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Bali Ocean Swim 10K - SwimOther


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Kuta,
Indonesia
Bali Sports4Peace Foundation
34C / 93F
Sunny
Total Time = 3h 30m 21s
Overall Rank = 9/10
Age Group = Women's
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

I had a grand time at last year's 5K but stressed how BORED and HUNGRY I was and that I'd never do anything like this again.

I lied. :)

As for the 10K? Well ...

If I could do this every day, I would. I got right back in the ocean the day after, and the day after that, and I intend to be in the ocean every day after this, rain or shine (as long as there's no lightning).

It's been a long, long time since I've fallen head-over-heels in love with a sport, and marathon swimming is it. I was born for this. Look at me. I am well-padded (this is a plus! buoyancy, insulation, nutrition! okay, I could stand to lose a few pounds and still have all those benefits), and in all the right places for perfect flotation and water position; I have HUGE shoulders; freakishly long arms and legs, feet like flippers, and gills. (Just checking if you were still reading!)

And perfect form that stays that way even at 9.9K.

I was born unto water. I love everything having to do with the water, and all that is in it, and most of all, being in it. Like an overenthusiastic Labrador (what an apropos comparison), I like to immerse myself in any presenting body of water. I am getting better at not faceplanting into the dogs' water bowl, though.

The night before, I stayed up way too late watching Tour de Piglets--err, Tour de France. But considering how hungry I got last year during the swim, I thought it would behoove me to take some gels along this time. But where to put them? Gel packets in the melons might cause some serious chafe! They have sharp edges! So I got busy during commercial breaks ...

Voila, the intermelons gel holder. Anyone know what the soft neoprene band really is?



True coincidence--these were the clothes I wore the day before--happened to be top of the heap in the closet. The pants are old sweats from my swim team (AQUADRAGONS, they say) from 25 years ago! Now which swim cap to wear ...



Morning of: I take a warm shower, then lube and sunblock EVERYTHING. I did not chafe one bit (THANK YOU, SportShield roll-on!) but that much lube caused a few other problems ...



I joked with piglet Joerg (watch for him later!) before the race that I was so lubed, my bathing suit would probably fly right off in the water. (Don't tempt Murphy ... )

I'd also been advised to eat a hearty breakfast since 10K is a long time to be out there and not much opportunity for calories. So I had two slices of PB&J toast, a big bowl of cereal with whole milk, a couple eggs, and coffee with lots of milk and sugar.

I've never done food like that before a long race; we'd just have to see how it goes ...

I drive down to the race venue. It's hosted out of the beachfront Bali Garden Hotel, which is lovely and has lots of big pools, and we get our own pavilion and beachfront area. It's perfect for basing a race from.

It doesn't occur to me I might not be able to drive back afterward.

Ah, there is Joerg piglet, a fellow triathlete from the Bali Tri Club! He is very calm and always smiling, a real boon for my nerves. It's also been so long since I was anxious about a race or event, but the longest I'd ever swum was 5K, and that was a year ago with not much more training in between.



No, I don't look nervous AT ALL :)
Event warmup:

Sat as much as possible, nibbling on Fruit & Nut Toblerone and drinking water. Chatted with members of the Perth Polar Bears ... those people are crazier than I am (and I will prove it, with a picture). They OWS off Perth every day, year round. BRRRRRRR!

This is Maxine, the other woman doing the 10K. I kid you not--before the race, she orders a bacon cheeseburger topped with fried egg. When she gets it, she dumps a bunch of salt, pepper, and ketchup on it.



She must have seen my face, because she remarked, "Well if I'm going to swim 10K, I'm going to need me energy!"



Damn straight. Maxine laid down a 2:52 10K, which, by the way, is 1:42/100m. I've got to try that cheeseburger trick! (Or train, but I'd rather have the cheeseburger, thanks.)

I'm getting nervous-er by the moment. Do I need a burger? What if I starve to death during the race? Conversely, what if I drown from a full stomach like my mom said I would? Mostly ... WTF am I doing here???

I look over and there is Joerg, cool as a cucumber.



