Monday, October 14, 2013

Alcatraz Swim

I did an Alcatraz swim this weekend, with Swim Art.  It was my third significant open water swim this year, after the Golden Gate swim early in the summer and the Malibu triathlon.   

I didn't train specifically for this, so I was mildly nervous in the few weeks leading up to it, but nothing like the Golden Gate swim.  Being the second time well out in the bay made this a bit easier.  And I'm a much stronger swimmer than I was in the early summer, since I've had a fairly heavy swim training schedule through the mid summer and into the fall.  

But on the morning of the swim, I wasn't at all nervous, and completely excited.  We rode out to just off the warning sign, alerting us not to bring back prisoners.  And started jumping.  I keep thinking that there should be a more drawn out getting-ready-to-go break before starting, but no, it's suddenly time to jump in the water.  And I eagerly jumped off the boat, realizing on the way in that I hadn't put my goggles all the way on.  Fortunately I caught them--note to self, hold them in your hand or around your neck next time!  Or better yet, just wear them!

And again, the cold didn't grab my attention too much, since it was time to swim.  57 degrees on a cold morning 7:30am jump.  Easing in from the beach can be so much worse, since you have time to think about it.  Anyway, I spent a few moments memorizing the layout of the other swimmers in the group, the kayakers, and my landmarks and took off.  Early on I was ahead, but I think I mixed well in with everyone, since I took an occasional moment to just look around and take things in.  Swimming in the middle of the bay.  Between Alcatraz and SF.  Between the Golden Gate and Bay bridges.  As the sun is rising above the morning clouds.  Yeah, it was kind of gorgeous.  

Overall, I felt strong, especially in the last third of the swim.  Hands got cold, and I still need to work on body rotation more when wearing a wetsuit, but the whole swim felt good.  Getting to shore was great, it's awesome that it no longer feels mostly like relief from crazy cold at this moment.  Dried off, found some coffee, and headed out.  

Great swim, I think I need to go back for some more next year.  Next up will be 1.5k at the Marin Tri in two weeks, the last open water swim for my season.  

Oh yeah, 1.31 miles in 55 mins.  But I wasn't thinking about that much, I was there to swim, not race.  It's funny to think that I first started seriously learning to swim a little over a year ago, and first swam in the bay back in March.  I had some modest goals for this year, but have gone well past them.

No comments: