The metaphor is awfully appropriate in this case, seeing as it's the 200 IM - specifically, the 50 yards of butterfly which kick off that 200 IM - which have me in such a tailspin. I can do 25 yards of butterfly easily. The second 25 are not quite as easy. And then there are 150 more yards to go.
Mount block. Situate feet. "Take your mark." Crouch. Beep.
Dive. Hope that goggles stay in place. Butterfly. Touch side with two hands, push off. Butterfly. Hope I don't look like an idiot.
Touch with two hands, push off on my back. Backstroke. See flags. Count 3 strokes. Flip to stomach. Flip turn. Surface on back. Do not get water in nose. Backstroke. See flags. Count 4 strokes, yes, 4. Do not crack head on wall.
Grab wall with one hand. Turn and push off. Breaststroke. Try to channel Lauren the Breaststroke Goddess. Touch wall with two hands. Push off. Breaststroke. Try not to hyperventilate.
Touch wall with two hands. Push off. Freestyle, really fast. Ignore muscles which say they must stop. Flip turn. Freestyle, as fast as I can possibly go. Refuse to pass out. Finish.