So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Monday, April 8, 2013

1500 Meter Open Water Swim

I never thought I would do a swim race that did not reward me with a run at the end.  But unlike last year, a run was not included.  Otherwise, it was very similar:  I ran into my old best running buddy again.  The lake was gross again.  I forgot anti-fog again.

This distance was a little farther this year (1500 meters) and I was a little faster this year (27:04) but considering how much work I have put in at the pool, I am not sure I am pleased with the investment of time.

And okay, okay...maybe I have not gone to the pool that much in the past month, but I was at Masters during the winter when it was 40-degrees and raining. 

The thing is, open-water swimming is much different than pool-swimming.  When you stand in the lake on race day and peer into the distance to sight your turn-around buoy, it always looks so far away.  This course was two 750-meter laps but yet it looked intimidatingly and frustratingly far.

I am tempted to point out that the shirtless man standing a mere few feet behind me is a South African gold medal Olympic swimmer with a really awesome accent.  But anyway, I still could not believe I paid money to subject myself to swimming in this gross lake.

When spotting a camera, I managed to smile.  But even I could not make it look convincing.

My friend, who won the race in a mere 20 minutes, is also in this picture.  She claims it's "no big deal" because she has "been swimming her whole life."   When the race started, I was kicked and hit and a few bodies literally swam over me.  It was a crowded and unpleasant start for those of us not in front.  I immediately took the opportunity to blame my mother.  Maybe if she did not let me quit swim team when I was young kid, I could swim in the front with my friend.

Although, in my mother's defense, it would still have been unlikely.  I suspect my friend liked swimming when she was young.  I bet she was very good at it.  I bet she wanted to go to practice every morning.

I know I was not born to be a swimmer.  I was born to be a trail runner who dabbled in road running.  But before triathlons, I was riddled with injury all the time.  If I want to run for the rest of my life,  swimming in this gross is lake is simply what I need to do, even if I am never able to finish in 20 minutes.

After the pandemonium thinned out, I concentrated on my stroke.  Stroke Stroke breathe left - stroke stroke breathe right. Spot.  Stroke stroke breathe left - stroke stroke breathe right. Spot.  It was very boring.

But finally, I finished!  7th place, out of 42 females.  

After the race, I was horribly bloated.  It hurt to breathe.
I need to figure out how to not swallow air and water when gasping for my life.

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