Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catfish Swim

Last Saturday I did something I've never done before - something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could do, or would even want to do. I swam over a mile in open water.

I had originally planned to do this swim last year, but I hadn't yet signed up for masters and hadn't trained enough. I knew I couldn't do a mile so I opted for the 500 yard swim instead. But this year I had set my sights on the 1.2 mile option.

Since joining masters, I've swam the distance in the pool a number of times so I knew I could do it. But there is a big difference between swimming in the pool and swimming in open water.

I arrived at the park with over an hour to spare. I waited in a long line for the bathroom then another long line to check-in. I was getting more and more nervous standing in line. When I got near the front, the woman in front of me checked in and told them that she wanted to downgrade from the 1.2 mile distance to the 500 yard distance. And the thought occurred to me that I should do that, too. But I knew I'd be disappointed with myself if I didn't at least try the longer distance.

Couldn't have picked a nicer venue - and the weather was great, too!
I had just enough time to squeeze into my wetsuit and get in the water to get acclimated before it was time to go. Just follow the buoys!

Swim course pic taken from event website.

I started towards the back of the pack - as usual - and it wasn't long before most of the crowd was ahead of me. I was fine with it. I wasn't out there to "race." I just wanted to get it done.

The non-wetsuit swimmers started 10 minutes after me and I was a little nervous about getting caught up in that pack when they caught me, but it was fine. I never got hit or kicked, and even the turns weren't crowded.

What's there to say about a swim race - right stroke, left stroke, repeat. And that's what I did until finally I was heading towards the shore. Eventually I got to the point where my hand touched the ground so I stood up and ran through the finish chute.

Thanks to Meredith for the picture!

I did it!  I swam over a mile in a lake!