Sunday, May 23, 2010

Race Report: Hagg Lake Open Water Swim

I use “race report” very loosely here.

Saturday I drove down to Portland to stay with my girl alisa. It was a three hour drive and I arrived around 4. It was the first time meeting a fellow blogger and I was pretty stoked about it. Of course we hit it off and never ran out of things to talk about. We went out for a killer greek pizza and wine. In bed by 10. She was an awesome hostess and made me feel super comfortable to be there.

The plan for Sunday was to do an open water swim. My first of the year. 2000 meters. Then after we were going to do a bike ride. 50 (ish) miles. And then maybe if we were feeling like rock stars a short 10 –20 minute run afterward.

2 words. FUCKING COLD. Not only was it cloudy and chilly outside but after we donned our wetsuits and asked ourselves what the fuck we were doing there in the first place, we finally got in. OMG. Seriously. I wonder what the temperature was. 55* maybe?


It’s even colder than it looks.



As soon as I put my head down my diaphragm immediately rejected the notion that I  was actually going to exhale underwater. After several attempts I finally gave up and decided to just deal with it once we got going, hoping that the adrenalin would kick in and my brain would figure it out.

We started out in the middle/back inside. As soon as we started taking off it was a total clusterfuck. (side note – I was totally surprised at how many people were doing the 2000. Maybe there was 120 – 150 of us) Anyways, I immediately hated everyone around me. The woman going painfully slow in front of me, the chick behind me hitting my feet, the guy beside me. All of it. I still couldn’t put my head down enough to get a decent stroke going and I was inside my head so much I finally just swam to the shore (only about 30 meters). I stood there seriously considering quitting. I felt like I stood there for five minutes, but in reality it was probably only about 2. I finally decided quitting would be to hard to live with so I sucked it up and went for it. I just pushed the cold aside and finally began to warm up. It was much more pleasant being away from the crowd as they had all been ahead of me by now. I got going and got into my groove.

About the halfway mark I was over it. Get me the fuck outta here is what I thinking. How badly I wanted to swim back in and call it a day. Could you imagine. No way. I just kept on keeping on. “Just a few more strokes to the next buoy. Ok, the next buoy is just right there, keep going…” So on and so forth. Finally I began the looooong stretch into shore which seemed like it was getting farther away rather than closer. Finally. I could stand up. Done.

My watch time was 46:38

Not bad. Not good. It just is. Overall, very pleased. This was not an easy feat. Anybody that sucked it up and stayed in that water for more than a few minutes is basically a badass because that shit was not easy. Alisa is a super badass and was totally waiting for me when I got to shore and took a couple of pictures of me getting out. I think she had already showered and blew dried here hair by the time I got there!


The plan was to go directly for a bike ride. Thank you portland for being a total bitch and raining on us. We were not feeling that badass. We stripped down to our birthday suits wrapped ourselves in towels and cranked the heater in the car while we make our decision. To bike, or not to bike. While we were discussing our options it started raining. That made the decision for us.DSCN1617

We were super disappointed about that and decided to just hit the trainer for a couple of hours. After stopping for coffee on the way back to her house, we decided just to go for it and get on our bikes (it wasn’t raining at the time we made this decision).

About 7 or 8 minutes into the ride my stomach started cramping up like crazy. I’d never experienced anything like this. it was bad. I couldn't even stand upright. To make things worse it started pouring. pouring is an understatement. One of these issues would be miserable, both was unbearable. Alisa went on ahead, got the car, and came back to pick me up. I literally crouched next to my bike while the cold wet rain pounded me. It was brutal. (btw, Alisa was such a good sport and felt so bad for me she hauled ass to her car and when she came to retrieve me she was still wearing her helmet and shoes! Seriously selfless act.)

Eventually the cramps subsided, but I was really worried for a while there.

I made it home safe and sound, but that was not a fun drive.

NO clue what brought those pains on. It was acute every time I inhaled. The only new addition to my life is perpetuem, but I’m not sure if I even took a drink of it yet. Plus, I didn’t premix it (you can’t premix it because it spoils). I added the powder literally minutes before we took off on the bike.

A mystery for sure. Hopefully it never happens again.

Overall, meeting with a good friend and successfully completing a seriously challenging event. Successful.


pandagirl23 said...

I did the Hagg lake swim today! I came all the way from Colorado to do the 4000 and damn that was cold! I didn't even have time to stick around for awards I had to catch the plane home cuz i have finals tomorrow :( But I'm prety sure I placed in my age group, I can't wait for them to post the results! (Thats how I found your blog-looking for results) Great job on finishing and not giving up!

Alee said...

Sounds like a fun (but freezing) workout! Glad you're feeling better!

Keith said...

I thought everybody knew that Portland+May=coldandwet squared.

One day you'll be in a race and you'll know you can do it because you did this.

Jamie said...

