Swim the Suck race report, part III

First part here. Second part here.

OK, so lessons learned. Many lessons learned.

I love being escorted. Not having to sight was wonderful.

Feeds are nice, and I love the strawberry banana gu. StS gave out some new kind of feed in the goody bag. They are called Ignite Naturals. I haven’t tried them yet, but will during my next Wednesday long swim. I would love to learn to feed horizontal, but for the time I completed this swim, I’m okay with the

Goggles. Damn those goggles. I brought new ones, both tinted and clear, and I should have put on a new pair. The damn goggles had to be adjusted for leaking at least once per feed-to-feed cycle. Absolutely annoying. Only good thing is I’m getting good at adjusting them without going vertical and still moving forward. I used the same goggles yesterday during my 2 hour swim and I dumped them after the first 1500m. I put on the new pair of clear goggles and voila, no problems. I’ll put on new goggles (same brand, model, style, etc) for the next marathon.

Peeing. Yes it worried me. Worried that I would have to waste too much time vertical. Glad I figured it out.

Pre-swim clothing. I should have brought a coat. A rain jacket. Despite the weather reports showing sunny and 75, it was raining the morning of the swim. And the sun only came out a bit at the start. There were times during my swimming that my arms got cold. I know Tony was probably cold. Further, my pre-swim and post-swim clothing were the same. Nothing fun about putting wet clothing on.

1006083050_02Me in my rain-soaked pre- and post-race clothing

Towel. I should have used the backpack space for a real towel. I used the hotel one. Worse, I thought I’d save space in the race bag by taking the big hand towel. Then, at the end, I couldn’t wrap myself in that towel to change. I had to wait for the ladies to finish using the changing tent. And guys, we all know how long that takes. šŸ˜‰

Robie. One day I’m going to sew myself a Robie. I can’t bring myself to spend the 80 bucks to buy one. I think two large bath towels, sewn together, leaving arm and head holes, would work just fine.

Mouthwash. Even for a non-salt water swim, a nice swish of mouthwash after the swim would have been welcome.

Racing versus swimming. I don’t know if others have this same feeling. I will feel really comfortable swimming to the point that I prefer to swim rather than rest at the wall. I’m talking masters here. You know what I mean? Hanging on the wall huffing and puffing…I really think I get more out of a calm, slow freestyle lap. It helps me bring my HR down, my breathing down, etc. Problem is, I think I get in this pace while swimming long. Every marathon I’ve done, except that 10K recently, I’ve found that I had plenty of energy left at the end. I honestly thought I could have done most of StS again after finishing. I wasn’t completly drained at the end. I have got to figure out how to pace myself such that I am completly pooped at the end. For StS, I really pushed the last 14 minutes, really hard. While I was initially breathing heavy upon finishing, that didn’t last. I still had energy. I have no idea how to translate race pace in the pool to race pace in a river, ocean, lake, wherever.

WaterGirl. I learned that she is as nice as I thought she was through our virtual friendship. So glad to have met her and her awesome. Thank you for your service, Rob, even if it was in the Navy. Also was lucky enough to meet three other members of the marathon swimmers forum. All great people I’d love to swim with again. Relay anyone?

Karah. Organizer and swimmer of StS. Great woman and awesome marathon swimmer. Doesn’t hurt the eyes, either. (I am, after all, a man.) She and her family were great and the pasta was yum. She got all kinds of sponsorships, even Moon Pies! I won a pair of Barracuda goggles that one of my daughters has stolen.

Martin Strel. I got to meet him. See the proof below. Before going, I told myself to try and recall some of my Serbocroatian (Yes, Martin is Slovenian, but my Slovene proficiency is limited to reading only. And he grew up speaking BCS during Yugoslavia times.) I forgot to study. But I still managed to speak to him race morning. He walked by and said hello, and I answered “Dobro jutro.” He nodded, walked a step, then turned and looked at me. I told him, in BCS, that I had studied it 17 years ago, but couldn’t remember any more than that. He smiled, spoke to me, and then went for a warm-up. After the swim, I spoke to him in his language again, and this time, he only spoke to me in BCS. I managed to get him to autograph my copy of his DVD Big Riverman.

Penny Palfrey. Wow. I was really looking forward to meeting her. Talk about a marathon swimmer. Incredible. Her talk about the dolphins was awe-inspiring. I won’t repeat it here because it is much better in her accent. She’s lovely. And not hard to look at either. Beautiful eyes. (That’s not a metaphor.)


I would do StS over again in a minute. No question. This swim was my favorite of the year, and probably number 1 or 2 of my OW resume. A+

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