Friday, December 6, 2013

IM Cozumel Race Report ~ The Swim

2499 of the 2500 competitors.
1 is still in the ladies room.
As I finished my business in the ladies room, I wondered  how far ahead of me the rest of the racers actually were. (if you are not sure what I am talking about check out There was nothing I could do about that and I was sooo incredibly fine with it.  I am sure my Coach stated something like only worry about that which you can control.  If he didn't that would be a good one for him.   I kept chuckling to myself, I am going to enjoy myself.  When spectators saw me come out of the hotel they were yeling at me to hurry up.  Why I thought?  what would those two extra seconds do to assist.  I found a race official and asked if he would zipper my skinsuit up and walked down the beach to the water.  The people were yelling "Go, Go Go!!"  I turned on my Garmin and needed to wait for the GPS to sync.  There was nothing I could do.  I could not see a fellow competitor in site.  No yellow or red bathing caps in my view.   I smiled and waved to those around the beach and when I got a signal, I took a deep breathe, said Nokk 3 times and I was off.  Officially the last person to start in the water for the 2013 Cozumel Ironman.  The swim was very enjoyable and beautiful.  The days leading up to the race the water wasn't as calm as it was for race morning.  The ability to see more than 12 inches in front of you in a swim is unheard of in the lakes and reservoirs that I had swam in back in Colorado.  To see fish and coral and divers was pretty amazing.  It felt like heaven under water. So peaceful and serene.  Alone I took off and got into a rythm of my own breathing.  I worked my breath and my stroke in harmony.

I wondered if this was "ok" that I was in such a trance rather than thinking race, race, race. Can I have such enjoyment and be racing at the same time???  I kept thinking streamline.  Legs straight, follow through with my arms, long and lovely, reach out, core tight.  All the little words of advice from my master swim instructors and my coach over these last few months.  I was trying to be as efficient as I could at this point.  Then it happened.....I caught up to the first or last racer to that point.  Past them and then the next and then the next and so on and so forth.  I could see them one at a time in the crytal clear water.  The bubbles that their feet were making with their kicks.  I bobbed and weaved my way around them.   I was actually in the race now rather than swimming solo and feeling pretty damn good.  I was excited about my ease in the water and the ground I was making on the back of the pack.  Soon enough I was in the thick of it and picking them of one at a time.  I felt bad about thinking about it that way but it also felt real good.
That's me in the yellow cap.
No kicking no punching by coming from behind I was able to analyze the stroke of the person ahead of me and pick my passing spots.  It was not soon there after when I felt my zipper undo on my speedsuit. Damn!  I know I can't reach back and zipper it up.  I kept wondering if I should stop.  But who would zipper it for me?  Lesson Learned:  If you ask anyone to do something for you in the race check and double check their work before you believe in it.  It is not their ass on the line if they messed something up.  So now the suit filled up like a balloon and I was creating a massve drag.  I was unhappy about this but again, nothing I could do at this point.  I had been so careful to lube up my armpits to prevent chaffing and now the material was rubbing on my shoulder blades.  I knew I would pay for that one.  The salt water in the now forming raw skin felt so wonderful of the second half of the swim.  I finished the swim in still a decent state of mind, still passing more and more swimmers but with another story to myself.  I then named the start of the race "Comedy of Errors" by Newbie Rosenthal.  Hey, at least it will be easy to take off for the transition.

Swim: 102:38 
Coming out of the water.  I look mad.
Probably got caught taking in a deep nose breath.
ok, now where do I go?
Running out of the water, felt good.  I immediately dropped the top to my swim suit and took off my cap.  Trying to be efficient.  I was immediately handed this bag of water and wondered....."What the hell do I do with this thing?  They said there would be showers after the swim is this it?  Am I supposed to dump this little bag of water on my head?  Surely they are not handing out bags of water.  This is Mexico, I'll drink this and be leaving a trail of unpleasantness all along the bike path.  Hey look it's Hal!  Hi Hal.....this is soooooo fucking cool!  Now what am I supposed to do with this bag???
Is this supposed to be my shower??

Is this just water?  Is it ok to drink? How do I open it??
I kept moving along like cattle and I saw the showers.  Let's take the speed suit off and try to get all the salt water off my tri clothes and clean out the raw skin on my shoulder.   The transition area was tougher than I expected.  I felt rushed and lost place of my Coach's Advise.....slow is smooth and smooth and fast.  I felt rushed.  I tried to dry my feet the best I could.  I tried to remember everything.  It just didn't flow very well.  It didn't feel very smooth.  I gave up my bag to the race volunteer and I was off.  I worked my way through the maze of people and bikes and got to Bella.  GLOVES!  DOH!  I forgot my gloves.  Did I pack them?  Yes, should I go back or ride without them??  I figured 112 miles would be a long time if I was miserable without bike gloves.  I didn't even know if I would be miserable without them.  I didnt want to take that chance....back through the maze of people avaoiding getting run over as they head out.  I was the salmon swimming up stream at this point.  Am I going to find my volunteer and my bag in the pile of all bags?  I had to try. Comedy of Errors by Newbie Rosenthal.  I did find my bag and got my gloves and laughed at myself once again.  I went back to Bella, she called me a tease and we were off.

T1: 12:42
Hey look it is my Ironbuddy Hal ~ give him the Shaka to reinforce positive vibes.

And off I go for a 112 mile ride of the Island.


  1. This is good stuff, keep 'em coming!

  2. Dude...Felt like I was in there with you! Great read.


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