Yes we had a blast today (August 4th, 2012). Not without some up’s and down’s….that’s just part of our life, but over all it was fantastic. I’m so proud of my wife…..She swam 1.76 MILES! That’s a LONG LONG way, especially when you do it all with the breast stroke!
When we started out and our toes 1st hit the water..OH MY GOSH! The water was so COLD! And here Sandy was with no wet suit! NO WET SUIT!! AAAAAHHHH!!! NO WAY! She started to swim and was hardly able to breath at first..I thought she might turn around. I know I would have if I didn’t have a wet suit.
Speaking of things I didn’t have…I FORGOT MY GOGGLES!!! DUH!!!!!! Couldn’t believe it! Our daughter Cassandra dropped us off at the start and we were getting all our gear on and things ready to go into the bag that they would take to the end for us and I kept looking in my bag and getting more and more nervous, and finally I said “I FORGOT MY GOGGLES!!!” Couldn’t believe it. Right away Sandy said to call Cassandra but it was such a nightmare with all the traffic, plus she would have to leave Beth alone again, I was like no…, no way. I looked around and shouted, “DOES ANYONE HAVE AN EXTRA PAIR OF GOGGLES!” Sure enough, the nice lady #362, gave me her extra pair. I was sooooo thankful! I just couldn’t imagine having to swim all that way with no goggles. (Turns out Cass had her phone off so she would not have be able to get me the goggles in time anyway)
So there Sandra was, hardly able to breathe due to the coldness of the water. And I’m like, no way is she going to be able to handle this for this long. But she dove in again and started swimming. I kept going ahead and then stopping, waiting for her because I was so nervous that she might have some kind of difficulty, but she kept saying she was fine. But still I would swim ahead and then stop and let the current take me back to her just to make sure. Or sometimes I would just stop and check and make sure she was coming along, and she was. She was never very far behind.
So finally I checked one more time and then took off. I did stop one more time and climbed up this metal cross thing that was attached to one of the bridge pillars and checked. I waved but she didn’t see me so I thought she would be okay. She appeared moving along with no problems.
I finally got into a rhythm and just sailed along. Felt so good. There wasn’t a ton of people so I was able to immediately find a grove and settled into it. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I knew I had a race the next weekend that was even longer (A new race called CDA Crossing. They take the swimmers on a large boat over to the other side of the lake and then they swim to the CDA golf course on the other side. 2.4 miles, just like the swim portion of the Ironman….can’t wait!) But I did find myself whenever I sighted trying to catch up to the next person and pass them. But I kept fighting the competitive urge back because I didn’t want to over do it. Although I have been swimming (it’s about all I can do) I really haven’t been “training”. So I just relaxed and enjoyed the water (it felt nice by then) and sunshine and the great feeling of swimming and NEVER having to stop at the wall and turn around like you do in the pool. Really, if it wasn’t for breathing you could fall asleep. The swimming is so relaxing.
But eventually I came back to earth and my left shoulder started to hurt (I did something to it on the 4th of July while kayaking in CDA… don’t know why it still hurts.) So I took my time, and even once in a while stopped and looked around because it’s so pretty up there. Blue water and green mountains…and bright bright sunshine…just a perfect day!
Finally I did start to get tired right near the end and I stopped sighting so much and wound up going all over the place. (Did the same thing at Ironman) Finally got to the finish and as usual, had to be the funny guy, so I just kept swimming until I was all the way up on the beach sand. Then I looked up and asked the folks who were standing there and cheering, “Am I there yet?” They all chuckled. But there was a gal there who was almost yelling at me, “Come on! You’ve got to cross the timing mat!” I’m like, who cares. This wasn’t a “race”, it was a wonderful day at the beach. Just wonderful!
So I grabbed 1/2 of banana, retrieved my bag and called Cass. Wanted to make sure everything was okay, because the last 30 minutes or so I had been hearing sirens and was concerned. But she said everything was cool and they had eaten breakfast and so I ask her to go ahead and check out as I wasn’t sure how much longer Sandy would be. It was 11:00 and they had let us do a late check out at noon. (Poor Cass, we left the hotel in a mess as we had to drive into town earlier to check in and attend a mandatory safety meeting…so she was left with the chore of picking up all our stuff.)
So then I went back out to try and find Sandy. We were allowed to choose our cap colour so we both chose bright orange. So I’d swim for a while and then pop up and look for a bright orange cap to see if it was her. Man there were a lot of orange caps! Finally found her about 1000 meters back and checked with her to see how she was doing and she said, “Great!”. Wow..I was so glad. So I swam with her for a short while but she was so focused that I really didn’t want to bother her so I swam over to the shore and just walked along. Then finally I left her and called Cass and Beth and they were on their way down to the finish.
Not too much longer, here came Sandy and she had certainly kicked it up a notch once she saw the finish line. (I was fighting off a little kid who thought it was funny to keep splashing water on me. I kept splashing him back and while it was fun, I really just wanted to be left alone so I could cheer on Sandy. FINALLY his mother came over and pulled him away. (It might a been cause I told him I was going to hold him under the water 🙂 )
So there she came swimming away, and Cass, Beth and I where cheering loudly (Beth louder than most! HA!) Actually everyone was cheering her on. Once she got close enough to stand up…she couldn’t! HA! She fell down and started laughing cause she had been swimming for almost 3 HOURS! Her body didn’t know how to stand any more! HA! So funny! I KNOW that feeling. I’m always so wobbly after a long swim like that, I’m kind of glad she got to experience that as she now knows what I and all the other triathletes and swimmers deal with after a long swim. Anyway, I went over and helped her get up and across the finish line where she promptly fell into a chair.
But she recovered quickly and walked over and grabbed a couple of snacks and pats on the back from all of us. We were all so proud. Here this 50ish year old person, who had NEVER swam this long in her life far just finished 1.76 MILES!! That my friend, is a VERY GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT! So proud!
All and all, a super great trip!
So, what’s next? Well, the CDA Crossing is this weekend, August 12th and it’s the innagural event which I’m excited about although I’m nervous too. I haven’t done 2.4 miles since June 2010 so it’s going to be a push, but fun too (I hope!). I mean we get a FREE boat ride to the other side of the lake! And then get to walk on the beach at the CDA Golf Course…how cool is that? HA! I’ll report back here once it’s over.