Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bear Lake Monster Swim 2014

Bear Lake is probably my favorite open water swim! The water is so blue, and so clean. I have swum across Bear Lake several times, but this year was my second time participating in the Bear Lake Monster Swim race.

I headed up Friday evening so I could go to the pre-race dinner the night before. I decided I would really like to get to know some more of the people involved with open water swimming around Utah. I had a fun evening chatting with a bunch of the SLOW swimmers and getting to know them better.

On Saturday morning I met at the marina early, so my mom could shuttle our vehicle to the other side with a group of people. Unfortunately we were about 2 minutes behind them and my mom  never found them on the other side of the lake. Finally the return vehicle could not wait any longer, so they came back. While waiting for everyone to get back and check-in to start, I got to see a beautiful sunrise on across the lake.
Summer Sunrise at Bear Lake, Utah
For the race this year, we started on the West side of the lake, just North of the Marina. The relays started first, and 5 minutes later the solo swimmers started. We lined up about waist deep in the water and waited for the count-down. I was the furthest left person, which was fine, because I breathe more to my left, so that way I could see my kayak better. The water felt great and my stroke felt good too. I was really concentrating on fixing my pull on my right arm, because I had been pulling weirdly a few weeks before in my MIMS race. I felt like I was doing better. I was also trying to keep my stroke rate up a bit. I had been training for a 28.5 mile swim most of the summer, so I 7 mile swim was like a sprint to me. At my first drink break at the 30 minute mark, I was almost the last person. What! I am not supposed to be last! I had better pick it up. I picked up my stroke and kept working on holding form. I was able to catch up and pass several people. Towards the end of the race, the sun was in my eyes enough when I looked forward that I could not tell how close I was to the end. I thought I was still about 30 minutes to the finish, when my mom who was paddling told me to really sprint the finish. I thought it was a bit early, but I did so anyway, and 5 minutes later my hands hit the rocks of the beach.

As I climbed out someone with a camera and microphone came to talk to me, because they were doing coverage on the race. I thought it was cool, but I was still breathing hard from the finish. They were doing that with a  lot of people. When I got my time, I had finished in 3:20:54, which is about 5 minutes slower than my fastest crossing, but I was okay with that time.

This race made me realize just how much of a distance rut I was/am in. I decided I really need to work on some shorter things and getting a faster turn-over. I have been stuck in my forever pace. I decided it was time to pull out my pacer and work on my turn over. My goal for next year is under 3:10. 

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