Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Another Day In Paradise

Maybe we've been here before.

You know, that period of time right before an Ironman race where it's no longer this thing way out there for which you are preparing, but an imminent challenge. It gets real. Really real.

It's sort of like looking under the bed for that monster you were always afraid was there as a child only to feel the hot breath and see the yellow eyes of an honest to goodness monster.

My monster is the swim, so much so that I've been lately going off the reservation and swimming sets that exceed the distance prescribed by My Personal Yoda, Coach Kris. Fear will do that to you.

So here's the question I have about my particular monster. I know I can swim 2.4 miles in the open water. Been there. Done that. I'm pretty sure I can swim 2.4 miles without the aid of a wetsuit. But when the water starts moving up and down or side to side, or when I have to swim into a current, my weak little canine brain starts to despair.

Cozumel is a one loop swim course, leaving more time for despair and less opportunity to break the swim into bit sized pieces. In addition, the first half of the swim is into the teeth of the prevailing current that flows from south to north and which is used by divers to "drift dive."

Has anyone actually been in this water to know how serious this current is? Are we talking "lazy river" current or are we talking "Deliverance" current. I don't want to drift. And I don't particularly want to swim for an hour on the redline into a current before turning for home. But I think I hear banjo music.



Bigun said...

Grey, you know I'm a crappy swimmer. I've done an ocean swim, 2.4 miles, point to point, and being dang-near the last one out of the water (it was a "swimmers event"), I can tell you that finishing was all about the area between your ears. You are tough b'stard, and will kill it. I don't know about the current, and really, it is what it is - you can't get any more prepared for it. HTFU.

Unknown said...

I don't know about that particular current, but I would definitely rather swim into the current going out and have it push me coming home than the reverse!

Is there a wave pool anywhere in range of the Megalopolis? It might be worthwhile for you (and maybe fun for Superpounce, too) to go play in some waves, and feel happy and comfortable in them.

SWTrigal said...

I went diving in Cozumel years ago but I think I had drank so many Margaritas the night before, I did not care about the current (back in my non-athletic days). There was current in Cozumel, thus "drift diving". I am sure they will have the race in some protected area though..hopefully you will have the current "with you"..

Fe-lady said...

you need to meet us in San Fran next June for an Alcatraz swim...then NOTHING will feel like current from then on!

I would check last years times for pros and such and see if they vary much from say, Kona times.
You will be fine...!!!!

md said...

You're gonna be fine! I've done two ocean IM swims, and 3 halves in the ocean as well.

It won't be as bad as you are thinking.

If you are worried about the current, if there even is one, practice your sighting. I'm sure you will do a practice swim the days before, once you get there. pick a building, something to sight off of, when heading back to shore. and just stay in the pack, near the bouys. you are not gonna get blown away in some mysterious current. I'd be more worried about choppiness, or waves. but I'm sure that area is pretty flat, and nice and clear.

it's coming up!!! exciting!

21stCenturyMom said...

What FeLady said. This year's Sharkfest (the Alcatraz swim she got me hooked on) was brutal with respect to the current and the waves and I went way off course but I did not die - I got back to the shore and was ahead of 50 or so people out of the 850 that started. Considering how far off course I was this was okay.


Hint - do not use the kayaks to assure yourself you are on course. The kayaks are there to keep you from drifting out to sea and if you are near them then you are on the outer bounds of where they will let you be. Stick with the pack and you will be fine.

21stCenturyMom said...

ps - I know that doesn't answer your question but hopefully what Debi said will help

Kim said...

doh, way to scare me a little bit more about this swim. jerk. we will be fine. *Hey God - you there? it's me Kim, can you please get my sick ass better so I can get into a pool and do some swimming. i have a scary 1-loop 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, with currents and sharks, and i cant wear a wetsuit. mmmkay? thanks.

BreeWee said...

Oooooh, I am begging coach to let me race Cozumel... we can battle the current together, you will be fine, honest... you just need to go with the flow, never fight :)