The Ignisecond: The moment you know you're doing something really really stupid, but it's too late to stop it.
You can tell I wasn't much of a partier in college when I tell you that Saturday's 1000 yard event was the worst thing I've ever done to my body. Unlike other swim teamers in college, I never showed up for a meet (or even a practice) hung over. So I've never really felt like puking in the middle of a lane before. Now I know better.
It all started off at Saturday's meet, when the team decided to go out for lunch. We had been swimming events all morning and were starving. Only three of us were swimming the 1000, and we were in heat five. Since the early heats tend to take 20 - 30 minutes, we would have at least an hour and a half for lunch, right? We went to a place close by and advised the waitress that we were in a hurry, and would need to get some quick food. I ordered a baked potato and a chocolate shake. The baked potatoes are already made up, they just pop them in a warmer. This should take five minutes. One would think.
Half an hour later, still no food had arrived. I had to go and badger the waitress. Still nothing. Finally at 47 minutes into our break, we get some food. Did I mention we were starving? At this point, I'm wondering should I eat or not. But I was so darned hungry and the food was right in front of me, and.... I hate half a small baked potato and drank the shake, figuring at least that would digest quickly. We high-tailed it back to the meet....
Stroke...don't throw up...stroke....don't visualize a chocolate milkshake...stroke....don't throw up...turn. One lap down. Stroke...don't throw up....stroke.... oh God, how many more laps to go?....stroke...don't throw up... turn. That was what it was like for 1,000 yards. I tried to go as fast as I could, yet knowing that if I really pressed close to the anaerobic edge, I'd lose it.
You will be happy to hear I did not hurl in the pool, thus making the entire swim meet have to vacate the lanes for chunk skimming. And I did complete the race. That's something, I guess. 2 seconds slower than last year. Should've been way faster, based on my 1650 time from Friday night. Still, good enough for second place. The woman who took 3rd place was hot on my heels, only 10 seconds behind me. That's a quarter of a second per length of the pool, or 1 second per 100. I couldn't have swum any slower and held onto 2nd. So I did my job after all. But I never ever ever want to do that again. And I don't think I'll ever look at a chocolate milkshake for the rest of my life.