Monday, June 28, 2010

Watch out, Michael Phelps!

It's go-time at GLOWS 2010
This weekend I successfully completed the 1/2-mile course of Greenlake Open Water Swim. Yay me!

My major goal was to complete it without being rescued by  "the boat of shame." My other goal was to come in under 25 minutes, which I also achieved. I finished the race in a blindingly fast 22 minutes and 57 seconds, and that included a lot-of time-wasting maneuvers in the water such as waiting around for the nearest lifeguard-on-a-paddleboard to catch up to me so I would never be farther than a few yards away from a lifeguard-on-a-paddleboard!

I also lolligagged at the finish line, looking behind me to see if I was the last one out of the lake, and lo and behold, I WAS NOT! There were at least five people behind me!

It was a nice-ish morning, sunny but cool. I wore a wetsuit, which is something I've never done before in all my local swimming adventures. At first I felt rather wussyish wearing one, but in the end I was glad I had it. It's intimidating enough swimming across a body of open water on a "Juneuary" day without having to deal with gasping for breath as you adjust to the water temperature.

There were all sorts of people doing the event - grandmothers and grandaughters, fathers and sons, musclebound triathletes, very unmusclebound people, and, me - jack of all sports, master of none.

I probably would have gone even blindingly faster if I hadn't forgotten my secret weapon - the Powerbar(R) Double Latte Gel. This little gel gave me turbopower for 20 whole minutes on a bike ride last week and I was counting on it to do the same as I kicked my competitor's butts in the lake. But alas, I forgot it in the excitement and had only a banana to fuel me across the stormy seas.

Actually, Greenlake is much mellower than Lake Washington, which is always churning with wind and boat wakes. Greenlake is placid and peaceful, though of course you can't see a anything as you're swimming across it except greenish-black murk.

I did, sadly, have to make sure there was a lifeguard near me at all times. And the few times when the closest lifeguard had to stop and help some poor soul who was even slower than me, I sorta freaked out and didn't know whether to keep going. In the end, I did, with the help from my mantra:

"If I can climb Mt. Rainier, I can swim across Greenlake. If I can climb Mt. Rainier...."

I was also trying to sing the song "All Down the Line" by the Rolling Stones in my head but it didn't work because I only know one line: "All down the li-ine...".

Next time I need to pick a song I actually know the words to.

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