Meet Rick. Everyone say, “Hi Rick!”
Rick is my Open Water training buddy for the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim on July 28th. I met him through my last year’s training buddy, Shari, who moved out of state. It was thoughtful of her to replace herself, since excitement/misery loves company.
I met Rick a few months ago at a restaurant and we chatted about the race we were both signed up for, Alcatraz Sharkfest 2012. He admitted that he was not going to like the acclimatization process (getting our bodies used to the cold water).This is his first year doing this race. I recommended starting about two and a half months before the race with just 5 minutes, then adding 5 minutes weekly. I wasn’t sure if we were going to try to get to the water together or just check in via email. A few weeks later an email came from Rick: “Anytime you go to the water, I’m there.” I whispered to myself, “Awesome!”
May 10th was our first time in open water. The first few times were at Lake Washington where the water was cold but manageable. Then just the other day we switched to the Sound. WOW! It is so much colder! The first 7 minutes is just well…suffering or torture, take your pick. Think Ice Cream head-ache all over your body, making it hard to catch your breath for 7 minutes until you go numb. The first time we were both loudly complaining. Just yesterday Rick went silent on me and I was complaining by myself. So after a few good complaints I went quiet too. We pushed through until the first buoy; after a painful 7 minutes, the numbness set in and we were fine. We swam the rest of our 20 minutes without much trouble.
Later we were talking about the first 7 minutes and Rick said, “Today they just made me angry.” I like training as much as the race. I always learn so much about myself and my training buddies. Last year our cold water training was harder than what we hit in San Francisco Bay by at least 8-10 degrees. We were very ready. I hope those words are comforting to Rick as we make our way to the start line of this race.
I am relieved to have a training buddy who is ready and willing to put in the first 7 minutes with me and swim the remaining time. It will get interesting as we add time. Yesterday I could feel the lack of response of my hands in the final few minutes, and I said to myself, “Oh yeah, I remember this…”
Who helps you accomplish your goals?