Olympic Athlete? Not really, no.

Saturday was the Daybreak Triathlon, at which event I completed the Olympic distance.

This is me, swimming in Oquirrh Lake:


That’s a still shot from a video Ethel took. In the video, it looks like I’m swimming strong and smooth. What you DON’T see is the eight or ten breaks that I took during the just-under-a-mile swim – grabbing onto a kayak, pulling over to the side of the lake, and even one place where I saw a rock coming up from the bottom and I precariously perched upon it : )

This was a 1500 meter swim (plus, of course, the additional distance added by my inability to swim straight). The day before, I had gone to the Park City Aquatic Center and jumped into the water, push the button on my watch, and swum an easy and strong 1500 yards in 34 minutes. No problem, no fuss, no heavy breathing.

But when I did my short warmup swim in the lake, I was hyperventilating at the end. And every few hundred meters, I had to stop for a minute or two to catch my breath. Why? I do not know. I really have no idea. I really, really do not know. Is it possible to do that for 1.2 miles in a half IM? I suppose so. Is it possible to do that for 2.4 miles in a full IronMan?

Is it?

At any rate, I finished the swim, along with about five other Olympic distance folks and a bunch of the Sprint people who jumped into the lake halfway. Now, the nice thing about doing the swim this slowly is that the athletes getting out of the water when you do are the slowest, most out-of-shape competitors, so I spent the entire bike and run passing people. One person passed me during the run; the rest of the last two hours of the triathlon was me passing folks. That’s more fun that hanging off the side of a kayak, gasping for air.

Now what? I’m going to Slumber Falls, in Texas, to do a retreat this weekend. Next weekend I have nothing planned; then there are three weeks in Cabo during which no doubt I will train myself into insensibility, rather than “vacation”.

I am supposed to do SpudMan in Burley, Idaho on the 27th (I think) of July.  I’ve signed up for a half IM distance (but not put on by the WTC) in late August in Provo.

Then there’s that business in Tahoe on 21 September.

When I think about Tahoe, it seems impossible. But when I consider the option of doing what I did on Saturday – for 2.5 times the distance – then maybe I’ll still try it.

I’ve really been taking by the little goat who Gives It All He’s Got. I’d like to be that goat. But he’s only Giving It All He’s Got for about a second and a half, and he’s in no danger of drowning. That does change things a bit.

  1. runabq said:

    Jim. your swim time was about the same as mine for my first 1500 meter swim. You’re doing just fine.

    • Thanks for the info, Marc.

      I don’t FEEL like I’m doing fine. I sure don’t feel like I’ll be up to 2.4 miles of Lake Tahoe in three months. But I don’t know that I’ll EVER be up for 2.4 miles of Lake Tahoe : )

      How’s the knee?

      • runabq said:

        The knee seems to be improving. I’ll be trying another bike ride tomorrow.

        2.4 miles in Lake Tahoe is going to be quite a feat. I swam 2 miles in Cochiti Lake in May with the water temp right around 60F. I wasn’t particularly cold when I finished but I was tired.

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