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Horsetooth Open Water Swim - SwimOther

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Fort Collins, Colorado
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 3h 17m 17s
Overall Rank = 25/49
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 4:15 after waking up every 15 minutes all night. Ugh. Ate a bagel and went back to bed for 15 minutes. Got up, ate a banana and took a shower. Forced another bagel down...this one with PB. Grabbed my drinks and got into the car with redlv and we left for the race site. Once there I used the bathroom, lubed up, put on sunblock, got body marked, etc. You know, the usual. Sipped on some vitamin water to get a few more carbs in and took a gel at 15' prior to the race. Kinda nasty...bleh. Right about now I noticed that my tinted goggles were about to snap at the nose piece. I guess it got worn out on those last few swims in the desert. Luckily my paddlers hadn't left yet so I quickly ran over to their canoe and switched out for my red tinted goggles which had the best strap of the three I brought. Now neither of my spares was very good!
Event warmup:

Heh. Right. 10k is plenty thankyouverymuch. But I did get into the water earlier than usual. I got myself used to the temp (amazingly warm for this reservoir) and then treaded water for a little bit.
  • 3h 17m 17s
  • 10000 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

So, the horn goes off and the crowd takes This always happens. How can they all start so fast??? My stomach felt like it was going to explode so I took off pretty slow. It was crowded too. 50ish starters. I just swam easy while everyone spread out a bit. They moved the paddlers WAY closer this year which turned into a major cluster. We were still a huge group when we hit the paddler staging area and it really was a total charlie foxtrot. I swam really slowly through there partly because of the chaos and partly because of my stomach. I spotted my paddlers...Chris and Carrie...a husband and wife team in a canoe. Very nice. I was talking to them before the race and I apologized in advance if I get cranky during the swim. Chris said, "Well, if you get cranky I'm just going to tell you 'Tough, you signed up for this, keep swimming." My kind of paddlers. :)

Okay, so I wave at my paddlers to let them know I see them and I put my head down and just swim through the chaos. Paddler meet up was WAY too early...people and paddlers EVERYWHERE! I'm pretty slow here. Bloated stomach + crowds = slow swimming.

My plan was to stop every 30' for gel/water per coach direction. However, at 30' I was in the middle of a busy marina cove AND my stomach was still doing loops. So I waited until the end of the cove which happened to correspond to the first mile...35 minutes. All I had was water. I couldn't stomach the idea of putting gel in the belly yet.

I swam easy until the hour mark when I stopped for nutrition again. This time I went to get some gel out of my gel-bot but I couldn't remember how to use it! Seriously! I hadn't used it since the 10k LAST year so I was stumped. I asked my paddlers to throw me my gel flask instead. Took a little bit of gel out of there and some more water out of the gel-bot. Threw the stuff back towards the canoe and took off swimming again.

I think this is the segment where I decided to sing 100 bottles of beer on the wall. I finally had to pee about 1:18ish in. Ahhhh....The timing worked out such that I hit 50 bottles right around the hour and a half mark. Time to stop! I had also spent this segment brainstorming how to work the gel bot. So when I stopped I took the gel bot and this time I got gel out of it. Yay! Some gel, some water...on my way. Paddlers were very proud that I figured out how to use the gel bot.

Finished off the other 50 bottles of beer and decided it was time to get serious. My stomach had finally settled down so I fell into a better pace and set my mind to catching a few rabbits. I think I passed FOUR people between that feeding and the 2 hour one.

Gel and water...rinse, repeat.

One or two of the people I had passed passed me back while I was eating even though I was very quick. So during the next thirty minutes I worked on repassing them (easy) and passing the next person (not so easy...he decided to speed up as I pulled along side). I passed that other person right before I had to stop again, dammit. Did a quick gel/water stop.

Worked my ARSE off to pass him back. Just keeping a really steady "light pace free". I could see the 5 mile buoy now and started to mentally calculate how long I thought this was going to take me. I made the assumption that I could do the last 1.2 in about 40 minutes. I figured if I stretched out the next fuel stop by 5 minutes or so that I could make it my last stop.

So I stopped at about 2:35 for the last gel stop. I made it quick. My memory is fading a bit, but I know I passed several more people during that 35 minutes. In all, I passed 7 people that I can think of. The 7th was on this last leg and I had to work for it. Another person who decided he had to speed up when I tried to pass. Honestly, the thought of this guy chasing me down is what really kept my speed up the last mile. I was sure he was going to pass me back any second!

I passed the 5 mile buoy at 2:41 and I knew barring disaster I should set a PR. So I gave it everything I had for that last 1.2 For about half of it the waves were the worst they had been all day. MOST of the reservoir was glassy smooth all day with the odd boat wake coming by. But the 5 mile buoy is right near a big marina/cove so it was just a mess.

Unlike previous years I could see all the buoys getting closer...which is cool. This race was just flying by! Last year took so LONG that this felt so FAST. The next buoy is to tell you that the next cove is the finish cove. Personally the big ass dam is enough to tell me I need to turn into a cove...but, whatever. That buoy looked like it was approaching...slower because of the waves, but approaching. I peed a second time somewhere in here. Right before the cove I felt something hit my face and started clawing at it thinking it was fishing line or something. Turns out it was one of the straps from my goggles came over my head. I flipped over to fix them and my paddlers panicked thinking I needed something. I quickly explained it was just my goggles, flipped back over, and swam on.

