…it’s the only sound I hear as I move through the water, my head completely submerged, cutting serenely like a needle through butter, my heartbeat climbing higher and higher. I force my body to rotate back and forth faster, which makes my arms stroke at a higher rate and press against the water harder. I feel a burn in my arms and shoulders as my breath quickens and I try to maintain my already high pace. In response to my coach yelling at the begining of the lap “Dave, swim faster…PUSH”, I ignore the discomfort in my lungs, the oxygen quickly draining from my system. My mind starts telling me to back off, but I quell the thought viciously as I quickly survey my condition and determine that it is only discomfort I feel and not a flame out. I calm down and relax more, which lowers my heart rate and I stroke even faster, striving for the end of the lap…or in my mind’s eye, the finish line….
Countdown to Ironman: 5.5 weeks….