Nice job on your first open water swim of the season. Sucks about the cold and rain! And I hope your stomach pains never happen again. That does not sound fun.

glachristmas said...

What a post! I couldn't agree more about the cold and wanting to quit. I am a fairly accomplished pool swimmer, but open water is a different animal all together. Thanks for putting in words what I could only think. BTW - not to make you feel bad, but the swimmer that won the 4000 did a 46:38, he was about 15 yrs old too. Little bastard.

Alisa said...

Dude it was cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You did great, we both did.

So glad you're feeling better today. The weather was atrocious and lame--BOO.

Next time we'll get in all three!

Amy - the gazelle said...

I'm glad you're feeling better & sorry that I WASN'T feeling better & didn't get to meet you.

You should come down later in the summer for another go! :)

Anonymous said...

yeah...u def are a badass...tuffing it out like that shows alot of "testicular fortitude"...awesome effort!

aron said...

yay for blogger meet ups!!! GAH cold water, not fun. you did amazing girl!

X-Country2 said...

That does sound strange. What a hardcore event though. nice work!

Running and living said...

The cold water would have been enough of an excuse for me. Seriously, I only started putting my head in the water in October 09, so I am a little terrified by open water. Add coldness to that, and I am out of there. You did awesome!!!! really, be proud. I forgot when your tri is? Mine is end August, and I will be starting easy bricks in June.

joyRuN said...

Open water freaks me out as it is. If I can't get a proper breathing rhythm down because of cold, forget it - just fish me the hell outta there!

I had a proper tri suit under that huge cotton shirt, I swear! But it was too cold so I left it on ;)

Anne said...

Glad you guys had a fun night...cause that sounds like a pretty tough day!! Hope the cramps didn't come back.

Meg said... both looked cute in your rubber suits but it still looked chilly! YOU are tough, I always knew it but it's been confirmed.
FUN though!

Anonymous said...

Way to stick with the swim. You made me smile when you said you "immediately hated everyone" so true in an OWS!!!

Amy said...

Some of my favorite quotes from this entry:

We stripped down to our birthday suits wrapped ourselves in towels and cranked the heater in the car while we make our decision. (Only bloggers can feel connected enough to do this like old friends, yet it was the first time you met each other.)

Thank you portland for being a total bitch and raining on us (Just made me laugh in true Kristen form.)

The best part is, KK and I did a race at Hagg Lake so I know exactly where you're talking about and can picture it. Because I've swam there too. So fun. Way to get out there and do it.

Sorry about your stomach - I don't know what could have caused it. I don't use (or didn't use) perpetuem for my traininig.

Tara said...

OMG 2000 meters? Girl you rock. I've been training for a tri and the water is definitely what I am scared of. OH yes, I fear the swim. It is evil and cold!!

Congrats to you!!

Tara said...

BTW- You looked super cute in your wetsuit photos. :) I love race pics!

Niki said...

Way to stick with it girl! That water sounds freezing, I probably wouldn't have even made it in the water! Haha :)

Thanks for answering all my questions on my last post! They were SUPER helpful!!

Ali said...

It sounds cold and looks cold!

Well done on the open water swim

Molly said...

Yikes over those stomach cramps! Maybe it was a delayed reaction to the pizza? Was there spinach on the greek pizza? Sometimes that messes with me.

That water looked arctic! But how cool that you got to train with a new friend, and blogger to boot!

Thanks for your words on my boo hoo post. You're truly awesome, and hopefully some day we can both write a post about us meeting!

Have a great weekend Chickie!

Amanda said...

Yuck, sounds like a rough day all the way around!!! That's so fun that you got to meet a blogger and hang out though.

Missy said...

See, it makes a GREAT story. A shitty swim but a GREAT story and you got to hang with Alisa. How very fun. If you think it's the perpetuem, you may want to try their heed or other electrolyte drink (without protein).

Anonymous said...

Great Post...and you ROCK!! So proud of you for "Keep Keeping On !!! "

Kristen said...

You and Alisa look great in your wetsuits - I just looked like a beached seal in mine. :)

I think you both did awesome given the conditions. Open water swimming is such a challenge - I hope with practice it just gets easier but I don't know how to avoid all the kicking in the face.

So sorry about the cramps - but you guys were hardcore to even go out and try given the weather - hell, you just swam 2000 in a freezing lake - that is hardcore on its own! Glad they went away and you haven't experienced them since.

Mudd07 said...

The water was 55-56. And I did it (2k ~35 mins)without the wetsuit and had no problem at all. It was damn cold but manageable. There were several of us who did.

Amy said...

Good race report, it is detailed and entertaining. I want to read a race report like this. Good job!!!


Amanda@runninghood said...

Sweet! This is near me! Now I have to go back to figure out where you are from since I'm still new to your blog. HOpe to do a tri at Hagg Lake this next year.