Monday, June 13, 2011

Tradewinds article

The article in Tradewinds has a photo of the intermediate group starting:

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Photos from the race

The Friends of the VI National Park has placed lots of photos of the race on its Facebook page.  Caught a glimpse of my green suit in #28.

Other photos from race day although no moi:

Back at the Y

Swimming addict that I am I just had to get back in the water, lousy hot chlorinated pool or no.  Once the summer swim league kids cleared out I had a lane to myself and accomplished a good swim with swimp3 player on once again.  Got to keep this up.  I have to start pestering them to "cool the pool", or someone may wind up floating.  And it won't be me.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I've been looking over the race results; my time in the intermediate course (2 1/4 mi) was 1:05:34 and my pace was 29:08 per mile- I'm very happy with that! I'd figured it would take me 5 min. longer.  As it turns out, there were 9 women in my age group, and one was in the top three overall, so that put me first among the other 8 in the age group.  I see now that I was 5th out of 20 women and 7th out of 34 men and women combined!  Woo hoo.

We had a celebrity in the long course race, Jamie Patrick from California, an ultra distance swimmer who gave a workshop the day before the race and also spoke at the pre race meeting the night before.  He does some crazy long swims. I love how distance swimmers are not too too thin- they have to have a little flotation on to keep from sinking.

Another little celebrity was a teen from Trinidad who is participating in all 4 of the West Indies Bluewater Swim Series in St John, Trinidad, Nevis, and the Turks & Caicos.  She was staying at Maho with her family.  Good luck in your swims Chelsea.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

2011 Beach to Beach Power Swim

Should have been a runner so I could wear makeup at 7:30 am. I think that is Jamie Patrick standing behind me- he does ultra marathon swimming and gave a talk at the pre-race meeting.
Trunk Bay- the end of the intermediate course.
Trunk Cay
Cool race T painted by island artist Les Anderson.  
Mom and Merry
Race results

Lille Maho Bay

The Race!

I flew in last night from the Caribbean with a little tan and some sand on my feet... and a swimmer's high that has lasted for several days.  Sunday's race went well, lots in attendance, and I even managed to win a prize.  Race results don't really reflect the beauty of the day but here's a link.

Mom and I were camped at Maho Bay and I was a bit nervous about getting next door to Greater Maho beach, but she managed the Goat Trail with minimal complaints and from there she got rides with the shuttle in service.  We found Merry and chatted with her.  My stomach felt a little upset after my cereal and so I did not want anything else (my power bar I'd brought).  The long course group started off and I had 2 minutes to wait and fiddle with my goggles, then it was warm-up/splash time.  It was a little hectic at the start, and I tickled  someone's toes in front of me.  A diver with camera was under us shooting up at us as we went round the first buoy.  I felt tired and sluggish and began to wonder how I would get to the other end of Maho beach, much less all the way to Trunk Bay... but I remembered how in practice I'd start off slowly, then get my old bones into the groove later.  Sure enough, that is how it happened.

I swam over beautiful orange starfish as we went along Maho beach.  I found that, as before, I fell in with other nearby swimmers with similar pace to mine, including a guy in black shorts and then curly long haired guy.  There did not seem to be a buoy on this leg out of Maho so I had to look for the kayak guardians and hope for the best.  I remember having to cough some; maybe it was that very salty water.  We swam around the point into Cinnamon and it seemed a long haul but I was getting some energy and feeling better by then.  They direct you way out around the points to keep clear of rocks.  I did some breaststroke along the way frequently to be able to see better.

Heading out of Cinnamon Bay the water had some swells and it seemed dark and deep, harder to see the bottom.  I saw those same two guys then was on my own a while, then swam some with a girl that turned out to be Jude whom I'd met 5 years ago.  Sometimes I felt like I wasn't moving much, but just kept powering my arms and concentrating on technique if I felt tired. I sighted on the notch in those cays that they tell you to look for.  Finally I rounded into Trunk and a kayaker was there pointing the way, thank goodness, for it was a little confusing.  Found out later he was Rafe Boulon who now works for the NPS and I'd known of his family back when we lived here.

I swam toward Trunk Bay beach with the cay on my right.  The current was running out strong like before and I was conscious of not wanting to get too close to the rocks.  As I breathed to the right I pretended I saw Daddy over there snorkeling and then sitting on Trunk Cay waving me on.  That gave me a lift!  I smiled and tried to keep swimming strong into the beach, glad that I was stopping here and not going on to Hawksnest in the long course....

Had to get really close to the water's edge before I could stand up, then slowly trotted through the finishing line.  The volunteers are great, they clap and hand each of us a water bottle and a medal.   Then I saw Mom who was of course relieved that I had not drowned or been eaten by a shark.  Had to wait until the ceremony at Oppenheimer Beach to find out that I'd gotten a prize, first in my age group!  Big surprise.  Just glad to have finished without dying after only training for 3 months....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taper time

Had a pretty crummy swim Saturday due to the pool being too hot again.  Can getting mad while swimming raise the blood pressure and get you even more dehydrated?  I think of Fran Crippen who died during a competition in Greece probably due to hot water temps.  Good thing this race is almost here.  This week I just need to do some short swims perhaps some "sprints" - well, a little faster laps in my case.  I will go today and then I may just wait until Friday to swim again when I get down to Maho Bay.

I joked that I don't act much like an athlete preparing for a competition... but for me swimming is more of a spiritual experience than an athletic one.  I do have to be in good aerobic shape and have good technique, but beyond that it is more for that swimmer's high.  I want to enjoy the water, be around other swimmers, see the gorgeous scenery above and below the surface, and feel that feeling of flying that I get sometimes.  I hope to get in lots of time in the water in the VI.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yesterday I found once again that I still can start off a bit sluggish but should not despair because I get warmed up and get going, and can have an amazing swim.  I thought it would be a chore to do even 2000 yards but then I didn't want to get out of the pool.  I wanted to swim all night.  My wings kicked in and I felt like flying.
The lifeguard commented as I left on my swimming and asked if I'd been a college swimmer-  made my day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday's swim

Monday I took it sort of easy and did 500 warm up then 3 X 500 plus another about 500 and kicking.  Love to do that underwater porpoising with fins.  Guess I'll never grow up.  I tried timing a 100 free versus a 100 breast; free still much faster of course at about 1:30; closer to 2:00 for the breaststroke.  
It is looking rainy in the VI now; hope we have sunny weather while we are there.  Am getting my carry-on ready with lots of large bottles of explosive flammable liquids.  Ha ha.  I wonder what they think I might try to carry in my Bullfrog sunscreen bottle which exceeds the 3.4 oz. limit....