I know, I know…here I am complaining about recovery and then I’m racing again? JUST a swim race – no dash after the splash – and only after a very easy week otherwise. I am trying to do all the OW swim races I can this year to get better and faster in the kind of conditions I need to race in for triathlon! There were 1 & 2 mile swim races plus 1 mile swim/3 mile run and 2 mile swim/6 mile run events going on today.
I moseyed on down to the lovely Uvas Reservoir this morning and was greeted shortly after arrival by sunny blue skies and nice temps. Again, I had a ton of friends racing which just made the whole morning more fun.
After hanging out and chatting, we finally herded ourselves down to the water, which felt something on the order of 68 degrees to me, and slowly worked our way in for a warmup while the 2-mile racers started. I tried to stick close to my friend Mary with the hope I could use her for drafting – I had very specific instructions about getting on someone’s feet and doing whatever I could to stay there. I swim masters with Mary and know she’s faster than me but thought if I busted my ass I could stay on her toes.
The gun went off, the bodies crushed together, and I found myself on someone else’s feet…someone far slower than me! I could see Mary up ahead so I took off past the person I was with and desperately tried to bridge the gap to her feet. I worked my way from one set of feet to another until I was close to Mary and then just kept pulling and pulling trying to reach her. I got jostled by someone swimming over me and the next time I looked up, she was gone and I couldn’t find her anymore. (In the end, she finished less than 3 minutes ahead of me so if I’d just gotten on her feet sooner I think I could have stuck there)
That left me for about 1/3 of the swim loop without anyone around me – how do you go from totally crowded to all alone? Hmmph. In any event, when I reached the last major buoy, someone came up from behind me and I grabbed onto his feet right away. He was swimming without a wetsuit and in a long-sleeved white rashguard so he was quite easy to see – he didn’t seem to be doing much with his arms but he was a strong kicker that made it super easy to stay right in his bubbles. His sighting might have been slightly suspect but he was good for a faster ride to the finish for sure. I veered away from him at the very end to the boat dock, as he seemed to be swimming far off course away from it, but I should have just stayed right there as we both reached land at the same time.
It was definitely the most I’ve tried to redline in a swim and I still came out feeling solid and like I’d have no problem getting on a bike. So I’ll have to rethink my definition of appropriate swim effort in future races!
The nice part about doing the swim-only race was just getting to hang out after that, watch people finish, cheer for my friends, chat with the race director and enjoy the weather!
When the results were finally posted, I was surprised to see my name in 2nd place for the open (18-49 yo) women’s division. Me? Place in a swim race? Apparently.
After a long wait for the awards ceremony (and Mary a total champ for staying the entire time to see it), they finally said results were still being dealt with, people were still on course, anyone here still can take a backpack whether you won something or not, go home and enjoy your day.
Denied my big podium moment but still willing to pose with my “prize”
In all it was a fun morning and a great way to get a little of that competitive fire that’s been building into action!