This past Saturday marked the Big Swells swim. An event that involved all swimming but in lengths of 1.2 and 2.4 miles, either wetsuit or non-wetsuit. I choose to take on the 2.4 wetsuit division race.
I had a few goals going into the race. One was to simply see how my swim training was going so far this year. Knowing how things were going would help judge what all might need to be done to get me up to speed for a successful Ironman Wisconsin swim. My second goal was to hit the one hour mark.
Big Swells takes place at Devils Lake and is a closed body of water with no boat traffic and most typically, no waves. Saturday morning started early. My usually pre-race routine and a 40 minute drive north. I didn’t take much a a warmup. I simply got into the water in my wetsuit to get accustomed to the temperature and my wetsuit. I also scoped out the bottom of the lake where we would be starting for any rocks or debris.
I position myself towards the front as I was figuring I would be in the top 5-10% of swimmers and didn’t run much of a risk of getting run over. This would also help me during the event with un-wasted energy having to navigate around other swimmers.
I took off and started towards the first turn. After the first turn a bit of chop was on the surface of the water. That back stretch of the first lap I took on a good amount of water, right in the face and ended up swallowing a bunch. Taking the second turn was a massive relief as I no longer would ingest water but I knew that I had to take on the second lap one more time.
At the end of the first lap I took a quick survey of the course. Not many in front of me and lots behind. I knew I saved some energy and took the second lap a little harder. Once I passed the first turn the intake of water started once more. I kept my rhythm going and pushed on a little harder. After the last turn I sighted a line and pushed on.
Getting to the timing mat there were a few people in the way, these people had caps on for the 1.2 mile swim which started after we did. I ran around them and felt good about the swim.
As soon as I had some time to digest the time I had on my watch and talk with my coach I hurried over to the official timing sheets. To my surprised I had come in first in my age group and 17th overall! What a great day!
We celebrated and cheered on other team members as they came in, ate some food and enjoyed the beautiful day. Once everyone was in a group of us got ready and headed home, on bike. 40 miles back to Madison to complete a successful day of training.
Big Swells was fun and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Here’s to the rest of the training season!
Official time 1:00:09 1/29 in division and 17th overall