So beautiful, yes? Oh, and the hotel, beach, and pool are nice, too. :) I feel better. At least I look more relaxed in this photo.


Swim
  • 3h 30m 21s
  • 10936 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards
Comments:

WHY DO SWIM RACES HAVE RUNNING STARTS AND FINISHES?!?! Like I said last year ... how would runners feel if they had to swim a lap before a marathon and another to finish it? Truth, for this race, it makes perfect sense, and nobody said I had to run in, so waddle waddle waddle ...

Nice smooth stroke to the first "buoy" (buoys are traditional fishing boats. Super idea: easy to throw bottles and check up on swimmers). Unfortunately, I also closely encountered my first (of several) jellyfish. Fortunately, it felt like a bad sting at first but dissipated quickly (I was NOT looking forward to 9.5K+ with that ...). Suddenly I saw beautiful, domed, tentacle-trailing jellies all around me. I should have felt scared but I was entranced by the hypnotic creatures.

Maybe that explains my lack of words to describe this swim (again, I lie, but keep reading. Or just skip to more pictures). It's as if I went to some transcendent plane, a place I always want to be. Oh, it had its significant perceived downsides, as does life. But those were part of a sacred wholeness to this experience of being perfectly in place.

I will say I have never before observed, nor personally experienced, the variety of shapes, sizes, colors and sensations of being stung by jellyfish as I did during this swim. Nothing too serious, obviously, just enough to yell loudly and have my personal piglet sit up and take notice.

Oh, yes! Perhaps it was because I was dead last (except for the guy who didn't finish, don't worry, he came in fine because he, too, had a personal piglet), but I had my own personal paddling piglet the whole way! Many kudos to him. For one thing, he was awfully nice to look at, and was considerate enough to switch sides he was on so that I wasn't always having to breathe to one side to look at him. ;) For another, if it weren't for his guidance, I might have wound up on the shores of Java. For a third, his encouragement, especially during the hard-current parts in the latter half of the race, utterly kept me going.

Maybe it was him (I jest), maybe it took that duration of a race for me to really be in a (dis)comfort zone, but I was never bored. I revelled in every moment.

The stretches out (of 4 lengths out-back, 2.25km each) were against considerable current that wanted to drag me out to Java and somewhat back to the start. Sighting was difficult as I couldn't see one boat from the last and kept swerving out to sea. That's why I went so slowly! I really did an 11K race, at least! ;) On these out stretches, I focused on a powerful, stretched-out stroke and a solid 2-beat or at most 4-beat kick. 1st stretch I skipped the halfway boat. Stopped at the far-side boat (and all boats thereafter), drinking half-and-half Powerade and water to the point of quenching hunger and thirst.

The downside to massive lubing (though I prefer this to chafing) was that the intermelons gel holder would simply not stay in place. It would slide out, slide in, slide to my stomach. It's also near-impossible to tear gel packets open with tired, numb fingers and squeeze them out while trying to tread water against a current. If I'd known the race had YAY I LOVE POWERADE ISOTONIK (always thank a sponsor), I wouldn't have done the gels. But it was a good thought.

The other lubing problem, as I fatefully foretold to Joerg, is that my bathing suit sides and straps kept sliding way too close to personal parts for comfort. So I was constantly adjusting my suit during the swim and boat breaks. Also, I haven't worn this suit since last year, so it may have stretched out a bit. Sigh ... simple idiot mistakes ...

The first stretch out took a little under an hour, while the return was 45 minutes, to give you an idea of the relative current. I was also swimming much harder on the out stretches. On the return stretches, I focused on high turnover and fluttery kicking (4-beat or 6-beat) rather than powerful strokes. I just felt like stretch-smooth-power against the current and then quick-fast with the current worked best for me.

I hit the halfway mark at 1:44, which means I paced this race perfectly (3:30 finish. It may actually have been a negative-split as the current got stronger with the tide going out). And once I was a bit past 5K, let's say 6K on, I got REALLY CRANKY. Nothing seemed to be going right (including my going in a straight path). The jelly bites: itchy burning stung; goggles didn't fit right; straps hurt against head and ears; cap felt like wouldn't stay on, never mind the bathing suit; couldn't get into a rhythm; couldn't see, HUNGRY AS HELL (next time, I will eat that cheeseburger), etc.

