Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Rainy Day Swim

I awoke today to the sound of rain, a sign that fall is not too far away, though I was hoping summer might linger just a little bit longer.  But not to worry, for I would be jumping into a lake to swim 1.2 miles anyway--what's a few more drops of rain?  And since this was only a swim race, I needn't worry about biking or running on wet pavement, so bring on the rain!

I arrived at Martha Lake in Lynnwood for the inaugural Team FASTT swim race.  There were three distances to choose from:  1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and 1.2 miles (half-Iron distance).  I opted for the half-Iron distance--as did the majority of the other swimmers--because I wanted to compare my time to last year's swim at the Lake Stevens Half-Ironman (40:47).  Would all of this year's training really pay off?  I was a little nervous that it wouldn't, and all of my hard work would have been wasted.

Anyway, despite the gray skies and rainy weather, everyone was in good spirits about the race--who wouldn't be stoked about putting on a wetsuit at 8:00am and jumping into a lake with a bunch of other crazy-like-minded people?  I didn't get a count of all the swimmers but I would estimate there were about 50 total.

The countdown began, and we were off as heart rates and adrenaline levels soared.  There wasn't as much kicking and shoving as usual, which was nice, and we all spread out after the first buoy.  I ended up swimming the majority of the race by myself, a few minutes behind the fast cluster of swimmers ahead.  I was very pleased with my sighting--I didn't veer off-course much at all this time.  I also felt strong most of the way, even though I had stayed up late swing dancing with my husband the night before (the race didn't start until 8:00am, which is practically sleeping in when it comes to racing).  However, after looking at the pictures on the website, I realized that I really need to work on my swim stroke.  Here is a picture of how NOT to swim:

Yikes!  Hopefully this was only because it was the end of the race, and I was tired.  I can't say I'm proud of this, but at least I know that there is room for improvement.

I finally emerged from the water and crossed the finish mat with a time of 36:25, over four minutes faster than last year (though this was a different lake and a different race).  Even so, I was pretty happy with it.  I was even more thrilled when my friend Louise told me there were Erin Baker cookies for post-race food.  If I had known that beforehand, perhaps I would have swum even faster! :)

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