I still couldn't manage to get the hang of swimming long distances, and this was a problem because I was going to have to swim over a mile. I was still getting out of breath after just 50 yards. Rather than stopping to rest I would roll over and backstroke until I had caught my breath. I was still very frustrated by the swim, and still not enjoying it at all.
Some would say that if I don't like it, and it is that hard for me I should probably just not do triathlons. There are all sorts of other things I could do, marathons, duathlons, ultra marathons. . . Here's the thing though. I like being challenged. I like the facing the feeling of, "I can't do this," and then finding a way to do it. I enjoy finding what seems to be my limit, and then discovering a way to go past that supposed limit. At one point in my life I thought I couldn't run, thought I couldn't swim more than enough to get back to a boat if I fell off it.
I didn't like the swim. I was not very good at the swim. So I kept getting in the pool.
So I trained. I swam, I biked, I ran. I kept adding more distance to my long bike rides and my long runs and trying to add distance to my swims. I kept hitting this obstacle though.
I went out one evening to swim, started feeling queasy, cut the swim short, drove home in misery and threw up in the yard. I kept getting sick whenever I would swim. So I asked for advice from my triathlon friends on Google+. Earplugs fixed the swimming problem, then I was able to build my swims up in distance as well.
One day I finally figured out why I got so winded swimming, and I felt like an absolute fool. The same thing I kept telling new runners I had to tell myself. "Slow down." By easing off on my stroke a bit, I lost only a little bit of speed but was able to keep swimming without changing to backstroke or stopping. Over all this saved me time and energy.
So I was able to get my training in. I was ready to get out there with my wife and complete a 70.3 of our own design.