And now, on the outbound stretch again, the tide was pulling out strongly and that buoyboat was simply not getting closer no matter how hard I swam or increased my turnover. I needed to hit a hard stride and stay there, and my brain needed reprieve. So I played the camping game:

"I went camping and I brought along ..." then name something you'd bring starting with A. Then repeat, "I went camping and I brought along [A item, B item]." Repeat 'til the end of the alphabet ... for your perusing pleasure, my list.

Adam
Beer
Coke
Dingo (why not?)
Eggs (hard-boiled)
Fifties (money)
Ginger (for tea! and nausea)
Hallucinogens
Illicit drugs (there seems to be a pattern here)
Jackknife
Kitchen knife
Llama (to carry all the drugs)
Mama! (she's a great camper)
Nicotine
O--can't remember
Peanuts
Quiver full of arrows
Rice
SHERPA SISTER :)
Towels
Underwear
Vicodin (okay, maybe I was in a WEE bit o' pain by now)
Woolens
X-bow (crossbow for the arrows, and hunting)
Yanti (duh)
Zither

It was on the last stretch back that the hallucinations really set in, too. To be fair, I've been having strong olfactory either hallucinations or oversensitivity since I got my head whacked at the triathlon. Several times, in the water, I got a most concentrated whiff of the orange air freshener I have in my auto. So, unless the boatmen were keeping that exact one on hand ... citrus is a lovely perker, though, don't you think?

I have also kept seeing fast-moving things in my peripheral vision, which intensified at this point in the swim. This is not helpful when you are already on the alert for jellies and other sea life. On the other hand, sometimes it really was a jelly, and a pretty one.

I was also getting hit with leg cramps at this point. That's what happens when you don't train. Sometimes it happens anyway, and experienced swimmers know just to ride it out, but they were consistently cramping and yes, I was not only undertrained, but pretty much non-trained. My fingers all went numb, and I kept wiggling them to make sure I could, and watched them to make sure I wasn't bear-clawing. Finally, my mouth was completely pruned and dry, to the point of being painful, and my nasal passages felt like they'd been scrubbed out with Brillo pipe cleaners.

Finally, thank God (for me in the race, and you the reader at this point) that last lovely buoyboat passed behind me and I shot as hard as I could into the finish--not an easy 500m considering the outgoing tide was directly opposed. But no one was ever happier to see a finish line (no one took as long getting there, you see). But ... as my hand touched bottom, signalling me to stand up ... DAMMIT! Now I gotta run again to that finish line! And yes, I'm a TRIATHLETE ... we RUN out of the water! And so I did, right across that finish line ... nobody else got cheered so much, either (CLAP CLAP CLAP yay that slow lady is finally in, now we can have awards and go home, CLAP CLAP CLAP).

Actually, the support was amazing, on-course and after. A lady rushed up with a bottle of water for me. People shook my hand and clapped me on the back and said, "Excellent job" and "great finish" and it was heartfelt. People were trying to talk to me but I wasn't hearing right anymore; it was like I was still underwater.
What would you do differently?:

Train. Did I mention train? I think training is a good idea. Why does every single one of my race reports mention this?

Try things out in training. There's that T-word again! (earplugs, big breakfast right before, food/gum holder, etc.)

Not slow or breaststroke to sight so often. Completely slows you down and gets your rhythm off. Trust the personal piglet.

Wear a decent bathing suit. Preferably one I've tried out in the last year.

Have some chocolate milk on hand for after. Chew some sports or long-lasting hydrating gum during.

And frickin' TRAIN!!!!!
Post race
Warm down:

Kept sipping water--was able to speak pretty quickly, though the cotton-mouth feeling lasted for days. Ran a bunch of cool water over me at the outdoor shower. Choked down a couple bites of a nut bar before I realized I couldn't really chew. The awards ceremony started very soon thereafter! I stood around and cheered and clapped--afraid to sit or I wouldn't get back up.

