Saturday, August 29, 2009
To finish off the SPMA open water series I participated in the Don Burns 1 Mile Swim at Corona del Mar in Newport Beach, CA. It was the first year I have done the swim and the first real 1 mile race I have done. After experiencing many ups and downs through the summer with a shoulder still recovering from last September's surgery, for once, I did not go into the swim already feeling fatigued from a week of training. I also went in pretty relaxed and open minded. I just wanted to do what I could with my arm while securing enough points to win the open water series in my age group.
There were 269 swimmers and everyone took off on the start together in a mad dash to swim out and around the first buoy. The course was an attempt at a rectangle with a buoy at each corner. I got off on a good start without any need to push my way through a crushing pack of swimmers. I kept up a good pace and was even able to summon a surge towards the finish. However, I did noticed that anytime another jostling swimmer interrupted my tempo I lost ground because it took me quite a few strokes to get my arms moving steadily again. Next summer I should be in a much better position, hopefully I can keep the injuries away.
In the end I finished 21st overall and 6th amongst the women, but I won my age group. I must note however, that I would have done much better if I had worn a speedsuit like the others ahead of me. Results can be found here.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I told myself that I would have to stick to 2 miles or shorter this summer. However, I could not resist signing up for the 3 mile (really about 2.75) Naples Island Swim in the Los Alamitos Bay. I had been training in the bay all summer and I figured the relatively calm water wouldn't be too bad. I was also starting to feel very good in training leading up to the event. The only detail was that I managed to feel too good the week before the race and thus pushed my recovering shoulder too hard in practice. I did too much butterfly, pulling and laps around Treasure Island in the bay. I was extremely sore the morning of the swim, despite attempts at resting the shoulder the day before and trying active recovery in preceding practice sessions.
The water temperature dropped down in the bay the week of the race. It had been fairly comfortable for most of the summer, but some cloudy weather and changing tides led to chilly water. I made an attempt at a warm up swim, but after a couple strokes I knew that was a hopeless case. Instead I grabbed a towel to stay warm during the last few minutes before the start. I just wanted to get through the race, not do anything special.
Due to the length of the event it wasn't difficult to get out with the main pack on the start. I kept along smoothly, until the pack headed out across the main through way to the ocean. The water was more rough and I could not keep up a high arm tempo and hope to have my shoulder last through the race. In the end I know I could have done a lot better, but I was glad to make it through. I finished first in my age group, but overall results have not yet posted.
My shoulders were undoubtedly sore afterward. I took a week off of swimming, had a wisdom tooth removed, and spent a few days slowly recovering. I have now also reverted back to icing down the shoulders everyday, along with periodic icings while sitting at my desk at work if things feel particularly tight.