One summer race down, two to go! Although I have done plenty of open water swimming and a number of triathlons, I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about the Fat Salmon. Normally i have a bit of an edge during the swim portion of a triathlon because triathlon attracts athletes that tend to excel in running and biking. I usually come out in the top 10-25% of the swim portion. The Fat Salmon (FS) attracts very good swimmers. I was SO nervous on race morning when I started looking around at all of the well sculpted shoulders looming around.
I really prepared by swimming regularly for three months at masters practice and 5 weekend open water swims with the same group. I’ve swam the much more than the 1.2 mile distance plenty of times both in open water and in the pool, but it’s always been broken up into sets. I haven’t swam a mile or more continuously in over 10 years.
I’m happy to report that everything went GREAT! Once I got in the water and started paddling around, I felt more comfortable. There was some wake, but it was manageable. I wore earplugs to protect my ears from the cold and I think they helped a lot with motion sickness because I was not sick or dizzy when I got out of the water. I admit 1.2 miles felt like a long distance and at times I felt like I was swimming forEVER but in comparison to the people swimming 3 miles, it was a piece of cake!
My goal was simply to finish the race and so I took my time. I stopped occasionally to adjust my cap or earplugs and I really didn’t push it. The last thing I wanted was to swim too fast and then be exhausted halfway through. I admit I was a bit sad when I saw my time: 47 minutes. I let myself feel sad about it awhile and then I let it go. I had just completed 1.2 miles of open water swimming! Not something to feel bad about!