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Washington's Crossing - Swim

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Alexandria, Virginia
United States
WaveOne Swimming
Total Time = 50m 35s
Overall Rank = 103/126
Age Group = F 18-99
Age Group Rank = 42/55
Pre-race routine:

Up around 5:45, had some iced coffee and an Uncrustable. Took care of business, dressed, sunscreened, took bonine and ginger candy, and off I went. Found decently shaded parking, got checked in, found Melanie, Hope, and Jen, and we all wandered around for a bit before the pre-race briefing.
There was this pirate ship docked at the pier, so of course we took pictures. I pointed out that the ship was named Relentless, so obviously that was our mantra for the swim. It was so nice after years of knowing Melanie to finally meet her in person, and her friend Hope is a gem.
They announced the temperature as 78 degrees, so no wetsuit. Although...there were a lot of people in wetsuits. Maybe as practice for other events? I sipped on some Skratch and had another ginger candy, but didn't take in any other nutrition or anything. I felt fine from breakfast. At 8am we boarded the ferry that would take us to the VA side of the river.
Event warmup:

Riding the ferry? We took in the sights, and spied an eagle in a nest on one of those.....river post....things. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.
I snapped my top to my bottom, put on my cap, popped on my earplugs, and settled my goggles on my head. They announced that we could jump off the ferry from the side or the front. Without really thinking about it, the three of us found ourselves in the line to jump off the front. Ack! Jen, the diver, was fearless of course. I was standing on the edge of the ferry, realizing it was my turn to jump, and my stomach was not pleased. I hung onto my goggles and stepped off the edge. After surfacing and swimming to clear the jump site, I realized by goggle strap had come undone, and it was only the suction that was keeping my goggles on my face. Adjusted that quickly, then readjusted, and realized my heartrate was nicely elevated!
  • 51m 31s
  • 2300 meters
  • 02m 14s / 100 meters

I remember hearing a countdown, but was there a horn? Someone shouting GO? I can't remember. I just know suddenly we were off, and I was stroking with my head out of the water for the first bit to find some clear space. I got to put my head down and swim pretty soon.
My plan was to hug the Wilson Bridge, keeping the buoys on my right shoulder, and then swing around the second buoy to come into the final stretch with the current. That was what was suggested by Denis at the pre-race announcements. That is not what happened. The first third I was quite comfortable, and feeling good in the water. I noticed the bridge seeming further and further away, indicating that the current was carrying me a bit, so I concentrated on swimming "left" so as to actually go straight.
The second third is when I started to worry that I was completely alone. I couldn't see anyone else around me, no kayaks, nada. I couldn't see any buoys, but of course the bridge was still to my left and the wheel was to my right, so I figured I was okay. I had a random thought that a shark may attack me (thanks, lizard brain!) pushed it aside, and kept on swimming.
The second half of the swim started to get a bit bouncy. I finally saw the first buoy (there were only three, and I believe all were in the second half of the course) and it was on my left, but not too too badly. I kept moving, and in the distance thought I spied the second large yellow buoy. I made a beeline for it. Well.....beeline makes it seem like I was moving fast. I didn't feel like I was. I made it to the second buoy, had it on my left shoulder, and hot damn....I was right on top of it. Like, standard Laura-nearly-smacks-the-buoy-with-her-hand on top of it. From there I took a right and headed into the dock.
This was where we were supposed to be cruising. No. Very much no. It was so bouncy, that at times I felt like I was just suspended - going nowhere. I was starting to get a bit tired here as well, which isn't surprising considering my lack of consistent pool time so far this season. The pirate ship Relentless eventually become obvious, and I focused on that, telling myself that I was relentless, too. That final bit when you can see the dock and the people always seems to take forever, but I pushed on.
Hoisting myself out on the ladder (and making sure my suit was still covering the important bits) I heard Melanie shout for me. I think I tried to smile, but was probably not successful. I was however, successful in conquering the Potomac for my second time!
What would you do differently?:

I would wear a different suit. I wore my 2 seasons old Couer kit because it has tangled with the Potomac before, and has the stains to prove it. I didn't want to mess up any of my newer stuff. But it just kept swishing back and forth, and I'm convinced it had a lot of drag.
As far as training goes, I think since the beginning of time I've been saying I should have more consistency. And I should. So maybe I shall!
Post race
Warm down:

Rinsed off in the deck shower, chatted with Melanie, and made my way back to the pier. I collected my medal along the way. Found a towel, some Skratch, and then cheered Jen in.
Then pictures. Then brunch. Then the Peeps store!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

It was technically wetsuit legal, but I didn't wear mine. My endurance isn't where it should have been for this race, but honestly for how much tougher the conditions were compared to 2017, I'm not mad about my time.

Last updated: 2019-04-15 12:00 AM
00:51:31 | 2300 meters | 02m 14s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/55
Overall: 0/126
Performance: Good
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2019-06-03 10:37 AM

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: Washington's Crossing

2019-06-03 11:22 AM
in reply to: #5259478

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Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing

I admire you crazy people who do swims for the sake of doing them not just to get to the bike and run!!  Congratulations on your second crossing - sounds like some tough conditions and pretty sure i would have been sick! Very cool that you got a Manatee meet up too.

2019-06-03 12:13 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing
Originally posted by amd723

I admire you crazy people who do swims for the sake of doing them not just to get to the bike and run!!

2019-06-03 12:13 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing
2019-06-03 12:30 PM
in reply to: marysia83

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing

Great work! Way to be Relentless!

2019-06-03 1:10 PM
in reply to: ceilidh

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing
Great swim! I probably would have freaked out not seeing any buoys or people. Way to go!

2019-06-03 2:17 PM
in reply to: #5259478

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Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing

First off, it was SO WONDERFUL to finally meet you and Jen in person!  Second, this was a fun event, thank you for giving me an OK feeling about swimming in the waters of the Potomac, that they weren't as toxic/gross as I've heard in horror stories, or at least not in this section of the river .  Nice job being RELENTLESS and congrats on conquering the river for the second time!!

2019-06-03 2:34 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing
Originally posted by amd723

I admire you crazy people who do swims for the sake of doing them not just to get to the bike and run!!  Congratulations on your second crossing - sounds like some tough conditions and pretty sure i would have been sick! Very cool that you got a Manatee meet up too.

totally this!!

Great job!
2019-06-04 2:13 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Washington's Crossing

It sounds like a fun event! I'm glad that you found it and were able to make it into a Manatee Meetup!

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