I swam a 1:38:30 at Ironman Florida. It's an unremarkable time that falls right in line with my other two Ironman swims (1:44 and 1:42), especially when you factor in the wetsuit. But guess what? I am SO proud of myself for that swim and even that time! It is one of my biggest personal victories -- ever.
The alarm went off at 4:01 a.m., as it does for every Ironman day. We got up to eat and Matt opened the curtains and revealed the palm leaves rustling on the trees below. "It's windy," he said. I nodded, "Wetsuits." And then, "Waves?" I pulled up the weather and surf forecasts, which showed wind and 4-6 foot swells off the coast of Panama City Beach. A little further down the shore, there was a small craft advisory. Visions of Superfrog danced in my head and I pictured a difficult start getting past high surf. But when we got to the beach, that wasn't the case. The waves were a little higher than the days before, but nothing to write home about. And we were in wetsuits! This was going to be my best swim ever, I just knew it.
Both the day before on the same beach and a few weeks before in Kona, I'd averaged just under or just over 2:00/100 yard without a wetsuit, which in controlled situations would translate into a sub-1:25 time for a 2.4-mile swim.