For Father's Day today Scott got to go to the beach to play with his wife and daughter! Ok, really he got to roll out of bed before the sun came up (but don't worry I had fresh coffee brewed for him by the time he stumbled downstairs) and he got dragged to an ocean swim race I was doing... He is such a trooper. But it was fun, I swear!
We had our typical rough choppy ocean conditions in Kailua this morning for the Popoi'a Swim. No one really knows how long it is... I think they guess 1.6ish miles. It's not for the faint of heart and has a reputation of being one of the most challenging ocean races on Oahu each year because the wind causes such choppy conditions on his side of Oahu. And back behind Flat Island lots of times there are significant waves to navigate (i.e. dive under before they crash on you). Hence, only ~150 people show up to this one vs the 500+ who attend the North Shore Swims all summer.
In the past I have not really liked this swim... even though I typically like choppy conditions... But today I really did truly enjoy it. I didn't feel much competitiveness with anyone present... and certainly no pressure at all. I think that made it easier to embrace the conditions. That, and hearing some of the quotes from my friends prior to the race start... like from my crazy friend, Mark: I'm looking forward to the adventure! (He was very serious- he would not make that up!) So I adopted his attitude. Yes! Looking forward to the adventure! The harder the better! Bring it on.
The swim was basically about 15 min of swimming along the shore to get to Popoi'a (Flat Island) then swim around the island and back.
In good news they put a couple of buoys back behind Flat Island which forced us to go way wide... important b/c if you get too close to the island as you're circling it you can get slammed into the reef by white water crashing waves (I made that mistake a couple years ago and had the blood running down my leg to prove it). Of course nearly everyone around me missed the first buoy so we were all redirected by the lifeguards on jet skis to go back and around it. No worries. I dove under some crashing waves (like 6 of them) to get to that buoy but called it fun. It really was! Then coming around the other side we got rewarded with a bit of body surfing action. More fun! Then it was ~15 min swim mostly along the shore back to the finish buoy. I could see some swimmers ahead of me and could see that little by little I was gaining on them... My old swimming rival from years past has moved away (bummer!) so I didn't think I had anyone in my age group to really grit my teeth and RACE... so while I was sort of trying to catch those swimmers ahead of me, in truth I didn't *really* care like I used to with Jana... though I will say this... when my hands hit the sand and I popped up and saw that there was a woman just ahead of me, I absolutely sprinted by and beat her to the line. So I will not pretend I was not feeling competitive there at the end. ;) Here's a video to prove it. Notice the windsurfer who just about takes us all out around that last buoy! Ha!
Anyway, after the race we hung out and had breakfast on the beach and drank more coffee. It was very social and a super way to spend a Sunday morning. Then when we got home I was cleaning the kitchen and leaning over to load some dishes into the dishwasher (don't be jealous of my glamorous life) and a bunch of salt water just came rushing out my nose. Ah, the joys of roughwater swimming.