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Naples Island Swim - SwimOther


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Long Beach, California
United States
Long Beach Grunion Swim Team
72F / 22C
Sunny
Total Time = 51m 3s
Overall Rank = 28/36
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

I heard about this race years ago when it used to be part of the Long Beach Sea Festival. Then it disappeared. This year it is back and being hosted by the LB Grunion Masters swim team. I heard about it at the Pacific Open Water Challenge and really wanted to do it, since it's practically in my backyard. My only concern is that there was a one mile and a 3 mile only. No half mile. Bummer.

I had hoped to swim while on the East Coast the last few weeks, but didn't get to. So, last week, with only a few days to go, I was worried about being able to swim 1.25 miles. I went out to Alamitos Bay on Thursday afternoon and was able to do the full distance. I also met the race director, who happened to be out swimming at the same time. He helped convince me I should do it.

Then, on Friday and Saturday, I felt like crap. I felt tired, weak, and sick in a general way. I still felt bad yesterday in the evening and was sure the race was out. I was nervous enough about being able to do that distance when I was well, let alone sick. Then, at 10:00 I was laying in bed watching TV and got mad about not being able to do this race. I decided I was going to try anyway. I ran out to the market to get energy bars and bananas for the next day.

I woke up at 5 am after 5 hours of not-so-great sleep. My son has the flu so I was up taking care of him. I gave myself a lot of time to get ready because I hadn't packed a bag yet, and I wanted to see how I felt. I felt better than I thought, but not great. I had some coffee, half a PB and honey sandwich, and some yogurt (after having to clean cat vomit off the rug. Yay.)

I drove over to the bay to sign up early. The website and director said that there were only shirts and medals for the first 150 entrants. What good is racing if there is no cool shirt or medal at the end of it! :) Once I signed up I had time to kill, so I walked around the beach, had a banana and power bar, and drank some Gatorade.
Event warmup:

As it got closer to race time, I stretched and got my gear ready. I went out to warm up. The water was freezing. My muscles felt a little fatigued, which worried me. But at this point. I had paid, I was wet, I was racing. I felt a little nervous first getting into the water. I still have shark issues that I'm working through.

After warm up they were calling all the 1-mile swimmers over to the start to debrief us. The course was actually going to be 1.25 miles. The frustrating thing was that they kept explaining the canals that we were swimming through, but not getting to and from the canals. I know the canals very well, as I kayak through them frequently. However, they were very unclear as to how we were to enter and exit them. I figured...oh well...just follow the pack.
Swim
  • 51m 3s
  • 2063 meters
  • 02m 28s / 100 meters
Comments:

The horn went off and I was in the water quickly. We had been able to start as close to the water as possible, without being in it. I didn't really worry about my placement within the group. I was in the middle of everything. It was a little bit of a chaotic start, as all age groups and both genders started together. There was a lot of arms, legs, and kicking. I didn't mind it so much. I'm a tough girl.

There weren't any buoys we had to round, we just had to swim out to the southwest corner of Treasure Island. It seemed to go by pretty fast, since there were so many people and I was just trying to find a piece of water where I wouldn't get kicked.

As we swam along the south side of the island, I tried to stay close to the boats. Didn't want to waste time getting off course, when it was so easy to just stay near the docks. We got to the opening of the Rivo Alto canal and had to swim across it to go right into the canal. We were then to swim a counterclockwise loop through it, under the four bridges.

It was cool to get into the canals because a lot of people left their multi-million dollar mansions to come out and cheer for us. Some people were even hanging out on their boats and docks. I immediately began swimming right next to the inner part of the island, figuring it would be a shorter total distance. I was surprised that most everyone else stayed to the right. Maybe they're just used to staying to the right of a lane. After a few minutes, though, many wised up and drifted over to my side.

One of the drifters was a larger man with an interesting stroke. It was breaststroke...sort of. At times he was oddly floating like he had some contraban kickboard under his stomach or something. Anyway, couldn't shake him off the rest of the race.

I passed under the first bridge and was getting into a groove. I did hit a boat with my left hand. Oops. Hugging it a little too close! Wasn't the last time I'd do that! I ended up getting stuck behind one guy, and had oddly floating breastroker guy off my right. I felt kind of penned in...but both guys were going my speed, so I didn't sweat it.

