Sunday, July 15, 2012

Awesome race day!

We had an awesome open water competition today! Margie got to swim rather than be my safety guide as usual. The competition was at the YMCA Camp Manitou near New Auburn, WI. The following is Margie's swim report:
"A two mile lake swim is the way to start off one's morning! The course was layed out with 7 buoys all about  1/4 mile apart. My goal was to bilateral breathe for the whole swim. The first 1/4 mile, the sun was on my right side, just over the tree line and directly in my eyes. My initial thought was I should just breathe to the left (my natural side) and not have to worry about the sun. Oh-oh... straight out of the gate, I was already coming up with a reason not to accomplish my goal! Then, out of no where, a voice says 1-2-3; 1-2-3; 1-2-3... I chuckled to myself and went with it. I got to the 1st buoy and turned left which immediately took care of my sun issue. After spotting the 2nd buoy and several swimmers around me, I hunkered down heading mostly west for 3 more buoys. I really tried to focus on my rotation thinking how great it was to not have walls that would break my concentration. Getting to the 4th buoy, I turned left again so that I was heading south. The suns rays streaming through the water were very cool - too cool in fact as I forgot to sight. Oops! When I  finally looked up, I had strayed off course and was heading into shore.With one loud "darn it" that I am sure scared all the fish away, I got back in line with buoy #5. The thought of Jane already being on shore and changed into dry clothes made me laugh, but onward I went. Buoy #6 came up and I turned left again now heading east. 1/2 mile to go and I am having a blast! With my rotation still feeling good, I shifted my focus to my hand entry and the start of my pull. Gosh this is fun! Passing the last buoy (#7), I headed into shore (the correct shore this time!). The swim was over and I accomplished my goal of bilateral breathing the whole way. It was a very fun morning!"

Now for my swim report:
I started off behind - my own fault - I was lolli-gagging gettting in the water and was not ready for the race start. Oh well, my total attitude for the day was "just swim and have fun". I had only gotten about 2 1/2 hours sleep and we left my home at 3:45am to get to the competition on time, so I had no great expectations! I let the first group of swimmers get a little ahead so I would not be mixed up in that "washing machine' of arms and legs. The water tempurature was perfect - way too warm for some - but for a freeze-baby like me,  it was wonderful. I felt relaxed and smooth. After a little ways, I noticed I was starting to catch up to some of the swimmers in front of me. This started my competitive juices flowing so, still feeling good, I just tried to keep my stroke long and efficient. The buoys kept ticking off and now I could see the lead pack in front of me. Each buoy they were getting closer but I never did quite catch them. I was very happy with my time however, placing 1st in my age group and 4th overall. It was great to have Margie in the water with me today. I missed her guiding me, but her "going- straight" kayaking abilities have helped me to tweak my stroke, so I believe I was swimming mostly in line with the buoys today (obviously a huge advantage in open water swimming!).

Thanks Pam for all your hard work in gettnig this race organized! Thanks also to the lifeguards in the kayaks keeping their watchful eye, and congratulations to Josie, the 10 year old and youngest in the race, who completed her first 2 mile open water swim!!

The plan for monday is South Long and Upper South Long.

The first picture is Margie on the home stretch.
The second is part of the group of swimmers who competed and helped Margie and I celebrate the completion of lake #26! Nice job everyone!
The 3rd is the excellent support staff keeping us all safe!

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