Saturday, May 22, 2010

East Bay Catfish Crawl 1 Mile Swim 2010

 Lets start at the waters edge.
10 am , beautiful day in Pleasanton, Ca. At Shadow Cliffs Lake in my wetsuit for the second time and this time actually entering water.
Before I step into the water I put on my gray swim cap given to me with my #544 written across the side. "Great, it doesnt fit " , So it ended up a little snug on the head , at least I got it on. Mark the hubby is next to me , of course his pea head fits perfectly into his cap.
Taking the first steps into the lake were COLD. But I thought , not bad , its just my feet the wetsuit will keep me warm. I hear a couple next to me say "Dont worry , its going to be fun" , I turn and ask if this is their first swim as well and it is , well their first WETSUIT swim. Feeling better that I really wasnt the only newbie out there we walk further out to get to the "deep water" start. Following my husband he stops and asks "Do you feel that?" , " FEEL WHAT?" ... then I felt it , the cold water starting seeping through the zipper into my wetsuit. BRR. Shaking it off and acting tough we get to the "deep water" start which comes up to my chest and we hover around for awhile. I had not been nervous until I was standing there freezing with water up to my chest and seeing the buoy WAAAAAY off into the distance.
A guy comes up on my right and asks "Do we swim out to that far red buoy?"
ME:"uh yeah"
GUY: " I need to tell them to bring that a little closer !"
We all laugh. Now that buoy didnt seem THAT far until the gun went off and we started swimming. I didnt even get 30 yards, with the shock of the cold water on my face, the wetsuit seizing my chest and glorious  exercise induced asthma, I stopped swimming came up for air and couldnt catch my breathe. So  here is when I have my freakout, I come gasping out of the water like I just escaped a submerged submarine , my heart was pounding I was cold and hyperventilating. Hubby stayed with me and kept me calm and urged me to continue moving forward. The doggie paddle was my stroke of choice , but realized it was to much work. Side stroke worked nice so we kept pushing. Then I started getting nauseous , I thought to myself "seriously? this is not the ocean" . GRAND!! Pushed through.
The best advice I can give anyone at this moment of hopelessness when you are or a mile swim and have only gone about 50 yards is to start counting strokes. So I chose a number, 22 to be exact and made that my goal. Why I didnt try to push further than that I dont know, I thought if I made it 22 strokes I deserved to stop look helpless at my husband , side stroke until I thought I looked like an idiot and go through it all over again. Then I started making lifeguards and buoys targets to get to.
Next thing you know I'm at my final turn. I can see the end. At this point my husband is just cruising next to me ( the whole time it was like he should have been on a floaty with a drink in his hand , while I'm trying not to drown) he says " I wonder if they have bass fish in here?" . As he looks at some kids fishing on the side of the lake. "Really baby? Your thinking about fishing now?" ... it did make me a laugh a little and viola push through to the end. I made it , I didnt drown ,  I didnt give up and amazingly I wasnt exhausted ( because I was to scared to swim to hard , and be exhausted and drown ). Stood up and walked up the beach to cheering fans, and one of my favorite Dailymilers Jody & Jacob ( you ROCK, and you dont know how happy I was to see you there at the end!).
So that was where I lost my open water virginity.

Big thank you to Marks high school buddy Alan and his beautiful wife Jessica for watching the kiddos!! Cheesecake Factory is the best way to celebrate!


  1. That was a really nice story. I actually got myself my first wetsuit as well (a long john) and I think putting on the suit should be an extra transition! Really don't need them in Cancun but winter can be a little cold.
    They always, ALWAYS recommend practicing in a wetsuit A LOT before you compete but to each their own.

    You did it. Kudos to you, woman.

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing!! It's one thing to be on the shore watching, and another thing to read someone's play-by-play of their experience in the water. I had a lot of fun that day!! It was great to be there cheering people on as they finished. I can't say that I want to do that long of a swim ever. I think a quarter mile would be my thing--lol!! :>}

  3. Great job! I nearly snorted my drink at your husband's fish comment. ;o)

  4. Great job!!! You are totally an inspiration!

  5. Good for you. It's so nice you and the hubs could do it together.
    That's what scares me about tris, the water.