My USMS Times
YouTube Videos of my swims
IGLA Open Water Swim - 2 mile wetsuit category
I started off the morning at 4:20am with the alarm going off. Luckily I'd packed my bag last night, 'cause I wasn't in the mood to do much this morning. I stopped at the local 7-11 to get some Gatorade for rehydration after the swim, and got stuck behind some people with the late late-night party munchies. They were quite the sight, and a bit funny.
Well, I got going on my way toward Seattle, and got to the split where I have to choose which pass to go over. The shorter route (according to the new electronic reader board) was closed on Snoqualmie Pass due to rock blasting this morning from 5:00-8:00am. No way was I going to be able to go that way for a 7:30am checkin time. So off I went on the longer route over Stevens Pass, which also takes me quite a bit further north above Seattle. It worked out okay though. I got my McD's fix in Monroe, and then got my way to I-405 and back to I-90 to get over to Mercer Island where the swim was taking place. I still got there with plenty of time to spare. In fact, I was one of the first to arrive for the check-in.
After walking around aimlessly, I saw a couple people wearing CIBBOWS hats, and one of them looked like Janet (only from FB pictures). We said hi to each other and talked a bit. I'm pretty boring, and she figured that out right away.
I took a look at the course for the swim, a 1 mile triangular swim, counterclockwise, so all left handers around the course. Going down the first straightaway I noticed (along with everyone else), a huge boat (someone has $$$$) right near the line of the corner buoy. As it turns out, this was damn near spot on with the turn buoy, so it was much easier to look for the boat than the yellow turnpost in the water...plus this direction was heading right into the rising sun. The backside of the triangle looked to be pretty long, my only worry was getting lost out there. The final side back to shore was pretty easy to spot the finish buoys, so no problems there. There was a bit of plants/seaweed/crap in the water around the shallow starting/finish buoy. More annoying than anything.
The race got off right at 9:00, as the seconds were being counted down I shouted out "Have fun guys!", and put on goggles and went for it. I started on the far left of the group, and it seemed like everyone was off to a fast start. I just kept going hard trying to breakaway from the group. I was getting my legs and feet hit a bunch, and I think it was because I was actually cutting sideways across in front of everyone without even knowing it. OOPS! My stroke naturally carries me to the right I guess. We made our way down the first leg of the course, and I was right with another guy side be side. I let him get ahead and dropped in behind him for a little draft. I stayed with him around the first buoy, made the turn looked at the next buoy and got swimming again. The leader went somewhere else though. Took too sharp of a turn and was headed back toward shore instead of across the middle of the lake. He eventually got back on track. Along the backstretch I was passed by another swimmer prior to the 2nd turn buoy. I stayed in 3rd place with the 4th place guy turning even with me at the finish buoy of lap #1.
Now we were headed right back into the sunlight on the start of lap #2. This time the sun glare was way worse than the first time. Lucky for me I had a couple guys right in front of me, so I could follow splash bubbles underwater, or I could see their splashes ahead when I sighted. I was trying to see the big boat, but the glare was too much this time.
On the middle of the backstretch of the 2nd lap, I was I believe in 5th place after getting passed by another person. My eyes were killing me from my goggles. I use swedes, and they were cutting into my eye sockets a bit. I'm used to pool swimming, and doing intervals, where I can usually take my goggles off for a bit every 100/200 yards or so. I'm not used to having them on me non-stop for 30-45-60 minutes at a time. I just started treading water, put my goggles on my forehead, and began talking with one of the lifeguards on a paddleboard nearby. She asked if I was fine, I said yeah, just resting my eyes from the goggles. After about 30-45 seconds of my "break", I put my goggles back on and proceeded on. At this point I went into butterfly for about 30 strokes or so. Fly with a wetsuit on is so amazing, plus doing something different with my muscles felt good too. I didn't want to wear myself out so I went back to freestyle.
After rounding the final buoy for the turn to home, I found swimmer #6 coming up on my right hand side. Bad move buddy...that's my breathing side. If you're going to try to make a pass, you have to come by on my left. I saw him there, and knew we were close enough to the finish that I wasn't going to let him beat me. I paced right alongside him, we were looking right at each other the whole way, along with sighting forward. At this point we had two people from the 1 mile swim that we were lapping. There was enough space for me to squeeze between them, and the other guy had to go around a bit. At this point were were at the final intermediate buoy before the finish, I'd guess about 300 yards or so to the end. I poured it on, kicking like I know how to, and left the guy in the dust, not seeing him until we were on shore.
I finished with a 46:12 for my 2 mile swim, and I believe was the #5 overall swimmer in the 2 mile category. In my age group, I was #1, and got a handmade medallion for my efforts. Someone local made all the awards for the IGLA competition, so they are unique. Melted glass, colored blue/red/white/etc. and stamped with IGLA 2013 on them.
I was happy with the swim, and apparently I can still swim fine even on 1-2 days a week of moderate swimming...showing I don't have to be an animal age grouper anymore. Though we'll see next weekend at the Gil Young meet.