The good, hardly any bad, and most likely inappropriate for FB. The day started and ended beautiful, perfect weather, perfectly calm water, sunshine galore and a rockin’ tan to boot! Thank to Panama Jack clear zinc sunscreen, no burn whatsoever. Also thank you to Vaseline, only one small chafe mark, which I consider a great success.
So…. Brine shrimp. I was super excited to swim through them and now I’ve changed my mind. The smell on the shore was so rancid I was dry heaving and thought I was going to throw up my bagel, banana and Gu before the race even started. I sunk in the muck and had a little come up each time I breathed. Completely disgusting. Back to the shrimp. All I saw was silt, or so I thought. Turns out it was the little shrimps in their infancy and let me tell you what (graphic warning) I never knew the body had so many crevices that stuff can hide in. When I finished, I could scoop it off my sides of my suit by the handful and it looked like gross jellied caviar. I super hosed myself off, went to the bathroom, and let’s just say the TP isn’t strong enough to handle the shrimp cakes (so gross). I didn’t call anyone until after I got to the hotel in ASAP style for a shower and if I had known I was going to smell like that, I would have worn an old throw away suit. However, I’m not going to waste my new Vo2 team suit, though I seriously contemplated chucking it versus washing it out.
Moving onto the salt, I was basically a doe licking a salt block. I never could have imagined how salty the water could be. It shot up my nose, burned like crazy, and had me sneezing while swimming the whole way which was a new first for me. I got the hang on breathing after about 15 minutes or so. Luckily, my tongue didn’t pickle too much and I can taste stuff still, so the mouthwash trick helped. The buoyancy was AMAZING! When I did breaststroke kick, my legs completely came out of the water. My butt felt like a pull buoy was attached at the surface and when I stopped to feed and hydrate, I was just floating straight up like a bobber my shoulders and chest completely out of the water. It was crazy, which also helped with my time too. My tri and wetsuit swim friends, you would have had a field day!
The water was too hot, 70 degrees and with the sun, I felt like I was getting slight heat exhaustion. It could also be I basically sprinted miles 2, 3 and 4 because this guy was so close I kept getting sandwiched between my kayak and his. So my competitive nature decided we were going to lose him….. and we did :o)
Time-wise, I was 3hrs 26min (very rough estimate), 6 feeds at 3 minutes each (with the exception of one where I got pretty chatty about the formations under water, sorry Ben), and 5 minutes walking to/from the start/finish line due to shallow waters. THEN I found out the course was long and all the kayaker GPS readings were coming in between 7.04 and 7.72 miles, so not too bad for just over 3 hours for an average 7.5 miles (my kayaker took me wide too). Overall super happy with today’s swim, I had fun, and learned a ton. This swim, well, one time is enough for me (until I decide to do it again)!