Wild Fish 2 Mile Swim

And now, for the much anticipated race report from the Wild Fish 2 Mile Swim. Hubby and I did the race last Sunday, but with all that is going on with our lives right now (oh, interviewing for jobs, planning a move, etc...NBD) I just haven't had much time.

The swim was an ocean swim, but fortunately it was in a cove/harbor/inlet (whatever you want to call it) so there was no wave action. Only tide action, low to high. Thus the swim wasn't until 11:30AM so the tide could be high enough for the water to be deep enough to swim in.

Hubby and I got there about 10AM to make sure we had enough time to get there, find a parking spot and pick up our packets. We also wanted some time to get our wetsuits on and get acclimated to the water temperature. Needless to say, we were there excessively early, but we got a really good parking spot. We're used to having to be at races super early for parking and to set up our transition areas.

One of our friends and WWMS teammates also did the 2 mile race with us (there was also a 1 mile race). I think she said it was her fourth or fifth consecutive time doing this race and she loves it. She's one of those crazy super swimmers who does multi-mile swim races like every other weekend. She also swims without a wetsuit in May. She's pretty much a beast. I just hope that one day I don't cry when I go swimming in May because its so cold.

The water temperature at race time was 68F (20C). Much warmer than I expected from the ocean this far north, but it felt every bit as cold as I thought it would be. I acclimated to the chilly temperature in time for the National Anthem and then we were off. Off course, in the 20 minutes time *eye roll* that it takes to play the American National Anthem, I had unacclimated and was gasping from the cold once I started to try to swim.

When the water is cold (which for me, it doesn't take much to be considered cold), I have a hard time getting a rhythm down. I breathe in when my face is in the water and out when its not and I semi-drown. I try to breast stroke, but that was also a losing battle. As anyone who has ever breast stroked in a wetsuit will tell you, the wetsuit makes you too buoyant to actually do a productive breast stroke. Its like attempting to make a snow angel when there's that thin layer of ice on top of the snow. I feel like if you took an aerial shot of me breast stroking in a wetsuit, that's what it would look like. In fact, the photo crew for the race did manage to get just such a shot of me...

I quickly realized by the fact that there was a kayak paddling right along side of me that I was A) last and B) looked like I was in a lot more distress than I really was. I immediately switched back to front crawl and I kinda wanted to yell out, "Stop following me. I'm ok. I know what it looks like, but trust me, I can swim 2 miles. For reals, yo. When it comes to swimming, I'm more of a tortoise than a hare. I may start slow, but I'm straight up passing hares as the races goes on."

The race was a two loop course, which made it kinda interesting dodging all the one milers as we were starting our second loop and they were finishing. I did a terrible job sighting on the first loop. I seemingly kept getting "washed ashore". Every time I looked up, no matter how frequently I sighted, I was no where near the buoy line and I was almost up on the shore. And do you know who else was swimming close to shore? These...
Fortunately, they were too small to sting, but they're still gross. It freaked me the hell out when I touched the first one. I hadn't actually seen them yet, so I didn't know what I touched. Then I saw one. Then two. Then swarms of jellyfish. Hubby swears to high heaven there were not any jellyfish in the water, but a bunch of my fellow racers said they also saw and felt them. They're kinda hard to miss when they are that abundant.

Another obstacle I had to face on the swim, almost literally, were the floating concrete blocks that were right smack dab in the middle of the course. No one was quite sure what they were or how they were floating, but they were hard to see as they hardly surfaced above the water and they were painted blue. It wasn't until you practically ran into them that you saw them. Thanks for the heads up, race organizers.

The two other challenges that I faced aside from what was in the water was the saltiness of the water (whoops, I guess that still goes under the "what's in the water" category) and the fact that my fingers went numb half way through the second loop. It was my first ever ocean swim in terms of racing or lap swimming. You don't realize how overpowering the salt in your mouth gets and how quickly until you do one of these things. I was parched before I even got to the first buoy.

All in all, I finished right about the time that I expected, a little over 1 hour and 22 minutes. All I really wanted out of this race was to get another training swim in before our big race and to see how we stacked up against the swim cutoff for the big race. I wasn't too concerned about cutting it close, but I know hubby was doubting himself a little bit, so we did the race together. With this time, I'll have 58 minutes to swim 0.4mi. I think I can handle that.

P.S. For those looking at doing an ocean swim, invest in Body Glide or something similar. I never had chaffing from my wetsuit during freshwater swims, but I got it bad in the salt water. There's nothing like salt to exfoliate...really well.


Anonymous said...

1 hour 22 is great! I'm a slow but consistent swimmer, tortoise definitely beats the hare!

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