Here is Rodney piglet (the organizer, and an Olympian), Vicki piglette (race founder and show-runner), and Bob "Piglet" Windle (an Olympic swimming champion!) who does all sorts of stuff including starting the race and handing out awards.



Oh my goodness, I am getting a second-place medal! (Okay, there were only two of us, but I still wasn't expecting anything). Joerg came in second in the 5K, too! I felt pretty much how I look in the picture--like a beached, bloated, pale whale.



But, after the most-delicious fried-chicken-and-rice boxed lunch we got, I feel much better and get together with other medal-getters and the Olympic champ Bob for a photo.



Apparently, there was some delicious rivalry as a member of the Perth Polar Bears had beaten one of the Perth Icebergers. Or maybe it was a Melbourne Iceberger. I don't know, but some hearty competition can only be a good thing for this race. :)

Andrew Tebbuts, who won the 10K, was kind enough to come chat with me as well. He won in ... get ready for this ... 2:02. THAT IS 1:12/100m in the OPEN OCEAN with jellyfishies and currents. I can't even wrap my head around that speed. (Apparently, I save head-wrapping for road surfaces). Andrew is, simply, a world-class swimmer and world-class gentleman. And WHAT A PIGLET, TOO!



He asked me where and what I did to train.

"Train?" I answered.

"Well, surely you do train?" he asked back.

"Actually, I don't," I replied. "I freedive and take pictures of fish."

He was quite impressed by this. To this moment, I keep thinking HOLY SMOKES 1:12/100m WHAT KIND OF A FREAK ...

They gave me the AIR HORN used to start the race. Me with an air horn. What could possibly go wrong? :D (I'm putting it on my bike, I am. Bali motorists ... beware).



The medals are actually different--color's not so strong here but last year's 3rd place really is bronze and this year's 2nd is silver, and with a nicer, place-denoting ribbon, too. Beautiful pieces!



We also got a big fluffy towel with the race logo on it! SOOOO useful!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I will not say the T-word again. I will not say the T-word again. I will not say the T-word again.

Event comments:

This race is SPECTACULAR and FAR EXCEEDS expecation--in safety, organization, execution, venue, food, drink, awards, and a plethora of piglets. The Bali Triathlon could take note.

It is also a fundraiser for Bali Swim4Kids, part of Rodney's Bali Sports Organization, which teaches disabled Indonesian children to swim.




Last updated: 2011-06-23 12:00 AM
Swimming
03:30:21 | 10936 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 9/10
Performance: Good
Suit: Hillary Biscay's orca trisuit
Course: Out for ~500m, four lengths across the bay and back (each ~2.25km), then 500m back in.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2011-07-14 3:34 PM

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Melon Presser
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Subject: Bali Ocean Swim 10K


2011-07-14 3:44 PM
in reply to: #3596887

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Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Wow, OK, gonna have to read it all tonight..  But that's a mask strap (brilliant idea, btw), and I TOTALLY AGREE, what if they made marathoners swim a lap before a race!!!!!!!  Too funny
2011-07-14 3:55 PM
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Extreme Veteran
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
You SWAM a 10k??! I can barely run one   And you maintained a 2:00/100 avg?  I am super impressed!!!!  And as always I enjoyed reading your story/race report!
2011-07-14 4:26 PM
in reply to: #3596887

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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

You are amazing!  A 10K swim is mind blowing!!

 

I mentioned you doing this to someone at my 1 mile swim race and they thought it was inxane ( and this mand did a CHesapeake Bay Swim of 3 miles a couple months ago!)

2011-07-14 4:26 PM
in reply to: #3596887

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Royal(PITA)
14262
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

You are amazing!  A 10K swim is mind blowing!!

 

I mentioned you doing this to someone at my 1 mile swim race and they thought it was inxane ( and this mand did a CHesapeake Bay Swim of 3 miles a couple months ago!)

