Wild Fish One and Two Mile Swim - SwimOther

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Salem, Massachusetts
United States
B&S Fitness
Total Time = 1h 04m 47s
Overall Rank = 68/96
Age Group = F30-39
Age Group Rank = 11/15
Pre-race routine:

Woke up feeling oddly stiff and a little sore. Tried to stretch out a bit and then then walked around the block a couple times before picking up bagels, lox and cream cheese across the street for breakfast.

I decided that with it just being a swim, there was no reason to get a Zipcar, so put air in my tires, checked my bike and packed a bag. Biked with Jonah from Cambridge to North Station. Took the train to Salem and then biked to Collins Cove from there. Locked up our bikes by the beach and got my reg packet. AWESOME tech shirt and bag from this one! I will DEFINITELY use both. The fishie on em is adorable :)
Event warmup:

As I waded in the frigid water staring at the course, I asked another wetsuit-less swimmer if the buoys looked A LOT farther than they did last year, and she laughed and said she was just about to ask me the same thing. We had a laugh about last year's seaweed and debris since it was after three days of storms, and by the end of our chat the last buoy didn't seem that far.

It had dawned on me earlier in the AM when responding to QueenZip's inpires that I had no real sense of goals for this race other than show up. My first goal, I decided, was to warm up this time. Last year I didn't warm up and I had a hard time getting acclimated to the temperature and the salt water (I'm much more used to fresh water swimming) and ended up doing quite a bit of breaststroke at the start to keep my face out for nearly the first 200 yds.

After standing in waist deep water for a good 10 minutes, I finally made the plunge and MAN was it chilly when you got a few yards from the beach! There were a lot of cold "potholes" in that cove, so even once I was more acclimated to the temp (I had goosebumps at the beginning) I still passed through significantly colder patches that made me shiver. Swam 80% of the way to the last buoy (150yds each way?) and then thought... um, You're about to swim 2miles... do you really NEED to swim anymore now?

The sun was out so I took the oppt'y to float out there by myself and think about my goals. I had no idea how much time it would take me. I have only swam 2 miles without stopping once before which was 3 days earlier, and I didn't time myself. My 1 miler last year was exactly the time of a 5k run that was a pretty average race effort (31min and change), so I started thinking of this in terms of a 10k run. For a 10k road race, I often go out too fast and then pay for it at around mile 4 and a half to 5, and I thought how awful it would be to run out of gas on a swim, so decided to pace myself on the first mile, force myself not to sprint at the end of it when the 1 milers pull it in, and then push a little more on the second loop. My other goal was to be assertive on the start and not wait for the washing machine to stop or go way outside to avoid it since I've been wimpy about it and lost a lot there in the past.

As I started to swim back to shore my body was ready to stay in for another hour. The announcer asked "How's the water?" and a chorus of wetsuited swimmers swimming toward me on their warm up responded in a chorus of "COLD!!" Wimps. :)

Had a Honey Stinger gel and some water and waited for the pre-race instructions and the 1 milers to start 5 minutes before us.
  • 1h 04m 57s
  • 3520 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

Great start for me. Got slapped a little by some slippery arms, but kept going and I was really happy about that. But then I realized I was way off to the right when I should have been angling toward the first buoy. Paid more attention to being on course after that, but seemed consistently a little further outside the circular course than anyone else.

After the first buoy, I swam through another DEEP "pothole". Definitely a few degrees colder than the rest of the cove. I made myself swim faster through it and reminded myself to be prepared for it on the second lap. As planned, took the first loop very easy, but still found that I caught up to half of the one milers pretty quickly and picked off a bunch of gold caps before the 2nd marker.

At the 1/2 mile marker, I saw a TON of people going to the inside of it, which SUCKS. It makes me angry! Why did you bother showing up for a race if you weren't going to make the effort to follow the course? It was crazy since the same thing happened at the next buoy... I actually thought for a moment that maybe *I* was wrong and I was supposed to have the buoy on my right side... but nope, not the case.

