Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Good.

You already got the bad and the ugly of the Great Chesapeake Bay swim, but I've been wanting to write a whole post on The Good because there was plenty of it. I've had a week to process it all and reflect on what I enjoyed, which is what I'd like to remember.
This will also include some "what worked for me" for anyone reading this in preparation for this swim in the future.
1. The race was really well organized, I got there super early expecting a mob scene like the one prior to a big race in Central Park, but instead I found an organized, smooth check in system, plenty of parking and a short line to use the bathroom. I joked that the lines for the bathroom were short because people were just holding it until they got in the water. The start area was fun, I met veteran swimmers who were all willing to give advice on the course and I met one of my "virtual training buddies", Donna, which was great!
2. The bridges truly took my breath away when I saw them. The view across the bay was so beautiful and serene that I couldn't wait to get out there. This awe continued for the entire race. I love bridges and it was so cool to swim between these two. It also made sighting so much easier than say, in the ocean, because you had a marker on either side which meant I could see my progress every 3 strokes.
3. The water was pretty flat and considering some of the conditions I've read about from previous swims, we practically had a perfect day (minus the mile 2 current).
4. I definitely had the stamina for the entire distance. If it weren't for my back, I'd have cruised right through to the finish line and not gotten tired, I'm certain of that. At mile 2, despite fighting the current, I actually thought "this race is too short, I'm nearly halfway done!" Ha...
5. Even though the water was lava hot and I felt like it took days to cool down, I am grateful that it wasn't cold. It's way more painful to swim in cold water than warm, even if it's nasty.
6. I still passed people even though I was hurting. My competitive side keeps me going in any race, even when it gets tough. I also have too much pride to let someone in a wetsuit pass me, even if they were wearing a yellow cap and had a 15 minute head start. No freaking way.
7. I finished.
8. I loved training for this swim more than I ever enjoyed training for a marathon. It was hard work and lots of laps, but I never felt beat up from long swims the way that running 20 miles does.
9. Did I mention that I finished?
10. It was fun, really, really fun. I love swimming, especially in open water and no matter what the conditions are I enjoy myself when I'm suspended in the water, away from everything on shore, lost in my own thoughts.

posted from Bloggeroid

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