2011-07-14 4:27 PM
in reply to: #3596887

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Master
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Vista, CA
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Wonderful, fantastic, effin' marvelous that you, without any much (insert T-word) go out and swim a 10K. You are absolutely certifiable, but that's why I love you so much! Through jellies, too-cute piglets and slippity, slidey swim suits (like the alliteration?) you wowed 'em girl. You totally deserve the medal. I'm so proud of my Manatee mentor sister I could just _________ fill in the blank.

{{{{{melons pressing}}}}}}}


2011-07-14 4:48 PM
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Master
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Gold Coast
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Awesome swim Yanti - absolutely amazing! Maybe one day I will love swimming as much as you but I don't think there is anyway I would manage 10k - sorry, I'm repeating myself - absolutely amazing!
2011-07-14 5:51 PM
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Seattle
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

I still can't believe you swam 10K. This is just amazing. Just imagine if you had trained!!!!!

Great job and GREAT write up!

2011-07-14 8:35 PM
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Extreme Veteran
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Melbourne
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
I truly cannot comprehend swimming for 3:30. Let alone with the jellyfish.
Sheer awesomeness.
2011-07-14 10:49 PM
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Master
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Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

Completely amazing! This is an incredible feat. Good for you, with jelly fish and all.

A great read, too.

2011-07-15 8:19 AM
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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
That was awesome!  Smile


2011-07-15 12:27 PM
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Veteran
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Pueblo, CO
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Three hours in the water - way to go!!!  I'd still be looking like a prune after a week.
2011-07-15 12:50 PM
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Champion
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Taser-World
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
You. Just. Swam. 10K...... Wowowowow.

P.S. Your next goal can be the 10 mile swim around Charleston SC:
http://www.swimaroundcharleston.com/
(Yes, I am a troublemaker. But you knew that already, right?)

Seriously - AWESOME job. A 10K swim is amazing.



2011-07-15 5:39 PM
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Veteran
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Austin
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Your nerve to just go straight at life is so wonderful!  Loved your report!!
2011-07-15 6:31 PM
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Master
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Lafayette, IN
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

I can't wait to get home from work so I can see the photos!  I think I might be willing to swim a 10K if I got to stare at a super hot boy the entire time - or at least every few strokes.

Great swim! 

2011-07-15 8:37 PM
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Veteran
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WTH? This isn't coral. It's corn!
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

you are such an AWESOME writer! in addition to a NATURAL athlete!! I wish I'd have been there to see that guy's face when you said you just dive and take picts of fish! That's hilarious!!!!!  LOL



2011-07-15 8:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Amazing!!! Great read,,,,, fwiw, training, I think is really so yesterday.

2011-07-15 8:58 PM
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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Amazing as always congratulations.....I'd probably drown doing a 10K untrained...........silly girl
2011-07-16 12:47 PM
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Master
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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Great job on the swim young lady!  What, no mention of Pop Tarts during the cramping roll-down?  An Epic race report as always!
2011-07-27 1:58 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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BAHRAIN
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
awesome!!! (that neopren thingy is hair protector for a diving mask)
2011-07-27 7:31 AM
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Champion
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Alabama
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

Vewry Nice!



2011-07-27 6:28 PM
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Master
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Dirt Road
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

It takes me a while but here I am. Great job, and thanks for the detailed report. I need to get you to write my next one. 

Thanks to you, I enjoy bali quite frequently. Mental travel has sufficed thus far but it may not quench in the future.

2011-07-28 1:51 PM
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Pro
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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Wow!  10K in the ocean...that's awesome!  I don't think I could ever do that...I would drown.  The hallucinations do sound like fun though!    Nicely done!
2011-07-28 2:10 PM
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Master
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North Alabama
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K

Awesome job on the 10k! I got bored in my 5k, I can't really imagine the 10k!

Wow.

Great job Yanti! And I agree with you about the water. To me, it's my calm place. My peace. It's the settling part of the race for me!

2011-07-28 4:56 PM
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Pro
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Sarasota FL
Subject: RE: Bali Ocean Swim 10K
Yep, you're still my hero. 
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