I knew I needed a long swim today so I got up at 0500 and was out the door soon after. When I swam at the Y a few days ago, a woman there told me about swimming on the other side of the land and where to go. It took me a bit of time to find the dock and boat ramp but I was glad I did. Nothing but private residences there and pretty much NO boat traffic. I was in the Covington Creek which is a direct outlet to Kitty Hawk Bay. I set up my gear at the end of the boat ramp and stood there for about 10 minutes just looking and studying the water. The wind was HOWLING and it was really choppy and there were about 3-5 foot swells very close together. I'll admit that I was a bit nervous. I'm at a new place and solo AND not sure what to expect. I decided to try it anyway and got in. I was going with the current to start and against on the way back. I could feel a real good push behind me and I kept close to the private docks. My hands hit the bottom several times and I had to allow myself to swim farther away from the safe land to where I could at least do a proper stroke. For pretty much 90% of the time, I could stand up if I wanted. I just pictured myself in a big pool. I got to where I knew it was .7 miles and I turned around. I immediately knew it was going to be tough. I was reminded of when Chad, Gordon, Michelle and I were in the GSL that one day months ago and it was extremely violent and rough. It was very close to that. I was fighting more than swimming. The one thing I kept thinking of what that I could get up at any time and would probably be able to stand. I hammered down and swam hard. Progress was slow and if I paused for even one second, I would get pushed back. I got to where I started and when I was getting a drink, I took some serious consideration into bagging it heading to the YMCA. I figured I would give it one more try and I could always stand up if I got too scared or it got too unsafe. When I was about to get in, there was a person on a bike there that asked, "Are you seriously going back into that"? Yes, yes I am!! The 2nd lap wasn't much better. I was fighting more than swimming but I'm sure if someone had taken a picture of me, I would have been smiling. When I finished, I took a gel and found myself back into the water before I even realized it. The wind and waves were still at it but I was really enjoying the struggle. I got about 1/3 back and I started to fade. It had taken more out of me fighting as much as I did the first 2 times than I realized. I started to really have to push myself and I could feel myself struggle more and more. About halfway back I had to stand up and take a breath for about 30 seconds. I finished but knew that it was my last lap. I was SPENT. I felt better when I finished the GSL 8 miler than I did for this 4.2 mile swim. When I got out, I just sat on the dock and drank some Gatorade. I just didn't even have the energy to start packing up. Some people in kayaks with fishing gear came in. I asked if any fish were biting and they laughed and said it was too rough to find out. After a bit, I got up and headed home. I was very pleased that I stuck it out and that it was safe enough for me to do so. If I had not been able to touch the bottom for most of the swim, I definitely would have bagged it. I only got over 4 miles when I wanted to do around 6 but once again, the quality of the swim was 100x better than the quantity. I really put some swimming experience into my "swim bank" today!
4.2 miles OW