OK, since it's been a looooong time since I have put up a race report, I'll go ahead and tell you about this little 2 mile swim I did yesterday at the Boulder Rez! It was one of those last minute dealios - on Wednesday night CV sent out the email asking if we wanted to do the swim! Sounded like fun to me, especially since it's been awhile since I've even been in a wetsuit let alone a race! Count me in!
Funny though, it was just a part of a looooooong training day so I really wasn't nervous or excited or anything else. Just a great opportunity to see how my swimming felt - and I was very curious about that since my swim yardage hasn't been really BIG or anything (not like PIC's!!). Plus, I love hanging out with Ang, Son, and CV so hey - let's go!
I signed up for the wetsuit swim but the water at the Rez is a balmy 75 degrees and I was wishing I had the new TYR sleeveless wetsuit or had enough time to grab my TYR speedsuit from the car. Oh well. With a pure swim start (not a tri start) I wasn't quite sure where to line up.....I scoped out everyone on the front line and tried to figure out who the fast guys were. I think I had figured it out and lined up next to them. The start was as violent as any I have been in!! And this was for a 2 mile swim!! I got hit, kicked, swum over, dragged under. For a 2 mile swim! I just kept swimming and hoping the madness would end at some point....soon! I found myself at the back of a group of about 6 or 7 so I figured it was a great time to practice drafting. The poor guy next to me - either I was all over the place or he was all over the place but we just kept running into each other. I was at his hip so actually it was me continually running into him. We started down the long back stretch of the 2-loop course and I was working pretty good but I felt OK in the group.
As we made our way towards the start of the second loop I was resigned to continually running into the guy next to me for another lap. But then he turned off for the 1 mile finish. Crap! I looked up and I was an island! He had let the other swimmers in front of us get ahead by a few meters and I was unable to bridge the gap. They weren't getting any further ahead of me but I couldn't catch them. On the long back stretch I started to feel a breathing cramp come on. I tried to relax but it kept coming and then suddenly it was there and it hurt! I had to roll on my back and float for the cramp to release - as I did this I realized I really was an island. I couldn't see anyone behind me! I rolled back over and the group had gotten away. Darn. I started swimming again. The cramp took hold again. I rolled on my back again. I was wondering if a kayak was going to come over and help me! At this point I could see the finish directly across from me and seriously considered just backstroking across and calling it a day. But, of course, I kept going. I had to go into a kind of cool-down mode and really stretch out my stroke in order to breathe. One more back roll and I know I would make it to the finish. Alone.
Finally on the beach I was done! Dang, I forgot how far the near-Ironman swim was. I couldn't hear my time as I was trying to get out of my wetsuit as fast as possible - I was darn hot. As it turns out, I managed a 3rd place finish for the wetsuits with my back float in around 47:30ish! Not bad:) And, it is always good to learn something about yourself in a low-pressure race environment. Pace is everything and I need to be careful about swimming with the big sharks!! I probably could have been a bit faster if I had paced the first lap a bit better and then avoided the breathing cramp. But, then again, I wouldn't have had all that great drafting practice.
Of course, the day had barely begun. It was time to eat and get on the bikes for a hard effort up to Brainard Lake. Yikes, my legs were complaining and my heart rate was rising. And did I mention it was hot out? As in 2 bottles gone in an hour. There were times in the canyon that there was no breeze just the heat. It was stifling. But since I signed up for this craziness, I am not complaining. Well maybe a little bit.
Back to the Rez 4 hours later and it was time for a run-off. It had to be a cool 100 degrees at that point and absolutely no cover. The water in my hand bottle was as hot as the air and I forgot my hat even though that wouldn't have helped much. No relief. But, I signed up for this. I'm all in. Ang, PIC and I ended up at the swim beach where we proceeded to get back in the water sans wetsuits, swim out to one of the decks and cool-off. The day was done. It was time for cold showers and food.