Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Swim Danskin Triathlon part 1
Getting ready for the swim at 6am in the morning was a little scary. I had been practicing my swim in the pool and at Lucky lakes,but when you are about to start a race with a few thousand other women, you feel anxiety, mixed with excitement.
The buoys were set, and although I had done a 1/2 mile swim on many occasions, the distance just seemed even further. I looked out onto the water, and once again thought, What am I doing? But, I knew I had come to far to back out. They had swim angels, canoes, boats and lifeguards out there,so I should have felt fairly safe.
Practicing the swim in a controlled environment has been good, but it does not prepare you for the variables that you will deal with in the water during a race.
These variables I knew, would decide my time, pace and where I placed in the swim. As I looked out over the water, I said a prayer. I knew God had not brought me here to the water's edge,to leave me stranded on the shore, but to take me the whole distance.
You went out in waves of about a 100 women, all wearing your color swim cap. I had to decide where I would position myself so that I could have the most advantage.
I decided I didn't want to go first, afraid I would hold any better swimmer up, but I knew I didn't want to go last,to be left behind. I decided to put myself somewhere in the middle. Luke warm, so to speak.Not really picking a "side" but comfortably safe.
As soon as I heard the blow horn and raced to secure my position, I knew I had made my first of many mistakes in this race.
Because, I chose to hold back, or go to the front, I got stuck between 100 women. I could not move straight ahead, because there were so many other swimmers. Their Legs and arms were all flailing in my face. The water was splashing so I couldn't see through my goggles.
Once I finally could get started, it was a slow pace.It was some stroke between the crawl and the paddle! I had to constantly sight my way through the other swimmers,I would have to pause and look around at where I could fit. I had to focus on what was in front of me, on the side of me, and a few times my legs were grabbed from behind me.I was kicked, scratched and pushed under. I had to stay calm and become completely aware of my surroundings, as to not veer off course, I had to push forward and try to go through the obstacles that lay before me.
I saw one woman, run right into the pontoon boat, other women going so far off course,that no one could even get there attention. Others were grabbing on to the buoys for dear life, trying to decide to let go. During my swim I learned so much about how to prepare for my next race, and what position to be in(going in the front)!
Learning is what racing is about. I completely believe that Christ called me to start triathlons. He knew this training would give me the discipline I need to follow His lead, His will for my life.
So this is also what I learned today swimming.I must take time to train, not only for triathlons, but for my walk with God. I must remember no matter how hard I train, there will always be variables in my faith that will cause me to waste time,or cause me to redirect my course, how I choose to handle these situations will determine my character. If I don't take the time to "sight" often, I will get off course in my faith. I may even hit something harder than a boat, or veer so off course, I can't find my way back.If I panic in the water, I can grab on to the swim angels or a noodle, if I panic in my faith I will grab on to the cross.
Fully committing to my faith means to place myself front and center, not somewhere in the safe middle,or the back. To be BOLD, and step out right in the front position. But the biggest thing I learned in this swim is this...
My starting position is not as important as my finishing position! I finished 459 overall in the swim,it sounds like alot but out of a few thousand women its not bad:) I pushed through the challenges, kept my eyes on the prize,remembered my training, and shaved 5 minutes off my swim time. I stayed the course, and I finished the swim strong!