Monday, July 16, 2012

MD Swim For Life - Race Report

Over the weekend I did Maryland's swim for life held in Chestertown MD.

It was about a 75 mile drive from DC over the Bay Bridge. We left our house around 6:20 and made it to the race site with plenty of time to check in and relax. It was a pretty nice set-up and they had some light breakfast items set up for us that included fruit, bagels, cliff bars, and granola bars, along with coffee. It was perfect because I was hungry when I got there so snacking on a bagel really made my day.

The first wave - the crazy people swimming 5 miles - was suppose to start t 9am, but the skies were looking very dark and we all herd thunder. The race director made the call to delay the start for an hour and see how to weather was behaving then. So for the next hour we all hung out at a little boat bar that had a nice cover over it. It was almost like we were on vacation hanging out with friends on the beach. I got hungry again and ate a granola bar and went to the bathroom again for like the 1 millionth time.

At around 10am the sun started coming out and we were finally ready to swim! Those who were swimming the 5 miles though had to swim only 4 miles due to time limits in the water. There was 5 waves of swimmers, starting 5 minutes apart. I started in the 4 wave - the 2 mile swim wave. Looking back on it I probably should have swam 3 miles, but oh well, too late now. Anyhow, once we entered the water we took a group shot and before I knew it I was swimming.

To my surprise the water was salty and the temp felt nice at around 78. Anyhow, my swim started off alright and I didn't have any issues sighting the first buoy. However, I felt like there just wasn't enough buoys. They were spaced apart every half of mile. After I reached the first one I had no clue where the second buoy was at. I stopped a couple times to tread water and see where the heck I was at. Also because I am so slow there was no other swimmers around me, so I felt really lost out there. It was between these buoys that the tide was coming in and made the water really choppy. I was swimming, but didn't feel like I was moving forward. Also with every stroke I could feel my neck hurting and getting chaffed. I pretty much ignored this and kept swimming. After hitting the second buoy, my turn around point, I was lost again. I knew what general direction I had to swim back, but once again couldn't see the buoy. It was more than a little frustrating. Swimming through more chop I made it back to the first buoy and knew I was home free with a half mile left to go. My arms felt fine, but my hip flexors were hurting which was weird. Anyhow, I spotted the boat dock as I made my way back to shore. As I got closer my hand actually hit the ground as the water was pretty shallow and I felt like I had to swim with a weird stroke the rest of the way to prevent my hands from hitting the sand. I was happy to be done and ran my way up to the finish line.

Finish time: 1:11 - not fast at all, but I know I could have swam another .4 miles so that makes me happy.

Once finished Jason started laughing at me right away. I guess I crossed the finish line with dirt all over my face. I didn't realize it while swimming, but I guess the water was pretty muddy. Also my neck was extremely chaffed when I was finished. I have no clue why this would happen when I wasn't wearing a wetsuit?

The venue it self was super nice and there were showers on site that we could use and change out of our dirty swim suits or in my case my tri-kit. I wanted to test out how it felt in the water without a wetsuit on. So, after I showered and changed the good part came. Food. They had a great spread and everything was so yummy.

I think I will def do this swim again next year as I pretty much loved everything about it. And of course I had the best race support :)

Happy Monday All :)


  1. Sounds like a good race. I'm glad you all were able to swim despite the bad weather. And it sounds like you are ready to tackle the IM swim!

  2. Sounds like great practice! I don't like the fact that the buoys were so far apart - that sounds terrible! But I guess it's good practice...haha I bet you are sick of hearing that!

  3. Congratulations on a great race! I'm sorry that you had some sighting trouble because of the buoys, that's annoying! I think you are in great shape for your IM!