Monday, June 17th:
(Warning: This is a very stream-of-consciousness rant. I do not promise to make any sense whatsoever.)
Tonight was not a good night. I got to open water practice late, so I had to scramble into my wetsuit and catch up with the rest of the herd, so I was already flustered. Once I was finally in the water, I kept swimming up on other people's feet and the only good option I had was to pop up and tread water for a few seconds to avoid getting kicked in the face. This lead to the Iron Cheerleader admonishing me for 'putting me feet down' (even though I wasn't) and 'sighting incorrectly' (which is a known problem of mine). I know it was rude, but I got so sick of listening to him, that I swam away mid-sentence before I ended up just stomping up the beach and calling it a day. To the Iron Cheerleader's credit, I think he recognized that I wasn't in a good place in my head and pretty much laid off on me for the rest of the workout. I managed to finish the workout feeling much better than I had when I first got in the water, but that feeling wasn't going to last for long. As we were stripping off wetsuits, drying off, etc., I mentioned that I'd received an email from the Pewaukee Tri race director saying that the swim certification requirements were: 2 minutes treading arms only, 2 minutes treading legs only, demonstrate ability to do more than the freestyle stroke, and swim 200 yards in deep water. This sounded much better to me than 10 minutes of treading with legs only, followed by a 400 yard open water swim. In fact, I was downright buoyed by it (pardon the pun). Yeah...that happiness didn't last long. The Iron Cheerleader said he'd seen that email too and forwarded it to the certification organization for clarification. According to that organization, the 10 minute legs only tread and the 400 yard open water swim is what's required. I. AM. PISSED. Why? Because I'm tired of not getting a straight answer without having to hunt it down. I'm tired of people (see race director/certifying organization) failing to communicate with each other - and being on the losing end of that lack of communication. Quite frankly, I'm tired of chasing a moving target. I said goodbye to everyone, dragged myself (and a sopping wet wetsuit) back to the car, and proceeded to call Mr. R&R to vent my frustrations. Once I got home, I hosed off my wetsuit like I was supposed to and hauled it inside so I could hang it in the bathroom to drip-dry. When I went to unzip it, the zipper wouldn't budge. I tried. Mr. R&R tried. Nothing. So right now, I have a dripping wet suit draped over the shower rod in my bathroom and it's virtually useless unless I can get that zipper down. I really didn't need this...I'm already having a hard enough time tonight. I think the craziness of all of this is finally starting to get to me. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I'm stressed the %&#@ out. Yes, I know I'm being a crybaby right now and I said no more crybaby moments, but at the moment, venting here is the only thing standing between me and sending a very angry email to that race director (and I know that emailing under the influence of rage is a bad idea) or throwing in the towel altogether. I also know there is absolutely nothing I can do about the wetsuit tonight - but it needs to be fixed - and pronto. I've only worn the damn thing one time!
I have a plan: I'll be calling the shop that sold me the wetsuit first thing tomorrow morning and crossing my fingers that they'll be able to help me with the stuck zipper issue. Once that's out of the way I'm hoping I'll have cooled off about the open water certification debacle and be able to send an intelligent email to the race director asking 'what gives'. I also plan to pretty much destroy myself in the pool this week - doing everything I can to make sure I can pass that f-ing certification. I may not be able to control any of these situations, but I can react to them - I just need to make sure I react like a normal, sane, human being - not like a stressed out, over-emotional crybaby. This is the dark side of training for me...I am almost guaranteed to lose it at least once. I've trained for enough races to know that I always have some sort of mini-breakdown in the process - and this seems to be it for this cycle. Intellectually, I know that the wetsuit will get fixed somehow. I know that if I fail my open water certification that the world will not come to a screeching halt, no one will die, the only thing that will be harmed is my ego. I just need to remember that.