Swim for the Potomac 10K

Today was the Swim for the Potomac. Actually this weekend is S4tP. I foolishly signed up for both the 10K today and a 5K tomorrow. Real goal was to finish the 10K today.

Ten years ago, I attempted S4tP 10K, a month before my first Swim the Suck (StS). That 10K ended poorly. My back ached and I only finished 7/8 laps. I was worried about StS, but I did much “time horizontal” as I termed it and finished that 10 miles in 4:44. I was very happy.

But always, throughout, this particular 10K in National Harbor, MD, has been on my mind. It’s my neighborhood. I needed it in my life. And today, I had it.

That was the course today, a loooong 1666m course. Buoy 1 to 2 and 3 to 4 were so long. Laps 1-3 (5K) went by smoothly. Had some issues sighting 3 to 4, but got that figured out. Finished it around 1:55. If I could keep that pace, I could finish in the 4:00 course limit.

I knew that wasn’t going to happen during lap 4. Was starting to get tired. Stopped seeing others. Except for, I think, Kathy, who is so fast. She was most probably passing me on her 5th lap. (A month ago during HarborFest, she did 7K in the two hours we had.) Lap 5 was difficult, I had to distract myself: strokes 1-79 my normal old man speed, 80-100 fast. That got me through lap 5. That and hoping they’d let me start lap 6.

They mentioned pulling people at 11:30. I started lap 6 at around 11:00. At that point, I just kept hoping to get to the next buoy. I looked at it like: okay, one lap is just four lengths (two horribly long ones: 650m?), swim length per length. When I got to the first buoy and turned to start the first long length, I just wanted to make it to buoy 2. I figured if they pulled me at buoy 2, I’d have to swim back to the start anyway. I’d zig and zag enough to make the full 10,000. At buoy 3 I saw a jet-ski with a sled and thought, Oh shit. Last I was in one of those was at the end of 20 Bridges. Please don’t pull me!

Thankfully, they didn’t. I did the last length in forever, but finished. That’s all that matters. 4:15. And I wasn’t last. That’s kinda nice, too. All in all, a great day. And now I am sore, and wonder how the 5K will go tomorrow.

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