Here I'm back!
Ha!... Joke apart, the 10Km. marathon swim nationals on Saturday were the best way to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the swim across lake Ontario.
Very different conditions though.
To start I am barely prepared for the distance at the pace I would like to swim. Being realistc I set myself the goal of swimming the 10 Km. in 3 hours or less.
Even when the weather foreacast said the rain will be over for the morning, was still raining and at some times raining hard when we arrived to the start point in Maple Grove in Oakville.
We waited for a bit and when the storm seemed to have passed we started to get ready for the race.
Katie helped me to get ready with all the things to be done, the kayak we volunteered, to put vaseline, to strech a bit and did a great job at putting up with me as I was nervous. When I was as ready as I would ever be, I kissed her and turned around to get into the water.
One by one each swimmer gingerly got into the water and got ready for the start. Except for Arlene, my friend and a marlin master swimmer I didn't know any other swimmer there and still we all wished good luck to eachother before we started. I briefly talked to Arlene about the sort of startegy I had developed in my mind and a few minutes later I found myself somehow swimming fairly comfortable as the water was warm enough.
Quickly passed a bunch of swimmers and found myself swimming beside two guys more or less at the same pace. I was trying to get into MY own pace regardless who was beside me and I knew that I had to be very relaxed for at least 50% of the race. That was good enoug to get the first 3.3 km done against the current and still feeling pretty good. I was feeling happy... the bad thing: I missed the feeding boat on the first loop. On the way back to the start point to complete another 3.4km. the wind was on our side and the current was helping a bit until started to blow so hard that white caps where showing at times (meaning about 18 knots or about 20.7 miles per hour!) and started to push me to shore so I had to fight back to be on course. Again missed the feeding boat and the waves were so big that was very difficult to see anything. Was now the time to pull the gels from the bathing suit. And then the rain came back. got into a sort of rough time where I was wondering again, what am I doing here? Why? It hurts! It's hard! and ... who cares?
Then I heard a deep voice telling me : YOU idiot! swim faster!
at last I was able to see the turn around buoy... because was 3m. in front of me! and there I was turning and changing the mental state. The current and wind was against again! If it was hard the first time now after almost 7Km. and with stroger winds I ... (we I should say as all of the competitiors were in the same conditions) had to really show what we can do.
And did it pretty good I think.
3:04:15 almost what I wanted to do but in very, very rough conditions.
9th place overall
6th Male and still waiting to know about my age group as I am pretty sure most of the other swimmers are younger than me.
At some point during the 10Km the other 3.8 Km. race started and I saw some of the yellow swim caps pass by. Two other marlins were there: Cathy and Ted. Congratulations to both for a great race under such hard conditions.
At the end was a wonderful feeling to know that I can swim still 10 Km. that I can swim a marathon faster than I can run one and to know that after I get on with life with a smile and proud of what I do for "fun".
P.S. Good luck to Rob Kent that will start his attempt to swim across the lake at 3:00 A.M. today...