Once I got into the cove the waves finally went away and I pushed with whatever I had left. The end was kind of weird and confusing. It took me most of the way across the cove to figure out exactly WHERE the finish line was. But I finally spotted the finish buoys and did my best to swim towards them. The end was very shallow and you couldn't take full strokes as you crossed the line. I flipped over and just wanted to sit for a minute. I glanced behind me to make sure I wasn't getting in anyone's way. Sat for 15 or so seconds, then turned over (carefully so as not to ruin the nice pedicure from yesterday) and got some help standing up. Whew. Done.
What would you do differently?:

Not eat so much for breakfast and start pushing it earlier. I think I could have pushed the first hour more than I did. Can't complain about a PR though!
Post race
Warm down:

Stood around. Chatted with my paddlers. Ate some bagel pieces and some of my leftover Hammer gels. Drank some water. Put my clothes on over my swim suit. Waited for Kara.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being deployed the six months before and only having a pool the last four months? Yeah...that would be it. Oh, and too much breakfast.

Event comments:

Okay, so I knew I would be faster than last year as long as the conditions were good, but I honestly didn't expect the PR! I didn't have the base I had in 06 (previous PR) and in 06 I hadn't missed two months of swimming in the 6 months prior to the event! Kudos to the new coach! The plan worked well! I did start out pretty slow trying to keep from puking. I think sub 3:15 would have been a reality if I hadn't had to do that. I was a little afraid of kicking it into gear too soon, but looking back I could have. Even my paddlers noticed when I finally pushed it up. Oh well. As I gain experience in this race I get more gutsy. Time to get gutsier next time.

My only other comment on this race is that it's pretty bare bones. I know the profits go to charity and all...but after a 10k swim all you offer the finishers is one bowl full of bagel pieces and a few oranges? Seriously? Just sayin'. And the moving the paddler meet up to that early in the race was a bad bad plan. That was chaos.

Okay, I'll stop bitching. I had a fabulous day. Yay for a PR coming off a six month deployment! GREAT day! Bring on IMAZ!

Last updated: 2008-08-12 12:00 AM
03:17:17 | 10000 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 25/49
Performance: Good
Suit: Tyr wetsuits allowed!
Course: Start at the South end of the reservoir...swim 6.2 miles to Satonka cove on the North side.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-08-13 12:08 AM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

2008-08-13 7:14 AM
in reply to: #1599411

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Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

A few things I notice in your RR

1.  swimming in the desert (that just sounded funny)
2.  50 bottles of beer at 1.5 hr
3.  Passing people whiling "finishing" the rest of the 50 bottles
4.  Race felt fast
5.  PR

Great race!

2008-08-13 12:28 PM
in reply to: #1599411

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
I'm so incredibly impressed that you can swim this long....excellent job, congrats on the PR!! I am totally using you and this swim for my own swim motivation!
2008-08-13 12:50 PM
in reply to: #1599411

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Extreme Veteran
West Chicago
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

wayyyy cool 10k swim - sounds like fun...


2008-08-13 12:52 PM
in reply to: #1599411

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2008-08-13 1:26 PM
in reply to: #1599411

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2008-08-13 3:06 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
Crazy stuff.    I still can't get my head around a swim this long.  Way to go.
2008-08-14 12:02 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
I can't imagine wanting to do this and then there is the doing it thing that seems crazy.Great job and PBs always rock. More so when you think how tough it is to train while overseas serving.So proud of you are such a stud swimmer...yah watch out folks at IMAZCongrats!
2008-08-14 12:24 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

Congrats Jen !! YAY for PRs

2008-08-14 3:56 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
Damn, that's impressive.  Congrats!!
2008-08-17 10:51 AM
in reply to: #1599411

Boulder, Colorado
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

2008-08-17 11:45 AM
in reply to: #1599411

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
That sounds like an awesome race, congrats!!
2008-08-18 12:54 PM
in reply to: #1599411


Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
Really great swim.  More motivation for me to get my butt in the pool once i get back.  Congrats on the PR too.
2008-08-18 1:59 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
Fantastic job, and congrats on the big PR!  I still can't quite wrap my head around spending that much time in the water - you rock!
2008-08-19 8:00 AM
in reply to: #1599411

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

Jiminy Christmas that's a long way to swim all at once! Great race and congrats on the PR.



2008-08-20 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1599411

A Prairie Home
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim
LONELY NO MORE!!! After reading the 10K swim at the Olympics, my admiration for your achievement just doubled!! Again, I think what you have is TREMENDOUS!!

2008-08-20 6:47 PM
in reply to: #1599411

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Silver member
Subject: RE: Horsetooth Open Water Swim

Awesome swim.  I'll have to try the 100 bottles of beer song.  Is there some stroke magic that comes with the song?

Sorry bout the tummy - but even with it a PB.  Congratulations!

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