It's funny- real swimmers approach these races like a World Series of sorts... while triathletes just look at them as opportunities to practice hard ocean swimming while also riding/running before/after the swims. I drove up the race this morning but while I was driving I saw 3 of my triGEEK friends riding up. :) I arrived early enough to get in a 5 mile jog/trot before the race started. Capped HR at 145 so it was really slow/easy.
Today doubled as Nalani's birthday swim!! Prior to the race Kathryn and I joked with her that she should be drunk and have her feet tied together (because, hello! #birthdayswim) but we didn't have a bottle of whiskey for her to chug at the start line, so she raced sober.
Part of our Kaneohe morning swim crew (me, Nalani, Kendra, Lectie). Spoiler alert! Lectie won 30-34, Nalani won 35-39, and I won 40-44. Not pictured, Mark, won 55-59. Kaneohe Crew #FTW!
So I spoiled it already but whatever. I'm pretty stoked with this swim because after 10 years of getting my ass kicked in this (short) one, I feel like I finally did it right today! These races are tactical and last year I thought I was swimming REALLY strong but got beat by minutes b/c I opted for that outside line. Today I started at the inside buoy, and after a few minutes of swimming alone I look over and Tah-Da! There's Nalani. Beautiful! So I got on her feet and we swam like 10ft from shore most of the way, getting pummeled by white water waves at times but it was so fun I was just loving it!! I touched her feet a few times by accident, then after we made it through a fairly big set I touched her feet again, this time on purpose just to let her know I was there and that hello its her BIRTHDAY and we are doing this together and isn't it awesome?? What's funny is that she told me afterward that she received my telepathic message... There was a lifeguard at one point waving at us to GO OUT b/c we were in too shallow with the waves but I was like hell no! I'm staying with my friend and if she stays inside, I'm staying inside! And when I touched her feet after that set of waves she said she knew for sure it had to be me on her feet because I was the only person crazy enough to stay with her that far in. Ha!
Afterward I checked results, chatted with a few friends/athletes, then hopped back in the water to swim back. It was pretty nutso swimming back and I would have preferred to have someone with me for sure... I lasted ~20min swimming back then navigated my way through some decent sized surf and made it to shore (alive!) then walked the rest of the way to my car.
Run #2 coming up... It was almost 11AM by the time I started and it was HOT. Heart rate was easily 5 beats above what it was on my morning run which is not surprising. I kept it super slow/easy (10:30 pace!) for the first 5.5 miles. To be fair, I was running against a stiff headwind and the sun was blazing full force and even that 10:30 pace put my HR at ~150... So I heeded HR and kept it slow so it would actually be easy (and I wouldn't just be fooling myself pretending it was easy)... Turned around though and now I had the tailwind (which made it feel hotter!) but I felt good/solid so opted to do the progression as planned... 9:30 down to 8:46 pace at the end. So 5 miles in the early morning plus 11 miles in the late morning plus 4 easy miles last night gave me 20 miles in ~20 hours so that's about as good as I could do trying to fit in running around the swim race.
This evening we continued our celebration with Nalani... Party at the beach, because that's how we do birthdays in Hawaii! :)