Monday, June 13, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Death Valley Open Water 3K

Results (preliminary);

1h 09m 14s -  2:08 mins/ 100 yards

17/42 Women's Open
2/4 Age Group 30-34

Due to the 10am start, I was able to sort of sleep in. Maybe would have been able to sleep past 7am, if the dog hadn't decided to be whiny. So I got up and had a little breakfast and then waited for Terry to get back in from his run, so we could hit the road. I decided last minutes to come along to be my sherpa and photographer. Thanks, babe! :-)

Once we got to the race site, I signed in and got body marked  - on both arms and on my back. A lot of things are different at an swim event vs a triathlon and this is one difference. The other difference is all the little kids that run around.... Kids that are a third my age and are signed up for the same distance. Besides that, I was happy, that there were many people with tri shorts around... I said to Terry: "Oh goody, plenty of triathletes around, so I won't be last out of the water!" ;-) Yep, all these pure bred swimmers really had me concerned for a moment.

I spent the time before the race to chat to a tri team friend of mine, who was signed up for the 2K. 10 minutes before start, we had a little pre race meeting, going over the course again and what things can get you disqualified (no contact - another difference to triathlon) etc.

And we were already on the way into the water. It was pretty warm, that's why the swim caps were not mandatory. I do like me a swim cap, but I don't like the latex ones they hand out at a lot of races. They feel like they cut off the circulation in my head and I know that I am exaggerating.


Well, the race course looked something like this... (Lindsay, I aspire to eventually be able to produce sophisticated diagrams like you do all the time, but obviously, I have a long way to go! ;-)... Sorry, the proportions are way off. The start point was the left buoy of the double buoys closest to the shore. Then you do an out and back and had to swim between the double buoys to cross the finish line. The buoys from the start to the turnaround point were spaced apart 500 meters. There were smaller buoys in between for orientation. The green line is supposed to show something close to an ideal line, the pink line is how I imagine I swam. BTW... The water is not turqouise and the beach is more grass than sand, but you get the idea.

So yes, I didn't have a clue how to line myself up. I was way in the back of the field to the left, the furthest away from the ideal line, I could have possibly be. I don't even know exactly why I did that... But I think part of it was, that I didn't know what to expect. The first 500 meters, I spent with getting into a groove and getting closer to the buoys, because 1) it's the shortest way and 2) it makes sighting so much easier.

The next 500 were uneventful and I was even able to draft off a couple of feet here and there. I saw one of the big buoys (500, 1000 and 1500 meter markers) and the swimmers ahead of me started turning. I was surprised, that we should already be at the turnaround and started to turn myself until one of the kayakers pointed us into the other direction. Yep, We were just 1000 meters into the fun.

And with that, I also lost my draft and was now sandwhiched in between two swimmers. I kept free styling my little heart out, while both of the other swimmers did a weird mix of three strokes breast and three strokes free. It was driving me nuts, but I just couldn't get rid of them until the turnaround (500 meters later).

Once I saw the turnaround buoy, I cut the corner and just booked it... I didn't see the girl after that anymore and left the guy behind me after maybe another 100 meters. From then on, I was in no-man's land. There wasn't anybody even close to me for the rest of the race. So I just kept plugging along and had a pretty good rhythm until I breathed in a bug. After hacking and coughing for a while, I finally got it out of my mouth again. Yummie. It freaked me out a little, but soon, I got back into my groove. A little ways down, I swallowed another bug, but fortunately got that one out pretty quickly.

Once I saw the double buoys marking the finish, I picked up the pace a little.

Soooo.... My goal for this race originally was under 1 hour. I don't know, if that was realistic or not, but obviously sub 1 hour didn't happen.

In general, I really liked the event and I am thinking about doing another open water swim this season, if it fits in and is not too far away.

Two days later, I am still sore, so I think I worked out there... That's something! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. nice! this actually sounds like a good race... except i still don't like ows'ing. :) your diagram was great, except for lake hartwell is not *quite* that clean haha.

    congrats on your first swim race! and 2nd AG!! awesome