Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hawaii Travels Diary - Day 4 - Swimming

Let's start off on the right foot today. I want to begin by thanking Kailua-Kona (or I suppose its residents) for hosting this race, and further thank them for having a free multi lane training pool available that is within walking distance of downtown.  That is truly awesome, and I'm sure the expense of that is settled soundly on the shoulders of the local tax payers.  It's impressive how much they are willing to sacrifice for this one week of what I can only imagine must be absolute hell for them. I'm sure athletes bring in a lot of money (just look at the restaurant prices!) to this small town but...money can't buy happiness.

Now, let's talk more about this pool. This morning I rode my bike over to the pool as Christine did her OWS and bike ride to get in a workout in a pool environment so my pacing could be a little more specific. I am not sure what exactly I expected, but I certainly did not expect the level of crowding that I encountered.  Matt Dixon was there with his "fast" and he coached a slightly slower group later.  Every lane was full and every lane was circling. I waited for a while and caught up with Leigh-Ann, another Charlotte/Davidson resident who was doing to hop in with Matt's group shortly. 

 After a while I decided that - no matter what - I was going to be sharing with some athletes so I chose a lane and asked if I could join in as I personally always like to let the people in the lane know that I am there and will be joining them, because I'm not a dick. We ended up having a merry old time for about 20 to 30 minutes as I got in the first 2/3 of my workout and they got in ... whatever it was they were doing.  I think they were Eastern European. For some reason, they had a fair amount of breaststroke in their Kona taper workout.  I'm not sure where they were getting that workout from (they had it printed on a card at the end of the lane) but if it was from a coach, that coach should be ashamed.

OWS'ing is the shizzle

But we meshed pretty well together as I was a good bit faster than them so it was easy to time my send-offs and they had a good lane awareness so knew when I was coming up on them and consequently when to let me go by them at the wall or - occasionally - in the middle of the lane. All in all, despite those guys' strange workout I'd give them a 6/10 as lane partners.  Eventually one got out and the other finished the workout 100 yards or so later at roughly the same time I was getting to one of the last parts of my workout.  He looked over at me and said - in pretty broken eastern euro english: "gut swimmah you!" I responded "thanks, good luck Saturday" and they got out and I had a blissful 2 minutes of solo lane work.  Then a lady jumped in (also Eastern European) and she was quite slow, but with only two people in the lane it was pretty easy to sort things out with such a pace disparity.

Then, calamity. We were enjoying our little shared experience in this great - free - pool when, as I was finishing one lap, I looked up and saw 4 people in yellow suits standing at the end of our lane. I thought to myself: "There's no way they'll all get in this lane, is there?" Because when 4 people doing the same workout get into a lane with 2 other people not doing the same workout, they basically control the lane. Essentially it's like the 2 people already in the lane don't even exist anymore.

And yea they all, one right after another, jumped into our lane. I got pretty annoyed by this, because that's just bad manners.  At one point I was catching one of them and I basically swam over him at the turn.  Sure, that wasn't the nicest thing in the world...but WTF! Split your shit up and put 2 people in our lane (so we'd have 4 people, which is relatively reasonable) and 2 people in a different lane.

This brings up another interesting subject: swimming mediocrity. This is the world championships of Ironman. Which is kind of like being the funniest guy at Shenanigans (also, if you can name that movie I give you MAJOR props).  Just kidding, it's a big deal to be here racing. I can't qualify, so obviously I have to make fun of everyone instead! But let's be real, Ironman rewards swimming mediocrity.

In fact, watching some people run around here, it looks like Ironman also rewards run mediocrity.

But hey, we can bike fast!

1 comment:

Andrew lerner said...

Something I've noticed is Europeans looovvve the breastroke. 10 people all in one lane doing a breaststroke, sucks