Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ironman 70.3 SuperFrog

From my post yesterday, the water cleared up enough to swim. I guess that's a good thing. The SuperFrog race is a tough race. It's a beach swim, flat ride on a rough road and then a run that includes lot's of running on the sand (not the hard pack). I prepared as best I could with the limited time I had. It's been 6 weeks since our son went to boot camp and all efforts prior to that were on his transition. Then I got focused on a triathlon. All summer I've been in the ocean swimming and simply playing in the waves. I love the water and I love rough water.

Today we were met with consistently good surf (for surfers). The swim takes place on the north side of the pier. There was a really strong current pushing to the north. They set the turn bouy about 25 feet from the pier. The only option was to hug the pier on the way to that bouy. The current was pushing us away from the pier so hugging the pier was the only option. The surf was breaking underneath the pier and peeling north. The swim is two loops.
The gun went off and everyone took their time entering the surf. I chose a line and headed in. I believe I caught a break and got the easier set of surf. The waves were steep but they were manageable. I had one close call where I swam over a wave just as it curled to break. I made it through and had open ocean. Once through the waves the water was deep enough and the current was weaker. Making the turn was easy and getting to the next bouy to turn towards the beach was also easy. The swim into the beach was directly into the sun so spotting anything on the beach was nearly impossible. Once through the surf the current picked up again and by the time I got on sand I was 50 yards north of the exit point. No problem I got out there and ran down the beach. To start the second lap. This is where it got interesting Either I got tired or the surf set was larger. I got out into the surf and the first wave came. I dove down but not far enough because the back side of the wave took me for a ride. I fought through it to make the second wave. I got through that one fine. Immediately the largest wave of the set came through and threw a swimmer on top of me. I was pinned and out of breath. I stayed calm but it seemed like a long time and by the time I got to the surface the next wave was there and it swept me away. I ended up 50 yards or more from the pier completely winded and broken. I walked up the beach and turned in my chip.

I wasn't the only one, there were many but that's not me trying to ease any pain. There is no pain. Years ago I would have been crushed by this, totally mad at myself and probably used excuses.  The swimmer landing on my head is part of doing the sport. You have to prepare for contingencies and I should have prepared better. Especially as I saw the wave and the swimmer direct in my line. I should have dove down to the sand and hugged the bottom.

I spent the day working in the yard and doing odd jobs around the house and forgot about my morning.

It's a good life....

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