Day 80 – Good Friends
By the fall of 2008 I had been racing for almost two years, so when my friends signed up for IRONMAN Arizona, I went along with it. After all, I consider Arizona my home state so it seemed fitting for my first iron distance race.
I’m not sure who took this photo. It may have been Perry, our swim coach. That’s a fun story in itself.
Around January, Marty asked if I wanted to join a small group to share the cost of semi-private swim coaching. I felt honored to be asked, so I jumped at the chance. There were five of us: myself, John, Marty, Mike and Bob. Bob was the only one not training for IMAZ, but he was close to all of us so we were glad to have him.
The coach we hired was Perry who was, and still is, one of the area’s best coaches. For the eight or nine months that followed, Perry gave us two workouts per week and met with us once a month for face to face coaching. She analyzed our strokes. She took videos of our form. She had us practice visualization. She filled our heads with good swim stuff. She even had us swim with rubber bands.
The rubber band is a simple concept. One end is affixed to something solid like a diving block at the end of the pool. The other end is attached to a belt that is strapped around the swimmer’s waist. The swimmer’s job is to swim as hard as he or she can against the pull of the rubber band to the opposite end of the pool.
My memory is a bit foggy so I may get some facts confused. I definitely don’t remember swimming against the rubber band on that day, but I do remember that it broke. John’s poor leg got the worst end of that band as it shot back toward our end of the pool. Come to think of it, maybe Bob was the one swimming against the band. He’s by far the strongest swimmer of us all.
There are a lot of good memories in my IRONMAN Arizona 2009 file.