Sunday, July 18, 2010

Great Prarie Open Water Swim Race

Today i did my first OW swim race! It started as a 5k swim and then they opened it up for 2.5 k or 1 lap, not 2. In addition they had a masters category. Now to me, masters means over 40. I guess to USMS a master is anyone over 18 yo. Ha. that is comical!

Below is the course outline. No we didnt swim with ice on the lake, but nor did we REALLY have that true of a line. There were some buoys out there but after the set them up the RD said " dont pay attn to the big orange buoys bc they are drifting and not accurate."

Um. Ok.

So instead we had one start buoy ( the Apex of the triangle...a RED triangle) and two Red Turn buoys, also Red Triangles. Over 2.5K. I know i am spoiled by the path the 70.3 races give me, but It was really hard to see anything! In addition the racers in the 2.5K race ( and those in the wetsuit division) had grey and white caps.

Um. Ok. again.

IT would have been SWEET if there had been this many buoys, just ignore all but the corners:)

The 5k racers had pink. So maybe they were using us as fish bait:)

Warmed up a bit, wore a super cool new Kiwami Amphib 008 open back, and was ready to go.
I lined up behind the timing mat ( we were on the beach) and realized there were these tiny tiny little girls in front of me. So when we entered the water I debated if i could dolphin dive over them or if i should just be cautious and not scar them for life. I did the right thing, let them get some water and then got my stroke moving. Seriously one of them came out of the water about 3-4 minutes after me. Pretty darn impressive.

Not much to say about this other than swimming w/o a wetsuit is really awesome. Even if you are slower its just so natural and how it SHOULD be. Yea, your ego takes a beating i know, but heck when the water is 74-75 ( air was 70!) how can you wish you had a wetsuit on? So back to the race...

The upside down triangle was, as i said, interesting. Swam straight and ignored the BIGGER And BRIGHTER orange balls that were drifting all over the course, and finally saw the little red triangle.

Right Turn. At this point you would think that swimming straight would be super easy. And all you had to do was find that 2nd red triangle. But when you are alone, and the caps that are anywhere near you are grey and white and its cloudy ( which may have been better for sighting, maybe not?? I have great tinted Blue Seventy Siren goggles btw, get em) but i am determined to not breast stroke. So i see some red and start going for it. I dont see anyone to my left or right. And then i realize that my straight line has gone left and i am sighting on a boat with a dude in an orange vest. Ok then. I take about a 75 degree turn IN and all the sudden see a pack of swimmers about 100 yards behind me in their oh so not visible grey caps. Back on target.

Other than that I think i had a pretty good swim:) Who cares if i swam about 200 yards extra I am guessing that i was not the only one who took a few detours. And made that final turn in and headed home. Again, i would have been LOST if i hadnt had the yellow timing tent on the beach to sight on. I hammered it home pretty good that last stretch and came up out of the water well worked but not shelled. I found out later i was 2nd female ( in the 2.5k) and 4th OA.
A 22 yo gal won the womens with a time about 4 minutes faster than me. So great race!

I hung out a bit, saw the Steve's finish, Kelly who won the prego division with baby rogo, ( we made that division up) and her cousin Meghan in town from FLA! Steve H and I headed out for an EASY run. Saturday was a double brick, that i mistakenly made a bit harder due to some lack of oxygen ( making my bike intervals longer )and some poor map my run use, so my legs were pretty happy to trot trot trot around the lake and laugh at where we were in that lake just a few minutes earlier.

My goals were to have fun ( Check ), not swim on around or with any dead fish ( Check), sight well or at least practice sighting an unfamiliar lake ( sorta, Check) and swim HARD without my wetsuit! ( Check!) Oh yeah and hopefully not get some random bug of infection from a city lake. Stay tuned. Those usually show up about 12-24 hours later after an incubation period. Ugh.

Congrats to all the racers 5k AND 2.5k, I think I will be back for this next year with hopes that i will get a shiny bright cap..NEON anyone? and that there will be 3 more buoys to lead our way!

And once I got home, watched the TDF ( Go Andy, you gotta get more than 31 seconds dude or you will lose it in the TT) and rested it was time for recovery tennis with my favorite partner: DAD!!!

What fun! Har-Tru tennis, and lotsa laughs!
PS sorry for my POOR iphone video skills!


JV said...

I always swim about 200 yards extra! :) That triple bypass bike sounds awesome!! Way to finish it. We may have to check that out next year! We'll see how the Centurion in a couple weeks goes first!

Beth said...

Yeah for the Amphibian!! :)

Great job Julia!! I agree it's so much better to swim without a wetsuit...even if it is slower. Anyway, sounds like a fun day...with tennis to boot! :)

Michelle Simmons said...

Sounds like a great swim! And yes, triathletes are so spoiled with wetsuit and a bunch of buoys... in our ocean swim races there are typically 2 buoys- one at the start and one to mark the finish (point to point swims). Otherwise it's just find your way! Awesome.

Libby said...

congrats on the race girl!! you are a stud swimmer! I can't believe you didn't get more off course with the way that was set up! yikes! hoping for no bugs for you!

cheryl said...

sounds like a fun day! you are turning into such a fish!

Dr. TriRunner said...

MAN!! After hearing all the RRs from this... it's REALLY Making me wish I participated! I am blaming the Twins game the night before and the epic back rub/sports massage with my bf the morning after. But still, thats in my back yard - I live half a block off of Harriet!! No excuses.

Awesome job to YOU! I totally agree about swimming without the wetsuit. That's the way it should be. :) I'm headed up to a cabin today in Alexandria and looking for some good swimming!

Angela and David said...

Nice swim! I would never have remembered which buoys to follow and which to ignore. And I love swimming without a wetsuit but I only like it when people aren't beating on me.

Charisa said...

I love that one of your goals was to not swim on dead fish. Check! :)

ADC said...

Hey, that is a great race and I am glad you've enjoyed it. I agree with you on the wetsuit - I prefer swimming without it too.

SSB said...

Sounds like a good race. I'm always adding extra distance to swim races.

Kim said...

So fun! Congrats on your first one! Who cares if you got a little off course.. that happens for sure!! Great Job! That will only make you better my dear!!

Heidi Austin said...

new iphone eh??? lucky! nice race chica...i hate trying to cite when it's choppy... way to go girl :)

Melissa said...

Oh yeah for OW swim races!!! I love them, so much fun. Nice job on accomplishing all (well, the one TBD goal is still out there) of your goals.