. I ditched the snorkel I had used all last season with the idea that if I was going to do this, I would do it without any crutches. The funny thing was, after the first open water this year, even after successful pool swims, I had issues for the first 15 minutes, but once I calmed myself I did very well. When I exited the water coach asked how it felt and I said I had some breathing issues at first but I worked through it. His suggestion was NOT to calm down but to go back to the snorkel.
So, I KNOW I can do the distance. I swam the race site twice and did fine. I can swim the pool distance of 2600m plus with no stops. I have had a few thumbs up from not only Jenny and TNT Teammates, but experienced Ironman racers KC, Kendra, Hunter, etc. I am READY for this race.
KC showed us a technique Sunday called “Show them your smiley face”, basically pretending you have a smiley face on the palm on your hand, so when you swim you make sure you show it to the person behind you. I am going to use that technique for the race. If someone gets negative, I am showing them my smiley face. And if coach wants me to sign that paper again, I am smiling at him.
But he may get more than a smily face shown to him during the swim ….
Just saying ….