Monday, April 21, 2014

Swim Miami 5k swim report

In Brief
I did it. 1:52 was the time and I felt great the whole way. If you're in a hurry that's the scoop.

The long swim details
I picked up my stuff the night before because otherwise I'd need to get there too early in the morning. I knew then that I had huge pre-event nerves. I saw a few friends at packet pickup which was calming even though we were all nervous. I made a plan (turned out it was a bad plan) to start with my friend Victor and follow his feet.

The Weather
Early Saturday morning the skies errupted into huge thunderstorms. So loud that I couldn't hear my alarm go off. Which actually didn't matter because I was awake. I hadn't slept soundly with pre-swim nerves and the storm woke me up. It was ridiculous.
This is an actual picture from the morning before the swim. It was nuts. Reported wind gusts of 60 mph at Miami City Hall too. We had more damage from this little squall than we've had from actual hurricanes.

I texted and facebooked with people who were there working the event and/or parents of kids swimming the 800 which was the first event. They delayed the first events 30 minutes. So I watched the weather, ate my breakfast, said bye to my husband and kids and headed out in my swimsuit and raincoat. Amazingly by the time I got there it had cleared and it went on to be a beautiful morning.

I got to see my friends kids finish the 800 which was really fun. Neither of my kids wanted to swim it this year but maybe next year they'll do it.

So many friends
It was great to see so many people who I knew at this event. Folks from swimming and then also lots of triathletes.  It was a very friendly environment.

I still hadn't decided what to do with nutrition. There was a feeding station at the dock and my friends had gu in their swim suits. But I personally have a tender stomach when swimming so I was unsure. Plus the 2.4 mile Ironman swim doesn't have a feed station and I'd already done that. So, I asked one of the swim coaches and she said don't worry about it because it's like a long workout. Just stop and get some water at least once. Done. Decision made. I just went with that. I had a gu about 20 minutes before starting and that was that.

The swim itself
This is the 5k women's start. We could stand on the icky bottom to wait for the start. I do not want to know what we were standing on because it felt very barnacle-ish. My friend and fellow blogger triathlete Christina aka triathletemami was out there pulling her friend Kerry in the kayak. She is a true inspiration.

We swam 3 one mile loops. There were 4 groups to start 19 and under males then females and then 19 and over males then females. Since I tend to start too fast and freak out I found some friends who I knew were a little bit slower than me to start with. I wanted to stay with them to keep my pace slow. But after about 3 strokes I had already lost them so that was also a bad plan. The start was typically agressive because there were many triathletes who feel the need to wrestle in the water. So I just tried to find my own spot and keep my slow pace. And crazy as it sounds I did fine. No freak out just calm swimming. Who is this girl and where did the girl who always freaked out go? Good riddance to her actually.

The first lap was fine. I passed my friend Edson the only person I actually saw who I knew during the swim. He was doing breaststroke so I could say hi.

The second lap was even fine. Toward the end of the lap I debated whether I should even stop for water but Jamey had said to so I did. It was very refreshing to have non salty water in my mouth but my stomach felt weird for a minute or two after that so maybe next time just rinse and spit is a better plan. Luckily my stomach calmed down. Swim swim Swim still swimming. I wasn't actually as bored as I had been in the Ironman swim. I would do some counting and some singing and just kept swimming focusing on my stroke.

At several points I would be swimming next to other swimmers for a while. What always amazes me is sometimes I'll be next to somebody going the same pace and they do about 3 arm strokes to every one of mine. They must be exhausted. On the other hand in this swim I was passed by lots of speedy's doing the 10k and the mile they look so relaxed and smooth as they just blow past you. It's really impressive.

During the third lap my calves were a little twitchy but I just kept plugging and I never cramped. I passed a lot of white caps in my third lap. And I got my first real "hit" while swimming. I was just chugging a long and I got a solid elbow to the goggles. It was a solid hit and we both came up to get our bearings. Ouch. I had to reajust my goggles. But then I just kept going. I didn't see him coming so I might have swum into his space - who knows. But it really hurt.

I was stunned that I still had some energy so I just concentrated on keeping up my rhythm and then at the very end kicked a little harder to the finish. I passed 3 people in the last section to the finish arch so that was fun.

All done. I'm very proud of this one.
And that's it. 5k swim finished. Time 1:52 which if the distance is correct puts me at a 2:03 pace. Not setting any speed records but that's faster than I swam with a wetsuit on during my Ironman swim in June so I'm happy with that improvement to be sure. 

What's next?
Next up 70.3 Raleigh. It's 6 weeks away.  It will be my first triathlon of the year. I have only 2 scheduled this whole year which is insane.

This was what the week looked like. So much swimming. So little running and biking.


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