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Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim - SwimOther

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Fort Collins, Colorado
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 3h 55m 27s
Overall Rank = 42/56
Age Group = Female
Age Group Rank = 13/21
Pre-race routine:

Slept like crap! The bed was super comfy but I was terrified of oversleeping. So I woke up at least ten times...more and more disoriented each time. I finally dragged myself out of bed around 0430 or so. Showered (and shaved!) and ate a chocolate muffin (mmmmmm). Filled water bottles, finished packing up, applied SPF 50, got in the car and drove to the place where my paddler was supposed to pick me up. The picked me up around 0545 and we got to the race site around 0600. I basically had 30 minutes to use the bathroom, give my paddler the stuff I wanted her to have, lube up prime chaffing areas with vaseline, get body-marked, and stand around chatting with other swimmers until the pre-race meeting. After the pre-race meeting there was more nervous standing around. With three minutes to go I started to creep into the water. It felt SUPER chilly at first, but I knew that once I started swimming it would be okay. Once waist deep I took one last pee break. With a minute to go I took the plunge and swam the 25 feet out to the start area.
Event warmup:

NONE. I was going to have enough trouble swimming 10k. No need to add extra. I just went slow the first part of the swim.
  • 3h 55m 27s
  • 10000 meters
  • 02m 21s / 100 meters

Okay...long race but honestly...not all that much to say.

I started out slow to make sure I warmed up. For a ccouple hundred meters I just took it easy and tried to avoid people. I felt good. The first hurdle is getting to the paddler hook up area and finding your paddler. It's maybe a half mile in? You can see just an armada of paddle boats ahead of you and your job is just to keep on swimming and let THEM find YOU. Well, pretty early on in the group I happened to spot my paddler so I waved at her. After that I did not worry about it. I just kept swimming. It took her a few minutes to catch up to me. I finally saw her come up from behind and start hanging with me.

As a side note, her boyfriend's dad was also racing and her boyfriend was paddling for him (so, her boyfriend was paddling for his dad).

So the first mile FLIES by. ESTIMATE of the first mile. No mile markers! But I went past the cove that I thought was the first mile at about 34 minutes which was exactly the pace I wanted to hold. Which made me realize that I was going to be WAY slow today. I mean...if you are at your planned "average" pace at mile're screwed!!!

I had originally wanted to stop every 45 minutes for gel/water, but I decided to do 50 minutes instead. Last year I did 40 minutes and it was WAY too much. So right at 50 minutes I popped up and told my paddler I was ready for a rest stop. I bought a new toy for this race...Hammer Nutrition's "Gel Bot". It's a water bottle with essentially a gel flask in the middle. So, you can one-handed get water AND gel. :) I had a big problem opening gels while trying to tread water last year. This Gel-Bot was my solution! It worked well...easy one-handed operation! The bottle says it holds 3oz of gel, so I thought that would be three servings. It was hard to estimate how much you were getting out though and I used up most of that in the first gel stop. Oops.

So, all the way through that first gel stop I felt smooth. But the boat chop was building up during Mile 2. It started MUCH later the previous year and wasn't nearly as bad. It turns out that everyone thought this was one of the worst boat chop years EVER. I HATE fighting boat chop! Sometimes it as solid light chop and every once in awhile there would be HUGE waves that threatened to beach you.

My paddler told me I was swimming very straight. I'm good at that. I was kind of far from the shore...but I took the most direct route that way!

So, somewhere after mile 2 I started to get tired. Ruh roh! The pace definitely slackened between the fatigue and the boat chop. I stopped two more times. I peed right after every stop (not sure just worked out that way!). I didn't get a lot of gel on the second stop because I had taken almost all the gel out of the Gel-Bot on the first stop. By the third stop I had to use my gel-flask that I brought along. All that meant was I had to have her throw me two things instead of one. No biggie really. They both floated.

So, at the third stop, I was about 2:20 into the swim and trying to figure out where I was. I SUSPECTED I was about 4 miles in...maybe. So I asked my paddler...but....she wasn't very good at reading the map. She thought we were a MILE from the finish. As much as I wanted to believe her, I didn't because I knew the first buoy would be at mile 5 and it wasn't even in SIGHT yet. So after I took my gel/water I told her I wasn't sure if I was going to stop again or not and just plowed on.

This is about when my darkest miles started. I was HURTING. I was tired. My arms/shoulders/back ached. The waves were getting stronger. All around I was in ROUGH shape. I popped up a lot in the next mile. I NEEDED to see that buoy! And it wasn't appearing! I even commented to my paddler about it once and she gave me some words of encouragement. But this is the point where the body gave up and the mind took over. I just had to keep on going. 45 or so minutes later I FINALLY got to the first buoy. FINALLY. I had made several attempts to "speed up" for a final push but all failed. I was just too spent already. Once at the first buoy, that pretty much left me with a half-ironman length swim left AND meant I had no choice but to stop for gel one last time (at that buoy). So, this is also the point where I realized I was going to take nearly 4 hours to complete this swim. Crap.

With the final gel break behind me I set off and made one final attempt at speeding up. But the boat waves and the fatigue were just too much. There would be no fast swimming today. The last section between the first and second buoys felt like it took FOREVER. I almost didn't think I was making forward progress. The only thought I had was "Where the f- is the f'ing cove?" You see, the second buoy is there to tell you not to enter ANY coves until after you pass it. Even after I passed it I thought it took forever to get to the cove.

