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Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim - Swim10k Postal

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South Bay, California
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 56m 11s
Overall Rank = 10/34
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/7
Pre-race routine:

Find a clean bathroom on the way to the beach.....
Event warmup:

Just got in the water. It was warm
  • 2h 56m 11s
  • 11988 yards
  • 01m 28s / 100 yards

This So Cal event is set up so you have to come into the beach, through surf, every 1.2 miles. They say it's for medical purposes and that medical personnel would ask questions to see if we were capable of continuing, but in two years no one has asked me a thing. Regardless, it's an interesting format and is both easier and harder than a straight swim. Easier because you can get nutrition easily, and your arms get a bit of a rest. Harder because you have 5 surf entries/exits and once you've stopped swimming, getting your shoulders going again is pretty tough.

Last year I did the 4.8 miler at this event. I was undertrained, only having swum 2 miles 2 times. This year, decided to step up to the 10K distance. I didn't have the fear of not finishing as I trained pretty hard for this, including numerous 3 and 4 miles swims, and two 5 milers, with and without a wetsuit. Wore a wetsuit for the race.

I was a little "worried" (not the right word) that the 10K wasn't really a 10K because it was five 1.2 mile loops. I needn't have worried.

2011 - 4.8 miles - 2:16 - 28:22/mile pace - 1:37/100
2012 - 6.81 miles - 2:56 - 28:25/mile pace - 1:28/100

Leg 1

Last year, we all sort of strolled into the water and did the first leg as a big group that I sat on for a nice draft. This year, everyone (me included) actually jogged a bit into the water. We broke into several groups, I couldn't hang on to the fast group, and found myself at the lead of the 2d (3d? 4th?) group. I would have liked a draft, but it was not to be. Navigation was easy since it was basically around the Venice Pier. Time turned out nearly identical to 2011.

About half way through my friend Fuad passed me at a pretty good clip. Figured I'd never see him again until the end. Got out of the water and saw my friend Dana, we were neck and neck the entire 2011 race, I thought there would be a repeat.

2011 - 32:33
2012 - 32:35

Leg 2

This is the "long" leg. They did not fix it from last year. Everyone, including the winners, was 5-8 minutes slower on this leg. This is not a good leg for bad navigators like me, since there is no pier and the buoys are few and far between. Made worse by my tendency to swim left, out to sea. There were guards on boards at various spots, but they were not always to see. I ended up waaaay too far out from the turn buoy into the beach.

2011 - 36:48
2012 - 40:34

Leg 3

This was the first of three loops on the course, rather than a point to point up the beach. So any current we had in our favor would be nullified here because half would be against current. My plan had been to take it fairly easy for the first 3 legs, and I was sticking to it pretty well.

Surprisingly, as I was taking a gel, felt a pat on the back and it was Fuad. He'd slowed down, or I'd sped up. Either way, I was about 150 yards behind him at this point. Hard as I tried, I would stay this far back and he beat my by about 2 minutes. He was the only one that I wanted to beat (there were 5 of them :) ) that I did not beat.

My navigation suffered here as well. I was struggling to stay right along the buoy line and just could not do it. My wife said she watched me swim a wide arc around the course. I swam a 1.26, 1.28, and 1.36(!!) on these three loops.....

2011 - 32:58
2012 - 33:42

Leg 4

Nothing much to report, trying to catch Fuad. Trying to figure out a better line and sighting reference. Didn't do too well in either....My 5 mile split was 2:06.

My 4.8 mile split was 2:20, 4 minutes slower than 2011 total time.

2011 - 33:46
2012 - 34:43

Leg 5

Last year I was dying in leg 4. This year I felt good starting leg 5, but had some arm cramping about 1/4 mile in. Worked my way through it but it started getting tough. I looked at my garmin and my 6 mile split was 2:33, 6.2 was about half way through this loop, time for that 10K was 2:36. Was glad to be done, but could have gone further.

2012 - 34:34
What would you do differently?:

Swim right
Post race
Warm down:

None. I was plenty warm in the wetsuit on the beach.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor navigation skills

Event comments:

My goal for the 10K was 3:00, so hitting 10K at 2:36 was fantastic, and beating 3 for the entire swim was fantastic as well. Last year was 17/41 and 2/6 AG. Here 10/34 and 2/7 AG. I think I trained well for this, but am glad to be done with 2+ hour ocean training swims for a while

Last updated: 2012-01-13 12:00 AM
02:56:11 | 11988 yards | 01m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/7
Overall: 10/34
Performance: Good
Course: 2 point to point legs and 3 loops, with a surf entry and exit at each. Each leg was supposed to be 1.2 miles long. Leg 2 was 1.5 miles, the other legs suffered from user navigational errors
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
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? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-08-26 11:16 PM

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Subject: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim

2012-08-27 4:46 AM
in reply to: #4381554

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
Great report and race Chris, looks like an interesting race!  I have the exact same tendency as you when I get tired, I drift left - sometimes abruptly! 
2012-08-27 1:06 PM
in reply to: #4381554

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Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
Wow, awesome!  swimming 10k is a pretty awesome feat and it seems as though you enjoyed it!
2012-08-27 4:22 PM
in reply to: #4381554

Subject: ...
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2012-08-28 12:20 PM
in reply to: #4381554

Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim

Dude. You grew fins.

Simply awesome. Especially with a long leg and your own arcing additions!

2012-08-28 4:27 PM
in reply to: #4381554

Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim

*bows down*

I can't fathom swimming that fast for 1000m in a pool...let alone 10k in the ocean.

2012-08-29 9:08 AM
in reply to: #4381554

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
Great job, Chris! Those long swims are incredible!
2012-08-30 12:20 AM
in reply to: #4381554

Extreme Veteran
Brambleton, VA
Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
Stellar effort. Nice work!
2012-08-30 6:57 AM
in reply to: #4381554

Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
Nice work Chris! Pretty speedy pace for such a long race!
2012-08-30 1:12 PM
in reply to: #4381554

Norton Shores, MI
Subject: RE: Distance Swim Challenge 10K, err...10.9K Swim
That is awesome Chris..great job!  If I am horizontal for that long I better be sleeping .
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