Ironman Florida is this weekend over in Panama City Beach, FL. A few people that I train with are racing - which is very exciting. Being the good friend that I am, I decided to head to the beach this morning to throw out some moral support. The first open water swim with the buoys out started at 7am. And after I met up with Lisa P, there I am. Standing on the beach in a ski jacket and my uggs boots. It was a blistering 49 outside! But at least the sun was out and the water was still around 70 for the swimmers. Everyone had on wet suits and eyeing my warm attire :)
But it was a great morning and everyone felt good about their swim. Some of the people that I've been training with, the swimming is their weakest part. This puts a huge mental strain on them. Specially with it being an open water swim, a mass start, and not knowing how the conditions will be on the day of the race. For those of you who have not done open water swims, it's totally different from being in the pool. I have 20 years of competitive swimming under my belt - and my first open water swim was a huge eye opener!! But at this point for my friends who are competing, you just have to be positive and let them know how pumped and proud you are for them to even do the race!
Looks fun right?
After their hours and hours of training for the past months these athletes have everything that the need to check this huge accomplishment off of their list. For most of these athletes, this is a whole lifestyle, not just a causal hobby you pick up. An Ironman is not only one of the most physical challenging task an athlete can do, but also a huge mental task as well. I can not wait until the day that I'm able to say that I am an Ironman!
I'll post a report after the race on Saturday. I'll be spending most of the bike portion on the back of a motorcycle being a bike marshal. Attempting to keep the bike section free of drafting!
Good luck to everyone who is racing! We'll be cheering you on from the sidelines!