I finally make it around the corner and the finish line is in sight...but SO SO far away! I'm not sure what happened to me but I had been swimming SO straight all day and then on this last stretch I kept pulling left! Ugh. Suffering...suffering....

About 15 meters from the finish I picked up fly and crossed the finish line that way. If you can't end with a carwheel, you have to end with style.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. I was SERIOUSLY undertrained for this event. Last year I peaked out at over 70k yards in July. This year...30k. BIG difference. Bottom line I was NOT ready for it.

Post race
Warm down:

I kneeled at the finish line for a bit until I got my goggles and cap off. Then the finish line assisters helped me stand up. I took a few gentle steps until I felt okay. Then I went and thanked my paddler and got my bag. I ate a few bagel pieces but didn't hang around long. I had a plane to catch!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training.

Event comments:

I wouldn't miss this race for the world. What can I say? I dig the long distance swimming stuff.

Physically, I was not in shape for this race. But, mentally, I was proud of the effort. It had been a long time since I had to talk myself into finishing. "Finishing" hadn't been an issue in a race lately. It made me remember why I race. For the challenge of it all. Well, today I was challenged...and I finished. I love this stuff.

Last updated: 2007-05-30 12:00 AM
03:55:27 | 10000 meters | 02m 21s / 100meters
Age Group: 13/21
Overall: 21/56
Performance: Bad
Suit: Just a Tyr bathing suit!
Course: Start at one end of Horsetooth Reservoir...swim to the other!
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Below average Navigation: Good
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-08-15 6:26 PM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

2007-08-15 7:21 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Holy Crap, I can barely run a 10K and there you go swimming them!! proud of your effort!
2007-08-15 8:28 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Great job Jen!  Your slow is my fast and of course this is without a wetsuit!  I hadn't thought about the gel-bots...that's a good idea.
2007-08-15 8:59 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

Swimming for almost 4 hrs!  Nut!

Great job and I think you did very well.  Good attitude about the challenge, too. 

2007-08-15 9:44 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
YEE HAW woman!  That was fantastic!  You did great.....not all that much slower than last year, and 40K of training less?  Amazing!
2007-08-16 1:08 PM
in reply to: #927538

Online or Offline
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim




Nice job Jen!

2007-08-16 1:29 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Way to push through that one!  Damn, that's an insanely long distance to swim.  Nice job.
2007-08-16 1:50 PM
in reply to: #927538

New user

Northeast Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Wow, went to school in Fort Collins so this caught my eye. Amazing swim, your shoulders must be so tired!!
2007-08-16 4:20 PM
in reply to: #927538

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Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Wow. In-frickin'-sane! I would've drowned for sure! Nice work!
2007-08-16 5:36 PM
in reply to: #927538

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2007-08-16 5:43 PM
in reply to: #928441

Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

naners - 2007-08-16 12:29 PM Way to push through that one! Damn, that's an insanely long distance to swim. Nice job.

Thanks...BTW, LOVE the helps you know, "Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Swimming swimming swimming swimming!"  Go Dori!  

2007-08-16 6:05 PM
in reply to: #927538

Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

Very Nicely done

I too like these longer swimming events but have yet to get my head around the 10k. I bet you would really crank Gatorman here in La Jolla. (A 3 Mile RWS)

Sounds like you had a great plan with regular timed nutrition/hydration stops and were well used to the idea of having a paddler along.

Good On Ya

2007-08-17 11:59 AM
in reply to: #927538

Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
awesome Job Jen Way to fight thru it!!!  You are crazy you know?  You have been thru a lot the last few months and I think you are doing great.  Work has been a bear, you have had some injuries to deal with, having your surgery re-scheduled, not sleeping well, goofy military stuff, coach issues, car accidents....geez o pete...You are a strong person Jen.  Congratulations
2007-08-17 1:25 PM
in reply to: #927538

Farmington, MI
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Wow, great report!  I didn't even know that there ARE 10k swims!  That's awesome!  Way to go, you must be part dolphin!
2007-08-17 1:34 PM
in reply to: #927538

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Simply amazing!  Great job!
2007-08-17 4:54 PM
in reply to: #927538

Queen BTich
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Great job Jen! Thats so amazing. Miles of chop...ugh!

2007-08-17 5:08 PM
in reply to: #927538

Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Great job!

Yea, that sounds nuts! Not sure if I could hang that long in the water. Insane!
2007-08-18 4:18 PM
in reply to: #927538

Kingston Ontario
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

Hey girl....that was an awesome swim!!  10k is kick a$$!!

I would die trying to do 5


2007-08-19 1:25 PM
in reply to: #927538

Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Clap clap clap clap clap!

They really need to stop moving beaches and buoys! Great job on the swim... may join you next year!
2007-09-03 9:42 AM
in reply to: #927538

Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

I'm a little late to this party....but just had to comment.  Great swim, Jen.  10k in the water is a long way.  I stole a quote from you...hope you don't mind.  I found it inspirational.


2007-09-03 5:31 PM
in reply to: #927538

Rochester Hills, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim

Thought of you today, Jen...Michigan has the 'Mackinac Bridge Walk', over 5 miles of bridge between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. 24 people were swimming it this year. Heh.

Congratulations on a great race, even though your lately has consistent of swimabama and kneeexcitement. Glad you enjoyed it!!!!

2007-09-25 2:26 PM
in reply to: #927538

Subject: RE: Horsetooth 10k Open Water Swim
Wow almost 4 hour swim. That's freaking awesome! you're an animal!
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