Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Swim Across America 9/10/11

Saturday I swam my first open water swim with Swim Across America! I raised $920 for cancer research at Women and Infants Hospital right here in Providence. At the end of last week, I was getting a little nervous. Hurricane Katia was creating big swells on the Rhode Island beaches, and rumors of rip tides were floating around.

However, the water on Saturday morning couldn't have been better:
Not only did the swells really die down, but unbeknownst to me, the beach at Wheeler State Beach is protected by a breakwater because it's also the same area where the ferries head out to Block Island and Martha's Vineyard. So the water was actually pretty smooth - much smoother than any of my practice swims.

Here's the route for the swim (we mile swimmers made the loop twice)I signed in and got my yellow cap and my number
Plus, a sweet tat (which is still secured firmly on my shoulder, despite several showers and a workout swim this morning)
I ran into my Masters coach and introduced her to Jason, but she was a little distracted because she had been assigned to watch over Clara Walker, the 86 year-old former Olympian. Clara is a native Rhode Islander who swam in the 1948 London Olympics. Amazing! She swam a half mile on Saturday. Clara Walker is my new hero!

After I registered there wasn't much to do besides wait.I also snagged a pineapple Chobani for Jason, since he didn't have the chance to eat before we left, and they had food for the swimmers.

Jason snapped this picture while I was dutifully listening to the announcements and safety instructions.Right after the announcements, I bumped into a woman from my Masters group. We wound up having a mutual-appreciation conversation (I complimented her speed, she complimented my kick) and she made me feel much less nervous about the upcoming swim. It's always nice to have a buddy. She and I lined up together and ran into the water together, then she took off (because she's super fast).

The 1-mile start (the half-mile swimmers had pink caps and started about 10 minutes after us).After the 1st loop, I thought, "I have to do that again?! Maybe I should have done the 1/2 mile...", but then the 2nd loop flew by and before I knew it, I was finished.

Done!I met both of my goals, which were, (1) Finish, and (2) Don't be last.

About 30 seconds in, I realized I hadn't asked Jason to time me, and I had forgotten my waterproof watch. Darn it! However, Jason said we started at exactly 9:00 and he's pretty sure I came out of the water at 9:29 almost exactly. So I swam the open-water mile in 29 minutes, which I'm very pleased with, considering it's only about 10 seconds off my fastest pool time.

Jason and I spent the rest of the day at the beach. We stayed at Wheeler for awhile, then headed over to Scarborough, where the lack of breakwater meant we had some fun waves to jump. We also both got completely fried. Note to self: Jason hates touching sunscreen and will thus not apply it evenly, or even completely, on my back. My back is currently 3 different colors of tan.

All in all, the swim was fun and I'm glad I challenged myself. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of events I can swim next season.


amyh said...

That's awesome!

Tenacious-K said...


Well done! Congratulations on meeting your goals and raising all that money for a great cause.

You rock!

Andrea said...

Great job on the swim! And awesome that you raised $$ for cancer research!

And how cool that Clara Walker swam 1/2 mile! Truly and inspiration!

Hope you are having a good weekend!