Sunday, June 8, 2008

The 2008 Great Chesapeake Bay Swim result

I'm home, and I'm burnt, by the sun and by my wetsuit, and extremely tired, so forgive any bad grammar, typing, etc...

total time was 2:40:22, unofficial, I just went to the website and there was a link to the results for today. I was amazed, didn't think they were that efficient. Then I clicked on the link and I got a page that said "results will be posted here". At least I got a good laugh out of it.

Mile one: 25:37 - This mile was good, nice and easy to warm up, pretty much swam straight to the bridge, then through the pillars and between the two spans. During the pre race meeting the guy said we should stay to the right on the first half since the current would push us left in the beginning, but when I got between the bridges, I saw that up ahead it curved to the left so I decided to stay left until the curve ended, then move to the right. Bad move as you will see in mile two...

Mile Two: 43:06 - This mile sucked, I spend most of my time trying to stay between the bridges since the current kept pushing me out. I was waiting for the bridge to straighten out, but that never seemed to happen. I guess it was just a perspective problem, but my time would have been much better spent swimming all the way right and then swimming straight and letting the current push me left gradually instead of swim, swim, swim, oh crap I'm almost out of bounds, swim perpendicular towards the middle, I guess that's close enough, swim, swim, swim, oh crap I'm almost out of bounds, repeat for 40 minutes of mile 2.

Mile Three: 31:41 - Somewhere around mile 2.2 or so I got a bad foot cramp and had to stop and work it out, but after that, the current seemed to let up and I was able to get into a real good groove of 3 stroke breathing and staying parallel to the bridges and made some real good time and was actually passing some people. there were supposed to be two food boats, I saw the first one, but it was 100 yards to the right of me at mile two and I would have had to swim against the current to get to, so I just let it go. There was supposed to be another one at mile 3, but I didn't see it, I was probably still too far left, but I was swimming in a groove so I didn't bother looking too hard.

Mile Four: 38:47 - I was still in a groove, but this mile the current returned and was pushing us right. This was good as I was still way left, so I started moving right and gradually working my way that way. I was still swimming in my groove, but I could tell I wasn't going as fast as the pillars started slowing. A couple times I worked on catching some swimmers ahead, drafting for a while, then passing them. This kept me occupied and my mind off the incredible burn that was working it's way up my arms to my shoulders and into my back and chest. finally I saw the 4 mile buoy and thought it was almost over and man was I freaking hungry now.

last .4: 20:10 - two more pillars and then head out of the bridge. I was thinking the current was going to help me in since we were now swimming with it, but then we turned left and headed towards the marina and it was back to slow going and I was about ready to die. I adopted my Dori technique of just keep swimming, it felt like for ever, but finally I could see the exit and finish. Stopping swimming was great, but standing up and walking, not so good. I almost fell over a couple times on my way up the hill. Luckily the volunteers were well versed in stripping off wetsuits since I don't think I could have reached behind me to get the zipper down.

Overall it was a good experience, but I doubt I would do it again as the race site and logistics were just not all that great. If they were to switch the start and finish I would consider it. The start was at a state park with plenty of parking and beach area and bathrooms for spectators and racers. But the finish was at a marina with minimal parking within reasonable walking distance and it was too tight. After the race it was really hard to find anything and there was no room at the finish for anyone to be present. It was just kinda lame. The volunteers were great though and everyone was very friendly and helpful.

oh, and I reserve the right to edit this post later after I can think straight again ;-) and when the spell checker is working again


aj said...

Your account of the swim sounds very similar to mine! It was my first open water swim ever, crazy huh?

Seriously sunburned on my right side from breathing to the right all race long, but other than that felt great at the finish.

alex said...

I was also crushed by mile 2. Just seemed to take me forever. I actually tied my time from 3 years ago (the last time i did the race) how boring!

I also love the finish at Hemmingways. After crushing some water and oranges I love to slam down a couple of cold beers. Plus a band playing. Good times

Blog of the Swimming Dad said...

Congratulations! Yes, the sun was a serious issue this swim... Even though I wore 2 coats of waterproof SPF50, I still ended up with a serious burn on my shoulders and face... In years past I just had "racoon eyes". This year I had a paleface forhead to match!

My final time: 1:52:27