Athletes could choose to do it solo OR as a relay, which made for a fun team event and opened it up to more people than maybe would have been interested otherwise... I've done this swim several times in training with friends. In fact, my friend/athlete Kevin and I did it on the 4th of July just for fun. :) The water up there in the summer is seriously gorgeous and it's one of my favorite places in the world to swim.
Unfortunately, I came down with a bit of a virus last week... one that made its way into my chest and left me coughing up some ugly sticky stuff. It's always a bummer going into a race you're excited about when you don't feel healthy but the idea of staying home and missing this was worse than the idea of doing it while sick so it was an easy decision to go ahead and swim. Maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me something, given that the night before the race I had a dream that I did this swim while wearing a fleece jacket and towing my purse...
The turn out for this first year race was really good- 200+ athletes brave enough to challenge themselves over the distance. Pretty cool I thought! That said, the mass start was easy... I heard the horn and started swimming and never got touched. Given that I didn't feel like myself, I kept a pretty relaxed conservative effort/pace and just cruised along. So weird I didn't see ANYONE around me... no one to the left or right as far as I could see (which was pretty far b/c water clarity up there is as good as it gets). I wasn't leading or anything- I knew there were a bunch of swimmers up ahead- but these types of races there are not buoys every 150M like there are in triathlons so most everyone just spreads out and does his/her own thing heading in the general direction down the coast. That said, I did feel some tapping on my feet off/on for the first ~45' of the swim and turns out while I wasn't towing my purse, I was towing Sergio, which I actually didn't mind doing at all. I was proud of him for sticking on my feet and perfecting the art of the draft!
I've said it before and I'll say it again- I think the ocean is healing and is a good place to go when you're not feeling well... Maybe 1/2 way through this swim I actually started to feel a bit better and kind of picked up the pace. (Sorry Sergio!) I then spent the rest of the swim finding swimmers up ahead of me and picking them off one by one. So that was a fun way to finish the event. I actually had a bit of a race right to the finish line and managed to out sprint an 18yo through Waimea Bay which has probably never happened to me. Ever. Turns out, the only way I can out-sprint an 18yo is if she swims 4500M first. Then I can get her in the last 500. Lol.
Waimea Bay is amazing. I stole this picture off Facebook.
Anyway, this is now easily my most favorite ocean swim race ever. The atmosphere after the race was fun... full of friends and a good local community vibe. They gave out these awesome cookies as awards (made by the wife of the swimmer who placed 3rdOA in the race!) This pic is actually of someone else's cookie... Mine got devoured by a little blonde 5yo as soon as she saw it. I bet they tasted really good though?
So that swim took just about all the energy my body had that day and I was pretty useless the rest of the afternoon/evening (sorry, Moana!). That said, I was signed up for a 20K run race the following day and decided that since I was capable of doing the swim race, I should also then be capable of doing the run race, no?
Turns out, for me, swimming a 5K while sick is 100x easier (and a good bit faster!) than running a 20K while sick. I really tried to keep an open mind and told myself that I came around and felt better 1/2 way through the long swim race, so maybe the same would happen in this 20k run?? Ha! No. I seriously considered dropping out around mile 8 when we ran right by the finish line... but then decided that jogging it in was preferable to a DNF so that's what I did. Nalani was there with her camera taking pictures and I kind of wanted to slit her throat every time I saw her pointing that thing at me... but instead I just shook my head and laughed and flicked her off for trying to capture this failure of mine on film. There may or may not be a picture of my middle finger surfacing later in the week.
I got home yesterday and spent most of the rest of the day online 'watching' Ironman Wisconsin... Apparently the "live" coverage in Mt Tremblant was non-existant... I would have missed it anyway b/c I was sleeping and then at the 20K... I may or may not have skipped most of my run warm-up though in favor of checking my twitter feed trying to see the updates on who was winning that race... good thing for Twitter, eh?
Anyway, now I rest and try to give my body the time it needs to get back to healthy. In good news, my two week stint as single mom ends tomorrow as Scott finally returns from his two week surf trip to Indonesia...