Near the second bridge, I realized that I really had to pee. Okay, this may fall under the category of "too much information" but I'm not good at peeing in strange pieces. Ask my husband who cracks up at my complete inability to pee in nature when we're camping. So, I started to tread water in a vague attempt, and the safety volunteer yelled down "Are you okay? Do you need help?" What was I supposed to yell..."Sorry sir...just trying to pee in the canals, but thanks for your concern." I just said no. I think he gave a heads up to a volunteer on a paddle board who then seemed to keep an eye on me. How embarassing. Can't a girl pee in peace? :)

I realized that relief was nowhere in sight, and the best solution was to pick up the pace to get back to the finish line...i.e...public restroom ASAP. I crossed under the third bridge and knew I was past the halfway point. As I crossed under the fourth bridge I was stoked because I knew that the exit of the canal was coming up right after. Plus, I think paddleboard guy was no longer tailing me.

We made a right turn and headed back toward the turning basin of the bay. But not before passing the pirate. There is a zillion dollar house on the corner that has a giant statue of a pirate out watching over the canal. He is usually dressed up for the upcoming holiday, but today...just plain pirate clothes.

As I rounded the turn, I was excited. I was almost there. I was going to make it. I started to pick up the pace. In high school I was a distance swimmer and my strategy was always to hold back a little early on to go faster in the end. As I started sprinting I looked up and was having a hard time telling where the buoy and finish chute were. I did see the sails of the sailing center's boats, which are nearby, so I started aiming toward them.

As I got closer I saw the buoy and oops...not the direction I was heading, so I corrected to the right, putting me right back next to floaty-breaststroke guy. Then my mind went blank. Were we supposed to pass the buoy on our right or left? Oh crap. Left seemed more logical, but I thought the guy said right. Oh well. We'll see what everyone else does. So, I swam toward the buoy. As we got closer I saw that people were passing it on their right, so I could turn more toward the shore.

I sped up as I got closer, then got a fistful of sand! Yes! Love that feeling! I stood up and dizzily, slowly jogged toward the chute. A lot of people were there cheering. The bummer is that I didn't know any of them. My son has the flu, so my family couldn't be there. Oh well. I ran up the chute, was handed a popsicle stick thing with a number on it, then found my way out the other end.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure I'm stocked up on gels and other pre-race food. I tried some new things that kind of upset my stomach. Also, less fluids on race day, at least for swim races. I also need to pay better attention when the course is being explained. The combination of their vagueness and my absent-mindedness wasn't good. Also want to get a new swimsuit so that I don't have to wear two, or get a good tri suit.
Post race
Warm down:

I was really hot, so I grabbed my Endurox and headed to the water. I sat in the water cooling off. It felt good. Then I dried off, put on my new t-shirt and walked over to look for results. The food was okay. Nothing great. Had some gatorade and a bite of a bad bagel. I called my husband and went to drop off my stuff in the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being sick and lack of training these past few weeks.

Event comments:

Overall this was a good race. Although I had felt like crap the last two days, I think I did alright. My time was better than my last OW swim. I went from 3 minutes to 2.5 minutes per 100. Not bad. I enjoyed the race, although the organization of it was not great. I know that it is the first year this group has done it, so I can cut them some slack. However, the volunteers when I was signing up were unsure as to what we were supposed to get. The instructions on the course were vague. Also, it took over two hours for the results to be posted.

I did get two medals. We all got a participation medal. I also got a second place medal for my age group. Although the age groups on either side of me were large, ours was just two of us. It's hard to get too excited over a 2nd out of 2, even if it is for a medal. I'm still awaiting the final results to see how I did overall. But considering I was sick and the distance was more than double what I'm used to, I had faster splits and had a great time!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2007-07-03 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:51:03 | 2063 meters | 02m 28s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 28/36
Performance: Good
Suit: 2 Racing Suits
Course: Counterclockwise loop from the beach near the pier, around Treasure Island, through the Rivo Alto canal, out near the pirate house, and back to the beach.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2007-07-29 3:47 PM

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Master
1281
1000100100252525
Long Beach, CA
Subject: Naples Island Swim


2007-07-29 6:37 PM
in reply to: #905725

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Expert
658
5001002525
Central New York
Subject: RE: Naples Island Swim
You swam a mile in open water, cleaned up cat vomit, and broke the pee barrier.

File this one under "extreme triathlon."

Way to go!!!

Edited by Xan 2007-07-29 6:45 PM
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