Sunday, April 12, 2009

Man...I...am...slooooooooooow!

Pre-race...alien sighting
the water was about the same as outside - 53 degrees - but somehow seemed colder.
lap one
Hannah's mean face!
they had coffee pre & post race as well...I got to drink some this time. Great spread.
Hannah's favorite spot above the beach...
Well, yesterday was my second ever open water swim, the first being 800 meters in the Pyramid Lake Sprint Traithlon in 1997 or 1999...can't remember which. Outside of that, I'd never swam longer than a quarter mile, and that would have been about 20 years ago. BUT, I figured I'd better be able to swim an open water mile with no specific training if I have plans to swim from Alcatraz with the minimal amount of swimming I plan on doing over the next 3 months, so I signed up for the Ice Breaker 1 mile in Folsom Lake. As far as being able, after two half mile loops in Folsom Lake, I felt like I could have done another, so that was good, but just like the first two, it would not have been fast. I took my place near the back after the gun, and didn't get going in the water 'til about 30 seconds after the gun. I'd end up doing short intervals of freestyle (after the 1st longer stretch) and did lots and lots of breaststroke...not exactly the model of efficiency, but slow and steady...did I mention slow. I came in after one loop ahead of 30-40% of the field in about 18 minutes (18:30-something on the clock), but unfortunately most of the people that were slower than me got out after a half mile. I'd end up passing one swimmer (and got passed by 4) on the last loop, which I swam in 19 & change. So on the one hand, I'm glad I could comfortably swim a mile, but I was expecting closer to 30:00. The trouble with open water swim is that there aren't too many runners masquerading as swimmers, like I was...so I was actually competing against actual swimmers, and those slower than me were smart enough, or cowardly enough, to only do a half mile. That would not have accomplished my purpose of developing a baseline for my swimming fitness, though, so I was in it for the full mile no matter what. That's the difference between swimming and running...those who can't run a 5k might walk it or jog/walk, but those who can't swim, well, just aren't there on race day. I think I did win the 70+ women's age group.
We had a wonderful pancake breakfast at Granite Beach, and hungout for quite a while, as it turned out to be a nice day, with Hannah running up & down the beach and all over the grassy area. I actually felt good enough later that afternoon, that I did a hilly 5 mile run in Grass Valley (even though it wasn't a run day) and kicked all 27 floors (420 steps) of Circus Circus' butt this morning in 2:28...12 seconds faster than last time with a touch less effort. The plan is to swim at least once a week for 3 months, even though I still don't think I could bear the monotony of swimming a mile or longer in a pool - that might have to wait til mid-late May, and I'll start heading up to Boca and Tahoe. The new suit (an Orca Apex 2) worked pretty well...kept me warm (except for my feet) and had minimal issues with water retention...just a little in the crotch and low back. I know that a half size smaller is too small, so it'll have to do.
Next up is manning the mile marker at the Daffodil Run on Sunday, Run-A-Muck relay on 5-9, and the Climb the Legacy (36 stories - 600 steps) on 5-17.

4 comments:

Turi said...

Great pics! and congrats of your F70+ AG finish... Heh.

SnowLeopard said...

Too bad we can't do any swim training together- I could whip you into shape in no time! You could be the running coach, and I could be the swim coach. (I did teach lessons for 10 years...) Awesome job on getting out there in the cold water- not one of my favorite places to swim either. :)

Peter Lubbers said...

Hey, not bad. One mile is a lot farther than I could (or would) ever swim!

Catherine said...

Nice way to stick with something that you're not great at (like running). My husband has done the Alcatraz swim and loves it.

Thanks for the comment. AR was a great run. Looks like I'll see you tomorrow at mile 1 of Daffodil.