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Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim - Swim

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Conroe, Texas
United States
79F / 26C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 11/54
Age Group = F-18+
Age Group Rank = 2/22
Pre-race routine:

In the week leading up to the race, they sent out an email saying that there were some permitting issues and that the race start would need to be pushed back to 3pm. This actually worked out nicely for me because a) it's an hour and a half up to Conroe, which would have meant an early morning wake-up call, and b) it would give me time to get some running and cycling in before the race. Turned out to be even nicer than expected as a big storm front and cold weather came through in the morning, but it was 79F by the race start.

Got up in the morning and took the dogs for a short run, and then followed it up with a trainer ride (legs were pretty trashed from the 20 minute power test the day before, so I ended up doing shorter than planned, but still got in some riding). I had lunch around 11am and Cathy picked me up just after noon for the drive up there. Had some grapes about 2pm for a pre-race snack/fuel.
Event warmup:

It was windy and a little chilly out (used to it being 90+ all the time!), so I decided to not get in the water before the race. Just did some stretching in hopes that my shoulders would be fine.
  • 29m 32s
  • 1700 meters
  • 01m 44s / 100 meters

Course was a LOT shorter than advertised. With my training and abilities, I was expecting to come in somewhere in the low- to mid-40's, so when I stepped out of the water at sub-30, I knew the course was short. Turned out it was 1.05 miles according to my watch, so it was a little disappointing to have this be shorter than an HIM swim, when I was expecting this to be my longest OWS to date.

That said, I was very happy with the performance. I tend to get really "bored" during open water swimming, constantly thinking things like, "Is this almost done yet? I feel like this is taking forever!" So my goal for the last couple races has been to just keep my head in the game and not let those thoughts creep in. During this race, I felt like time was just flying by. I didn't feel like I was going particularly fast, but I was maintaining a comfortable pace.

There was a decent amount of wind chop and surface current, so the first two legs of the triangle were bouncy and slow. But I was able to keep myself in a good place mentally and just kept plugging away. When I rounded the last buoy, I told myself I needed to "swim with a sense of urgency"'s easy to just lock into a pace and kind of swim along, without treating it like a race. I did that for 2/3 of the race, so the last 1/3, I told myself to pick it, it was nice that we were finally going with the wind/chop/current!
What would you do differently?:

Swim at a bit stronger pace -- need to swim with a sense of urgency for the entire thing, rather than just for the first minute and the last 1/3. But pretty happy overall
Post race
Warm down:

Changed into dry clothes, ate some fruit and a cookie, drank some water, cheered on the rest of the swimmers

At some point, we heard some clapping and realized they were doing awards. I wasn't expecting to place, given that I don't have a swim background and am not all that fast, but I guess the race has been taken over by triathletes (or maybe those with swimming backgrounds did the 5k), and I'm a reasonable triathlete swimmer. Ended up taking second in the female masters category, which was a pleasant surprise. The "award" was some turtle wax -- for the snapping tortuga race. Very clever :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just not pushing it quite as hard as I should throughout the entire race

Event comments:

This is kind of a bare bones race -- I don't have any problems with it, but don't come expecting lavish amenities or anything.

Honestly, though, it was pretty disappointing to have the course so much shorter than advertised. For those swimming the 2500, it was only 1700....but for those swimming the 5000, it was only 3400 (so a full mile short). I understand being a little off....and it's not uncommon for people to swim long due to sighting issues, but to be that short means that course was quite far off.

Last updated: 2013-09-08 12:00 AM
00:29:32 | 1700 meters | 01m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/22
Overall: 0/54
Performance: Good
Course: Triangle shaped course with one intermediate buoy between each large corner buoy
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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] 3

2013-10-07 12:41 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim

2013-10-07 8:39 PM
in reply to: #4872369

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Subject: RE: Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim
Good job.   Podium!
2013-10-08 7:32 AM
in reply to: #4872369

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Subject: RE: Snapping Tortuga Open Water Swim

Nice job Nicole :)

1:44/100m is some solid OWS. And placing too?  Kick azz!

I'm sorry that the swim was short.  I know that can be a disappointment--I mean, rationally I understand that idea, though I could never find myself sad that a swim was short;)
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