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2012-07-27 11:14 AM

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Subject: First Alcatraz Challenge finished!
I'm not sure if this is in the right section, so if it's not I apologize. I don't intend for this to be a race report, rather I wanted to give a brief summary as to how the OWS portion went. Hopefully it could help others with limited OWS experience gain some insight as what to expect with this race.

The swim went from Alcatraz to East Chrissy Fields last Sunday. All of my training was in an indoor pool, as it was difficult for me to reach open water. I did tons of sprint and distance work and felt very confident. On race day, I ended up using a Bodyglove wetsuit, which was horrible (I'll get to that). I knew I was in great shape for this race, so it shouldn't be too bad right? Wrong. Upon entering the water, I started to swim at an awesome pace.....for about 100m. Suddenly, I couldn't breath very deep. I thought it was nerves, or maybe even the cold, but it was neither (and no I do not have any type of asthma). I pushed on a bit further, but needed to stop. I called over one of the safety kayaks to hang on for a minute and figure out what the problem was. It was my wetsuit. It wasn't allowing me to get full chest expansion or arm extension (maybe I'm not used to them?). I considered ditching it, but then it would for sure be cold. I let some water in and continued on. The chop, or swells, were another obstacle. I had to figure out the timing on when to breath, and ended up swallowing a lot of water. I decided to swim breaststroke/sidestroke the rest of the race. I got off course a couple of times and had to be repositioned, but I finished it. The swim was very humbling, and showed me my weakness. I will definitely find time to get to open water to train a bit, as even something like sighting was tough for me. I am also going to invest in a better wetsuit. The next day, my chest was sore and sensitive when I took a deep breath (internal not external). Sorry it wasn't as brief as I wanted it to be, but hopefully this can help someone else who will be doing this swim, or a similar one, with as little experience as myself. BTW, the run was great and had awesome views! Thank you everyone for all the tips and advice, I'm looking forward to many more races!


2012-07-27 12:22 PM
in reply to: #4333786

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Subject: RE: First Alcatraz Challenge finished!
Congrats, i've done three crossings (including the swim / run challenge last year) and they've all been different.  It's an accomplishment for sure!   Tried to get back this year but the schedule did not pan out
2012-07-27 9:35 PM
in reply to: #4333786

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Subject: RE: First Alcatraz Challenge finished!
Glad you finished . Thanks for sharing . OWS in the ocean is completely different to pool swimming. I experienced some drama during the leg of my first Olympic distance swim . At The start I felt great and i was swimming at a good clip, then I felt really constricted by the wetsuit and tight in breathing an pressured around my neck and could not breathe. I was bout 1/3 of the way into the distance . I wanted the wetsuit off real bad but i was then 500m off shore with some choppy waves. I had to take a break , relax and swim breastroke the rest of the way which is really much harder to do wearing with a wetsuit . I finally made it on to the beach and nursed myself to the finish line . I can still see the long defeated face in my race pictures coming out of the water . I now still treat the swim with caution and respect the preparation , yardage and rest i need to do to have make it a success.
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