Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Personal Race Report: Flowers One Mile Sea Swim (June 16, 2007)

It was an awful lot of fun and the weather was extemely cooperative.

Results (from here): finished in 29:59, 129/540 finishers

FINA open water swimming rules don't allow drafting, so it wasn't a day for practicing finding a pair of feet and holding on. Even though I'm back in the pack and so the officials wouldn't see it let alone call it (and if they did a DQ wouldn't matter), it just wouldn't have been sporting.

The course is straight out, from the beach at the Westin Casuarina (at F4 on this map) to public beach across from the Courtyard Mariott, formerly the Holiday Inn (at G10 on this map, just north of the previous map).

It's a mass start. Those gunning for sub-20 are supposed to seed at the front, followed by those gunning for sub-30, followed by everyone else. I looked to put myself immediately behind those gunning for sub-30. Apparently, I seeded myself behind optimists. They bottled me up for what felt like five minutes - maybe only two in reality!

I don't have an established gear for swimming at or just above lactate threshold, but I did crank things up a bit, and I kicked harder than I would in a tri. Being in salt water and unused to unleashing my legs, my kick broke way above the surface - oops.

The sea was calm and my sighting was good. I stayed a ways out from the shore until the three-quarter marker buoy and then angled in; the shallow closer to the beach adds too much to the wave action (and the beach itself bows, so following it would add distance). I'd say wave action was in our favour (again, it's a straight-out course).

The finish is through an archway just off the beach. Since I was in a tight part of the pack, it was a bit of a "free for all" (hah!) coming in. Folks around me wanted to give a final push, so I responded in kind but not to a full-blown sprint. I just couldn't justify bouncing along for 1710 yards and sprinting for 50 - if I cared that much I should have been working harder for the previous 29 minutes!

Looking over the results, I was ahead of those who usually swim in my lane, ahead of a couple of folks who usually swim one lane up, and within a minute of someone who often leads one lane up. About right - on a distance swim I should rank higher than I do in our pool workouts.

Afterward I drank free water, ate free pizza, buzzed around chatting with folks, and then collected my !SWAG! and walked back along the beach 1.5 miles to where I'd parked my car.

Goodness, the women Masters swimmers all look fabulous hanging around on the beach in their swimsuits!


Blogger mishele k said...

That sounds like the coolest race! Too bad the Texas Gulf would be too nasty to do an open water race in.

Congrats on an impressive swim!

6/20/2007 09:06:00 pm  
Blogger Myles said...

Sounds like a great race...Does it feel weird to just swim and then be done with it?

I'd like to try an OWS race some time but there aren't a lot of them in my neck of the woods.

6/20/2007 11:03:00 pm  
Blogger Wendy said...

Sub 30! Apparently you also seeded yourself slow ...

Oh, I hate that "my foot just kicked air" feeling!

Good job.

6/21/2007 06:40:00 am  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

Nice race, nice report! It sounds quite wonderful.

(That's a good line on the seeding-yourself-behind-optimists thing. This makes me tear my hair out in races, I am too much of a rule-follower!)

6/21/2007 06:48:00 am  
Blogger Wrenching Winz said...

I'm tellin ya man, those masters swimmers are crazy fast folks. Good job on the time. You and I should go up against each other sometime.

6/21/2007 07:32:00 am  
Blogger Andra Sue said...

Sounds like you had a great race...especially the fact that you didn't have to bike or run afterwards! How cool is that?! :)

6/21/2007 03:26:00 pm  
Blogger Duane said...

Sounds like you had fun!

6/21/2007 09:26:00 pm  
Blogger Spokane Al said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a day.

6/22/2007 12:01:00 am  

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