I did a 1 mile OW swim race saturday in Hudson, Wisconsin. I talked to JH about the race and she said, RACE it like an OLY Tri. Well, I have never done an OLY race! More on that later...but I am doing my first Oly Tri next weekend. Woohoo! Wish me luck.
Anyways we headed to Perch lake, in Hudson Wisconsin... around 6:45 am saturday. KJ picked me up and was nice enough to pack my bike as well so i could ride home from the swim. When we got there it was super foggy from the super high humidity. But the lake was super calm and you could see the buoys easily and unlike the last OW race our caps were bright yellow! KJ and her daughter were swimming together, it was Elizabeth's first OW race. She is 13 and a super duper swimmer!
I had only one issue of stress:) self induced of course. Wetsuit or no wetsuit? The water temp was fine, it was 74 so if it was a Tri, we would all be wearing wetsuits. I hemmed and hawed the day prior bc it was not a USMS race ( where wetsuits would be illegal) and i intended to NOT wear a wetsuit. When JH told me "LET ME BE CLEAR...if wetsuits are legal, you HAVE TO WEAR A WETSUIT to be up in the top of the group." of course my pea brain was thinking i didnt want to wear one and be the only one wearing one, and be in the top of the group bc i was cheating. Ok, not cheating. But swimmers are not wetsuit wearers. Without calling people REAL swimmers versus TRI swimmers, I just wanted to swim hard and hopefully place well.
Ok enough background on that. I was going to wear my speedsuit. Then i see two women, my age putting on wetsuits. Game on. I am wearing my wetsuit. Ha! my friend KJ said ( JH you would like her) "Julia, you are racing? Wear the wetsuit. You are gonna be pissed if you dont and somebody in a wetsuit beats you." So I wore the wetsuit. And yes I did have a bit of energy left to swim.
The 2 milers went off first. We waited for what seemed forever for them to clear the far buoy. And then we were off. I swam really really hard to get out in front. I did. I had a few people next to me, but I had clear water and didnt get pounded. I heard a few people got pounded back there. Ouch. I saw that there was one cap in front of me, but there was a big gap. And he ( I think it was a he) was swimming far left of the buoy( we were swimming clockwise) so i got so tight to the first buoys i nearly clipped them with my arm. All the sudden i see someone coming up on my left side. She ( she didnt have a wetsuit on!) was MOVING. I hopped on her feet and off we went past the leader. We got to the far side of the lake and started to head back towards the shore and i was in front all the sudden. I am not sure how she fell off but she did. I was sighting on the big orange buoy but the more i swam the more i realized ONCE AGAIN I was sighting off something ( the buoy) on shore. I was totally confused as to why they had put a buoy, on shore, or at least on the rocks. I didnt realize this until i was about 3/4 of the way there and then thought it was there as a "dont go over here" buoy bc in order to swim to the left of this i would need to get on shore. So i then thought "OK just added, as usual, an extra 200 or more to my mile swim" and totally cut back towards the other buoys that lined up towards shore. The poor kid who was behind me ( i could tell she was heading towards that land buoy as well) cut over with me and all the sudden she was on me and passing me. I could see from my peripheral vision that there were about 5-7 yellow caps who had NOT swum to the land buoy and i was able to keep my lead on them, but dang it. It was really confusing.
So once i found another line with the swimsuit gal we just both hauled it in. She got me by about 20 seconds and i could not keep up with her once she passed me. Plus she wasnt wearing a wetsuit so i just kinda figured she should win. The time i heard when i got out was 22 something. I have no idea if that is fast or short or what, but as Rich said. IT is what it is. There were alot of people wearing wetsuits so i didnt feel like a cheater after all, but heck, I am not sure why i wanted to make it harder on myself.
I did learn that the Land buoy had blown or drifted off course, and they had to drag it back out to the middle of the lake where it had started. So i didnt feel as bad about "cheating" or cutting a buoy bc likely we swam to where it should have been, and i am glad i didnt swim to the shore and stand there saying "huh?" I was really happy with the swim, I swam hard and i was pretty gassed when we finished. We grabbed some food and then Rich and I rode home from Hudson, Wisconsin. ( it sounds more glamorous than it is) and for the first hour i was sorta in lalaland.
I didnt feel great, and i had no energy. I got a 2nd wind when we got into Minnesota but i think i just swam that hard that my body was sorta fried. We got in just in time to eat some more, rest up for a few, and head to a family friend's wedding..
Sorry no photos from the race or the ride home, but we did snap these at the wedding:
A beautiful outdoor ceremony on the St. Croix( yes about 10 minutes from where we were all morning!) and great company. We sat with my old ( former) tennis coach, and a few Latin teachers from SPA. Too funny. We also sat with the minister and her husband that did the ceremony. She also married us last November so we really enjoyed the comraderie and the memories of our special day last year.
Thanks for reading!