Anyway, it was around 3/4 of a mile that I started to think how easy it was and that toward the end of mile 1 that it felt like I barely started swimming. I promised myself that I wouldn't sprint with the gold caps, but then I realized I was probably going way too slow for the first half. Got caught up a little in the traffic of one lap finishers as I went to turn the corner and then picked up the pace a little.

My body was happy to swim in the cool water, but it was clear when I started to pick up my kick that my feet were numb. A few more degrees would have been nice.

As I passed the rocks to the right of the start, I realized that the water level had risen a bit since the start. I wondered if this was going to make the second lap harder than the first.

I found myself pacing with a guy to my left for a couple hundred yards and we picked up the pace together. He also didn't have a wetsuit. Once we hit that "pothole", I was ready for it, and I don't know if it was the change in temp or if I really picked up my pace to sprint through it since I didn't want my feet to get any worse, he slowed up and I lost him.

I kept feeling like I was being pushed further to the outside, but it wasn't bad until I got to mile 1.5. Got caught in a current at the middle of the second lap around this point. At first I thought that I had just gotten really tired and wasn't able to push water anymore. But, I didn't feel winded, my breathing never changed, and my arms felt like they had a couple more miles in em. But, I wasn't moving. I know from swimming in a lake that sometimes the sight lines can be deceptive when you're away from shore, but I really felt like I was in one spot for a long time. A couple other swimmers not far from me were having the same problem and when I saw one of them stopped and looked around confused, throw up his arms for a moment and drift toward me a bit, I knew it wasn't my imagination that I had been in the same spot for several minutes. That feeling SUCKS. At that moment I decided that I NEVER EVER want an Endless Pool!

Kicked like hell, and it didn't work. Realized that I should try to escape toward the rocks rather than straight into the beach and felt it get slightly easier. It took a couple minutes of pulling and kicking as hard as I could without breathing (tried to stay as streamlined as possible) to get moving again. I realized I was making a bit more progress than the other two swimmers. That made me really happy since they were both in wetsuits and I could be wrong, but I thought one or both of them swam to the wrong side of the last buoy.

My heart was pounding, but it didn't take to long to get HR back to normal. I picked it up for the home stretch with the knowledge that I was swimming against the current now, and I was even more disappointed for not taking advantage of some additional speed on the first lap since it was much easier swimming then.

Didn't let those other two swimmers catch up to me at the end, and even though I had a strong finish, I felt like I could have gone another loop if it weren't for that current.

Had a hard time running up the ramp on fuzzy feet. Jonah took a wonderful picture of me with a seaweed beard that's so gross and unflattering I won't post it. :)
What would you do differently?:

Not hold back so much on the first mile.
Post race
Warm down:

My warm down consisted of me scarfing down a slice of pizza in about 10 seconds flat then biking a couple miles to BeerWorks for some watermelon beer and fried pickles. Yum!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being overly cautious on my pacing.

Training only 3 times in the last 6 weeks.

Event comments:

So, my running and swimming analogy was a good theory, but I guess one thing about swimming for me is that the more I swim, the more I want to keep swimming and my body feels ready for more. I think I need to challenge myself a little more on the swim in the future, so being cautious because it's a swim prob isn't necessary.

The other lesson is that swimming conditions can change, particularly in ocean swimming, so take advantage of good conditions while you can as long as you'll be able to save enough to fight chop or current if it develops. I was thinking afterward that it would be the equivalent to a 2 loop bike course where they snuck a hill in on the second loop when you weren't looking :)

Patting myself on the back for a great start and for making and sticking to a plan... even if I was overly cautious. Mostly, I wish I had found more time to get in the water before, but it's been tough since my pool membership went away with my bf's last job.

Great effort for my first 2 miler. Can't wait to do another or do a longer distance!

Last updated: 2009-06-29 12:00 AM
01:04:57 | 3520 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 11/15
Overall: 15/96
Performance: Average
Suit: TYR trad swim suit (no speed or wetsuit)
Course: 2 1-mi counter-clockwise loops around Collins Cove starting 5 minutes after the 1-loop/1-mile swimmers.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4