When I did my triathlon run through at Gold's Gym back in January, and timed my swim in their 15y pool, I did it in 14:07. I was extremely proud of that time and was eager to email the triathlon manager to share the good news. Color me slightly tiffed when he replied that I needed to do it in a 25y pool, that the inclusion of that many more turns in a shorter pool could speed up my time instead of detract from it (which was my thinking). He told me to get myself to a 25y pool by March 11th (my event is on the 25th).
Well, I drove my butt on down to the YMCA in downtown Tucson, where they proudly boast a 25y pool. I was nervous; what if this Jim character was right and my time would now be horrible? I had been really proud of that 14:07, as far as I was concerned it was my personal best, it was only three minutes slower than the chick who had WON last year's early spring triathlon. I mean, I know nanoseconds mean a lot in the sporting world, but this is my first triathlon. I'll take anything. I suited up, goggled up, slipped into the pool, which was not as cold as I'd remembered and, considering I largely left the Y because their pool was outdoors and not as warm as Gold's Gym's pool, I felt sort of stupid. Anyways.
I clicked on my stopwatch and began. My God, is swimming 25y without a turn a lot more exhausting than doing even 30y in a 15y pool. I felt worn out after just five laps. The entire time I swam, this sort of shit was running through my mind:
I can't do this. How am I going to do this triathlon? What was I thinking? Oh my God, I can't breathe. My time is going to suck. That dude from Tri Tucson was right and my time is going to be like 17:30. My arms are going to fall off. Don't forget to swivel your torso! Crap, lengthen your stride. I'm going to drown. I hate swimming. I hate you, Jim. Stupid 25 yard pool. Oh my God I still have 16 laps to go. I'm doing to die. God this pool is so much cleaner than Gold's. I can't do this. Keep your arm outstretched while you breathe! Oh man, I can't breathe. I'm going to be exhausted after this, how the fuck am I going to bike 12 miles and then run 3? I need a drink. And a cheeseburger. I can't do this. TEN MORE LAPS?!?!
And then it was over. I stood up, ripped off my goggles and hit stop on the stopwatch and looked down. What the hell?
12:44:40. 12:44:40. 12:44:40!!!!
I stared. I laughed and I said "No way. No freaking way" which made a girl, who had just walked in, look at me like I was crazy. Hell, at that point in time, maybe I was. Tired and high from my workout, from my new PR, from my miniature victory. I laughed again, and remembered that I threw my goggles behind me and since they are clear, I couldn't find them. So I hunted around for them a little bit, and then a thought dawned on me.
The stopwatch was broken. It got wet. It died. It stopped working at 12:44:40 and I just kept on swimming, five minutes past that time, thinking I was a freaking superhero. I put my goggles down and picked up the wet stopwatch. I gulped, and hit the button again.
It kept going! I stopped it again, and since my glorified time of 12:44:40 was no longer showing on the watch face, I cleared the time. But it was as plain as the runny nose on my face.
I shaved 1:23 off my time. Ooh, how magical that looks! I am 1:23 faster than I was a little over a month ago. TAKE THAT JIM. And lady who won last year? Suck it! I'm going to KICK YOUR ASS
Woo! See, the high you get from a workout? It lasts a lot longer than you think.
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