Monday, August 9, 2010

In It To Win It, Part II

What a weekend! Where to start.... how about Saturday? Saturday seems SO long ago at this point, but here's the gist of it... It was the last of the north shore swims... 2.3 mile point to point ocean swim... I really wanted to win my age group for once... I've been training hard and feeling pretty good in the pool lately... So I thought there was a chance I could do it this time.

Isn't this a great photo? This is from the start. You can't see me in this photo because a) there are 500+ people in this race and b) I was WAY on the inside so about as far from this cameraman as one could get.

I took off sprinting at the sound of the horn. We have the whole darn ocean to spread out across so it's not a crazy start like triathlons can be. And there's not a buoy 250 meters out that everyone is aiming for. So it's easy to just find yourself a little group and settle in. Unless you're trying to win. Then there's no settling in.

I found myself in a group with my long time swimming rival, Jana. She and I have battled in the swim races forever. I like racing her because she brings out the best in me. Sometimes she's on, and when she's on, she's ON. Sometimes not so much... and on those days, I can beat her. (She beat me the first time we raced this year, I beat her last race so starting this race we were one and one for the year.) In my head I believe I'm a bit faster than her so I found myself quite frustrated that I was *killing myself* to stay on her feet on Saturday. But on Saturday, she was ON.

There were several times during the race that I just wanted to ease up and relax, but I could not do that with Jana in my sight. In fact, several times she gapped me and I had to full on SPRINT to catch her feet again. Good thing we practice that kind of thing all the time in training... threshold swimming then BLAST FAST for 50-100M then settle right back into threshold. It's a skill that comes in handy when you're racing like we were on Saturday. Anyway, we hung together through the whole dang race. I knew that Jana hates it when I run up the beach and beat her to the finish line that way, so I was determined to get by her in the water in the last 500M so that way she wouldn't yell at me afterward. With the beach in sight, man, I put my head down, brought my kick in and swam up next to her... I had all these aggressive thoughts in my head... I want this more than you do... I am faster than you... etc. I was seriously battling, and I didn't even know if it was for the win because I didn't know where the other fast girls in our age group were. I just knew that if I did not beat Jana then I definitely did not win because she is in my age group.

Isn't this a cool shot? This is not us (I wish I could say it was!) but here are two other gals battling toward the finish just like Jana and I did. Sweet picture. Look at that nice extension and reach! And you can tell, at least with the gal who is closer, that she is NOT going to drop her elbow as she catches and pulls.

Well, I hate to tell you this, but I did not win. I tried. Really hard. But Jana knew I was right there and she is fiercely competitive and wasn't going to give up anything. She got me by 2 seconds. She won our age group and I got 2nd. But I congratulated her whole heartedly at the finish. She swam really well. I did not give her that win- she earned it- so good for her. We swam that course a good bit faster than I've ever swam it before... 53:09 was my time... we must have had a decent current helping us, but still, I'm quite happy with that.

I will try again in 4 weeks at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. "In It To Win It, Part III" Coming your way... Stay tuned Sept 6. Lol.

In the meantime, I'll post again soon about our trip to Moloka'i! It was crazy... beach park shower after the swim race, stop at Killer Tacos for a burrito and then beeline to the airport to catch our flight! Moloka'i is such a trip. Mix Island Style with Backwoods Country and you get Moloka'i...


Beth said...

Holy smokes is that fast!!! What an awesome race Michelle - congrats! You went for the win and that's all that you can ask! Can't wait for Part III last this summer! :)

Katie A. said...

Congrats lady on a well swam race! You did amazing! Enjoy your little vacay - can't wait to hear about it!

Regina said...

you are super fast!! Damn! Congrats on 2nd that is really something. I want your speeed, or at least a little of it please? You know where I live, just put a stamp on it.

Looking forward to hearing about Molokai.

Angela and David said...

Awesome! Must have been great to put it all out there. And I can't even comprehend swimming that fast.