I was talking to one of my friends that's a triathlon buff last night and he told me that he does the breastroke for 2/3 of the time. Of course, he does the ironman so maybe with a longer swim it's different but he maintained that he keeps up with other people doing freestyle. I had no such luck this morning - keeping up with people doing freestyle while I was doing breaststroke. Of course, I couldn't keep up to them doing freestyle either but that's besides the point. The good news is that with his encouragement and an openminded approach to stroke choice I managed to do the swimming work out for the first time as prescribed. (Up until now, let's just say I have been standing up every now and then to catch my breath - ok, I've probably been doing about as much standing as I have swimming:) I didn't even kick off the walls (his idea ). Of course, I did take a good hour to do it and my breastroke probably would have looked more like a doggy paddle to onlookers half the time when I was trying to catch my breathe but for me that's real improvement to make it from one side of the pool to the other without stopping. I even pulled off a couple of segments of freestyle where I actually breathed in air.
My friend also mentioned the importance of taking salt tablets on race day - I never would have thought of that. And he warned me about cut offs and being aware of all the rules so as not to get disqualified. It looks like I'm going to have to do some research on the wildflower site - especially in the swim section. That would really be a downer if I swam a whole mile only to be informed that I had been disqualified for taking all day:) I went ahead and looked it up:
Olympic Cut Off Times:
Swim: 12:15PM (1:20 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)
Bike: 2:45 PM (3:50 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)
Run: 4:15 PM (5:20 after the start of the Last Individual Age Group wave)
I think that means I need to be able to swim 1.5k in under an hour and 20 minutes. I'm not sure if that means 1:20 after my group starts or 1:20 after the last group starts (assuming I'm not in the last group). I was kind of hoping for a bigger time window. Like maybe 3 hours. So basically, I need to swim 30 laps in about an hour to allow for race day jitters. That's 15 sets with no kicking off the walls and no stopping to catch my breath. Time to get in shape.