Deer Creek 10 miler!
I got to the Reservoir at 0700 and was surprised at how cold it was outside. Great job Goody, you don't have anything to keep you warm! Oh well, suck it up and deal with it! I chatted with a few people before Josh got me registered and marked up. It was nice seeing Josh and Gords there. I like doing races and seeing friends there I can chat with. Unloaded my kayak with Patricia then she demanded we wait in the SUV until it gets closer to race time so she can stay warm.
Once it was close to race time, we headed down and I greased up as Jim was giving the instructions. Patricia and I kept wondering where to turn but then it dawned on me, "Just follow the people in front of me". I knew there was no chance in hell I would be in the lead so just following others would work!
I got to chat with Gords, Alicia, Scott Kunz and a few other friends before the 10 mile start. There were 2 women there that are going to swim the Straight of Gibraltar in a month...very cool!
Once we got going, I had a hard time getting into a breathing rhythm. I was trying to bilateral breathe but the best I could do was 2-3-2 for the first few miles. This annoyed me a bit. I was in the lower half of the group of 10 mile swimmers and this is where I normally fit in. As the miles went on, I got passed by everyone then slowly but surely dropped by everyone. By the turnaround point, I was at least 20 minutes behind the 2nd to last place person. This did not go well for my spirits!
I hit the 5 mile mark and punched the buoy out of a bit of frustration and for fun. One of the people taking pics for the race asked me to do it again so he could get a picture of it. I was happy to oblige. Turning the corner coming back from the turnaround point was NOT fun. There was a strong wind and current directly against me. I kept chugging along but was barely moving. I yelled up at my wife, "Are we moving"? She replied, "Not really"! Great, I had to pick up the pace and swim in a small 'Z' formation to make progress.
This wasn't bothering me as much as the Coast Guard guy on a jetski near me. He stayed near me to keep an eye on me which I"m sure he was told to do. What he was NOT told to do was get bored then jet around me real fast to make MORE waves or rev the engine so I chocked on his fumes. He was unaware of this until Patricia paddled over to him and asked him to stop moving around us because it's messing her up too. He backed off a bit but after 30 minutes he was back at it again. I called him over and politely asked, "Pretty pretty pretty please, stay as far away from me as you can. I know you need to look at me but you can do that from BEHIND me. I'm sick of chocking on your fumes. I'm slow enough as it is"!!! He got the hint and I pretty much never saw him again anywhere near me.
When I got to the 8 mile point, my legs started to get tight, very tight. I kept my feedings VERY short because every time I stopped, my legs wanted to cramp. At the 9th mile, I felt like my thighs were constantly on the verge of a major cramp. I quit kicking and even pulled my legs up a bit and did the dead leg drag in order to keep them relaxed. This added some drag but it relieved the scare that was dominating my mind.
There were a few times when I got into a really nice rhythm and was moving really fast. One time was between the 8th and 9th mile when my legs were "behaving". I was moving very smooth and very fast. This is the new stroke I've been trying to work on. The biggest problems are: 1) my kick is HORRIBLE when I do it. 2) I can't seem to hold it very long. I need to train better with it so I can hold that good smooth stroke all day instead of the one I'm using now.
After I passed the 1/2 mile to go buoy, I kept looking up more than I should wondering where in the world the finish was. It just stays hidden until you are only 200 yards away. I finished and I came in DEAD LAST! First one in the water and last one out. A lot of boats there started to blow their horns for me which was kind of cool. The 2 women that are doing the swim in Spain next month finished ahead of me and were waiting for me and they were a nice cheer. Thanks ladies, it did help.
The place had pretty much cleared out and Jim was there to give me my medal and some Go-Gurt. Amazing how good it tasted. Great after swim treat!
I finished in 6 hours and 16 minutes. Here are the things I'm happy about: 1) I set a new longest continuous swim for myself. 2) I never stopped and never quit. 3) This gives me a bit of confidence to increase my distance if I want to really consider doing Catalina.
Things I'm NOT happy with: 1) I swam VERY slow. 2) I came in DEAD LAST, That has never happened to me before. I don't like it. 3) I could not keep a consistent stroke pattern. 4) I was hoping for a time around 5.30 but was no where near that.
Honestly I'm a bit embarrassed at my performance and I feel a bit of personal shame on how I did. I expected more from myself but I never did any speed work this year and after the GSL swim, I mainly did maintenance work and not any real training. Well it showed. I felt pathetic and swam pathetic. If I want to be serious about distance swimming, I can't let myself swim like that ever again. Maybe it's time I hired a coach or start killing myself during workouts again. I don't know yet but all I know is if I swim like that again, I'm going to have to make some major evaluations on what I want to do with swimming. I got out of the water feeling like a complete loser and it is still with me today as I write this.