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Ironman Swim - 3.8km
by Denis Oakley in

This was ironically the easiest part of the day and the hardest. Easiest because there was little pain involved. Hardest because it was where the largest psychological hurdle was.

I remembered the book which said start easy and comfortably and so I did. I swam for a long time - sighting every so often. And then I swam for a long time. Still on course. Still no closer. I was probably 500 - 800m in when I thought suddenly that 3.8km was a really long way and I wasn't sure if I could do it. I kept swimming though and worry went after a few more strokes.

The gel that I had taken just before the start after a quick 200m warm up kicked in about then and I settled down into a comfortable rhythm. I was never able to find a decent draft around the course that I could keep for long and so I didn't bother after a while.Just kept my head down and thanked god for allthose weeks of training with pull buoys and paddles.

One of the things I hate about sea swimming is that after a while the taste of salt in your mouth gets really cloying and nasty. You have to put up with it though - and the Jelly fish. I think they were jelly fish but I kept getting stung by something . It was irritating or a welcome distraction from the repetition of pull/twist/pull/twist though. 

The Eagle on Dataran Lang looked amazing as we went past it - black against the dawn sky.

One thing that I noticed was that I don't tend to rotate very much during open ater swimming. It doesn't seem natural at all, putting my head down is difficult - though I have got a lot better at both in the pool.

As I approached the turn cramp in my arches threatened and I did 50 metres breaststroke which seemed to sort things out. The turn was a welcome psychological boost and about then I realised that if I managed to do an Ironman I'd never worry about anything again. Well, it's what I gelt at the time. :)

The way back was fine - I think my speed was falling off a bit as I was constantly being slowly overtaken. I was quite happy with the pace though and I slowly watched the Jetty get closer. Someone hit me on my right goggle at about this time and I quite happily caught him in the ribs or kidney in return. Ha! That sort of thing is for the start - not the finish.

And then I was back. Good man. Wasn't that impressed though as I was dying for the loo and I ignored the eager volunteers offering me my bike bag and headed for the loo. A good shower on the Jetty and I ambled into the changing tent.

Heard Dave Spence's name as he started out on the bike just as I was applying a huge handful of vaseline as lubricant. The volunteer was great in helping me suncream up and grease my shoulders and I trotted off helmet and Oakley shades - looking damn cool.


Anonymous said...

It was probably Plankton stinging you. We had the same in our homenymoon is Bali.

Well done in completing it :-)


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