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Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - 4.4 Mile - SwimOther

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Stevensville, Maryland
United States
Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
95F / 35C
Total Time = 3h 22m 38s
Overall Rank = 620/640
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

spent the day before the race playing support car to my husband's long ride across from Lewes. got to stay off my feet and focus on drinking a lot of water. got to the hotel, took a three hour nap, had dinner (brought from home), went to bed and slept very well. said awesome husband went to the drugstore and bought nail polish (and painted my toes, I am not that coordinated) when I whined on fb about not having time to get "fun bay toes".

spent the end of the ride over to the shuttles listening to planned music (to get better songs stuck in my head). this was a complete success - swim was primarily to Ball Park Music's Nice to Be Alive.

got on the shuttle (to my husband cracking wise about "getting one last picture of me without me flipping him off, just in case I didn't make it"), rode over the big bridge. not as freaked out this year. hung out, found some people to hang out with, found the friend-of-a-friend who was swimming. did not manage to find the BT contingent.

tried to stay out of the sun, put on many layers of sunscreen, worked on stretching out my cranky psoas.
Event warmup:

tried not to "warm up". hot as *#$&##. wandered down to the beach, through the VIP line (the non-wetsuit check in. much shorter.). hung out on the beach. had a lovely moment when I realized the guy ahead of me had his wetsuit on inside-out... luckily, we had just enough time to help him out of it, and back into it. hopefully that helped his swim. a little results-stalking tells me he finished about 21 minutes ahead of me.

then the gun went off, and off we went.
  • 3h 22m 38s
  • 7744 yards
  • 02m 37s / 100 yards

less lollygagging in the first mile or so this year for me. head down, swim a sustainable, moderately hard pace. swam center span to deal with current anxiety. that turned out to be a good strategy for me, as once I saw I was getting closer to a span, I could correct. Spent a significant chunk of time swimming at a 45 degree angle to where I wanted to go, kept the same goal pace but inserted 10 - 20 stroke hard pickups every couple minutes when the current was affecting me the most. Chop wasn't too bad, got a little cross choppy and weird at slack tide though.

Knowing a little more about the course from the water (between last year and my research) helped mentally - it's 1500 feet between the piers on the main channel, so I just kept telling myself it's one 500. that's the part where last year I felt like I was making no progress.

after the main channel, no real current until the last half mile between the spans. the ebb picked up there and I stupidly had already let myself slide over to the right. whoops. had to work harder than otherwise, but it was fine.

missed the 2 mile boat so was down on water. blamed that for my stabbing headache until I realized later that I'd peed 4 times on the crossing, and within 20 minutes of finishing. I had some neck discomfort that abruptly resolved with a giant crack about two hours post swim... and with it my headache was gone. That headache (and the nausea that came in the last half mile) affected my second half pace - I looked at my watch at the three mile buoy and it said 2:05. That means I took 1:15 to swim the last 1.4... yikes. I think if my head hadn't hurt so much I could have stayed much more focused on swimming "my pace" and taken some time off.
What would you do differently?:

If I'd realized that the neck pain was causing the headache, I would have at least TRIED to fix it. And if I'd thought, I would have kept my same strategy of staying center span until much, much closer to the end. And maybe one day I'll get off my butt and start swimming with a master's team to get faster.

Otherwise, no regrets, no changes. Great, great day. The bay was kind.
Post race
Warm down:

tried not to puke. thought I was dehydrated/hungry so focused on getting water and food into me. husband was awesome in making sure I had what I needed. was probably good as I managed to avoid hungry horrors later that day and the next. changed in the parking lot, drove over to Lewes to the ferry. ate leftovers on the ferry as our big post-race meal.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

the simple fact that I'm a slow ass swimmer.

Event comments:

they put on a great race. huge focus on safety, can't knock that.

Last updated: 2012-06-05 12:00 AM
03:22:38 | 7744 yards | 02m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/640
Performance: Good
Suit: had sushi on it.
Course: stay between the bridges, not under it.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-06-11 4:37 PM

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Worcester, MA
Subject: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - 4.4 Mile

2012-06-12 7:38 AM
in reply to: #4256283

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NOVA - Ironic for an Endurance Athlete
Subject: RE: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - 4.4 Mile

Congrats on finishing 2 years in a row.

I also was swimming right toward the end, trying to shorten my route.  I had to swim like crazy to avoid getting pinned against the cement support before the "turn buoy".  I watched the lady in front of me get swept right, and just let the current take me under the bridge.  Luckily, once you got under the bridge, the push diminished a lot.

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