Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stream of Consciousness From Long Swim

It's not really a LONG swim for most people -- 3200 meters. That's somewhere around two miles depending on who you ask. Somewhere in the middle of that long swim, which I didn't enjoy because I am a lousy swimmer, the thought came to me: "Someone, somewhere, should really write a stream-of-consciousness report on a long swim." Then the thought came to me, "Hey! How about you! You're in the middle of a long swim, and you have a triathlon blog!" So I decided to do it, and the thought of it kept me interested and inspired for a couple lengths, which makes it very valuable where long swims are concerned.

(Note: Someone once informed me, after reading a stream-of-consciousness report on a long run written by me, that true stream-of consciousness does not have punctuation or capital letters. To which I respond: even when I think, I think in punctuation and capital letters. I am a writer and in love with my own writing, and therefore even my thought flow is organized and structured. So there!)

0 m: Jesus Christ, I'm up early, and it's cold. Brrr. At least it's not freezing. At least the pool water will feel warm when the air temperature is 45 and the water temperature is 83.

50 m: Wow! Look at me! I'm at the pool before it's even light outside. While the rest of Fat America sleeps, I swim on with steely determination. That's what Ironman athletes do, right?

200 m: I feel great. Pretty sure I'm faster than I usually am. 3000 meters left? No problem.

600 m: I'm kind of tired. Seriously, I have more than 2500 meters left? 2500 meters is twice my normal workout, and I'm pretty tired when I get done with that normal workout.

800 m: Hot guys in very tight swim suits in each of the two lanes next to me. Underwater scenery just improved dramatically. Too bad they both swim so fast I only get a little glimpse before they're gone. Oh well. They might swim fast but, unlike me, they were not on the doorstep of the Y waiting for it to open before 7 a.m. Maybe I should feel guilty for checking out other guys when my other half is the best man in the world? Nah. Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you can't look at the menu.

1000 m: One-third of the way there -- I can do this!

1200 m: Goggles hurt. They're too tight. Need to buy another pair because these are always too tight. They have to be, otherwise they let water in and I have to stop every 2-3 lengths and dump the water out. Why am I so cheap? Tight goggles give me a headache and leave giant, geeky red circles around my eyes and a red line across my nose where the strap goes. New goggles only cost like $20. Swim cap is too tight, too. This morning when I put it on I lost control of it while stretching it over my head, and it flew across the room like I shot it out of a slingshot. Good thing no one else was in there.

1300 m: I've been swimming for almost 2 years now, and my times have not improved at all. God, that's depressing.

1400 m: Not even halfway there, so bored I'm ready to quit, need a distraction! What to think about: my awesome boyfriend? The dog training certification I'm going to earn? The column I'm going to write in the dog obedience magazine? The last story I submitted in a fiction writing contest, and whether it will win or not? How to get out of blind rehab, a field with which I am totally, completed, bored? All of those things. I will be a wealthy published author one day, oh and also dog trainer to the rich and famous. I will work only when I want and 9-5 (okay, 7-3:30) will be a thing of the past.

1500 m: Someone, somewhere, should really write a stream-of-consciousness report on a long swim. Hey -- I have a triathlon blog, maybe it should be me! That will be an easy way to get my 2000 words for the day in!

1700 -- or is it 1600? -- m: Damnit! I lost count of laps. That means, according to my self-imposed rule, that I must go back to the last known hundred, which is 1600, even though I'm positive I'm on 1700. Don't lose concentration again!

2000 m: Yay! In the 2000's. Just a little over 1000 m to go.

2300 m: That pain in my lower abdomen is still there. It's been hurting for a week. Probably ovarian cancer. Sure, it could be a pulled muscle from too much swimming and riding, but never go for the simple answer; as a good hypochondriac I know you should always focus on the worst possibility as opposed to the most-likely. Having already survived imaginary breast cancer, brain cancer, bone cancer, and HIV, among others, I am familiar with the process. Either it will end up leaving just as mysteriously as it arrived, or else I will eventually pay a doctor to tell me it is nothing.

2700 m: 500 m to go. Kill me now. I hate swimming so much. I can't believe I still have 500 m to go; that is, like, SO far. Maybe I should quit? No, because then I will have wasted the 2700 I already did because I will have to come back and do the whole distance again tomorrow. No thanks.

2800 m: If I finish this, I will allow myself to get donuts. Two of them.

3000 m: THIS is what makes a person an Ironman: Doing things that suck, and not quitting.

3200 m: DONE! Didn't bonk, not too sore, have the usual red goggle lines and headache but at least fueled right this time. See you next week for 3300 m.

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